A year with Juki

I just took my Juki in for her first service, she was running fine, but when I bought her the salesperson recommended I get her serviced after a year, well low and behold it has already been a year since I bought her. I figured it would be a good idea to reflect on my last year with Juki. I can already say offhand that I sewed so much more frequently than I did before purchasing Juki. I figured I spent so much money on my new machine that I had better get to using it, Juki is also a lot easier to use/less stress inducing than my old Brother, and I also began taking sewing classes this year, which I think helped.

So, this year Juki and I sewed:

  • 4 pillow covers;
  • 2 children’s skirts;
  • 2 pajamas;
  • 1 cape;
  • 1 not so successful bikini;
  • 6 sweaters;
  • 4 pairs of leggings (still haven’t found a perfect pattern);
  • 3 pairs of lounge pants;
  • 7 knit tops;
  • 9 skirts;
  • 14 dresses; and
  • a whole bunch of baby bibs, burp cloths and blankets.

I feel like I have learned a lot in the last year, going to class certainly helped with that, but I still have so far to go. Right now I am really struggling with garment fit. It’s really hard to want to complete a project when you just know it isn’t going to fit correctly. So this next year I think my focus is going to be on learning to alter patterns to fit better.

The Urge to Serge?

My main goal in sewing is to make clothes for myself and I pretty much live in dresses and leggings. During winter I like to wear leggings with long tops that cover my butt, however, finding long tops the last few seasons has been impossible. So I figured I should be able to make myself some in exactly the length I want. When I began looking up tutorials for making t-shirts/knit tunics, everyone was making them on a serger, which I don’t have. I know that everyone says you don’t need a serger and that you can do everything on your regular sewing machine, but everyone seemed to be gushing about how awesome it was to sew knits on a serger. Since I was interested in sewing knits I started looking up sergers. During my research I noticed a few things 1) sergers are expensive, 2) sergers are confusing, and 3) sergers are scary looking. Since I have never even touched a serger before, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a serger in case it wasn’t something I liked or found that I wanted to use. I know in my post about sewing machine shopping I said what a mistake it was to buy a cheap sewing machine, because it is just not worth the aggravation, so maybe I will be making the same mistake twice, I guess time will tell. So I began looking at the lower end sergers. I looked at the Brother 1034dwhich had good on-line reviews and the price was low ($190). Then since I just bought a Juki sewing machine I began looking at Juki sergers. The Jukis started pretty reasonable at about $250 for the MO-50e, then went up to about $289 for the MO-51e, then the prices started to jump to about $300 for the 644D and $400 for the 654DE. People on SewingPatternReview.com were recommending getting the 654DE, but since I just bought a new sewing machine that wasn’t really in my budget. So I was debating between the Brother (because it was slightly cheaper) and the MO-50E (because I really love my Juki sewing machine). I ended up finding the MO-50E for slightly less and with a coupon it turned out to be the same price as the Brother so I ordered it.

I anxiously awaited its arrival and quickly unboxed it after getting it home. Once I had it out of the box, however, I really had no idea what I was doing. I attempted to thread it and play with it, but the tension was clearly not correct. I had signed up for an introduction to serger class at Sew LA for the next weekend so I figured I would just leave it alone until after class. Fingers crossed I didn’t make a mistake by buying a cheapy serger.

My new Juki F-600

Since purchasing my new Juki F-600 I have been really making an effort to make time to sew, which can be difficult when you have a full time job, try to make an effort to exercise regularly, have a house that needs to be cleaned, and have a boyfriend who doesn’t like to leave you alone when you try to craft. But since getting my Juki I have managed a few small projects that I could work on during the week. I am also attempting to make use of some of my smaller amounts of fabric (when I first decided I wanted to sew I started purchasing cute fabric in 1/4 to 1 yard increments with no idea of what I wanted to make with it).

I made a cute retro apron using Butterick B5579;

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envelope pillow covers out of a canvas with cats on it that look like my russian blue Wyatt;

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a fabric bin out of blue crab fabric;

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a bow pouch out of Kokka cat fabric (this project wasn’t quite successful as the bow is puckering the sides of the pouch, but I think I will give it another try);

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a zippered bow clutch;

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and I sewed two tshirts together to make a ruffled beach cover-up (my Juki handled the knit like a dream, I however, was too eager to sew quickly and it didn’t turn out as neat as it could).

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But overall I am pretty happy with the amount of sewing I have gotten done so far.  Also, I have to say that I love my Juki!