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Sewing with Cork Fabric

Have you ever tried sewing cork fabric?  Cork fabric is gaining in popularity.  Cork is a very interesting material. Cork oak trees are harvested every nine years, once they reach maturity. It doesn’t harm the tree, and the cork bark regrows. Most cork forests are in Portugal and Spain. The year of harvest is marked on the trunk, so each tree isn’t harvested at the wrong time.  Portugal is the world’s top producer of cork and has the largest cork forest in the world. Cork products account for 2.3 percent of the total Portuguese exports. Approximately 17,000 people are employed in the country’s cork manufacturing industries, which process around 70 percent of the world’s cork.  Cork is a sustainable and vegan alternative to sewing with leather.  There are so many great reasons to use cork fabric in your sewing projects!  There are several places to buy cork now.  You can get some at your local shop or online.  For this project, I used cork from Sew Sweetness.  Sara has a great cork selection!  If you plan to purchase in bulk, I can also recommend you check out the cork selection at Sew Da Kine.  Both online shops have excellent quality cork fabrics!  Let me show you how I make strap extenders while sewing cork fabric on my Industrial Sewing Machine!  I tried the Ansel Camera Bag pattern by Sew Sweetness.  Let me tell you about it!

Sewing with Cork - Ansel Camera Bag College

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 🙂 Read my full disclosure policy here.

Ansel Camera Bag Supply List

A special note:  I changed several things on my version of the Ansel Camera Bag.  I used Cork Fabric for both exterior side panels and also the bottom exterior panel.  I made cork straps with fabric accents and also used some fabric selvage for the back hinge piece.  The following supply list is changed to reflect how I made my version of the Ansel Camera Bag.  I mostly used my Juki DU1181n Industrial Sewing Machine.  I also used Bonded Nylon Thread #69 by Superior Thread and size 17 needle.

  • Ansel Camera Bag Pattern
  • 3/4 yard of Exterior Fabric.  I used Tula Pink All Stars Bees in Marigold
  • (1) large piece of cork fabric.  I used this one from Sara’s shop
  • 1 yard of Lining Fabric (I used Tula Pink Pom Pom Marigold)
  • 3/4 yard of Solid Fabric (for straps/binding) – please use quilting cotton (I used Cork Fabric and Tula Pink All Stars Tent Stripe Marigold)
  • 1/2 yard of cheap fabric (I used muslin)
  • 1/2 yard of By Annie’s Soft and Stable
  • 2 yards of 20” wide Pellon SF-101 Shape Flex fusible woven interfacing
  • 1/6 yard of Pellon Peltex #71 fusible one-sided Interfacing
  • (2) Plastic side-release/parachute buckle (they should be able to accommodate 1” wide strap – mine were 2-3/4” tall)
  • Two 1-1/2” metal rectangles – available from Amazon (I used the metal slider and just took out the slider – that’s how I roll!)
  • One 1-1/2” metal slider – available from Amazon
  • 1/2 yard of 1/2” foam (or green craft foam – the foam I used is 24” wide)
  • Hook and loop closure (Velcro), 3/4” wide – 1-1/2 yards

Basic Sewing Supplies Needed

Although the pattern does not call for this, I also added purse feet to the bottom of the bag.  I did a few other “special things to my bag – let me show you!

Sewing with Cork - Ansel Camera Bag 22

I added a total of 6 purse feet to my bag

Sewing with Cork - Ansel Camera Bag 21

I used the selvage from my fabric to make the hinge

I added rivets to my straps

This pattern has 3 available sizes. I made the largest size. It is so roomy and I love the craft foam padding! I have enough room for my camera, two lenses and my cables, straps and literature!

If you decide to make an Ansel Camera Bag yourself, I would highly recommend getting Sara’s video Sara’s video as well.  It’s TOTALLY worth it!  I found myself to be more confident to make this bag after I watched Sara sew the entire project.  She shows you everything you need to know – step by step!

Sewing with cork fabric straps

As I mentioned, I made some alterations to Sara’s original pattern when I made all my straps from cork fabric with cotton accents.  Here are the fabric measurements for that.

