What’s the best self healing cutting mat for sewing and quilting?

When you start quilting or need to cut small pieces of fabric with a rotary cutter you’ll find that a cutting mat is almost an essential piece of equipment.  Self healing mats are ideal because they can withstand a lot of work and if you have lots of quilting to do this is what you need!  In this article I’m looking at the best self healing cutting mat for sewing and quilting but even if you do other crafts such as model making you should find this buying guide helpful.

What to look for in the best self healing cutting mat

Size – see below for my thoughts on what size to go for, but in general make sure it’s going to be big enough for your needs.  How big are the pieces you’re going to be cutting?  If only small squares then a small mat might be sufficient, but if you’re cutting larger pattern pieces then a larger mat should be considered.

Measurement markings – most cutting mats have measurement lines on them but not all of them have them in inches and in metric (centimetres).  Depending on what you like to work with just check that it suits you.

How thick it is – I find that a slightly thicker mat is much nicer to cut on than the really thin mats

How well it copes with cuts – a self healing mat should do just that, self heal.  It shouldn’t show up cuts from your rotary cutter or x-acto knife (although some don’t do well with straight edge blades).  Always check reviews from many people to see if it does hold up – the mats picked below have been checked for you.

 

What size cutting mat should you go for?

This question can only be answered thinking about the space that you have available.  I have to say that since I got the biggest one that I had room for I’ve been much happier – it feels less fiddly to cut my quilting pieces because I am free to put things wherever I like rather than being confined to a small space.  Obviously if you cut large pattern pieces then you’ll need something that can accommodate them.

Most rotary cutting mats come in various sizes from small to very large but when you go up in size the prices go up quite dramatically too.  Think about your budget and the space available and get the best and biggest you can afford.

 

Our self healing cutting mat reviews:

 

Alvin Professional Cutting Mats

The top of my list and one that is quite reasonable on the pocket book is this cutting mat from Alvin.  It comes highly recommended and when you see the quality of this item you’ll see why.

It self heals really well and can withstand a lot of use from both rotary cutters and from straight edge blades too.  It’s green on one side and black on the other side, with both sides featuring grid lines in 1/2 inch gradations.  The measurements are solely in inches.

Also if you’re looking for a large cutting mat this one comes in a variety of sizes – the largest being 80″ x 40″!

You can see more about this item on Amazon here

 

Fiskars Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat

Fiskars is one of the best names when it comes to tools to cut your fabrics and so it’s no surprise that they have a cutting mat on sale too.

This one is a really great product and available in three different sizes – 12″x18″, 18″x24″ and also 24″x 36″.  It’s a solid white colour, not see through as the picture might suggest and it’s double sided so you can use both sides.

As well as the guide lines, which are in inches, there’s also some really helpful diagonal lines at 30, 45 and 60 degree angles, great if you’re cutting shapes like triangles and stars that need that.

Fiskars also do a 3 piece set that includes a cutter and ruler, so if you’re searching for the best rotary cutter and mat then I’d also check that set out – you can see it here.  It would be perfect for those starting out.

If you’re just after the cutting mat then you can see more about it here.

 

Olfa Double-Sided, Self healing Rotary Mat

Finally we have the self healing mat from Olfa – another really good brand in the craft world.

What I like about this mat is that the grid lines are really helpful on it.  It’s measured in inches but there’s also a section of the mat that has more lines in it so if you need smaller measurements it’s easy to use that section.  There’s also lots of angled lines to help with cutting on the bias etc.

This mat comes in 2 different sizes – 18″ x 12″ and 24″ x 36″ so both really good sizes.

The Olfa mats are for use with rotary blades, not utility knives although you could use them it might reduce the life expectancy of the mat.

You can see more about the Olfa mat on Amazon here.

Sewing terms for beginners

When you first begin to sew, whether that’s by hand or machine, you’ll likely come across some terms that you have no idea what they mean.  Hopefully this handy guide will help you as you begin the learn the ropes of sewing.

