Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Sewing on the Learning Curve
Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks?? As a proponent of life-long learning, I decided to challenge myself a few years before I thought I would. What did I do????????????
Instead of waiting until I retired to upgrade my sewing machine, I decided to Do It Now, as Nike says!!! I, of course, did some research and listed features that I was looking for that would meet my current and future business needs. Well, it wasn't long until I settled upon my new sewing machine, a different brand all together from what I had. I had a Janome 100000, which I was lucky enough to learn (relearn) how to sew on. But there were some things I was frustrated with. So I made sure those problems were resolved with my new purchase. I also didn't want to have to upgrade again (or switch over my designs) after learning a new system so I aimed as high as I could!!!!
If you follow me on my facebook page, you already know what I chose! It is a Babylock Ellisimo Gold sewing machine. It truly is a dream come true!!! It arrived in a box as big as a house....
My husband helped me bring it in from the car.
Then we moved it to my sewing room....it took up the whole room!
I opened the top and stopped there. I was so overwhelmed and it was late so I had to stop for the night.
The machine came with its own USB in an adorable box...
I also received some designs and a basic embroidery designer complimentary!
So the next day I finally unpacked it all!! Here she is:
This is the extension piece and sketch pad. The sketch pad allows you to draw or trace designs and will "digitize" them for you to stitch out. Can you say "Hand Over the Coloring Book???" I was also thinking you could trace a child's handprint and stitch it out or their signature or other drawing. I loved this feature and can't wait to try it out!!!
This is the Cert of Authenticity. Somehow I have machine #7 of 600. Not sure what this means..do they make 600 machines a week, month, season or what????
This is the presser foot and accessories box. Next to it is the knee lift, great for quilting or when you have to do a lot of pivoting.
It comes with tons of different feet for regular sewing, quilting and embroidery.
This "suitcase" houses the hoops and embroidery unit.
It comes with 4 hoops from 8" x 12" down to a 1" x 2.5". There are additional hoops you can buy separately...I will probably get the Continuous Hoop when I get to do quilts down the line.
This whole box contained lots of parts. It has a spool feature for when you embroider. It also had the manuals (big as an encyclopedia!!!), cords, foot pedal and all of those things you need for the machine.
It also comes with a mouse which was great because now I don't have to touch the screen.
The screen is amazing! It definitely is a merge of computer and machine!!!
Here is the top of the machine. Its very easy to wind bobbins and thread the upper thread. It also has a wonderful threader. My old machine had one but it was tough to get to work so I rarely used it. This one is 100% improvement!!
It also will raise and lower the presser foot, cut the thread and raise and lower the needle. The nice thing is you can set these features so it will backstitch and cut the thread for you automatically and stop in a needle up or down position. All of these little time-saving features add up!
This is the embroidery unit. I am going to take it for a spin this weekend. I already used the software to input a design, rotate it, resize it and add a name to it and save it in a PES format (it was originally JEF). I transferred it from my laptop to the sewing machine with the usb....and it all worked out great. Can't wait to stitch it all out. I am making custom draw-string bags for autograph books!
These are the three manuals it came with plus another folder which discussed stablizers and which type to use for which projects. It even had samples!!! Once I work through the green manual, it has a smaller quick reference one for everyday look-ups! Plus, believe it or not, the machine has the mother of all "help" keys. It has diagrams and step-by-step instructions for everything AND VIDEOS!!! You can practically watch a movie on the 8" screen!
Speaking of movies, did I mention it comes with a camera? You can turn the camera on to see what the neeedle is seeing. You can also drop and drag what you are trying to embroider onto the screen and use the camera to align it exactly where you want it in the hoop. It also has some feature where the camera "finds" where it is using these "snowman" stickers. That way you can hoop and unhoop easily. Not sure exactly how to use this part yet.
It came with a black cover for dust and that was as far as I got unpacking.
The following weekend I made this with it....a pretty Christmas set! This is the Devon Peasant top and a double layer skirt! I added a bow too!
Here is the other Christmas dress I made. I think you saw this in my last post but I took outdoor shots of it. I also included a drawstring bag and some jingle bells to complete the look!!!
I shipped these off to my wonderful customer with lots of Christmas Cheer!!!!
One final thought. I also like that the Babylock software and support goes with both pc and mac computers (we have both) and the help isn't just a forum run by fellow users (Janome does this). I feel like Babylock has much better customer awareness and support. I think I am also entitled to lessons from my dealer which I may take advantage of this summer when I have more time.
And there you go! I will let you know how the machine works as I use more and more features. So far so good!
The final step will be naming the machine. So far I have been calling her HRH Ellisimo...lol! So I was thinking of running a contest on my facebook page and the winning name gets a special sewn project. I will post that soon!!!
Thank you so much for listening to me drone on and on about a sewing machine but I am too excited to keep it all in.
Have a safe and sewy week everyone!!!
PS I told you I would give you links to the Etsy store with Carla and Jennifer's newest patterns:
Posted by Cathy at 6:22 PM