Cut the following from Cork Fabric:

  • (1) Strap 66″ x 3″
  • (2) Strap Extenders 3″ x 15.5″
  • (2) Buckle top 2″ x 7.5″
  • (2) Buckle bottom 2″ x 7.25″

Cut the following from your accent cotton:

  • (1) Strap 66″ x 2.75″
  • (2) Strap Extenders 2.75″ x 15.5″
  • (2) Buckle top 1.75′ x 7.5″
  • (2) Buckle bottom 1.75″ x 7.25″


Cork straps with cotton accents assembly

Follow the pattern instructions, but make some slight changes in the strap constructions.  I made this YouTube video to help explain the changes.  I hope you find it helpful.

This is the sixth post in a series I have planned.  Be sure to subscribe to my Newsletter so you can be the first to know when the next installment is released!

Sewing with Cork - Ansel Camera Bag - Sew Sweetness Giveaway

Sara Lawson, with Sew Sweetness, generously donated a $35.00 gift certificate to her online shop.  Thanks Sara!  This contest has ended and I loved to see everyone’s comments about sewing with cork fabric!  The winner has been notified!  Thanks to everyone who participated!

Be sure to check out my most popular posts below!

Happy Sewing!

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Industrial Sewing Machine - Sewing with Vinyl - Vinyl Purse Strap Blog Header

Sewing with Vinyl on my Industrial Sewing Machine – Making Vinyl Purse Straps

One of the reasons I bought my Industrial Sewing Machine is to have the ability to sew very thick material.  Don’t get me wrong – you can certainly sew vinyl on a domestic sewing machine.  I have done that many times!  Sewing with Vinyl on my Industrial Sewing Machine is super duper easy!  I wanted to make an easy purse, but instead of simply using cotton fabric, I decided to switch up some of the materials for vinyl.  I started with the purse straps.  Let me show you how I enjoy Sewing with Vinyl on my Industrial Sewing Machine.  Let’s make some Vinyl Purse Straps!

Industrial Sewing Machine Sewing with Vinyl Pinterest Pin

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 🙂 Read my full disclosure policy here.

I chose the Ethel bag pattern, by Swoon patterns, because it is a simple and free pattern.  Since it is a basic pattern, I wanted to change it up with adding some vinyl elements in lieu of some of the cotton pieces.  I am also planning to add purse feet and a magnetic closure.  I will discuss those in future posts.  If you would like to make one too, here is what you will need and please note that I am providing some altered cutting measurements and additional materials below:

SUPPLY LIST 


Basic Sewing Supplies Needed

Sewing with Vinyl – Making the Purse Straps 

The following directions are in lieu of the Swoon Pattern instructions for step #3 (Handles).   Please note that these handles are cut different than the original pattern states.  These handles are cut as follows:

Alternate cutting measurements

  • Exterior Fabric: Qty (2) 2″ x 20″
  • Fusible Interfacing for exterior fabric: Qty (2) 2″ x 20″
  • Vinyl:  Qty (2) 2.25″ x 20″

Industrial Sewing Machine - Sewing with Vinyl - Vinyl Purse Strap Step 1 thru 3

Step 1:  Fuse interfacing onto the wrong side of your exterior handle fabric.  Fold the handle in half, wrong sides together and matching the long edges and press to make a center crease.  Open and fold each long edge to the center crease, so that the long raw edges are gutting up agains each other at the center and press.  Do this for both exterior handle pieces.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Mark a middle line at 1.125″ (1 1/8″).

Industrial Sewing Machine - Sewing with Vinyl - Vinyl Purse Strap 6 Industrial Sewing Machine - Sewing with Vinyl - Vinyl Purse Strap 7 Industrial Sewing Machine - Sewing with Vinyl - Vinyl Purse Strap 8

Step 3:  Fold one side of the vinyl towards the marked line and sew down the entire length of the strap.

Step 4:  Fold down the other side of the vinyl to the center and sew down the length of the strap.  Repeat for the second vinyl strap.

Step 5:   Place the Exterior fabrics on top of the vinyl straps, wrong sides together.  Clip in place along one side.