Fabric grain

the grain of a fabric is the way in which the woven threads run.  In woven fabrics you’ll see threads running one way over threads which run another way.  If you have to cut with the fabric grain you’ll be cutting along one of these lines.

Bias

The bias of a fabric is when the grain is at a 45 degree angle.  You would find where the grain is and either turn it so it’s at the right angle or, the way I do it, is that I’d have my fabric in front of me with the grain running straight and them fold one corner to the opposite diagonal corner.  This will find the bias.

selvage (selvedge in british english)

The selvage is the manufactured edge of the fabric that you have.  Often it will bear the name or design of your fabric on it.

Raw edge

The raw edge of your fabric is where you have cut the fabric yourself and it’s the cut edge.

Notions

Notions is a word that describes all the small items that come with a sewing kit or just random sewing accessories – needles, thread, bobbins, pins are all notions.

Bobbin

The bobbin is a small round, normally plastic item that goes with your sewing machine.  It holds more thread that is then used in the sewing machine to stitch from underneath.

Fat quarter

A fat quarter is a name used to describe when a yard of material is cut in to four pieces.  A fat quarter usually measures a minimum of 18” x 22

Seam

The seam is the part of the fabric that is between the sewn area and the edge of your fabric.

Seam allowance

The seam allowance is a measurement of how big your seam should be – a normal size is about 5/8”

Right sides

The right sides of your fabric is the sides that will be seen on the finished piece.  This is easy when you are using patterned fabric that looks very different on the other side.

Wrong sides

Wrong sides are the opposite of the right sides.  It’s the sides that won’t be seen.

Best sewing machine for beginners 2018

Choosing a beginners sewing machine can often feel like minefield for novice sewers.  Do you need just the basics or should you go for a bigger and better machine that runs the risk of being too overwhelming?  In this article I’ll be looking at the best sewing machine for beginners that are on the market right now and hopefully helping you to narrow down what will hopefully be the machine to help you move on from beginner status and provide many hours of happy sewing!

Choosing the best sewing machine for beginners – what to consider

You have two options when looking for your first sewing machine – you can get something extremely simple and aim to get a bigger and better machine when you’ve become happy and confident in how to use them.  Or you could choose to get a more feature rich but easy to use sewing machine that will be fine even when you’re at an intermediate or advanced level.

[amazon_link asins=’B000JQM1DE,B01FY3AGM4,B007Z364O6,B00MNS60AQ,B015YCBNOU’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’sewingenious0b-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’92803530-c6fd-11e6-b17f-bde9a6ecb18f’]

My personal thoughts, and the way I went when I was a starter was to go for the latter.  I chose the best easy to use sewing machine around back then and it lasted me quite a few years.  I’m glad that I went this way as I would have outgrown a more basic model really fast.  However if all you want to do is simple stitches and you’re not sure whether you will need more features then a starter sewing machine should suffice.

This guide shows a few machines from each group.  Things to bear in mind no matter what you choose are:

  • ease of use
  • price – good machines can be had under $150 but perhaps raise it to $200 if you want it to progress with you
  • reputable manufacturer – I’d advise staying away from names you’ve not heard of even if they are cheap sewing machines.  You may need repairs or spares in future and good brands means you’ll be fine with finding them.
  • how often will you use it?  A more expensive machine might not be worth it for your intended use.
  • What kind of projects will you want to do?  If clothing, make sure you have buttonhole capability – makes life a lot easier!
  • weight – if you intend to take it to classes make sure it’s easy to carry

 

Our beginner sewing machine reviews

The following are some of the top rated beginner sewing machines around at the moment.

 

Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine

If you’re looking for an all round great value and easy sewing machine then this entry level one from Brother is a really good choice.  I like it because it’s simple, but not too simple!  It has a variety of stitches, including buttonholes and hemming stitches so a great choice for dressmaking and all of the stitches are selected by turning the dial at the front.

I think this particular model is perfect for budding dressmakers who don’t want to be overwhelmed but similarly don’t want really basic machines.

