Join me through the ups & downs of motherhood as I try to balance a husband, 4 kids, a cat, my faith, sewing, quilting, homeschooling, lots of food/environmental allergies & living frugally in Canada, all while keeping a big smile on my face!
I was asked to make a big diaper bag today, and the only thing she specifically asked for was a "messenger bag" style, and nothing "feminine" so her husband could carry it as well. Her & her hubby love my creations, so she gave me free reign to do whatever I wanted!! I was excited to try out my brand new sewing machine, and see how it ran compared to my old machine. Well, you can't compare. ;) There is no comparison. lol!
I came up with this...
Organic Dr.Seuss fabric & an embroidered letter "B" for the soon to be here, "Mr.B"!
This is the back panel with a big pocket a velcro tab for a closure.
The black is a nice thick cotton/linen mix. It's gorgeous sturdy fabric!!
THe front of the bag with a magnetic snap...
2 HUGE pockets inside with bold polka dots... it'll hold bottles, diapers, etc...
And a nice thick strap to make it a crossbody bag for mom or dad! :)
They both absolutely love it, so i'm thrilled with it!
Now I guess I should go clean up the kitchen and make myself some dinner! Then i'm going to play catch up with my emails, read for a bit, then watch another episode for Downton Abbey. We watched the first episode a couple nights ago, and HELLO!!!??? Why didn't anyone tell me how awesome this show is!!?? (No spoilers, i'm only on episdode 4 of season 1) We have some catching up to do... ;)
Over the last 6 months or so i've had a few issues with it but have carried on with it. I called my gma numerous a few times ranting & raving complaining about it when it messes up and I have to "leave it be" for a while.
My top 2 issues with it:
Can't sew through thick layers. It gets stuck, frozen, and skips BIG stitches when i'm working on quilts, or thicker wallets. Anything with layers.
Malfunctions when I turn it and/or try to backstitch. I get minuscule stitches that go nowhere. Often I turn it on/off a few times to "kick it in" properly.
After talking to the expert at the sewing shop we concluded that it would be absolutely pointless to get it serviced as it would cost at least half of the cost of the machine. She said she was shocked that I was able to use it as long as I have been. She had literally a handful of these machines in for "repairs", and showed me one that cracked right down the middle. The inside of it is just plastic and air, no substance. No metal. No wonder it was so easy to move with one hand. lol! She said it's a great beginners machine but with all I sew, and how many hours I put into sewing, i'm no longer really a "beginner".
She asked what I usually sewed on my machine and whether I liked the mechanical or computerized machines. I also told her I cannot afford to spent thousands on a machine (the Bernina's were calling my name, but perhaps that'll be my upgrade in 10-20 years.... ;) Anyways, I told her that I'm comfortable with the computerized so went with that... she brought me straight right over to the Janome 4030 QDC model. She said it's an amazing machine with great reviews around the board.
I'm obviously not used to sewing machines on the higher end as she was sewing me all the awesome things that this machine could do I kept looking at her feet wondering where the foot pedal was. There was no foot pedal. lol! A start & stop button!! Colour me happy!! haha! I honestly had no idea! *blush*
As she was showing me everything that the machine could do she asked me what I thought of it. I was 'taken'. ;) I told her I had simply came in for oa $30.00 free motion quilting foot. lol! She said she'd be 'right back'. She went to the back and came back with her price book, apparently she was at a quilting type show a couple weeks ago and had 2 of the Janome 4030 QDC bonus boxes left and offered me her quilting show price of $849.00!!!
This certain model is normally priced just under $1200.00, on sale right now for $999.99. It came with a bonus extension quilting table, ($100) BONUS Quilting Accessory Kit (open-toe even-feed foot with quilt guide; open-toe darning/free motion quilting foot; cloth guide; 1/4” seam foot; open-toe craft foot, walking foot) all these feet are probably worth at least $200 to buy additionally. And she threw in a bonus pack of bobbins for me worth $10.00. We're now at $1500.00 value..