Industrial Sewing Machine - Sewing with Vinyl - Vinyl Purse Strap 9 Industrial Sewing Machine - Sewing with Vinyl - Vinyl Purse Strap 10

Step 6:  Using clips to keep the exterior and vinyl fabric in place, sew along the edge of strap.  I recommend sewing about an eighth inch from the edge of the strap.

Step 7:  Sew along the last edge of the strap.  Repeat for the second strap.

Industrial Sewing Machine - Sewing with Vinyl - Vinyl Purse Strap 15

Your vinyl purse straps are finished and should look fantastic!  I hope you try this fun and easy technique and incorporate it into your next bag project!  Fun and easy!!

Sewing with Vinyl – Purse Strap VIDEO TUTORIAL

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a video tutorial as well!  Check out my YouTube video which shows you how to make a Vinyl Purse Strap!

This is the fifth and final post in this series.  Be sure to subscribe to my Newsletter so you can be the first to know when my next blog post becomes available!

Because I made (3) straps and only need (2) for my bag, I made the extra strap into a fancy key fob!  

Industrial Sewing Machine - Sewing with Vinyl - Key Fob giveaway 2

Thanks to all that entered this giveaway!  The lucky winner has been contacted!  Yay!

Happy Sewing!

Nicole Moore Blog Post Signature

 

Be sure to check out my most popular posts!

I love my Industrial Sewing Machine!

Makeup and Shaving Bag Tutorial – Sewing with Cotton on my Industrial Sewing Machine

The Kristine ID Wallet

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Makeup and Shaving Bag Tutorial – Sewing with Cotton on my Industrial Sewing Machine

Sewing Cotton Fabric on my Industrial Sewing Machine is definitely a MUST for my sewing business!  When I purchased my JUKI DU-1181N, I checked to make sure this machine was able to sew cotton, as well as the thicker fabrics.  Many folks told me that the DU-1181N was not meant for lightweight fabric, and they are correct!  I would not sew garments, undergarments or piece quilts with this machine.  However, I would recommend sewing cotton that is fused with interfacing or batting!  Since I make lots and lots of bags, that is exactly what I intended to do!  Check out my tutorial on how I create a makeup and shaving bag on my Industrial Sewing Machine!

Makeup and Shaving Bag Tutorial with YouTube Video Instructions

To get your cutting measurements, you have a couple choices:

Option 1: Download for free.

To download the cutting measurements for free, you can subscribe to the Sew Much Moore Newsletter.  AFTER you sign up, you’ll get a confirmation email – and you have to confirm or my email service can’t send you the free pattern access email. But once you do confirm, you’ll get access to not just this but several other free patterns. Woot!

(PS – if you have trouble finding the pattern as a subscriber, please contact me)

Option 2: Purchase the cutting instructions

Use this link to purchase the cutting instructions. You’ll be emailed a download link for a file that references the assembly instructions in this tutorial and provides the cutting measurements for this tutorial.  You’ll also be able to download this file in my shop.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 🙂 Read my full disclosure policy here.

Makeup & Shaving Bag SUPPLY LIST


Basic Sewing Supplies Needed

Makeup & Shaving Bag Assembly

MAKEUP & SHAVING BAG Tutorial with Video. Step by Step instructions

Step 1:  Align and clip your zipper, right side facing the right side of your first fabric panel.  Make sure your zipper head is facing the fabric.  Using your zipper foot attachment, sew the zipper to the panel.

Step 2:  Align your second panel to top of zipper tape and clip in place.  Sew your second fabric panel to the zipper tape.

Step 3:  Test your zipper to ensure the fabric is sewn away from the zipper teeth.

Step 4:  Place both fabric panels right sides together and clip the bottom raw edges so they are aligned at both sides and the bottom.  Sew the bottom edge together.

MAKEUP & SHAVING BAG Tutorial with Video. Step by Step instructions 2

Step 5:  Unzip your zipper about half way.  fold the sewn fabric panels so that the bottom seam is in the middle and the zipper is aligned on top of that.  Align and secure the raw edges together and insert the pull tab.

Step 6:  Repeat step 5 for the other side and sew the raw edges closed.

Step 7:  Taking your boxing template, draw cut lines on all four corners of the project.  Using your sharp fabric scissors (these are the BEST scissors) , cut out the corners.  Trim off the excess zipper tape.