  • 27 unique built in stitches
  • instructional dvd
  • 6 accessory sewing feet
  • automatic needle threader
  • lightweight

Overall I think the BrotherXM2701 is one of the best starter sewing machines and it’s my top choice.

Click here for the latest price

 

Singer 3232 Simple Sewing Machine

This sewing machine from Singer is similar in specification to the one above except this one has slightly more stitches.  It includes 32 – 6 essential stitches, 6 stretch stitches, 19 decorative and 1 buttonhole.  Definitely enough here to learn and experiment with some new ones and again would suit student dressmakers, those wishing to do soft furnishings or decorative items too.

If you’re looking to save money but you like this one, there’s a version with just 21 stitches that is a little bit cheaper and is worth considering.

  • 32 stitches
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 4 snap on feet included – all-purpose, buttonhole, button and zipper

Singer is an excellent brand if you’re looking for a good branded but basic sewing machine so you’ll not go far wrong with this one.

Check out this item here

 

Singer 1234 Sewing Machine


This machine, again from Singer, is probably about as basic as you want to go.  If you want to do just basic sewing, alterations or want the easiest kind to learn on without spending a lot of dollars this one would be great.  It’s a really competitive price being almost half what some of the other machines cost – if you decide you don’t like sewing you certainly won’t have lost a lot of money.

It’s a really fun machine too with decals to decorate it and a free tote bag project sheet that you can make and customize to store your machine.  I think it’s an excellent choice for a child or teenager too.

  • no bells and whistles – just a basic sewing machine
  • 6 built in stitches including a 4 step buttonhole
  • fun and customizable design

If the best basic sewing machine is what you’re looking for then you’ll find it in this one!

See reviews and latest price on here

 

Janome 2212 Sewing Machine

Janome is an excellent make of sewing machine and their 2212 model is a great entry model.  This one comes with a bonus bundle of extra sewing machine needles and bobbins – always handy!  It’s a high quality machine that is basic yet works well even when dealing with lots of layers.

  • 12 built in stitches
  • 4 step buttonhole
  • lightweight
  • basic but high quality

Janome are again a really good brand so great if you ever run in to issues.  This is a really good starter sewing machine for all beginners.

Check the latest price here

 

Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine


Definitely not in the basic category but I feel this one deserves a spot as a the best computerized sewing machine for beginners so if you’re looking for something that will grow with you it’s perfect.

Some people don’t want anything too basic, possibly because they have some experience with machines or because they can see it becoming something they want to move way beyond the basics of.  Either way, a computerized sewing machine can be a good choice for a newbie if you’re not daunted easily and this one is excellent and not too expensive.

It has 60 in built sewing stitches which are all selected by the lcd monitor.  Many are decorative but there’s also 7 different buttonholes as well as the basic stitches.  You get a host of accessories with this sewing machine too including lots of different presser feet and a hard carry case.

  • computerized – controlled by lcd screen
  • 60 stitches
  • oversized table – great for quilting
  • comes with hard carry case
  • easy to use

Brother is one of my favorite sewing machine brands because of their customer support – you’ll find that this machine is one of the best Brother sewing machines for beginners!

Check out the reviews and latest price here

 

I hope you enjoyed this series of reviews and that it helps you purchase the best sewing machine for beginners!  Do let me know if you need any help with your purchase.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

What’s the best light for sewing room?

One of the main excitements for me this year is doing up my sewing room – it’s been pretty much my sewing machine in a spare room for ages, but this year I’m converting it to a full on craft room!  It’s a pretty dark room even in the height of the summer and in winter it’s not the most welcoming so I’ve been searching for a good lamp.  I wanted to share with you what I’ve found to help make the choice of the best light for sewing room easy for you too!

How to choose the best light for sewing room

When I was looking for a lamp I wanted a few things –

  • it had to be a free standing lamp.  I want to be able to move it should I need to.
  • It had to be able to be angled – again with sewing we need the light in certain parts!
  • It had to provide good natural light – I suffer from migraines and bad light does not help.
  • Energy efficiency was also important.
  • It had to look nice!  I didn’t want an ugly plastic lamp.