Here are the features on this machine for those who also sew:
Automatic, one-step buttonhole
Stitch width and length adjustment
Built-in needle threader
30 decorative, utility and stretch stitch patterns
Stitch Illustrations on machine front
Lay-in Threading with Numbered Paths
Built-in Needle Threader
Touch-button stitch selection
2-Digit LED Display (stitch number, width, length)
Well, hubby said absolutely 'yes' since my sewing helps with our income, and since i'm sewing pretty much daily and thankfully seem to get regular orders, he knows i'll be able to make it up quickly, so I now have myself a brand new, very high quality, too heavy to lift, ;) sewing machine!!! I love it to bits and I can't believe how nicely it sews! It has serger stitches, stretch fabric stitches, deco stitches, and too many other great features to remember. It sews like an absolutely dream! I still have to learn them all! lol! She was sewing easily through 8 *THICK* layers of denim with no issues at all... my machine had issues going through a few layers of cotton, nevermind 8 layers of denim! lol!
Oh!!! The best part! It comes with free sewing lessons! She said to come in anytime for lessons and call her if I have any issues or need help with anything and she'll just walk me through it! :) She was so helpful & knowledgable about everything! It was definitely 2nd nature to her!
Right out of the box! :)
Gotta tell ya, it's pretty awesome!
The total of my new machine came to $960.00 after taxes. (we have a LOT of tax here, 13%). Paid in cash, paid in full. :)
I used my $100.00 that I had set aside for *me*, and I just received a very large custom order which will cover a good chunk of it after I buy supplies. What I have left to make up is about $450, which came out of our slush fund for now, and i'll work on replacing it and bumping up our slush fund back to $3K again as soon as I can!
Honestly I do feel a bit guilty about buying a new sewing machine and spending so much on myself as i've really been focused on saving money, but at the same time, it'll be sooo nice to have a sewing maching without "issues" that will carry me on through for years. The woman at the sewing shop figured i'd get maybe another 6-12 months out of my machine with my sewing daily, with it eventually having more and more problems. In the end, I think it's better that I upgraded now, rather than in 6-12 months of dealing with more issues and then I know I would have just settled for another 'cheap' machine at that point as I wouldn't have wanted to part with this much money.
Well, i'm over the moon excited to have a strong & dependable sewing machine now that'll hopefully last me for many enjoyable years of sewing!! Morgan will be using my Brother until it decides to give out, and i'll be using my new baby!
Today... I sew! ;)
Have you splurged on anything for yourself lately?
If so, do you feel guilty when you do?
PS - Any nasty comments WILL be deleted, not in the mood to deal with it, nor have the patience to defend my actions.
Well, not officially the wizard, but hubby & I are going to the Sewing Superstore to buy me a "Free Motion Sewing Foot" for my machine!! I've wanted one of these for a long time so i'm excited to finally get one! I called Brother today to see exactly what foot I needed, then found one in the city and we're going to grab it! I
"Clear Quilting Foot This foot is also called a darning foot and may be used as a free motion foot. The foot raises and lowers with the needle to allow fabric to be moved between stitches and to hold fabric in place while stitches are created. Requires a low shank adaptor. (Screw on Foot) Spring action foot ."
Exciting looking isn't it!? ;) lol! Ok, not really... but free motion quilting is awesome on every level and I think it'll add a lot to my creations!! I'll be able to eventually do more than just straight line or zig zag quilting! I'm pretty sure i'm going to need a good amount of practice, but i'm all for it!
This foot costs $29.99, not bad. The store we're going to also sells LOTS of nice sewing machines, so i'm going to take a look and see what they have to offer. I told hubby that i'd eventually love a new sewing machine, but really have no idea what I want or need, so i'll look, talk to the people working & dream a little for now! lol! They sell Bernina's ($$$$$) Pfaff, Singer, Janome, etc... Bernina's are the Rolls Royce of sewing machines (we're talking thousands of $$) so i'm sure i'll never own one, but I seriously can't wait to drool all over one! haha!!
I do have to ask about a couple issues my machine has been having which drives me batty though...
If i'm sewing through thick layers my machine will literally skip stitches.
Sometimes my machine sews itty bitty stitches forward & backwards when it should be sitting at the 3.5 stitch length.
So I don't know what this means... I didn't get my machine new, and i'm not sure how long my mom had it for. But for the amount of sewing I do, i'd love to have a reliable and dependable sewing machine.
Anyways, i'm off for now to pretty myself up and get myself to the sewing shop! I'll be back later to share what I bought! :) Enjoy your day!!
I don't *think* i've shown these creations yet, so I thought i'd show you what i've been working on lately.... :)
1. A custom ordered table runner in Navy, Red, & Grey!
Here's a closer look at the fabric... KONA red, crosshatch grey, and navy in pearl bracelet.
