Tuesday, 27 November 2012

My new baby Bernina Aurora 440

I have been using the Brother BM-3600 machine since I first started sewing. I never used any sewing machine so I was no judge on whether it's a good machine or not. But as I sewed more and more, I was having more problem with the Brother. First, it couldn't run through thick fabric, for example, when I tried to alter my jeans. Then it makes pucker when sewing thin or slippery fabric. I thought all the sewing machine would be like this unless it's a industrial one. I was so despaired that I stopped sewing for a while.

But recently I got a bit bored and started picking up sewing again. This time I read what people are talking on forum. Now that I know more about sewing machine, I think maybe I should get a new one. Other people have very expensive sewing machine like those costing a couple thousand. I went to a store and asked about the Bernina sewing machine. The store person kindly grab a Bernina 440 and give me a demonstration. Wow. It could sew through layers of denim, perfect stitch for thin fabric. I was so surprised by the quality and capacity of a sewing machine. But it's a bit pricey. They quoted me a price of more than $2000. I said I would think about it. But actually I decided to look for a second hand one.

Lucky for me. There was a used Bernina 440 with Embroidery Module on eBay. It still costs a lot compared to other brands, but I decided to buy it. It didn't let me down. It sews everything perfectly. I love sewing more. I never found sewing more fun before. It's the best thing I ever bought. Here is the glimpse of my baby.

I am looking forward to making more beautiful pieces on this machine.

For those who are hesitating whether to get a Bernina, no need to hesitate because you won't regret having one.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

DIY: easy and budget Thread Rack (part 2)

Following up my post yesterday, I spent almost a whole day on my first DIY project and it's almost finished. So far it looks exactly what I want it to be - picture below.
Near finished
So I go straight to the steps:
1. (optional) Paint the particleboard and dowels. You can ignoree this step if you don't care about the colour and appearance.
2. Position the holes to be drilled on the particleboard. You need to find out the vertical and horizontal spaces between columns and rows of spools. I mark the positions in inch in an Excel sheet. Mark the position on the board with pencil.

3. Drill the holes. Make sure to use the correct drill bits for the dowels. This is a very tiring part
I pre-drilled with a small drill bit to make sure correct position. You can ignore that but directly drill on the board with a bigger size drill bit.
Below picture is the small pre-drilling holes.

 5. (optional) Seal the particleboard edge with Iron-on Melamine Edging.

4. Insert dowels into the holes with glue. For normal spool, I cut the dowel to 6cm. For serger spool, I cut 10 cm. For bobbin, I cut 3cm. I need hammer to punch them in. They fit very well in the holes. Make sure the dowel doesn't come out on the other side of the board.
 5. (optional) Paint the tip of the dowel and touch up the whole piece.
6. Last but not least, clean up the mess :(
I am in the middle of organising my sewing room. Hopefully I can post a photo with the new thread rack in my sewing room :)

Update: Here is the picture of the rack with thread spools:

Monday, 5 November 2012

DIY: easy and budget Thread Rack (Organiser)

How to make a thread rack? 

After searching thread rack on eBay, I found the cheapest one was $25 plus $40 postage from US. How come things can't be cheaper in Australia!? Then I think it should not be hard to DIY one. I am a complete DIY newbie. So I’ve done extensive search on how to make a thread rack.

I found a tutorial on creativelittledaisy's blog. It seems quite doable. All the materials are fine except the pegboard. I found Bunnings stocked very thin one, about 3mm thin and thicker one, about 8mm. They come in a very large sheet. I think it's quite expensive too. Plus the store person told me it's not strong enough to hold a dowel for thread spool. He recommended me using a particleboard. It's light, cheap and strong enough to hold threads on dowels. For the first time in my life I bought a particleboard. Below picture is the one I got. It's the smallest size apparently.

The particleboard as the main panel.
The shopping list

I asked the store person to cut the board half into two. So I have two 60cm x 45 cm panels. 

Next was the dowels. The store person suggested me to get a thicker one for bigger spools (like serger spools). I got a 12.5mm diameter x 90cm long dowel. I picked a wrong dowel for normal spool. When I got home, I found it requires a 6mm (1/4 inch) dowel. But I got the 8mm one. I am returning to Bunnings tomorrow to exchange it.

Then I got my drill bit for the 12.5mm dowel, glue, and paint brush. Below is the first shopping list. You can see I only spent $44, with half of the money being for the drill bit as a tool. 

First shopping list at Bunnings

Please note that I have left-over paint from my house renovation. So it's not on the list, as well as electric drill and hacksaw etc.

As of tonight, after initial preparation, I need more tools and materials:
1. Sand paper
2. A couple of 6mm dowels 
3.  edge banding around the outside

I am going back to the store tomorrow and hopefully can finish it as it'll be the Melbourne Cup Day (public holiday in Victoria).

To be continued....

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Dressmaker Dummy

I bought this second-hand dressmaker dummy on Ebay at $120. It's Diana brand, made in England, in very good condition except the plastic coating on the pole a bit squashed, but it works fine.

Below pic is the dummy.

However, I don't know if I am missing some part because the body seems to be swingy after I put it on the pole.  I took a photo of the joint of the body and the pole.

Can anyone tell if it looks normal?

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