Ok, so with that in mind here’s my top 4…

Sewing room lamp reviews

Brightech Lifespan LED Reading and Craft Floor Lamp

This is the one I chose personally and I think you’ll see why – it’s beautiful and I really love the addition of wood on the base and light fitting.

It ticked every single one of my wish lists above with a gooseneck that can be angled, a freestanding wooden base (you can get other colors too) and an energy efficient, yet bright, LED bulb.

The bulb is also dimmable so you can set it to how you want it to be.  The only downside for me is that it’s integrated in to the unit so when the bulb goes the lamp needs to be replaced – it does say that it will last 20 years so I have a while to worry about it.

What sold it to me was all the positive reviews on Amazon as well – if you want to take a look at the many thousand (!) on there and to see the latest price click here.

 

Lavish Home Natural Full Spectrum Reading and Crafting Floor Lamp

If price is a concern to you and you’re looking for the cheapest yet best floor lamp for your sewing room then I think this is an excellent choice.  It’s about half the price of the one I went for so a good deal.

It has many features such as the gooseneck that can be angled where you want it. The bulb in this one is replaceable and is also inexpensive when it does need replaced.   It lasts around 5000 hours.

One of the main issues with this one is that it isn’t very sturdy so if that’s a problem for you it might be better to go for a different lamp.  For the price though I think it’s definitely a steal.

Check out the latest price on Amazon here

 

Trond LED Gooseneck Floor Lamp

 

Now this lamp is pretty special because not only is it a floor lamp it can also be transformed in to a desk lamp by removing the poles.  I do like the different functionality but whether you’d do that often enough for it to be worthwhile as a feature I’m not sure.  Nice to have the option though.

It uses dimmable LEDs, which like the Brightech cannot be replaced, and can be set at 5 different lighting levels depending on what you’re doing.  It’s very sturdy with a decent weight base plate too.

As well as being able to be a desk lamp by removing the poles, you can adjust the height by using all or just some of them meaning it can be as tall as 70″.

This is a really good option if you want some versatility, perhaps if you want to use the lamp for different things.

You can see more reviews and the latest price of this model here.

 

Baltoro LED floor lamp

Finally we have this one from Baltoro which I liked for the fact that it wasn’t as expensive as some of the other options and for the fact it has diffusing cover which means the light is a softer and less harsh experience while still being helpful for seeing while sewing and crafting!

This has LEDs in that should last 20+ years and can’t be replaced and it is extremely energy efficient using just 12 watts.  It’s a fairly basic lamp but has all the features you’d need like a dimming option and an adjustable head.  It’s 65″ tall and comes in black or a light gray.

Check out the latest price of this lamp on Amazon here

Best dress form for home sewing

If you’re at all interested in sewing clothes then investing in a dress form or mannequin is well worth it.  Finding the best dress form for home sewing might seem like a tricky task though so I hope you find this article worthwhile where I’m going through some of the most popular items on the market at the moment from the budget end to the more professional.

Why do you need a dress form for sewing clothes?

Put simply, it’s the best way to get your own measurements (or those of the person you’re sewing for) and see how it hangs as you’re piecing your clothes together.  You can see if it looks too tight over a certain part of you or too loose and you can add darts or take it in to see if it looks better.  Believe me, it’s easier on a mannequin than it is on yourself!

If you plan to make a lot of your own clothes I really think they are an excellent investment.

What to look for in a dress form

When buying a dress form you’ll want to bear in mind the following:

  • ease of adjustment
  • size range – especially useful if you’re sewing for more than yourself
  • where it can be adjusted – is it just bust, hips and waist or more?
  • how stable is it – you don’t want it falling over while you’re working.

Best dress form for home sewing – our reviews

 

Dritz Sew You Dress Form – small and medium

 

One of the most popular dress forms around at the moment is this one from Dritz.  I like it because it’s got a huge amount of features but without the professional sticker price.

It’s an adjustable dress form and uses 9 different wheels to enable you to make the form to your desired dimensions.

