Thursday, February 25, 2010

more of your questions

Happy almost Friday! More of your questions:
Kelly Jane Dahl asked "a question....I haven't sewn since middle school home ec. class (over 20 some years ago, yikes!) and really want to re-learn. I would like to purchase a used sewing machine to start. Could you provide some advice on what to look for in a beginners sewing machine? Also, any good beginning sewing books out there once I find a machine?"

For a beginner, I honestly think all you need is a straight stitch (forward and backward), zigzag, and maybe a buttonhole feature. That's all I've every had and I do fine. My parents were very supportive of my sewing from the start, so they bought me a Singer in junior high or high school. I used it without any trouble from my teens to my 30's. At that point I was having constant problems with the tension so I traded it in and got a very plain and basic model of a Bernina (picture here). I don't know if they make them that plain anymore or of they still make them in Switzerland, but mine is heavy and all metal and I love it. I've had no problems whatsoever except once I had to replace the power cord and foot pedal (I had dropped it). I highly recommend a Bernina. For books I like Bend the Rules Sewing (Amy Karol), Simple Sewing (Lotta Jansdotter), and Weekend Sewing (Heather Ross). I can't vouch for any of the projects in the last book but she has an extensive section on getting a machine, setting up a sewing corner, and lots of basic sewing info.

Rain asked some similar questions and also, "I love your postcards. Can I ask how you make them?" The cards are really fun and easy to make. I use Moo. Moo communicates with your flickr site so you don't have to upload your photos all over again. The cards are thick and sturdy and you can choose from different backs as well. What I love is that you can have a different image on each card--you don't have to choose 10 or 20 of the same shot. Some day I want to have some of the tiny "business" cards printed up too.

That should do it for tonight. Have a great weekend everyone!


e.r.i.n. said...

mary beth!
i can't say thank you enough for letting us in on the post card secret! looks like i'm in dangerous territory :)

dust in the wind said...

I love your postcards! I had no idea you could do that. I just set up a Flickr account today, and I will look in to Moo soon too. This is why I love blogs. We are exposed to all kinds of thing that we wouldn't know about otherwise. Thanks for sharing!

dustin @

Sarah said...

Mary Beth - I hope you don't mind this personal question, but lataly I've been younger son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four months ago (at 19months old) and his older sibling is having the roughest time adjusting. I wondered how you've handled dealing with all of the medical necessities with your youngest child and building his relationship with his siblings. Does that sound strange? Right now we're just having a lot of trouble as sometimes my full attention must be on treating high/low blood sugars. I'd love any advice as I feel I'm a bit alone on this topic with such young children dealing with serious medical conditions.

Rain said...

Thank you! I look forward to making some postcards. Now I just need to take some great photos such as yours.

Also looking forward to stating my picnic blanket from Homemade Home and have appreciated all your sewing tips.

Joy said...

I'm so glad you shared about the postcards. I wondered too. Thanks, Mary Beth!

Anonymous said...

nice tips, thanks!!

a friend to knit with said...

i do LOVE those cards... i should order some.
happy weekend!

Sarah said...

I LOVE those postcards. How easy would that be for a cute handwritten b-day invitation? I've been looking for something like that!

Mariah said...

I love the postcards—your photos arw wonderful! I have used and love Moo's business cards (you can have them printed on recycled paper) but have not tried the postcards. Thanks for the tip :)

Mariah@Playful Learning

nicola@which name? said...

mary beth, thanks for sharing about Moo! not quite as sturdy/professional as pro made business cards, but you can download a free version of Avery to create business cards (or labels of all sorts) and purchase Avery (or store brand) business card paper templates to make your own.