Monday, December 31, 2012

A Comparison of Bernina, Baby Lock, Janome and Juki Mid-Range Sewing Machines

Edited to add: I'll be adding other comparisons as time passes including Viking and Brother.

I'm going to be in the market for a new machine sometime over the next year. I don't have the luxury of going to dealers and all my research has been done online. I will make a trip once I narrow down the possibilities. I thought my research might help others, so here ya go!

I want a mid-level machine that I won't outgrow in the next few years. Prices vary from $1799 to $399. Most of the research has been done at each brand's home page, Pattern Review, and Amazon.


330 - MSRP - $1399 Cheapest I've heard of: $1100. 
97 stitch patterns with 1 automatic buttonhole 1 sewing alphabet, 3 quilting stitches, start-stop button, speed control, built in needle threader, 900 stitches per minute, max width 5.5, max length 5. 30 memory locations for stitch patterns.

Included: Reverse pattern foot #1, overlock foot #2, buttonhole foot with slide #3, zipper foot #4, blindstitch foot #5, slide on free arm extension table. Accessory box or bag and dust cover.

350PE - MSRP - $1799 Cheapest I've heard of: $1500. 
191 stitch patterns with 2 automatic buttonholes, 2 sewing alphabets, 11 quilting stitches, start-stop button, speed control, built in needle threader, 900 stitches per minute, max width 5.5, max length 5. 30 memory locations for stitch patterns, bobbin winding while sewing.

Included: Reverse pattern foot #1 overlock foot #2, buttonhole foot with slide #3, zipper foot #4, blindstitch foot #5, open embroidery foot #20, slide on free arm table, accessory box or bag and dust cover.

These are labeled beginning machines by Bernina.


Elizabeth - $669.00
178 built in stitches, 10 one step buttonholes, 3 uppercase alphabets, auto needle threader, start/stop button, auto thread cutter, drop feed, pattern repeat, mirror image, hands free pressure foot lift.

Included accessories: buttonhole foot, overcasting foot, zipper foot, zig-zag, blind stitch, button fitting, walking foot, quilting foot, open toe foot, nonstick foot, monogramming foot, adjustable zipper/piping foot, hard case.

Sofia 2 - $749.00 perhaps on sale through Jan. 5.
168 built in stitches, embroidery capability with USB direct connect and embroidery designs built in, 10 styles of 1 step buttonhole, 3 alphabet styles, 6 font styles, 5mm stitch length, 7mm stitch length, automatic needle threader, automatic needle cutter, 12 memory pockets, mirror image, programmable speed control, needle up/down, thread cutter.

Included accessories: Stylus, soft cover, buttonhole foot, embroidery foot, overcasting foot, monogramming foot, zipper foot, zig-zag foot, blind stitch and buttonhole fitting feet, 4 x 4 embroidery hoop.

Grace - $399.99 per Pattern Review

40 built in stitches, 1 built in buttonhole, built in needle threader, thread cutter, top loading bobbin.

Included accessories: Satin stitch foot, buttonhole foot, overcasting foot, blind stitch foot, button fitting foot, zipper foot, zig-zag foot, soft case.


DC5100 - $599 at

167 built in stitches, 5 one step buttonholes, drop feed, needle up/down, 50 stitch memory capability, speed control, locking stitch button, built in needle threader.

Accessories included: hard case, Straight stitch foot, Zigzag foot (set on the machine), Satin stitch foot, Zipper foot, Automatic buttonhole foot, Overedge foot, Blind hem foot, Darning foot, 1/4" seam foot, Walking foot, Quilter.

Information on accessories included taken from a Q & A on Amazon regarding this machine. At the time of this writing, Janome didn't have included accessories on their website. The link took you to available accessories vs. included.

DC4030PR - $549 at

30 stitches, 6 one step buttonholes, 820 stitches per minute, auto tension, needle up/down, drop feed, start/stop button, speed control, extra high presser foot, foot pressure adjustment, 5mm stitch length, 7mm stitch width, stitch elongation.