Make sure it will be right for your body shape you’re looking for though – the dimensions of the two sizes available are as follows:

Small – Bust: 33-40 Inch; Waist: 26-33 Inch; Hips: 36-42 Inch; Back Length: 15-17 Inch; Neck: 14-17 Inch

Medium – Bust: 39-46 Inch; Waist: 32-40 Inch; Hips: 41-47 Inches; Back Length: 15-17 Inch, Neck: 15-18 Inch

Pros:

Easily adjustable with 9 adjusting wheels

Good price for the features

Sturdy

Available in 2 sizes – small and medium

Cons: 

although height adjustable, you have to measure the height rather than it being on a dial.  (no big deal if you won’t change it often)

plastic base which may be less than ideal if it gets heavy use

 

Ideal for:

This dress form is ideal for someone serious about dressmaking but not wanting anything too expensive.

Check out the latest price of the Dritz dress form on Amazon here

 

Singer DF250/DF251 Adjustable Dress Form

 

This a really professional looking dress form from Singer with a lovely and classic navy colour.  It’s adjustable in over 13 places and includes a nice easy height adjustment too.  The metal base is much more durable than a plastic one like above however it still can have some stability issues.

Pros:

13 adjustable settings

easy height adjustment

metal base

1 year warranty

 

Cons:

can be tricky to set up

not the most stable

 

Check out the latest price of this item on Amazon here

 

Dritz My Double Dress Form


Here we have another dress form from Dritz.  If you’ve a slightly higher budget and have more specific needs, for example a fuller figure or need a petite dress form, this one might suit you slightly better.  This range has 4 different sizes – Petite, Small, Medium and Large.  Check the link below or click the image and you’ll see what size each one covers.

 

Pros:

easily height adjustable

10 adjustable body dials

can get one that is closer to your body size – goes from extra small to a fuller figure

Cons:

Can be unstable

 

Ideal for… fuller figures!

Check out the most up to date price for this dress form on Amazon here

Singer Simple 3232 review

When looking for a good beginner sewing machine having something that is simple to set up is a must.  This Singer sewing machine is a great example of being easy to use yet it still has many features and sewing stitches to separate it from the most basic machines out there.  It’s perfect if you want something that will grow with your new sewing abilities.  I hope you enjoy this Singer Simple 3232 review and that it helps you in discovering if it’s the right sewing machine for you.

Our Singer Simple 3232 review

A simple and easy to use, yet not too basic sewing machine is the Singer 3232.  It has 32 stitches which will help with making your projects stand out yet it’s straightforward enough to use for both novices and people who aren’t even that bothered about learning and just want the easiest machine to do repairs on!

Singer is an excellent sewing machine brand and I would not hesitate to recommend their products – they have great customer service and parts are generally easy to find.  That’s what comes of being in the business for many years!

>>> Check out the latest price of this item <<<

Frustration free set up

The big selling point with this machine is that it has frustration free set up.  What that means is that, in theory, you should be well placed to be ready to be sewing your first project in no time.

So what does that really mean?  Well, the machine is definitely easy to use with automatic needle threading  (my favorite feature on any sewing machine!) and simple stitch selection using the dials on the front of the machine.  It has a completely automatic button hole maker too which is great for if you need them for making clothes or perhaps cushion covers and there are 4 snap on presser feet (all purpose, buttonhole, button sewing and zipper) which are nice and effortless to use.  No fiddling around getting the machine started, that’s for sure!

What I’d have liked to have seen would have been a top loading bobbin too – I find the front loading ones sometimes aren’t frustration free, but with a little practice it will become second nature anyway so that’s just a little negative from me.

32 built in stitches

The Singer 3232 comes with a nice number of stitches.  I say that because it seems like it’s not too little that you’ll need a few more and not too many that it becomes overwhelming.  I’d say it’s just about right that you can use the basics and have a few more if you have a desire to get decorative with your sewing.