Step 8:  Insert handle and prepare to close the boxed corners.

Makeup and Shaving Bag Tutorial with Video Instructions 3

Step 9:  Align the handle in the middle of the boxed corner.

Step 10:  Use clips to secure.  Repeat for the other end of the handle.

Step 11:  Sew these edges closed.  Make sure you back stitch at the beginning and end of each side.  It is also a good idea to backstitch the handle area as well since this is a high use area.

Step 12:  Repeat for the other side of the bag.  Turn your finished exterior bag right side out.

Makeup and Shaving Bag Tutorial with video instructions 4

Step 13:  Iron down the top edge of your interior fabric pieces.  This will be your “zipper side”.  Repeat steps 5-11 on this interior fabric.

Step 14:  Place your inside out interior bag inside of your right side out exterior bag.  Using clips, secure the “zipper edge” of your interior with the zipper tape of your exterior bag.  Make sure you leave room for the zipper to maneuver.

Step 15:  Following the existing seams, sew the lining bag to the exterior of the bag for both sides.  You will not be able to reach your machine all the way to the end of each side.  Be sure to backstitch.

Step 16:  Turn your bag inside out.  Hand stitch the remaining section of lining to the exterior of the bag.  Tack down each corner of the lining to the exterior so the lining does not shift around.  Turn your finished bag right side out and enjoy!  You can get these great suede zipper pull charms right here.  They work great on so many things!

 

Makeup & Shaving Bag video tutorial

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a video tutorial as well!  Check out my YouTube video which explains how to make my MakeUp and Shaving Bag!

This is the fourth post of a series I have planned.  Be sure to subscribe to my Newsletter so you can be the first to know when the next installment is released!

As a special treat, I offered this MakeUp Bag as a giveaway prize!

Industrial Sewing Machine - Sewing with Cotton Rifle Paper Company Makeup Bag Giveaway 1

This contest is over and I have already randomly chosen a winner.  Thanks for all who participated and commented below!  I loved reading you comments!

Happy Sewing!

Nicole Moore Blog Post Signature

 

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Industrial Sewing Machine Tools Supplies and Notions

Industrial Sewing Machine Tools, Supplies & Notions

When I began sewing with an Industrial Sewing Machine, I had no idea what types of Tools, Supplies & Notions that I would need.  I already had a large assortment from sewing with my domestic sewing machine and thought that these notions and supplies would be about the same thing.  There is no doubt that I still use many of my original things from my domestic sewing machine days, but I wanted to share with you some of the new Industrial Sewing Machine Tools, Supplies & Notions that I discovered!

Industrial Sewing Machine Notions Tools and Supplies Collage

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 🙂 Read my full disclosure policy here.

Tools, Supplies & Notions – Stiletto

You may already have a stiletto in your notions drawer.  I love using this for precision sewing.  When you are attempting perfect top stitching, this little tool is very helpful to keep things in place.  Even though I have a walking foot machine, I find this tool very helpful to keep layers where I want them to be.  I also love the other end of the tool for pressing.  I make TONS of handles, straps and lanyard tape.  Using the side of this tool as a pressing aide has saved my fingertips from many iron burns!

Here is an informative video, from the creator of the ByAnnie’s Stiletto and Pressing Tool.

 

Tools, Supplies and Notions – Small Ratchet

Mini Ratchet Wrench Screwdriver Set

I’m not much of a tool person, but this mini ratchet wrench set comes in handy when you are trying to change your sewing machine feet.  I like its small, compact size.   This little guy can easily fit under the throat of my Industrial Sewing Machine when I want to take off the throat plate to do a little maintenance or cleaning on my machine.  I hide this tool from my husband, because I will never get it back!  It’s small and fits neatly in my side sewing table drawer!

Tools, Supplies & Notions – Brush Set

BrushesBrush Cleaning Set
When I cleaned my domestic sewing machine, I only had access to the bobbin area and around the needle.  With my Industrial Sewing Machine, I have access to maintain a larger amount of my machine.  These different sized brushes do the trick for those spots that you can’t reach with your domestic lint brush.  This brush set has all the sizes you need to get to those hard to reach areas.  I also keep these in my sewing drawer!  Handy and useful!