Difficult to find included accessories but the brochure states a walking foot and 1/4" foot is included also a hard plastic cover.

DC3050 $449 at

50 built in stitches with 3 auto buttonholes, auto needle threader, auto stop/start, drop feed, auto tension, extra high presser foot, bi-directional blanket stitch, stitch width and length same as the DC4030.

Included accessories: Zipper foot, satin stitch foot, buttonhole foot.


HZL300 - $699 at

106 Stitch Patterns with 3 fonts, 16 auto buttonholes, auto needle threading, auto thread trimming by heel of foot, 900 spm, adjust cutting width of buttonholes, atuo needle stop.

Included: Standard foot, Overcasting foot, Blind hem foot, Auto Buttonhole foot, Manual Buttonhole foot, Zipper foot, quilting foot and quilt guide, Hard Case.

HZL400 - $799 at Computer Sewing/Quilting Machine

157 stitches, 3 font patterns, 16 types of buttonholes, auto needle threader, adjustable presser foot pressure, auto thread cutting by button, auto thread trimming by heel of foot, adjust cutting width of buttonholes.

Accessories included: in addition to the above included with the HLZ300, a patchwork foot and free motion walking foot, a knee lift lever and a quilt guide.

Juki has a unique box feed dog system and the company previously made industrial/commercial machines.


These Pfaff machines have IDT dual feed

Pfaff Ambition 1.5 Sewing and Quilting Machine MSRP $1299 - $855 on Ebay

195 Stitches, 4 alphabets: block, outline, script and cyrillic, 4 memories, large LCD screen, stitch selection through touch screen, 3 LED light sources, needle up/down, programmed tie off, 29 needle positions, 7mm length, needle threader, start/stop button, speed slider, feed drop, mirror image, bobbin thread sensor, extra high pressure foot lift, adjustable pressure foot pressure, stitch elongation, two spool pins for twin needle sewing, larger sewing space to right of needle for quilting.

Accessories included: At the time of this writing, an extra extension table plate is included, standard foot, fancy stitch foot with IDT, fancy stitch foot, blind hem foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, hard case.

Doesn't say how many buttonholes but I'll try to find out later.

Pfaff Select 4.0 - MSRP $1150 - $687 on eBay

40 stitches, stitch selection through push button, high pressure foot lift, stitch length 6mm, bobbin winding through the needle, two spool pins for twin needle sewing, free motion sewing position through push button, needle threader,

Accessories included: Darning foot, rolled hem foot, fancy stitch foot, edge guide/quilting foot, zipper foot, clear view foot, buttonhole foot, blind hem foot, hard case.


Viking Sapphire 835 - eBay $749

105 stitches with 7 buttonholes, 3 alphabet fonts, dual lights, 10" throat space, needle down, one touch thread cutter, 10 memories, mirror side to side, bobbin winds from needle.

Accessories included: Thread nets, non-stick guide plates, Utility feet A and B, buttonhole foot,, one step sensor buttonhole foot, blind hem foot, zipper foot, edging foot, 1/4" piecing foot, embroidery/darning foot, light bulb remover, hard cover.

Viking Emerald 116 - eBay $299

Mechanical sewing machine, 16 Stitches, one automatic buttonhole, built in needle threader, 4mm stitch length, thread cutter, drop feed, needle up/down, adjustable pressure foot pressure.

Accessories: Hard case, 8 feet.

Cost of Feet

I'm going to use a walking foot as the comparison:

Bernina: $150, Baby lock: approx. $60 - with a fast search, I found one for the Essante made by Baby lock and others were $40 or so for the unbranded. Janome: $49.99. Juki: $69.99, Pfaff: not needed, Viking: $95.

Warranties vary but the usual seems to be Labor for one year with the exception of Juki which is 90 days.

All prices were good as of 12/31/12. When I couldn't find the MSRP on the machines, I took prices from Pattern Review, Ebay and Amazon

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Be Still My Heart! Bernina 330 - I want one!