The 32 stitches that this machine has the ability to use comprises of:

6 essential stitches – including straight, zig zag, and hemming

6 stretch stitches

19 decorative stitches

1 automatic button hole

Features and specification

  • Automatic needle threader
  • fully automatic 1 step buttonhole maker
  • 32 built in stitches
  • Free arm for stitching cuffs and sleeves
  • 4 snap on feet – all purpose, buttonhole, button sewing and zipper
  • free accessories kit
  • size – 15″ x 7.5″ x 12″
  • weight – 12.2 pounds
  • 25 year warranty

>>> See more about this item here <<<

What others have to say

As well as giving my own thoughts I really like to scour the internet to get a general view of what people have said about this machine and to help you decide if it’s right for you.

It has been reviewed over 100 times from what I’ve found, and it currently scores around 4.0 out of 5 so it’s not quite as popular as some of the other beginner sewing machines I reviewed.  However, it’s still a respectable score and so I think definitely worthy of consideration if you’re looking for an uncomplicated sewing machine.

The positive reviews tend to focus on the fact that it is great for beginners and kids to learn to sew with and I’d definitely agree with that.

The negative thoughts seem to be about the bobbin – many would prefer it to be a top loading design rather than the front loading.  It seems that I’m not alone in my thoughts there.

>>> Check out more reviews and buy here <<<

Conclusion

This is a good step up from the most basic machines that only seem to have a few stitches and features.  What makes this machine special and worthy of buying though is the fact that it is so easy to use – everything is simple and straight forward from threading the needle to stitch selection.  You’ll definitely be sewing in no time with the Singer Simple 3232!

SaveSave

Top 5 easy clothes to sew for beginners

When you’re a beginner sewer with lots of ideas on how you want to transform your wardrobe, the potential projects out there can seem dizzying and overwhelming.  It’s always a good idea to choose some easy patterns when you are new to sewing so that you can learn the basics of pattern cutting, sewing straight seams and hemming.  With that in mind, here’s my tips for easy clothes to sew for beginners:

 

Headband

I guess more in the accessories section, but a headband is a great small project to work on.  It will give you great practice in sewing in straight lines, working with different fabrics and finishing off neatly.  You can never have too many headbands can you?

Skirt

A skirt is the ultimate classic beginners sewing project.  You could tackle a super simple, short A line skirt or perhaps a wrap around one.  If you’re ready to learn about zips then choose something with a zip opening.  You’ll also learn about hemming, adding a waistband or perhaps even using bias binding.  There’s no end to the types of skirts around so you’ll always be learning and improving your dressmaking techniques.

Tunic top

A simple top is another nice project to get your teeth into.  You can get plenty that are really just the pattern pieces sewed together which will give you practice in hemming and finishing, especially around the sleeves.  Sleeveless will be the easiest or choose something with just two pattern pieces to put together.  If you want more interesting techniques then a pattern that has darting to give shape will be a good thing to learn.

Simple shift dress

Along the lines of a tunic top, a shift dress is generally simple lines.  It will challenge you to get your measurements right and you can learn about shaping by using darts as well as hemming and finishing.  You could also use a variety of techniques for fastening the dress such as zippers and buttons as well as lots of fabric choice ideas.

Pajama pants

My favorite of all of the beginner projects are pajama pants because it’s something that can be worn inside even if it’s not perfect!  It’s a good item of clothing to learn about sewing elasticated waistbands, making sure you’re measurements work out (I had a disaster making some in my early days that my legs couldn’t fit in!) and also for dealing with jersey fabrics if you want more of a lounge pant.

 

I hope that these ideas will get your creative juices flowing and give you a starting point to search patterns that are suitable for beginners.  Keep it simple while you’re starting with simple fabrics such as cotton or polycotton and you’ll not go too far wrong.  And remember that we all start somewhere – don’t fret if it doesn’t work out!  Keep trying, and let me know how you get on.

 

So, any ideas for what are you planning to make for your first clothing project?  Have you any other ideas of what would be easy clothes to sew for beginners and newbies?  Don’t forget to take a look at my guide to the best sewing machines for beginners too!

Brother CS6000i review – a good computerized sewing machine for beginners?

