Helpful sewing tips

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There are lots of ways you can save time and problems when sewing. I call these helpful sewing tips! There are probably 1000’s of sage advise sewing tips. I will share just a few right now.

My beginner sewers learn all about the seam ripper. Thank goodness for the seam ripper. I like the small sharp rippers. When I first learned to sew I would do lots of extra sewing steps to try and cover up mistakes and not to rip it out. I usually ended up ripping the mistake anyway. It was a lesson I learned early. 

A great tip is to use a straight pin at the ends of the buttonhole when cutting a buttonhole with a ripper, so you do not slice too far.

Change your sewing machine needle when starting and new project and throw the used needle away. Most of the time the needle gets burred with little effort. When we had our repair shop the first thing we would do is put in a new needle. Check your book for the best style and size of needle needed. Here is a link to the needles Jenny’s Sewing Studio sells.

Another helpful hint is to check the top threading before you sew your project. I always use a scrap to check the stitch. If you are getting a bunch of loose threads under the fabric it is usually caused but incorrect threading on the top side. Make sure you place tension on the thread as you bring it through the threading path. That way you seat the top thread for correct top tension.

When beginner sewers come to class and I teach them to use the sewing machine I notice one consistent thing. Everyone want to push the fabric or pull it through the sewing machine. I advise the sewer to learn to steer the fabric from in front of the presser foot. I will use my left hand to hold or smooth the fabric before the needle and the right hand to steer the direction the machine is taking the fabric. with practice the correct hand hold on the fabric will mean straighter seams. Sometimes I recommend a magnetic seam gauge. most students love to use the guide.

A oldie but a goodie is the Singer Sewing Book. When I first went to work as a sewing instructor for Singer in 1972 this was my first purchase. Today you might be luck to find a copy on Amazon. It is an encyclopedia of all thing sewing and I use the reference all the time.

That is all for now, till next time, Jenny


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Singer Sewing and Embroidery machines

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I have several students who are always looking for a new sewing machine and yes, I still sell a few sewing machine models for Singer. 

You should be able buy a very nice Singer sewing and embroidery machine for under $1200.00. The Singer Futura XL580 is what I now use for everything and I love the machine for all kinds of sewing and embroidery. Must have features for a sewing machine include a front drop in bobbin, needle up and down, electronic speed control, easy threading, an easy buttonhole and lots of decorative stitches are also pluses. A custom bed extension can be purchased for any machine and is nice to have. The ease of electronic stitch selection is a must and good lighting helps a lot. The machine will last for many years and is a major life investment.

Here are links to Singer machines and  video that show the operation and features of several sewing machines.

I carry a Singer Legacy line of sewing and embroidery machines. The nice thing about Singer is the on-line video instruction that you can watch to learn what your machine can do. Please click on the video links if you are interested. I have the sewing machine version Singer C440. and the sewing and embroidery version Singer SE300

I have recently added the Used Singer Studio embroidery only S10

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Learn to Fit class

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If you have ever sewn your own clothes you know that fitting is the main issue most sewers have to over come when making a brand new dress or jacket or pair of pants.  I have had many requests to teach pattern making and for the sewer to make their own patterns they need to understand fit.

In 2 -3 hour classes Jenny’s Sewing Studio will teach you to fit patterns. Get that perfect custom fit. You will use McCall 6901 basic fitted pattern. In class fit and sew a gingham basic fit dress to use as a base for future sewing pattern fit and design. You should be able to fit most dresses and shirts with skills learned in class.

In the first lesson bring McCall’s M2718 pattern and your 1/4″ check gingham in a pastel color. I will measure you and help you make all pattern adjustments. Cutting and marking the fabric will be done as time allows. Make sure you wear something form fitting to class so measurements can be taken over the leggings or leotard.

In the 2nd lesson we will sew and fit the pattern to create the perfect fit. A new pattern will be created as a reference for future sewing. This is an intermediate class and not designed for the beginner sewer.

Perfect Pant fit will also be available. Since these are one on one classes you can choose the best time to take the class.  In 2 -3 hour classes Jenny’s Sewing Studio will teach you to fit a pant pattern. Get that perfect custom fit. You will use McCall 6901 basic fitted pattern.

In the first lesson bring McCall’s 6901 pattern and enough muslin and some sewing thread to create a fitting shell. I will measure you and help you make all pattern adjustments. Cutting and marking and sewing the muslin will be done as time allows. Make sure you wear something form fitting to class so measurements can be taken over the leggings or leotard.