I've been looking for a new (or new to me) sewing machine for a long time. I've looked mostly on eBay because I thought I wouldn't be able to afford a new one but considering all the money I've spent on machines this past year, I'm rethinking it. Granted, it might take a little longer to save for it but I think I might be better off to buy new.

I bought a second hand Viking and liked it well enough I guess but I wasn't in love with it - if one can be "in love" with a thing vs. a person. It felt hefty enough when I was sewing with it but it just wasn't for me.

I was reading blogs and following their blog lists and came upon LLadybird who treated herself to a Bernina 350PE. How immpressive!

I then went to eBay to check for something similiar. Do you know that some of those are selling used, for more than the MSRP at Bernina dealers new? That was a revelation to me!

I don't have the luxury of visiting dealers in my area - there aren't any. I have read online about Baby Lock and Janome. I'm even tempted at the new Singer One's but I'm hesitant about those. I love the older Singer machines but I already have a Singer Stylist that I'm not satisfied with.

This Bernina is my dream. It might take me a while to save for it but I think I would be happy with it.

I think I can...I think I can...I think I can

The gown I made for my DIL
Another view

This is a reminder to me that I can sew! Now I see fit issues and critique it but I hadn't sewn for 10 years when I made it. She wasn't satisfied with the gowns she found locally so we copied one found in Bride's Magazine that month. She wanted no lace or "fru fru" so it's strapless, princess seamed satin. Lace would have covered a multitude of sins but she wanted elegant. 

It was fun and a good reminder that I can sew. I need that right now!

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Attempt at Pamela's Magic Pencil Skirt

I've had this fabric that I simply love but I'm afraid it's printed off grain. I thought I would practice pattern placement and also use it to develop the pattern into a TNT. I aligned the print in the fabric but honestly, I'm not sure how it will wash once put together. That will teach me to buy cheap fabric. We'll see! Have you ever wanted to sew so badly that you'd try anything?

I added width to the pattern at center front and back. Easy to do since the pattern is placed on the fold in front and the center back is a straight seam. (I added a back pattern piece to use with this fabric.) Hopefully it's not too much but the fabric is lightweight and I didn't want it clinging to me. In retrospect, perhaps a larger size would have worked better for this knit fabric.

Now for the sewing and fitting!

I sewed the darts and the side seams. I'm not using Pamela's Fantastic Elastic but I had some waistband elastic in my stash. I adjusted it the way she suggested and it feels too loose. Perhaps it's because it's a different kind but I think I'll take 1/2" off the measurement.

I don't have a full length mirror to check if the side seams hang correctly. I'm going to put the mirror I do have on the floor and adjust it then check in the bathroom mirror. Next month, a full length mirror is on my shopping list. How can I fit muslin's without one? We'll see how this works!

This fabric didn't shine when I pressed it. I used a press cloth on the darts and first seam but pressed the fabric directly for the other. No shine! YES!


How can a simple pattern turn into a wadder? Well, let me tell ya!

I could probably rescue this but I have no desire. I shouldn't have added to the center front - ya live and learn. That totally threw off the line of the skirt - the darts are further on the side than they should be. The darts on this pattern are toward the side anyway and when I added to the center front instead of the side seams - well, just not a good thing.

Not only that, but I didn't slightly stretch the fabric as I was sewing. Even pressing didn't get out the puckers. Oh well - it might be a while before I remember everything about sewing. It's fun anyway.

Next time - another muslin using the pattern piece as is but probably morphing two different sizes. Seems I've gained a tummy through the holidays!

Till next time...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Ann T Top Muslin

I'm determined to use this for my TNT pattern for tee shirts. I haven't sewn garments in a long time and I thought these issues might help someone else that hadn't either!

