Choosing a Sewing Machine

The world is getting smaller, and thus, becoming more accessible to us all. Just as the internet and blogs have given access to millions to publish, whereas before the publishing world was only available to those lucky enough to be discovered. The same medium, the internet, has made it possible for millions of talented seamstresses, tailors and designers to ply their trade to an open and untapped market. There are five critical factors that will help you choose the best machine for your needs.

Determine your budget before comparing models

Sewing machines range in price from under a hundred dollars to almost ten thousand dollars. So before you select your machine, you need to make a list of tasks that you know you will be undertaking. Consider purchasing a sewing machine to be every bit similar to buying a car. The more options that come with your machine, the more it will cost. It is too easy to simply imagine yourself doing everything, so take an objective; hard look at your endeavor, over assessing your needs can cost you unnecessary expense. On the other hand, a machine that is not capable of meeting your needs can also cost you money and hours of aggravation.

Look for the best price

Look for online coupons and ask about future specials. Study your machines well. Knowing the best price is also the same as knowing where your machine came from. For example, Bernina and Pfaff make high-end models in Germany and Switzerland respectively. Alternatively, they also have model made in Taiwan and Japan. The models that are made outside of Germany and Switzerland are not necessarily bad machines, but they will come with lower warranties and reliability ratings. These machines were built to compete with lower-end products from a company like Singer who makes entry-level machines for the home market.

Talk with Sewing Machine Owners

Someone who has been there will have lots of valuable information as well. They will have firsthand experience as to what a machine does and cannot do. They can also share valuable information about the specific machine’s dependability and repair issues if there are any. A good place to start is at the fabric store. In addition, a valuable source of information can be found online and in community forums.

Which brand

This is a delicate subject. Most machines in a certain price range, whatever the brand, offer a similar quality. However, I would go for a traditional brand, one that has a history in the world of couture, such as Singer, Bernina , Alfa , Brother… This issue is important when you need replacement parts or repairs.

Compare warranties

The warranty is every bit a part of the overall price of your machine. Check the warranty for hidden costs. Obviously, the longer the warranty the better it is for you. In this regard, it is better to stay with a larger manufacturer who is more likely to have a service center close to you. Remember, your machine is the heartbeat of your business. You need a machine that is reliable and readily repaired in the event that something breaks down.

Whether you are a professional, or someone who simply loves to sew, purchasing a sewing machine is the most significant investment you will make. Choosing a machine is a decision that is vital to your success. It means making an informed decision that will help you select the sewing machine that is a balance between meeting your needs and staying within your budget. Sewing, like any other art, is fun when your machine gives you the freedom to create anything you desire.



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5 Things All Crafters Should Have

5 Thing Every Crafter Should Have

Crafting is easy and fun but only with the right tools. There are tons of crafting supplies out there on the market, and although they are all crucial, only a few are indispensable. Thus making it difficult for any newbie venturing in the crafting Industry, to decide on what to pick or leave from the list. So, to get you out of this dilemma, we made a list of 5 things all crafters should have to get started. Check them out

  1. Glue Gun

A glue gun is one of the frequently used tools in crafting. Regardless of the kind of crafts you make, you can’t do without this gadget. It will help you fix broken drawers, decorative lights, hem your clothes and other gluing gobs. Usually, they are relatively priced so, you won’t have to dig much into your pockets to own one. Depending on your preference, you can choose a cordless glue gun, with a cord, mini or full-sized gun from a whole lot of brands. When using a glue gun, make sure to have enough glue sticks to avoid running out of your supply in the middle of crafting.

  1. Rotary cutter and an X-Acto Knife

A rotary cutter has a sharp blade for cutting fabrics easily. This handy gadget will also cut ribbon and paper, but to do so, you would have to change its blade. Due to their sharp blades, they are dangerous and so they should be stored properly. To prevent accidents from happing, during storage, it’s always good to make it a habit of covering them with a blade guard. And when you want to cut through thicker items like cardboard, that’s when an X Acto Knife comes in handy.

  1. Scissors

You will use scissors to cut duct tape, fabric, paper, trim threads among others. The different types of scissors include:

Fabric scissors- You should dedicate this type to cutting fabrics only. Avoid by all means cutting thick items such as cords and wires with it.

Embroidery scissors- They are small and delicate with pointy blades that are capable of getting in between threads to let you cut the one that you want.

Standard scissors – Have straight blades and large handles and can be used to cut a lot of items

General craft scissors – They look more like the standard scissors and can cut thin jewelry wires open food bags etc.

  1. Wire cutters and pliers

Although you can use scissors to cut wires, they get ruined over time. Most modern pliers integrate a wire cutter for cutting jewelry wires, chenille cords, dowel pins, etc.