You will need to cut out your new pants so we can construct a perfect fitting pair of pants in lesson 2. This is an intermediate class and not designed for the beginner sewer.

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Hat hoops for all embroidery machines

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Do you ever feel like a mushroom, hidden away in darkness wondering where was I? Today I had a very enlightening class with a student learning the Singer Futura XL400. She has been working with her Futura for some time and found a hathoop web site that makes hoops for the XL400 and all current model Futura. That was exciting. The web site is

I have ordered a hoop for my Quintet and plan to make a video on how I would use the hat hoop on my Singer Futura. I will let you know next week how I do with my hat.

Hathoop has hoops for most home embroidery machine so if you are in need of a hat hoop, this is the place to shop.

If you need sticky paper for your hat hoop project shop Jenny’s Sewing Studio at this link.

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Year of the Rooster

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It is the year of the Rooster in the Chinese calendar. One of my vendors sent me a lovely Chinese calendar which I have displayed proudly and of course my new Mahjong card is also marked with the year of the Rooster. I am looking forward to all good things this year. I copied the following internet explaination about the year of the Rooster. Enjoy!

“According to the Chinese calendar, we are entering the Year of the Rooster in 2017. Here are five things to know about the zodiac sign:

Each year, the Chinese calendar assigns an animal from a rotating zodiac of 12 animals. The 12 animals cycle through rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2016 was the Year of the Monkey. Apart from 2017, the Year of the Rooster includes the years 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 and 2029.

2017 is a Fire Rooster Year. According to Chinese astrology, each year is associated with one of five elements as well as an animal, including gold (metal), wood, water, fire or Earth. The element, combined with the zodiac animal, set the astrology for the year. This year is a fire year, and so those born in 2017 are Fire Roosters. The last Fire Rooster Year was 1957.

Famous Roosters include Beyoncé, Bob Marley, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Jennifer Aniston. Famous Fire Roosters include Stephen Fry, Steve Buscemi and Hans Zimmer.

Roosters are characterized as observant and hardworking. Active and talkative, Roosters tend to enjoy social events and being in the center of attention, according to Chinese astrology. They also typically enjoy sports, according to traits set by the astrology.

2017 is set to be unlucky for Roosters, according to Chinese astrology, because being in the year of one’s birth sign does not bode well. Chinese astrology dictates that Roosters will have to monitor their money and health extra carefully. However, when it comes to love, Roosters truly in love are advised to get married. Those in dead-end relationships should consider breaking up, according to the astrology.”

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Missing Joan Hook

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In late October 2016 Joan Hook passed away. Joan was a great quilter, a great sewer, wonderful past employee and friend. She will be missed. She shared many of her skills and crafts with the community and was always a cheery face at Jenny’s Sewing Studio in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Joan always tried hard to please. I remember her making a sample cow doll for me in the shop and I can hear her now,  laughing about how awful the pattern was, but she put her best efforts forward.  Joan visited us often and taught many quilters in the area. I will miss you Joan.






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Buying a sewing machine

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7258quilterNeed a new sewing machine? I will try to help you decide which machine is best for you as you look at the 100’s of product available today. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

How much am I going to use the machine and what I am going to require the machine to do?

What is my budget? Buy the most sewing machine you can afford, if you plan to continue sewing in the future.

What is your skill level? If you are reading this article you are on a computer. You have electric. I believe you should always look at electronic machines because the ease of operation. Electronic machines preset the stitch length and width to make the optimum stitch. When you turn on the machine it is ready to sew the stitch you need. You do not need the instruction manual to do the most basic sewing once you learn to thread your machine.

Features you will need to look at include:

Smooth and variable speed control, an electronic controller is best

Built in threader

Variable stitch length and stitch width.

One step buttonholer, many machine will measure the size of a button and sew a buttonhole to match.

A variety of utility and decorative stitches. Include blind hem, mending, and over edge stitches.

Front drop in bobbin.

Easy threading.

Extra high pressure foot lifter

Easy to adjust top tension

multiple needle positions

I like the automatic needle up and needle down button.

I like an extended bed. This extension table maybe an optional accessory.

Do not get hung up on price. You can buy a very nice sewing machine for $269.99 or you can spend $999 on more features. Buy the machine for you needs. Buy a sewing machine that will last you at least 10 years.

DSCN2067If you can, buy from a local dealer who will offer instruction and service for your future needs.

I have been selling and instructing on sewing and sewing machines for my whole life and can tell you the better the tools, the better your sewing will be.


Jenny’s Sewing Studio


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