Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Initial Impressions of the Brother Dreamweaver XE

I've had my Brother Dreamweaver XE for a week and have tried out a lot of the unique features already.

Day 1:
Turned it on, OMG this thing is mega mega bright with it's many LED lights, love it!

I figured out how to thread it via the on screen guide, and tried the automatic threader function. Swoon! It's so easy!
I sewed a little, then switched over to trying the embroidery function.

Pretty sure my most appreciated feature is the simplest though, having a knee lift is amazing. So much faster and totally natural!

First I needed an embroidery thread bobbin, no fear, I can now wind bobbins without unthreading the machine, and they auto wind, it "pops" like a toaster when it hits the requested fill.
Just using the onscreen editor I made a simple monogram complete with thread changes.
I easily aligned it in the hoop using the drop-light and sonic pen. Plus with the drop light you can see the embroidery path more clearly.

Then I tried one of the built-in Disney designs. I was disappointed to learn that you can't re size the Disney designs, at least not the Pooh bear I picked.Brother-Dreamweaver-XE-Sewing-Machine-015

I did not like that the ugly "© Disney" was at the end of the design and I was able to stop the machine before it stitched it.

I also created massive box-aster in the guestroom. oops.

Day 2: I got some digitizing software and used my "Hello Kirsti" logo font to create a stitchable logo design, and it worked! It was very easy to transfer my designs via USB from my computer to my machine.

Then I used a downloaded Redwork Cherry and a built in font to decorate some Danskin knock off Norts, very cute and easy! I LOVE the look of simple outline embroidery.
Day 3: Monday, I brought show n tell to work... yup I'm 10. My work friends loved it though =D

That night I designed some more monograms using fonts in my digitizing software, then hunted for objects I could hoop, and that if it didn't turn out well I'd be ok with it.

So I added a Vine monogram to my Hello Kitty Target basket.Brother-Dreamweaver-XE-Sewing-Machine-028
Then I added a mod monogram to a "Not A Kelly Bag" style tote. I hooped it a little crooked, but using the sonic pen, rotate, and "path preview" I got it perfectly placed and straight!

Then I had a right of passage... I broke my first needle on the canvas/stabilizer combination =(

No fear though I replaced the needle, then used the Needle +/- to find spot where the needle broke and easily resumed the project, you can't even tell!

Day 4: Applique!

I was brave when I tackled my first applique, I used a old T shirt, added a star fish shape, then I perfectly centered a T on the star fish. I dunno if I've absorbed enough Tennessee though, it wasn't until I stitched out that font in orange that I realized what I had done, that T is definitely for Tucker, not the UT Volunteers...Brother-Dreamweaver-XE-Sewing-Machine-044

Once I had my applique done I cut it out in the pattern shape, centering the star. Then I installed my move-it foot to tackle the tricky jersey + knit combination. It rolled right through and I kept a perfect seam allowance with the laser guide.
In fact I was so impressed with it I decided to top stitch the whole bib, and it turned out super cute =)

See my post about this bib pattern here.
Brother-Dreamweaver-XE-Sewing-Machine-049 Brother-Dreamweaver-XE-Sewing-Machine-048

Here's  Lil Tucker rockin his new bib, isn't he the cutest?

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More adventures coming soon!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dream Machine Dreams Come True

I've been sewing headband holders to fund my "Dream Machine" for two years, I finally got close enough to my goal to purchase my ultimate "Dream Machine."

I did tons of research and lots of searching for a "deal" on something similar but I always came back to "needing" the totally unique features of the Brother Dreamweaver XE (VM6200D). The exclusive to Brother/Babylock features are the Laser Seam Guide, Laser Drop Light for embroidery, Sonic Pen, and Muvit Foot, which is a dual feet foot that replaces the walking foot. See more on these features here.

I'm so glad I held out to purchase this machine, in the 5 days I've had this machine I used and loved all these unique features!

Being the techy-sewist I am I made an unboxing video of the machine since there weren't any good photos of what's in-the-box on the internet, please excuse my over the top excitement.

I've got some more initial impressions video to post as well, so look for those soon!

Also the fabric from my last post has already arrived and I'm super impressed with Fabric Mart, they shipped quick and everything comes stickered with exactly what it is, your invoice number, and the care instructions, can we get that at JoAnns too PLEASE!

Look for a post of my initial creations with the machine soon!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Upcoming Apparel Projects

So I found a new fabric shop to try via Pattern Review, by magically the following day they have a 50% off sale. So late last night after work and dinner at Granny's, with Mom consult via Google Talk I picked out tons of apparel fabric!

This morning I made a spreadsheet of my finds (yup, nerd status), complete with swatches, definitely a pro of shopping online is the instant picture AND the full description of what type of fabric it is! I also added the intended project, since I tend to forget that... I'm sure this will be handy and avoid "fabric bin diving" in the future.

So I ended up with fabric for 6 tops. Lots of chiffon since I love the sheer boxy tee over a tank look, so I guess I'll soon be a french seam pro!

I also got fabric for 3 dresses,  which I plan to make in the new Collette Myrtle pattern, and the popular Laurel pattern.

Guess I'm diving into apparel sewing!