  1. Cutting mat

Any crafter will need to have a cutting mat to make perfect cuts and accurate measures. A cutting mat is a-must-have tool on any crafting project for cutting paper, stencils, cardboard, etc. There are dozens of budget-friendly cutting mat models that you can choose from.

The above mentioned, 5 things that all crafters should have, is a guide that will help you make an informed buy decision. Therefore, you are able to give priority to the basics before spending all your money on other expensive supplies.




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Learn Digital Photography-An Analysis

Learning digital photography in our instant society is only possible by applying the basic principles of good photography. Digital is another tool and there is no real fast way of doing this. But…   If you are prepared to follow these six quick photography principles you’re on the road to learning digital photography fast. And I really mean fast. So here goes. Choose your subject carefully. This is the centerpiece of your photo. Make sure you identify a suitable subject and focus on this. Not negotiable. If subject is not clearly identifiable your photo will be below average.

Place you subject intelligently. Divide your image into thirds vertically and horizontally. Imagine 2 lines across and 2 lines down. Where these lines intersect place your subject on one of these points. If you have an horizon in the image, line it up with one of the 2 horizontal lines. Get closer to your subject. Most times the subject is what you want to remember about the scene you are recording. So get as much of it in your photo. This is especially so with family photos. Have smaller groups of people shot closer to the camera.

Exclude clutter from around your subject. Make sure that there are no trees or telephone poles sticking out the top of you subject’s head. Unless you particularly want to remember the garbage can, bicycle, microwave or signboard, leave them out of the scene. Look for anything that you don’t want to see in 20 years when viewing the photos and exclude it. Look at your subject from a different angle. Shoot from up higher (above the subject) or lower (looking up at the subject). Find a different angle so that the image is unique a gives you a different more interesting aspect. Change your viewpoint. Most people stand in front of the subject and just shoot away. Move around looking through your viewfinder and find a different position that gives a more interesting shot. Experimenting is the key.



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Want To Know More About Arts and Crafts?

If you a camp director, teacher, or home school mom looking for a new arts and crafts idea for your kids.  Or maybe you are a recreation director at a senior center or nursing home and could use a new project.  Either way, this arts and crafts idea will be interesting and fun for all.  This glass case can be used, given as a gift, or converted into a necklace purse. To make the glasses case, you will need the following simple materials:  a square of craft foam, plastic or large blunt needles, lanyard lace or thick yarn.  Cut two rectangles from the foam, each 3-1/2 inches (9 cm.) by 6 inches (15 cm.).  With a hole punch, make holes on three sides of each rectangle, leaving one short side unpunched.  Make the holes 1/2 inch apart and allow at least 1/4 inch between the hole and the edge of the craft foam.

The holes need to line up so that the two pieces can be laced together.  If you are preparing the craft for small children, you should make the holes yourself.  Otherwise, the crafters can do this step if you have enough pairs of hole punches. At this point the crafters can cut decorative shapes from other colors of craft foam, or you can buy sets of ready-cut foam shapes.

If you are doing the craft at a special event, like vacation Bible school, choose shapes that echo the theme of the event.  For instance, if the Bible school or camp has a cowboy theme, find shapes that fit well, such as boots, cowboy hats, and stars.  Let the kids choose the shapes they like and glue on as desired. You might also like to provide beads or sequins to glue on as well, especially if the crafters are a little older.



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All about Best Arts Ideas

Sometimes, the best art and craft ideas come to you in a moment of sudden inspiration. The other day, I was fast asleep and having a strange dream. I don’t remember much about it, but I remember this vivid impression of walls covered in a fine and oily moss. There was something so dramatic and frightening about these walls, and when I woke up it was both a relief and another opportunity to feel the same fear that I had the dream.

Although the dream scared me, it also gave me a fantastic art idea. There is a painting I had been working on for months and unable to complete. There is something about it. It seemed too happy ” almost frighteningly happy. Everything was so peaceful, and the characters had these very stupid stereotypical smiles. The dream gave me an art idea of applying a certain kind of textured background. I painted this mossy brownish green in the background behind the characters and slightly shaded their faces to give them a more dingy look. It really changed the way everything came together. Suddenly, the picture had a more complex and ambiguous quality to it. It seemed more balanced and honest somehow.

Then again some of my best art ideas come from the most obvious of places. I am a big Internet user, and out of every three art ideas I have, two of them probably come from the web (just like when you search for “plumber, Chicago” on the web and use all the reviews and other research to find the best one). There are plenty of websites where people put up their favorite ideas for art as a way of sharing their craft with other people. I think it is one of the most generous and awesome things anyone can do. Do-it-yourself websites have provided me inspiration for decoration, painting, sculpture, and even making my own clothes. There are innumerable art projects I have been able to do because of the help of strangers from the web.