Jumping In: There’s a Lot of Neat Stuff Out There!

As noted in my first post, sewing has sure changed over the years!  Although I adore my old faithful made-from-industrial-strength metal straight stitch machine that I’ve used over the years to make valences, pillow covers and, yes, the occasional child’s costume, it was time for an upgrade.  Not too much of an upgrade, mind you, but something that would at least approximate the ready to wear finishes like seam finishes, blind hems, etc.

Not wanting to invest too heavily in a machine until I saw how this apparel thing panned out, I took advantage of the “September Sewing Machine Month” sale at JoAnns, ordered my Brother 9500PRW from their website – hey, it’s Project Runway!  This thing is going to produce fabulous clothes! – cut out my pattern, and waited.

…and waited…

…and waited…

And finally, there it was, sitting shiny and sassy on my sewing table (AKA, the dining room table, but let’s not split hairs here)!

Fast forward to “Getting to Know Your Brother 9500” otherwise known as “What the heck IS all this stuff?  And why are there a THOUSAND stitches?  What are all these FEET for?”   Fortunately, a helpful video was included that quite literally walked my timid self through everything from winding the bobbin to doing blind hems and buttonholes.  And, no, there weren’t really 1,000 stitches, but it sure looked that way!  What there WASN’T was a foot for invisible zipper installation.  Uh, oh.  Shot off a quick email to tech support…then spotted the Brother Customer Support Hot Line number.

Here’s how that went:

  • Brother rep:  How can I help you today?
  • Me:  I need a concealed zipper foot for my new Brother 9500PRW
  • Brother rep: (after much checking) That foot is not listed for use with that machine.
  • Me: GAH!!! (manners kick in) Oh, dear. I REALLY needed that foot.  I guess I’ll have to return it.  Thanks.  Hangs up. (gnashing teeth sounds, wailing, hand wringing ensue)

Frantic perusing (again) through sewing machine reviews, (THANK YOU, Pattern Review & Amazon!), quick ordering of the Brother 6000i  PLUS the concealed zipper foot, arrival on my doorstep the very next day! (I ♥ you, Amazon Prime!)

Whew. Love it!  It’s as easy to use as the PRW model, had loads of “extras”, and bonus: $20 cheaper – including the additional foot – & far fewer stitches to deal with!
(The raft of different feet included is a whole other story!)

So, I now have a machine that does more than just forward and reverse, a ridiculous number of feet, and the beginnings of a fabric and pattern horde!
(Sergers we’ll deal with much, much later – horribly intimidated by them!)

 Fledgling fabric collection…

….a sampling of patterns…

Basic Machine: check   Fabrics:  check  Patterns:  check
All right…I’m committed   Here we go!

PS:  Email response from Brother tech support 1 day after receiving new machine: Oh, yes…that concealed zipper foot will work with ANY Brother machine.   Sigh.

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Comments, tips & ideas always welcome!