2. A set of Dr.Seuss quilted minky bibs...
I don't think I showed these?
I used the rest of these scraps for these...
The bottom one is my fave! Look how cute that Lorax is!! :)
3. A fabric basket for my mom...
Isn't this *GORGEOUS* fabric!? It's from the generous Virna!! :)
I've also taken to using fabric scraps for my cards... lol!****
I even "stamped"... haha!! And I tucked $50.00 for gardening stuff in the pocket... :)
I know a Gift Card would have been more couth, but I figured this way she could shop around for the best deals and not be stuck with wherever I got it from.
4. A hanging tea towel & hot pad...
This hot pad is made by "Quilt as you go" style.. isn't it the coolest? Should I do a tutorial on this style??
5. A cow print all-in-one wallet with a cell phone pocket & crossbody strap! :)
Love this combo that was chosen!!
Room for 6-12 credit cards/I.D cards, a slot for cash, coupons, chq. book...
A full sized zippered compartment as well!
Bright red pearl snap!
And a cell phone pocket!!
As you can see this is different that my usual *All-in-One* wallets. That's the thing with custom orders, you get what you want! :) One of the reasons I don't sell on Etsy, Ebay, etc... I prefer to let the customer choose exactly the features, fabric, styles they want! :)
And I think that covers everything i've done in the last week... on my sewing list now:
Red & aqua surprise for Joanna. *what to do, what to do...
Knitting needle case for Susan.
Toddler sized minky blanket.
Baby set in pink & grey.
12 Christmas baskets.
Mini *all-in-one* wallet. *need to pull fabric for this!
8 rainbow log cabin blocks for my quilt.
Fabric scrap swap. (not mine)
Spring sewing 'goodie' swap.
Something for ME with my *type* fabric!
That about covers it I think... :)
Have you been working on anything creative?
If you don't have a hobby is there something you've always wanted to learn but haven't?
Sewing supplies: $66.71 *I bought Morgan some items as well
*Total taken out of our slush fund was $221.07. Ouch!
*Total used from our weekly budget: $218.68 - I must have forgot a receipt or two somewhere, because we only have $4.00 and change left from last week.
Slush: $170.00 *this makes what I used from my slush fund "not so bad".
TFSA: $500.00 (yay!)
An 'ok' week I guess. We used a lot of our slush, but we were able to add a big chunk to savings which is nice.
This week we're looking at having $240.00 for the week. I've already been grocery shopping for the week, freezer is full, pantry is full, fridge has lots, and we're left with $90.00 for the rest of the week. I don't really have plans for the week, no holidays/birthdays that'll cost anything, and hopefully everyone stays healthy so we're able to stay within this amount.
It won't be a 'big' savings week I don't think. I have $25.00 i'm going to transfer over from Paypal, and $30.00 extra in the bank I can transfer. So in total i'll transfer over $55.00 to our slush fund and see how we do by the end of the week. I was also able to move another $50 into our TFSA towards our insurance premium to pay for next year. Maybe we can go a week without digging into the slush fund, which would be ideal as i'm going to be hard pressed to keep our slush fund up around $3K if we have to keep digging into it for this & that. When June kicks in, the only income i'll be able to save is whatever I can make on the side as our budget is as tight as it can possibly go.
I still need to save up $80.00 for Morgan's June guitar lessons. I'll see what orders I get in the next 2 weeks and if I don't earn enough i'll have to dig into our slush for them or see if I can squeeze it out of the next 2 weeks pays.
On another note, our ROGERS bill was $20.00 more than what I was told it would be 2 months ago. When I called to find out why, I was told that whey they gave me my new quote they left our our wireless bill. WHY would they do that!? I asked what our COMPLETE bill would be and yet they still left it out. SOO annoying because now I have to redo our budget which is already too tight and to make room for an extra $25.00 on our ROGERS bill. Our contract is up in December, and when it's up, we're looking elsewhere for services. I'm sooo fed up with ROGERS. It gets to be excruciatingly annoying dealing them every. single. month.
Anyways, I think that covers everything from the last week. I'm going to go SEW!!! It's been 3 days since i've had any sewing time and i'm starting to get withdrawl symptoms... ;) lol! Have a great day everyone!!
How is your budget going this month?
Staying on track or hitting some bumps in the road?
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