One of the most popular machines around right now is this one which is not only a good beginners machine, but is also computerized so an excellent introduction to those kind of machines as well.  If you have high hopes for the kinds of sewing you’re aiming to do this would be a good machine that will grow with you and you’d never get bored of!

Our Brother CS6000i review

The Brother CS6000i is a great example of a sewing machine that is pretty good for a great range of people.  For beginners who want to advance quickly or for advanced sewers who want a lot of bells and whistles it really caters for them all.  It’s popular with quilters, dressmakers, newbies and old hands!

>>> Check out the latest price of this item <<<

Low cost computerized sewing machine – perfect for beginners

Think of a computerized sewing machine and you’ll likely be thinking that the $ signs are going to be too much.  Not so with this excellent one from Brother – the price has really come down in the past few years and it’s now on par with some of the other sewing machines for beginners I have recommended!

You get a lot for your money with this sewing machine.  All the stitches (see below) are just the start – you also get the computerized display which means that it’s really simple to choose what stitch you want, and it’s an easy to read display.

If you’re in to quilting or would like to start you’ll also love the oversized table that makes it much easier to manoeuvre your quilts while sewing.

One of my favourite features on a sewing machine is the automatic needle threader too – I can’t do without it these days!

60 built in stitches

This seems like a lot I know and it can feel a little overwhelming with that much choice but it does mean that whatever you’re likely to be wanting to stitch in the future you’ll be covered by what this machine does.

There are 20 stitches for garment creation, including straight stitches, zig zags, hemming stitches etc.  As well as those there are 20 decorative stitches, 7 quilting stitches, and 6 heirloom stitches.

If you need to make buttonholes it can help you out there and there are 7 different types of styles you can choose from.

features and specification

  • LCD display stitch selector
  • 60 built-in stitches
  • automatic needle threader
  • oversized table for quilting and large projects
  • 9 accessory feet – Walking foot, Spring action quilting foot ,Overcasting foot, Monogramming foot, Zipper foot, Zigzag foot, Blind stitch foot, Buttonhole foot and a Button fitting foot
  • hard protective case
  • size – 16″ x 6.7″ x 11.4″
  • weight – 13lbs
  • 25 year warranty

>>> See more about this item <<<

What others have to say

As well as giving my own thoughts I really like to scour the internet to get a general view of what people have said about this machine.

As I said at the beginning of this review – this is one of the most popular machines around and is one of the best sellers around.  It has lots and lots of reviews online – well over 6000 – and with that many I’m pleased to say that at the moment it still scores an average of about 4.5 out of 5 and around 75% of people rate it 5.

The positives of this machine tend to be the ease of use, the price for what you get and the fact that you can do so much with it.

There are some negatives though and a couple of things that come up often are that it isn’t so good for sewing through very thick materials and problems with tension.

>>> Check out more reviews and buy here <<<

Conclusion

This is a special machine, there’s no doubt about it.  I think it makes an excellent sewing machine for beginners right up to advanced like myself.  No, it’s not going to compare with industrial machines but it’s pretty good for the price.  Computerized machines do have that worry of going wrong, but the positives far outweigh this for me and even more so at the current price of this one.

Singer 1234 review – simple but up to the job?

This is probably one of the simplest sewing machines that are around right now without going down the path of getting a toy machine.  It’s basic enough for even children to have a go on and learn the ropes of sewing and the fact that it’s also an extremely budget choice makes it even more suitable for kids.  In this Singer 1234 review I aim to go through the pros and cons of this machine to help you decide if it’s for you or not.  I hope you find it helpful.

Our Singer 1234 review – so simple!

What this sewing machine has going for it is what it lacks.  It doesn’t have a fancy sewing computer to figure out, it doesn’t have a host of sewing stitches to choose from and it doesn’t have a huge price tag.

If you’re not sure whether you’re going to enjoy sewing or you just want something basic to have on hand for the odd clothing alterations and repairs then you’ll likely want something like this Singer 1234 sewing machine.

As I’ve said elsewhere on this site, you really can’t go far wrong with a good brand like Singer for a sewing machine.  They have been around for so long now that they really know what they are doing and have excellent customer service too.

