I am not going to lie, if something can be automated for me then yep I am taking that option. When it comes to sewing even having an automatic snip at the end of each line of sewing will save you lots of headspace and time, it's rocked my world.
So I had to buy a straight thread sewing machine the other day because as I am filming all these awesome teachers that have the most amazing sewing experience from working in the fashion industry for decades, I figured I had better get started implementing what I am learning to anchor it all in there. Repeat, repeat.
I have an idea of how do practice some techniques inbetween projects, or in leading up to the next project; zips and buttonhole length etc. use offcuts/cheap fabric from an op shop, trust me there's plenty of bad fabric offcuts out there that are good for this purpose use these as your sample fabric so grab a few weights when you go to the op shop.
Anyways back to a good sewing machine for beginners and automation. The level of automation in machines varies from basic to complex, but you can now get a base range as all good Brands are releasing machines with automation, some more than others and some way more than needed. Well for my sewing goals.
So, Brother sewing machines have done just that and I used their industrials which ran like a workhorse, so I figured let's check out their domestic range. They also happen to be very pro-sustainable as a company so I am interested in their vision, and their budget range so far is smart & easy to create shortcuts. It does what the more expensive sewing machines do but without to much embroidery features we just don't use for everyday sewing.
After filming Betty, one of our teachers, and the ease she had with her machine which had some automation features I liked, I decided to follow that well-beaten path, you know don't overcomplicate it.
A Great Sewing Machine For Beginners;
I actually rang Betty from the store just to check what key features my machine had to have and this has those and more. After some advice in store I settled on the Brother Innovis A Series range A150 Model. My reasoning for buying this machine was due to the fact it had an automatic cutter which trust me will speed up sewing projects. But there is a bucketload more it can do!!!
Here's my top 5 reasons for buying the Brother Innovise A150model.
1. The buttonhole automated sewing, OMG that baby allows you to simply put the button in the button footer and it will automatigically create the right size buttonhole for you. Shut the front the door, take my money. All you have to do is mark the placement of the buttonhole on the pattern piece.
If you are creating a buttonhole for say the Drawstring Pants, which by the way if you are new to sewing this is a super basic but crazy versatile pattern. You can sew one of these for everyone in the family and beyond until you feel you can take your training wheels off and go for the Grace Pants.
2. Automatic start stitch and cut off setting.
3. You can set the needle to always be down in the fabric, this is great on curves, adjusting fabric creep, pockets, zips, darts, etc. Then when you auto cut at the end you at no point had to pick up needs or adjust the pin position. #sewingskills Another time saver with sewing.
4. If you stuff something up just switch it on and off again like a laptop. Love this system.
5. Bobbin threading has had steps cut out of it & you can't accidentally break a needle anymore = less terror of making a basic error - that's the real gem of it. More Zen sewing. Easier.
6. There is little snips in thread end locations of both sewing and after sewing an hour you will realise just how cool this is = Efficient
7. It has an easy to set up Twin Needle for finishing Tshirts or other knit fabrics and you can sew just as fast as you would with a single needle.
How To Set Up & Start Using the Brother A150
The first issue I had with this machine was that even after reading that god damn whatever you call it Guide book which I swore was missing vital information inbetween steps, I couldn't connect them. I read the first part for 30 minutes just to make sure it wasn't me. So I organised a tutorial with Rhonda from Echidna Sewing where I have gone to get my machines because they offer ZipMoney and AfterPay, so they are my go to for any machines and they have been super awesome. Due to my impatience between buying and sewing, I made the boy a pair of house pants which turned out great but I know my tension wasn't right it might take about 30 washes but if the hems come undone I can just restitch them where and when needed.
Here is a run through of the basics of how to set up the Brother A Series 150 sewing machine and where I stopped seeing as something I have to study over. Having Rhonda from Echidna Sewing give me run through of how to get started sewing with this unit, I feel already a lot closer to love it.
Brother Innov-is A150 A Great Sewing Machine For Beginners Set Up Walk Through
Tip Like This Video In YouTube
Then it is saved to your liked videos and then if you ever need to watch it again you can find it faster there. Also, over time I am taking your questions and creating more and more tutorials in my YouTube Channel.
The rest of the instructions in the book should be easy to follow now you know this, if it isn't I will get more advice for the next level automation shortcuts. But this video is just a basic run through of threading the bobbin, buttonholes, setting the tension, working out the basics in the automation features that you will use in everyday sewing. Based on your feedback to this video, we will add more to our YouTube Channel to provide shortcuts to your questions and needs from starting out in sewing to the best insights.
So for a beginner who wants to get into sewing because they love it but at the moment suck at it, it's a process that feeling will pass, then this machine is a great start and keep going model.
I am going to do more reviews on different machines over time, but out of the gate for features and price point, 3 months in and I am still really super impressed with my purchase.
Juki MO-2000 - thank you ZipMoney!
Here are some other machines I have invested in because being a machinist as well as the designer for my own label for 12 years, I know how much these babies will save me time and Juki, one of my favourite industrial brands has bought out their own Domestic 4 thread overlocker. Don't get me wrong the zigzag stitch on the Brother A150 is enough for you if you are toe tipping, me I go all in bitches, it works for me as I usually force myself to learn alot in a short amount of time.
We will add a video run through of setting up these Overlockers so you have all you need to get going fast when you get your machines.
Sewing Machine Reviews;
So we will be adding these to the page as we go through the year, it is going to be a great resource for newbie sewists and to give tips in tricks to you beginner sewing students who are looking for the best basic sewing machines.
We have some great teachers in the team at both Sherlock Holmes and Echidna Sewing and I will be picking their brains to see what they recommend. These guys have been so generous with their time, any products I bought was paid for at full price so there is no sponsorship etc. going on, it's just pure love of the business from these guys they really love what they do and it's contagious.
During the year we are going to be doing some sewing Challenges and we are going to be giving away a few of these, maybe one for each design category; Pants, Skirts, Tops and Frocks/Dresses.
We will let you know through the newsletter so if you haven't signed up already, get to it.
Patterns To Get Your Learning To Sew FAST & Confidently
If you are new to sewing altogether, the pattern and video lessons for these designs will help you scale your confidence to go out there and sew whatever you like.
This is really super easy, and even though it has a zip, it's an easy zip. This pattern comes with a Tapered and Straightleg version as well, for those who don't love the wideleg of the 70's. This is an original 70's pattern we resized to fit size 8-22.
Then jump onto the Drawstring Pants; this has a couple of button holes on it but easy ones to start with.
Then you can do either the Grace Pants or the Aline Skirt and then go do anything else on my site as you will be flying with confidence. The Aline has an inseam pocket and the Grace Pants have a side pocket, they both have a zip and once you master zips your confidence will grow.
Once you can make this pattern, you can do anything on my site as it is, apart from the upcoming Jacket, the hardest design on my site.