I haven't tried on this muslin yet but I did hold it up to me. I'm sure it's going to be too tight. I'm going to finish it anyway because I need practice inserting the sleeves and also doing the neckline. I'm going to document the stretch factor of this fabric and all to come. I believe each knit will fit differently depending on the percentage of stretch. I'm hoping to save myself time and trouble with each additional muslin.

I pinned the sleeves into the armhole and you wouldn't think they would fit on first glance. I used the flat method. I remember from sewing in the past that if you put the shoulder seam on the bottom then pin to the markings first, keeping your fingertips in the seam allowance, you can ease in the shoulder area on the sleeve without difficulty. The area to be eased is on top. Lots of pins keeps it in place. On this pattern, it fits beautifully. If only they all were this way!

Feels good - if only my body were shaped differently! I can wear it with a layer over it but definitely will not wear it alone. I still need to finish the hems and topstitch the neckline. I could have sworn I have a stretch double needle but it might have gotten lost in the move.

Well, it's a start and I have had practice doing a neckband and putting in the sleeves.

Pardon the marks on the mirror - time to clean that baby!
Now to critique the fit! The seams are scratchy on the inside, it's too tight and certainly can't be worn without an overlayer. I like the way the neckline fits but the rouched waist isn't for me. It's also about an inch longer in the front center than the back. I definitely don't have the bust to take that up so an alteration is in order. I'll need to add an inch or so to the width also - maybe I'll morph a few patterns together!

At least I'll have completed something once the topstitching and hems are done!

Edited to add:

The top is finished. I turned up the hems on the sleeves and bottom and hemmed it using a straight stitch. I cut off the longer front and it does look better. I looked for my stretch double needles but couldn't find them. Rather than wait to finish this, I simply used a single needle, straight stitch.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thread and Needles - Time for Research

When I first learned to sew, my Mom used 50 weight thread for everything. It was only after sewing for many years that I learned that isn't the rule now. I learned to sew on an old Singer and I suspect that was her reasoning. I have a Singer Stylist sewing machine now and when I was sewing the seams of the Ann T Top yesterday, my stitches went back and forth between straight stitch and zig-zag. I suspect needle size and thread is the problem. At least I'm hoping so - I can't buy a new machine at the moment.

I have a stash of thread that I've been saving for years. Some of it even looks fuzzy while sitting on the spool! Could you imagine what it would do to the tension on my machine? Most of it is Coats and Clark which is going in the trash, by the way. I've read on the boards that they've changed their thread now - I might buy one spool to try it out.

Last summer I bought a Mettler Metrosene Plus multi-pack thinking I would have my basic needs met. Not so! It took one full spool of 109 yards to wind a bobbin on my 15-91. Now I find out a cotton thread might be better for that machine. Do I really need two kinds of thread for my two machines?

I also have chosen needle and thread based solely on the weight of fabric I'm sewing without regard for the two together. If the fabric is lightweight, I would use regular thread and a size 9 or 11 needle. Now I read on the SCHMETZ website that I also have to consider the weight of thread and size of the needle together. The thread should be only 40% of the size of the needle opening. It's a new thought for me to consider the two together instead of just considering the weight of the fabric. Did I explain that right? had a good comparison of threads under a microscope at 60% magnification. Maxi-lock is also there - just follow the link. I thought at first that the better spun, the better the thread then I read that some of those fibers sticking out might help to grab the fabric and prevent skipped stitches.

Then there is the issue of machine needles. I've always thought stretch needles were used for knits as recommended in almost every book you read. I have a variety of them but on the Schmetz website, it recommends a universal needle. Stretch needles are used for microfiber fabrics according to them. I've also read on boards that Microtex needles might be better to sew knits. Then there is the idea that a size 14 needle isn't the go to size any longer. Perhaps it's because the weight of thread isn't the same as recommended years ago?

Wow! No wonder I'm confused. Are you? Am I making this more complicated than it has to be?

Basically this is what I'm going to do: I'm considering what I sew frequently and have a variety of thread and needles on hand for that purpose. Anything else I'll buy as I need rather than have every possibility in my sewing stash. Can't afford that anyway!