>>> Check out the latest price of this item <<<

Simple and easy to use – excellent for beginners

Some people find that as a beginner you really don’t want too many choices.  Simplicity can be key while you’re fiddling with sewing pattern pieces, tension, different stitches etc and this one is extremely simple.

Although it’s simple that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work and you’ll find it’s so much better than some of the toy machines that you can find on the market.  This is especially important if you’re looking to buy for a child as it can be hard to decide whether to go for a real one or not.

It’s a really sturdy machine which is something you need to bear in mind as anything too light might move when you’re using it which makes it harder to learn.  This is a solid machine with a metal frame.  It’s still not too heavy to not move around though – it’s only a small machine so still light enough to carry.

A good first project with this machine would be a tote bag that could hold your machine and you actually get a free project sheet with the machine to make it.

 

 

6 built in stitches

Six stitches doesn’t sound like a lot, but I think, especially for beginners, that it’s pretty much all you’ll need.  The fact that you won’t need to be worrying which one to use means you’ll be able to focus on learning as much as you can and completing your projects too!

The stitches you get with this machine are Straight, Satin, Zig-Zag, Blind Hem, Scallop and the 4 step buttonhole.

The buttonhole works along side the buttonhole presser foot.  Attach it to the machine and it will automatically create them to the right size and length.  If you’re hoping to make clothes or anything with buttons this is a must and will really help you get good results!

Features and specification

  • 6 built in stitches with pre set length and width
  • automatic 4 step buttonhole
  • three presser feet included – all-purpose, buttonhole and zipper.
  • heavy duty metal frame – solid construction
  • automatic bobbin winding system
  • Tote bag project sheet
  • vinyls so you can customize the machine
  • weight – 9.8lb
  • size – W 13″ x H 11.5″ x D 7″
  • 25 year warranty

>>> See more about this item here <<<

What others have to say

As well as giving my own thoughts I really like to scour the internet to get a general view of what people have said about this machine.

There are well over 400 reviews online and it achieves an overall 4.2 out of 5 so quite a few positives!  It’s popular with people who just want a machine to carry out repairs, as a gift for children and also those who want the simplest machine around.  I’d say this is exactly the kind of people who I would recommend this product to.

Downsides to this model and the main complaints are that it can jam up.  This might be inexperience with tension and getting that right though, so definitely needs a bit of experimenting.  Definitely don’t give up!

 

>>> Check out more reviews and buy here <<<

Conclusion

In conclusion the Singer 1234 is a great little sewing machine that is not only fun and customizable, making it great for kids, but also one that really works and that works well!  Working well is something that doesn’t always happen – this sewing machine can definitely handle the basics.

SaveSave

My sewing goals for 2017

Although I want this website to be really useful and provide reviews of the myriad of products around today in the sewing world, I do want to keep it personal too and share what I am up to.

In 2017 I have lots of plans for my sewing.

  • up my quilting game

I began quilting a few years ago and really enjoy it – 2017 is the year that I plan to really get my head in the quilting game.  I’d like to make a memory quilt for one of my children who will be leaving home in 2018 and so I need to get planning, source my material and make a start!

  • use up my stash

Yeah, this one is tricky isn’t it?  Well it is when your stash is as big as mine!  I have plans to make lots of clothes this year and to also continue my tradition of making gifts myself for family and friends.

  • get a new sewing machine.

Yup – I have been so happy with my Brother C6000i but the time has come to invest in a better machine – perhaps a quilting one?  I am doing lots of research on all the models around and when I get it you’ll be the first to know!

  • sort my sewing room out

It’s too messy and not organized – goal for 2017 is to have it sorted, get some new storage areas and perhaps even a new sewing table.  Going to make some new curtains too and really brighten the place up.

  • learn to embroider

I haven’t mastered embroidery yet and I’d really like to.  Perhaps I can add some to the memory quilt I want to make.  I want to do hand embroidery not machine, so it’s going to take some serious commitment to learning and getting good enough!

 

Have you any goals for the coming year?