Tools, Supplies & Notions – Oil dropper

Sewing Machine Oil Dropper

My Industrial Sewing Machine came with a quart of oil and an oil dropper.  What I like about THIS  particular oil dropper is it’s small tip, which allows for precision drops.  Because I oil my machine on a regular basis, the last thing I want is an oily mess on my machine table or project.  These little dropper bottles give me more control over where I am dropping oil and how much oil I am applying.  Perfect!

Tools, Supplies & Notions – Thread Snips

Thread Snips

Truth be told… I have several of these. These are the cat’s meow for clipping your threads.  I have them around my sewing machines, in my travel sewing kits and I love to give them as gifts.  They are easy to use and this particular set has been keeping fairly sharp (considering the thickness of thread that I use).

I have purchased other thread snips, but have settled on this set of Thread Snips as my favorite!

Tools, Supplies and Notions – Thread Socks

I never even considered getting a thread sock until I started sewing with thread that is designed for Industrial Sewing Machines.  These thread socks are great for keeping that thread from spooling out and tangling.  In a pinch, I have heard of folks using a pair of panty hose.  Side question –  do people still wear panty hose since Oprah told us we didn’t have to anymore?

Here is a helpful video, by Superior Threads, to explain how to use thread socks.

Tools, Supplies and Notions – Thread

bonded-threads-group-image

I was so excited when my Industrial Sewing Machine was first delivered.  After the machine was assembled, I realized that I didn’t have the right thread!  Then I discovered that the local big box store didn’t offer anything that would be a long term solution for me.  I was able to get a tiny spool of upholstery thread, but that was just about enough to fill my larger sized bobbin and get started on some sewing. Finding the right thread that would work with my projects was crucial!  I polled my peers in the various Facebook groups and came away with some choices.

I tried a couple different types and brands and found that I really liked a thread that Superior Thread offers.  Once I received my color card, the selection was easy to make!  I just matched my fabrics with the color of thread I needed.  I love matching or coordinating thread.  It’s the little details that can make something that is good, into something that is really great!

Superior Threads Color Card

Superior Thread’s industrial threads consist of sewing threads for upholstery and commercial sewing applications. Their bonded threads are available in a selection of seven thicknesses (sizes), three fiber types, and over one hundred colors. I exclusively use Bonded Nylon #69 and have had great success!  You can order directly from Superior Threads and you can even get them on Amazon!

This is the third post of a series I have planned.  Be sure to subscribe to my Newsletter so you can be the first to know when the next installment is released!

As a special treat, Superior Threads offered a

$25.00 gift certificate as a giveaway prize!

Superior Thread Giveaway 2

The winner of this contest has already been notified.  Thanks for commenting!

Happy Sewing!

Nicole Moore Blog Post Signature

 

 

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Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance

I love my Industrial Sewing Machine!

The Amethyst Project Bag

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Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance MP Bog Image

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance

When you sit down to either start or continue a sewing project, you don’t want mechanical problems.  Many times, mechanical problems can be avoided when you practice preventative maintenance on your Industrial Sewing Machine.  Let me show you a few tips that I have learned along the way about Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance!

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance 3

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance – Tip #1

Keep your bobbin area clean.  This is a really simple way to avoid lint buildup and possible issues with gear grime.  Simply lift your machine and set it on it’s rest.  Inspect the bobbin area for lint and thread clippings.  Be sure to wipe out the bobbin tray and remove all the debris that collects over time.  To make a thorough job of it, be sure to take out your bobbin case and clean this out as well.  You would be surprised how much lint can collect in such a small place.  Take your lint brush and clean out the bobbin mechanism and the surrounding area.  Don’t wipe away any grease (as this is needed for proper operation).  Just concentrate on removing the lint, dust and any fabric or thread debris.  This is a great way to practice Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance.