I will be sewing knits, medium weight stretch and regular wovens and hemming jeans. All my jeans need to be hemmed - even the petite length. I swear I think manufacturers have lengthened their petite size in the last few years!

Gutermann thread - I'm going to purchase black, white and jeans top stitch for basic mending and general purpose use. Here is a pdf of their thread with recommended uses.

Mettler Metrosene Plus - I'm going to purchase this thread for apparel projects in colors to match.

Needles: I've used Singer needles for as long as I can remember but it's time for a change! Schmetz are the best I hear and it's time I purchased a variety. I'm going to buy a variety of universal, jersey, topstitching, jeans and stretch needles.

I should have my bases covered, don't you think?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sewing Style Arc's Ann T Top

It's not too bad if I had to only rip out one sleeve, is it? :)

Laying out the fabric so that it was on grain was the hardest part so far. The ribs or stitches are small enough that it was difficult but I could tell that they weren't at right angles to the selvages, does that make sense? I did my best to make sure it was on grain but to be honest, I probably won't know until it's put together and washed. Next time I sew knits, I'll buy a magnifying glass and run a line of hand stitches from end to end.

I laid out the pattern, transferred the markings and cut it out. The fabric has a very subtle sheen on one side and I've found out I need a little more lighting in my sewing area. Because of the way I had to put it on the fabric, I had to be especially careful to keep the right and wrong side of the fabric correct.

I simply put a piece of scotch tape in the seam allowance on the wrong side of each piece before taking the pins out. I also found that it isn't easy marking knits. I've never been good at tailor's tacks and there aren't darts on this pattern. At first I used pins but decided a pen would be better. I did try my quilt pencils but it didn't show up well enough. So in the seam allowances are little markings!

I've sold a few of my sewing machines and the only one I have left is the Singer 7258. I'm not satisfied with the stitches but until I can get another, it will have to do.

I also used the selvage of another piece of fabric that is almost the same color for the shoulder seams. I then sewed between the markings for the elastic on the sides - although I've decided not to use elastic and only sew little gathers. I then sewed on a sleeve - wrong sides together! LOL

First time I've had to rip a seam in a long time but I didn't mind - at least, I'm sewing!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ha! I can finally sew something!

Did you ever have to just sew something?

No matter how I tried to put together pattern and fabric there was always something that I needed. If I had the fabric, I didn't have the right color of thread, no interfacing or elastic. If I had enough fabric for a pattern,  it was too lightweight or not enough stretch. That will teach me to try to buy ahead!

Some of the fabric I wanted to use for muslins but nothing was appropriate. I don't have a large stash built up yet and evidently building a stash might not work for me anyway. I thought if I had fabric here, sewing would be easier but if the fabric was right, there wasn't enough of it.

I've since moved the back piece up a little to make room for the binding.

I finally found a medium brown ponte knit that I can make Style Arc's Ann T Top out of. I don't have enough for a long sleeve but I frequently push them up anyway. This is a muslin to check for fit and also to practice techniques on but long sleeves would be nice. Not bad though for only one yard of fabric!

I pressed the fabric and ironed the pattern pieces but for the life of me, I can't get the creases out of the paper! It's as flat as I can make it and the fabric no longer has wrinkles but it's frustrating.

I used a with nap layout because I read somewhere that knits need it. It makes sense - otherwise the fabric may show shading, etc.

Wish me luck - it's the first garment I've actually sewn in over 15 years!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pattern Choices for SWAP 2013

I'm interested in sewing for SWAP 2013 but the choices are endless. I'm having problems limiting the vast array of patterns and fabrics especially considering that I've gained a few pounds. Five pounds doesn't sound like much but it has certainly changed my shape. I feel like I'm five months pregnant. Time for the Lagenlook?

