be challenged

by kacia on 13 Mar ’14 · 4 comments

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I’ve had so much fun creating projects and tutorials for you guys — and I hope you’re enjoying them!  I have quite a few more in the pipeline, and I’m trying to keep them diverse as possible.

These last two projects have been created using the Brother Designio DZ1500F — it is a high speed straight stitch machine that is available on Amazon.  I know, what doesn’t Amazon have?  I don’t know about you, but I love Amazon for almost anything and everything.  There are times, however, when it’s a little scary making a large purchase without trying or testing or touching the product prior to hitting that 1-Click button.  Ah! the fear.

Well, I’m hoping that I can help you think through some of the features to look for when shopping for a new sewing machine.  I’ve been surprised by how this machine has become my go-to sewing machine, but I hope to be very clear about what separates this type of sewing machine from a computerized sewing machine and features you might be looking for.

I’ve been  sewing from a fairly young age.  I’ve been watching my mom sew since I was born on a cold day in February, yet I still find myself often getting into ruts with sewing, just as I do with other things.  Up until now, I didn’t have a sewing machine that pushed me to learn and do more.  I would stick to techniques I felt confident in, instead of pushing myself to learn new. 

I honestly didn’t even really think about that fact prior to trying this new machine.  I want to help you find the machine that fits your needs and challenges you to continually expand your sewing knowledge and skills. 

Today I want to focus on two new techniques this machine has pushed me to try — and love! — but first, I want to share a few features that have me completely swooning.  And of course features that now I couldn’t possibly live without. haha, kind of like accidentally getting a car with heated seats…I’m now horrified at the thought of not having them! 

Kidding.  Kinda.

No beeping. 

Because the DZ1500F is an industrial style workhorse machine, it plugs in and has 2 lights…and the technology basically ends there.  I love how quiet this machine is.  I love that it doesn’t beep angrily at me whenever I want to change a setting.  (I know my other sewing machines aren’t angry, but ah! that beeping!  I haven’t figured out how to turn it off.)

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Settings stay put. [Stitch length dial pictured above.]

Almost every setting is manually changed — stitch length, tension dials, feed dogs — you can turn your machine off without needing to remember where you last had your needle placement, what stitch length and width you last used….none of that!  It’s just sitting there, smiling at you and waiting for you to come back!  And you will.  Goodness this machine has me smitten.

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No need for the scissor scramble.  [Automatic thread cutter button pictured above.]

You know what I mean — you need to trim a thread and every sewing scissor you own has gone on vacation.  With the click of a button, the DZ1500F clips threads nice and close to your last stitch.  It’s magical.

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Easy needle position.  [Needle position indicator pictured above.]

I’ll be honest, I can never remember how to change my needle placement on my computerized machines.  Even though my 90% of the time, I want my needle to end in the down position, there are times when I’m working on a project that requires an up needle placement instead.  I love how simple the DZ1500F makes the switch — if the light is on?  Needle position down.  Light is off?  Needle position up.

The machine will default to light on at start, but simply clicking the button once will change your needle position until you either 1) change it back or 2) turn off your machine.  [So there is one setting that changes when you power down your machine!  :) ]

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Needle Felting Attachment [Needle felting attachment pictured above.]

This attachment intrigued me when I read about it in the description of the DZ1500F.  I’ll be honest, I was clueless about what this attachment would look like, how it would work, and what I could even do with it — but now I’m hooked!

Having a machine with the ability to push me in a skill I didn’t even really know existed has been an unexpected treat.

This attachment allows you to use both roving wool and wool felt to create appliqué-ish projects — although I think they are way more amazing.  In case you missed it, here is a simple project you could start with.

Wondering how on earth this attachment works?  See it in action here.

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Free Motion Quilting [Included free motion quilting foot pictured above.]

In addition to the needle felting attachment, the DZ1500F comes with 6 sewing feet.  When looking for a machine, it’s always important to note what accessories come with the purchase and what accessories will need to be purchased separately.  Just like with other purchases, the accessories can quickly add up if you need to purchase each item individually.  I love that this machine comes with quality sewing feet great for sewing at any skill — challenging beginners to play and try new techniques and fulfilling requirements and needs of the more experienced as well.

I have tried free motion quilting before, but I’ve never found success or fun in it.  Because the DZ1500F is simple in design, it’s super easy to remember the settings needed to make each technique successful.  No changing needle position — it doesn’t move.  No wondering how to lower the feed dogs, the dial is clearly marked.

Most of all, the speed, space and construction of this machine makes it incredibly versatile.  This machine will keep up with you as you improve your sewing skills and challenge you to do more.

I should probably give mine a name — any suggestions?

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What do you look for when buying a sewing machine?  Are you wanting to learn how to sew, but nervous to purchase?  Let me know what questions you have — and I’d love to do my best to answer them!  The DZ1500F might not be the perfect fit for you — maybe another machine is the right fit — or perhaps it’s exactly what you’ve been looking for!

xo
kaciasignature

 

 

I was sent the Brother DZ1500F machine to test and review and was compensated for this review post.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina March 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Kacia- love your review on your Brother machine… I am so jealous of all it’s features. I sew on my Grandma’s old Elna… but lucked out with having all the original feet for it. Can I share this post on my blog?

Thanks!

Reply

kacia March 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Absolutely, Katrina! i owe you a message!

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Nicole Roswarski April 24, 2014 at 3:02 am

Hi Kacia! I have followed you on IG for a while :),my name is Nicole and I am the founder of Two Little Fish. We make kids bedding and items out of fabric we buy from women in Africa. I just bought two machines and am still struggling on perfecting the art of quilting a large quilt, twin size, without the fabric shifting a lot and without it taking a ton of time to quilt. I need to quilt around 6-8 inches apart due to pricing. Any suggestions? I have an industrial machine, semi industrial, and Janome. As well as walking feet?!?! Do you use a large table to hold the weight of your heavy tops? Spray basting or pin? Do you think it is simply the distance between the quilt lines? So inspired by you!!

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kacia April 24, 2014 at 6:54 am

Hi Nicole!! *waves hello and gives a hug* :) I love what you guys are doing!!! My mom and dad go to Africa every year, and she makes bags from fabric she purchases! So I do have a few answers/suggestions, but feel free to email me too! [kacia at coconutrobot dot com]

So first off, I know that fabric is so hard to work with! And that is probably part of the problem — the weave of it lends itself to not really wanting to behave. :) So I would starch it when you are getting ready to do your quilt sandwich! I use spray basting [505 I order from Amazon] — and then I would even give that sandwich a quick iron if you’re able to, time wise. OR I would maybe try spray basting it to get it together — and then also doing some quilt pin basting to keep things a bit more aligned.

The other thought I have is if you did some sort of design, so maybe keep most of the lines about 8″ apart, but do 3 closer together randomly throughout? The time saves from it not shifting might make up for the closer quilt lines holding things together? I’m jealous and want to come play on that industrial machine!!

xoxo! Seriously tho – LOVE what you guys are doing!

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