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance Tip #2

Industrial Sewing Machine - Cover

Use your dust cover.  I know……it’s just that simple!  Even if you use your Industrial Sewing Machine every day, it does not hurt to cover it when it is not in use.  It’s kind of like using your garage for your car.  If you take care of the things you own, they will usually work when you want them to!  A dust cover is a very simply way to keep unwanted dust from resting on and in your machine.  If you have small children or curious folks in your work space – the dust cover gives the impression of “off limits”. This is a super simple way to practice Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance.

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance Tip #3

This one is probably the most important tip.  You really need to oil your machine regularly.  The manufacture usually recommends this to happen on a daily basis.  Since my Industrial Sewing Machine is not used in a “factory”, I usually only oil my machine twice a week.  Sometimes more – it just depends on how much I am making at the time.  There are 5 points to oil on this Industrial Sewing Machine.  These are indicated by a RED dot.

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance 4 Oil points

There is also an oil point located inside the machine.  Try to get a few oil drops on the felt piece that is inside the machine.

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance 5 Oil points Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance 6 Oil points 3-2

Once you apply oil to each of these points (several times if necessary), you will want to lift your presser foot and run your machine for a couple minutes until you see oil splashing in the sight glass.

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance 7

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance Tip #4

Take off the Throat Plate in order to get all the lint that gets trapped in between the feed dogs.  If you have never done this before, the screws may be pretty tight from the factory.  Once you get these screws out, you can remove the plate and give that area a proper dusting.  Be sure that any lint or debris does not accidentally fall into the oil pan.  Depending on how much use your Industrial Sewing Machine gets will determine how often you need to clean under the throat plate.

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance Tip #5

While you don’t need to actually change the oil in your machine about once ever year or two (depending on use), you really need to ensure that you keep the oil as clean as possible.  One way to help would be only lift your machine if you need to check the oil level or for maintenance.  It is not recommended to lift your machine to remove a bobbin.  Doing this may unnecessarily expose your oil to foreign objects.  If you see any pins, loose thread, dust or debris in your oil pan – you need to remove that ASAP.  You do not want your oil pump to accidentally get anything but oil in its system.  Keep it tidy!

Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance 9 Industrial Sewing Machine Maintenance 10

If you find yourself with problems, even after practicing these basic maintenance tips, contact your dealer for assistance.  Most shops are very friendly and able to help you either in person or over the phone.  When I purchased my Industrial Sewing Machine, there was not a local Juki distributor or dealer.  I have called Steve with Sewing Gold several times for help or advise on my Juki DU-1181n.  It’s always nice to enjoy the equipment that you invested in.  Just be sure to take good care of it and you should enjoy your Industrial Sewing Machine for years and years!

I made this quick video to give you a visual of all the tips I covered in this article.  Enjoy!

This is the second post of a series I have planned.  Be sure to subscribe to my Newsletter so you can be the first to know when the next installment is released!


As a special treat, I offered a free window decal (vehicle not included – haha) as a giveaway prize!  How fun!  I have one for my car and I get TONS of positive comments.  It’s a great conversation starter and all your sewing buddies will want one too!  The giveaway is over, but you can order one of these for yourself.  You can find these on Amazon!

I love sewing bumper sticker

Thanks to everyone for participating in my giveaway!  Congratulations to the winner!

Happy Sewing!

Nicole Moore Blog Post Signature

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I love my Industrial Sewing Machine!

I never thought, in a million years, that I would own an Industrial Sewing Machine!  When I thought of Industrial Sewing Machines, I would think of a sweatshop factory in Asia or even the group of prisoners on that Netflix show – Orange is the new Black.  Haha!  So, how on earth did I end up owning my own Industrial Sewing Machine?  Let me tell you all about it!

Janice the Juki

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 🙂 Read my full disclosure policy here.

Why I needed an INDUSTRIAL sewing machine

A few years back, I started selling handmade sewn items online.  At first, I was just selling some left over craft show items.  Then, I learned how to sew with zippers and everything changed!  I was making Makeup bags, Shaving Bags, Toiletry Bags and on and on.  Over the past several years, my domestic sewing machine was really being abused.  I would take my domestic machine in for regular maintenance.  Even with bi-annual tuning and maintenance – I was continuing to have issues.  My domestic machine would also struggle with some of the thickness of the materials I wanted to sew.  It would never fail to start to have trouble during my peak sewing season (Christmas and Back-To-School).  I was also limited in the amount of maintenance that I could do to my own domestic machine.  I could keep it clean and oiled, but that just wasn’t enough to keep it in constant prime condition.  It was clearly time for a business upgrade!

which industrial sewing machine should I get?