I'm acutely aware of proportion between styles. How I wish there were abundant coordinating wardrobe patterns where every piece works with the other. Wardrobe patterns are few and far between which makes choosing compatible patterns difficult. I've come to the conclusion that skinny bottoms look better with voluminous tops and vice versa. I'm also considering adding overlayers in the form of vests to partially hide the little pouch I've developed. I've never worn vests but I feel better if I dress in sets of three - bottom, underlayer and overlayer. It's "put together", know what I mean?

Consider this vest which is Vogue 8777:

I especially like the grey one in the bottom right corner!
I have Style Arc's Debra Zebra Top which is a funnel neck top pattern:

I feel better in a funnel neck versus a turtleneck. I also have her Linda stretch pant and the Elle pant patterns. Although the differences are minute, the Elle pant is skinnier and would require a larger top in proportion.

Linda Stretch Pant by Style Arc

Elle Pant by Style Arc

I considered this wardrobe pattern which is McCalls 6658:

The pants are elastic and would be comfortable but the overlayer might make me look even broader. There is a horizontal line that goes across the back and I hesitate to visually emphasize this part of my anatomy.

Perhaps I love the colors as much as I love the pattern! The line drawing:

I wonder if anyone at Pattern Review has sewn it? It would fit my lifestyle now and it's versatile. The pants can be made out of a flannel type fabric but also jersey. I'm not sure I would want flannel but the point is it's suitable for wovens as well as knits.

I doubt I will join the SWAP formally but the requirements I find to be helpful when planning sewing projects. This years suggestion is to sew two what I think of as capsules with a bridging piece that would tie the two together.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm Researching Interfacing - See What I've Found!

Because I last sewed anything about 15 years ago, I've been researching methods, techniques and products. I have a good start on everything I might need but have yet to understand the new interfacings. I Googled interfacings and what comes up? Threads on Stitchers Guild and Pattern Review of course! No wonder I read them so often. Not a day goes by that I'm not trying to learn what I can from them.

As many of you know, I don't have a fabric store locally. I've found it difficult to buy online - evidently I don't know enough about fabric content and weight to make informed decisions. I thought I would research interfacings before buying so I didn't make another needless purchase.

Fashion Sewing Supply and Sew Exciting are evidently one and the same. On the boards, some call it one and others, the other. At first I was confused and thought they were different sources but alas, they are not.

For Knits: Pro-Tricot Deluxe Fusible Interfacing: from their website:
"This is a Professional Grade Tricot knit interfacing used by designers and the finest ready-to-wear clothing manufacturers.  PRO-TRICOT Deluxe FUSIBLE INTERFACING gives flexible support to all weights of knits. Now made with a touch of lycra, it has 50% crosswise stretch and 10% lengthwise stretch. Pro-TricotDeluxe Fusible Interfacing can also be fused to leather. DOES NOT SHRINK!"

Pro-Sheer Elegance For sheer or lightweight woven fabrics, ie: think blouses, buttonholes, etc.:

"Pro-Sheer Elegance is The Ultimate in "Lower Temperature" fusible interfacing!This amazing fusible interfacing is suitable for sheer to lightweight woven Silks, Microfibers, Cotton lawns, Fine Broadcloth,  silky polyesters, and all lightweight woven fabrics
(For Stretchy Knits, choose Pro-Tricot Deluxe Interfacing).
This sheer matte interfacing truly is different. Due to its unique weave and fiber content, it has slight crosswise stretch and is totally stable lengthwise. Pro-Sheer Elegance is made from a combination of Polyester and Rayon  and can be fused at  "low-wool to high wool" settings of your iron.  It does NOT shrink.WASHABLE AFTER FUSING TO FABRIC !
It is the the most amazing interfacing that we have ever experienced!Pro-Sheer Elegance *barely* affects the drape of the fabric,yet will add enough support for stable facings, buttonholes, etc.It is sheer, matte, 60-62" wide...absolutely fabulous!"  
They also offer Pro-Stretch Elastic that you can sew through. I have yet to choose between this and Pamela's Patterns Fantastic Elastic

I'll be ordering after the first of the year. Just maybe I'll order both elastics and see which I like better. Maybe both would be a good choice!

