Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year, Happy New Sewing Machine

LilsGirl surpised the heck out of us with this marvelous new sewing machine, a Brother SE-400 (I just realized I have neglected to photograph it, duh), which, as it happens I had been sort of wishing for for some time now!  My Brother serger has been marvelous and I always thought I would replace Singer with Brother from now on. I've had this baby book marked now for a while, thinking someday.  Well, there it was, a wonderful gift and so very much appreciated!

I took the past two weeks to get acquainted with it and used it on some current projects.  It handles beautifully!  And Hubby surprised me by spending the money saved up for repairing/replacing the Singer on a batch of stuff to do the embroidery with instead!  Best Christmas in ages, and what a lift it gave us both, because it opened a new door for him. He is going to expand our little sewing business by learning how to digitize patterns for the machine.  LilsGirl also gifted us with a set of feet that match both machines and do everything but the dishes!  I have one for everything now!

Along with all the minute settings that allow awesome control in sewing, which really shows in the recent work I've done on it, a lot of stress is off me over projects now.  No more allowing extra extra time for picking things out five or six times, or having issues with anything thicker than a butterfly's sneeze going under the foot (I darned a thick acrylic picture blanket with it!)  And no more worrying about the Singer going down.  In fact, I can thread two machines now and not have to switch things every time and work on two projects at once more easily.

Naturally, the first thing I did (after daring to take it out of the box, because I was in shock for a day or two!) was test out the embroidery patterns that come in the machine.

Karen got the first sample.  She's been wearing a tossed together denim skirt with a waist band made for SD girls in haste, while being stripped for fittings, so I gave her a t-shirt to go with it.  No more leopard print handkerchief sarongs.

Christmas morning so she has every right to look a bit disheveled. 

Then I went a little nuts.  Kiki also got a t-shirt from my practice runs, so naturally, she had to have some jeans to go with it!  I changed the color chart on the floral vine pattern to match the grey and denim theme, and with the control on the new machine, they went together so fast once the embroidery had done, it only took me one day for the whole set!  What really surprised me was that after everything else went so smoothly, Kiki, who has never posed quite well, even with her hip replacement surgery, went in to full on 'look at me' mode, posed quite easily and every photo was a first shot. O_o  

I didn't have a small decorative box out of a
 packing box for her to put her foot up on, 
so custard cup to the rescue! 
We already have a few t-shirt/jeans decoration sets programmed for later. The embroidery setting can do a pattern 4 x 4 inches, so it's PERFECT for doll items.  And as the hubby said, no more hand guessing fuzzy chalk marked back pockets, when we can just program a design into the machine and stitch out the pockets as fancy and precise as we please!  But I have to get over this thyroid- immune attack-allergy-whatever sore throat which is tiring me out major the past two days, before I tackle anything more ambitious.  I need to get that one-zero military vest project done, now that I have a machine that will obey and it will look more like a real garment than my hand stitching does.   

My tiny doll sewing book is on back order in Japan, but I'm looking forward to getting that, too!  Adorable little dresses and things with embroidery on them, etc. Yay!

Thank you so much again, LilsGirl!



  1. Wow, that is so cool!! If you see a design I am doing for 3d and you want it for doll embroidery, just ask and I will send you a file! Especially since you have someone to convert it to the size/format and ppi you need for the machine!

    1. Thank you! With he program he has, you canLt import and transform. Apparently that died with some Windows os version, the rats. He does it from scratch, adding in the stitches and so forth click by click, (oh the swearing!) so it would just be a jpg or bitmap. We're definitly goingto offer to do designs to spec. So yeah, start thinking about your flapper dress! I set a personal limit of 2 by 2 inches for the big dolls
      and smaller stuff can be tiled, so I could do the whole dress with those elaborate art deco designs!


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