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I have owned a PE150 embroidery machine for a long time now. It is the perfect accompaniment to my larger Brother Galaxy 3000 machine. The PE150 is highly portable and easily stored so great for those of you who do craft fairs or are limited on space. Ok, so the PE150 only has an embroidery area of 100mm x 100mm but this area is big enough for most projects such as personalising garments with names or motifs and embroidering logos etc. You could always invest in a multi position hoop which enables you to stitch a larger area to get over this problem. The machine has many designs already loaded and it has a great set of alphabets which are really useful for most projects. If you wish you can buy design cards from brother stockists (loads are always for sale on ebay as well). These insert into the side of the machine to increase your capabilities. Be aware that these designs are all copyrighted so if you are planning to sell your creations you are advised to design your own. Brother has software available for you to design your own designs which is well worth investigating if you want to expand the usefulness of the machine. They also do a basic version which opens up the possibility of downloading designs from the internet - very useful! All in all this is a great little machine for starters or for those who want a lightweight portable machine to accompany a larger machine. I love mine so I highly recommend it!
As I have my review for the brother PE150 sewing machine in general sewing my general sewing opinion will be here! Nowadays unless you can pick up a fabric bargain in the sales it is not generally cheaper to make you own clothes however there are ways around this. I still make clothes for kids nieces, my nephews and myself. Children’s clothes can still be fairly cheap to make. Above all I enjoy it. I buy my fabric from lots of places. I look out for fabric shops, which sell end of season fabric for ridiculously low prices. A good place with a lot of stores over the country is Material World. They often have fabric for £1 or £2 a metre and although there can be a lot of tat in the selection there is generally a lot of excellent quality fabric as well. For those close to North London B&A Fabrics in Burnt Oak are great and often have fabrics a season ahead of the shops @ £5.00 for 3metres. For those in North Wales a fabulous place I wish I could get to more, The Fabric Mill in Prestatyn. They have unbelievable bargains. I once got some army camouflage for 5p a metre and no that’s not a typing error 5 pence. I also go into all the charity shops, you’d be amazed at the fabric they get donated. I once picked up a roll of fabric for £2.00, which I coved my sofa with and I often get 2 metre pieces of fabric I could never afford- or cannot bring my self to buy- for two to three pounds. One aspect of dressmaking that people do not generally think of especially with the childrens clothes is the environmental aspect. I have recycled many clothes by unpicking adult items and using the fabric from these to make childrens dresses shorts tops etc. A full gathered skirt is the best value as you could even make an adult straight or A-line skirt from a gathered one. Don’t forget you can turn trousers or dungarees into shorts. One pair of trousers for a youngster can last up to two years as opposed to 3 months by doing this. You can also save money by cutting off all buttons elastic and zips before throwing clothes out. Don’t automatically throw the garment away, shirts can be used for pocket linings and if you really don’t have a use for the garment take it to a charity shop as they recycle them for rags. The Sewing Machine As long as you machine does straight stitch you’ll be able to sew and one with only this is a good start if you’re not sure if you’ll enjoy it. A zigzag stitch does come in handy as does a buttonhole feature but they are not essential. I f you do get into it though a zigzag stitch can be used for over locking without the expense of another machine. Scissors You need two good pairs of scissors one for cutting your patterns out and one for fabric. Never use your dressmaking scissors on paper, as you will blunt them. A good mid range price pair of dressmaking scissors are Fisskars soft touch dressmaking scissors. The handles are slightly different from normal scissors but have the added advantage of the ability to be used by left and right-handed beings. Patterns Paper patterns can be expensive but check out markets and charity shops. Where you will get end of ranges or patterns no one has used. Most pattern companies have promotions every so often where their patterns will be cheaper @ 25% or 50% off. Phone around to see. The pattern magazines like Vogue and Butterick often have offers to buy one pattern get one free If you are in no hurry to make an item make a note of the pattern you like and wait for it to be on offer. The sewing area A gate leg table is a great idea as this can be used for a cutting out table as well as a dining table and it does fold away so you have space when not in use. Do try and find a corner some where that you can keep your machine up at all times though as I find I sew more as I don’t have the hassle of getting the machine out and can g o to it for quick repairs or just half an hour of sewing if the urge grabs me. Storage I have found the best item for storing sewing equipment is a tool box. Depending upon how much stuff you have will depend upon the one for you. The reason they are so good is that they generally have compartments or trays so that you can put everything in a place. If you ever take your sewing equipment elsewhere that the two-storey tool box on wheels is the one for you. There are many versions and this is the type of toolbox I have. I like it because it’s on wheels ( easy manoeuvrability) has two large tool boxes which separate when needed, compartments on top for my pins tape measures etc and a pull out screw box at the front that I use for my needles bobbins and sewing machine bits but you could use it for buttons. There is also a tray in the top toolbox for my scissors. It is as if it was made for us sewers. The best thing about sewing for me is the chance to give a gift truly made with thought. You also get to make originals as many may have the same pattern as you or even the same fabric but it is rare for two people to combine the same two. Just think of all the clothes you’ve put off buying because they’re too long or wide. Never again, a quick snip and sew and they fit. Having said that I find it easier to make garment from scratch than to alter anything other than a hem. Beware though if you do get the sewing bug you will find yourself buying more fabric then you need because you get voices in your head saying “it’s such a good buy” or “I’m not sure what I’ll do with it but it’s gorgeous I’ll find a use for it later”. As you may have gathered from that comment. I have boxes and boxes of fabric as well as boxes and boxes of patterns. So beware the sewing bug as it can and will overtake your house.
The PE-150 offers many features for the home embroiderer