Edited to add: I've never used the "quote" option in Blogger. Seems it doesn't want to "unquote"!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bobbins for the 15-91 - I'm Determined!

How long have I been working on this issue? Three days? You do have to admit that I'm determined to get this running. On the other hand, maybe it's just another way to procrastinate actual sewing....

There's something about starting a project and not giving up. I bought this machine in September (I think anyway) and I'd like to finally use it!

Those of you who have read previous posts know that I've had problems with the bobbins or bobbin case. Machine Tech who posts on Stitchers Guild asked me if the metal class 15 bobbins turn freely in the bobbin case. No, they do not. They seem to be too large or are getting caught up on something. I loosened the tension mightily I might add, and it actually sewed for a few inches!

I emailed Jenny from Sew Classic and she offered to send me some plastic bobbins to try. Ummmmm........all the bobbins I have, I might have something that fits!

I tried one and I can actually insert it easily. I did have to adjust the tension screw on the bobbin again and gave it 1/2 turn.

So far, I've sewn about 15" with it. No problem and the stitches are even and appear to be the correct tension. Tomorrow I'm going to sew a seam with it and see how it does. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 10, 2012

She sews! The 15-91 makes stitches!

Catherine, aka my 15-91 sews! I took that bobbin case and adjusted it about 3/4 turn and no more problems. So far. I've only sewn a few inches with it which is nothing like doing a seam but tomorrow I'm going to try her out on the kind of fabric I usually sew on. We'll see how she does!

15-91 Bobbins and Case - Ugh!

How frustrating it can be to attempt to get a 15-91 working! The machine itself is beautiful but it came without bobbins or a case.

I ordered them from Sew Classic but not at the same time. I had bobbins that I thought were a size 15 but they didn't fit on the bobbin winder. Of course, I didn't try them before ordering the case. I just assumed since they were "Singer" they would work. Not so.

When the case came, I tried them and they didn't work. Am I sure it's a 15-91? Yes - it came with the instruction book.

Now I have the bobbins that do work on the winder but there is something wrong with the case or the bobbins. I suspect the case.

When I try to pull thread from it, it only breaks. The bobbins also fit so snugly that it's hard to get them out of the case.

I used Metrosene thread and also tried others I had lying around. I tried to adjust the tension on the case but it still broke. It's almost as if there is a sharp area on the case that the thread gets hung up on and only breaks instead of pulling.

I'm on a budget here - yes, that tight of a budget. So what to do? Any suggestions?

Pardon my absence but I'm back!

I've been away for a few months but I have good news and bad news!

I've moved into a two bedroom apartment and love it! I'm finally getting settled or should I say I'm beginning to get settled? :) I have my sewing stuff almost organized. Now I've decided I want to move it into the spare room in order to finally have a sewing room!

The bad news is that my engagement was broken and it threw me into a tailspin for a few months. I've made a few bad choices but I think I'm back on track again. Watch out world!

I put a bobbin winding tire on my 15-91!

I can't believe I did it! I've put it off for a few days because I was scared to try but I did it! The old one came off easily but I used my nail file to put the new one on. Good thing I'm not a true collector because I scratched the wheel a bit.

So far, I've rewired her, cleaned and oiled her, bought bobbins and that tire thingy. The bobbins I found that worked finally came from Sew-Classic and they fit perfectly. It was a painless order and arrived very fast. You should try them for all your vintage sewing machine needs!

Now if I could just cover those scratches on the bed of the cabinet, I would be happy. I didn't realize when I took it out of the cabinet to rewire it that I had to be so careful. You live and learn! Perhaps some Old English furniture polish would help but I don't want to take the chance of it getting on my fabric.

I bought this machine at an antique store and love it. It came with the Zig-zagger, buttonholer and attachments. It sounds soooo good when running! I just love it and now I get to try it out completely! I'll let you know how that goes!