I started doing some research on new machines.  A quilting friend of mine suggested that I look into the Juki Brand.  At first, I was not interested because I was making some bags with exposed seams and needed the zig zag stitch.  My search for an Industrial Sewing Machine brought me to a wonderful Facebook Group, which was founded and is managed by Jessica of Sew Da Kine.  In this group, Production Bag Making, I learned SO MANY THINGS from folks who already own an Industrial Sewing Machine.

Industrial Sewing Machine Choices

During this time, my Mom was also looking to upgrade her domestic sewing machine.  My Mom discovered the NCW pattern by Emmaline Bags and was making wallets for everyone!  I shared the Facebook Group with my Mom and we were both stalking all the info this group had to share.  My Mom was the first to take the Industrial Sewing Machine plunge.

First, my Mom bought an industrial sewing machine

Mom bought a Juki DU-1181N.  Once it was delivered, my brother-in-law carried the head and the various boxes down to her sewing studio.  I took a trip (my Mom lives 3 hours away) and we spent an evening putting her machine together.  I was really nervous about the assembly process, because I am not a mechanically inclined person.  Luckily – Mom bought her machine from Sewing Gold.  Sewing Gold provided a really great step-by-step instruction video on how to put the machine together.  I was truly amazed that we did it!  It was so much easier than I ever thought it could be.  We could not have done it without the video!

Yes, I’m just like my Mother – I had to get an Industrial Sewing Machine too!

which industrial sewing machine I chose

Even though my Mom had great results with her Juki and loved where she bought her machine, I wanted to check all my options.  I was still sure that I needed the zig zag stich so I was thinking about getting a Sailrite machine.  I hopped onto Facebook Group and asked all sorts of questions.  I learned about the difference between a clutch motor and a Servo Motor.  I learned about needle size and more than I ever wanted to know about the companies to avoid.  (haha!)  I was determined to wait until after the holidays to buy a business sewing machine.  I had just launched my Amazon Shop (in late October) and wanted to get my Holiday season finished before I started to work towards a budget for the new machine.

I knew it was time to buy an industrial sewing machine

As fate would have it, my Amazon shop exploded in sales and I bought my new machine on Black Friday of 2017.  I called Steve Levin, from Sewing Gold, and told him what I wanted to use an Industrial Sewing Machine for.  I explained to Steve that I wanted to use my machine for making bags out of interfaced cotton and possibly more cork fabric, vinyl and leather as well.  Because I have a quilting background, I was interested in the walking foot machines (not that this machine is used for quilting).  Steve offered me a free Servo motor upgrade and my new Juki DU-1181N was delivered a week later!

After my Holiday rush was done, I took a mini vacation from online sales and got to know my new machine.  I had some questions at first and Steve was an email or a phone call away!  I can honestly say that dealing with Steve has made owning this machine less intimidating than I could ever imagine.  Once, I had some thread stuck in the bobbin area and Steve showed me how to fix it myself.  He has several videos on YouTube.  You can check out his channel or call him with any question.  I highly recommend Sewing Gold!

Check out this video that Steve made, which shows the versatility of one of the many Industrial Sewing Machines that he sells.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you will know how much I love my new machine and how many bags I can produce!  It’s great and I would highly recommend looking into something like this if you want to take your bag business to the next level!

Industrial Sewing Machine - Assembly line sewing

This is the first post of a series I have planned.  Be sure to subscribe to my Newsletter so you can be the first to know when the next installment is released!

Our friends at Sewing Gold offered a free package of needles as a giveaway prize!  How generous!  Congraduations to Laura!  You can see what Laura makes with her Industrial Sewing Machine right HERE!   Thanks to everyone for participating!   And THANK YOU Sewing Gold!

Sewing Gold Giveaway

Leave any questions in the comments and I will answer them as quickly as I can!

May all your stitches have perfect tension!

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