Tsibiah’s Sewing School Lesson 2 – Types of Sewing Machines/How to Buy a Sewing Machine

Shalom Israel MHNCB,

If your following this class, good to see you back again.  If your new, Shalom MHNCB Welcome to the class! If your new & need to catch up you can click here for the Class Directory.

In today’s lesson we are going to talk about the basic sewing machine that you should start with.

So let’s get on with the lesson

Now there are many sewing machines out there, but lets narrow it down to five (5) categories:

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  1. Basic Mechanical Sewing Machine. You should definitely start with one of these.⇓Tsibiah's Sewing School - Supplies 101 Sewing/Serger Machine                                             Tsibiah's Sewing School - Supplies 101 Sewing/Machine
  2. Computerized Sewing Machines. Instead of knobs and levers these sewing machines change stitches at the press of a button along with some other cool features. But are really expensive.$$ ⇓
  3. Embroidery Machines ⇓
  4. Quilting Machines and at the very bottom a Long Arm Quilting Machine ⇓
  5. Serger/Over lock Machine. For Seam Finishes. The 3 to 5 threads of the machine stitch 1 to 2 straight construction stitches while the remaining threads loop around the raw edge of the fabric which is cut by the machine’s knife at your set seam allowance. It gives a professional finish on the inside of a project. The stitch’s formation also allows threads to stretch, making it ideal for knit fabrics as well.  But as I’ve said earlier you don’t need a serger. A lot of high-end clothes aren’t finished with a serger instead they are finished with many seam finishes which are so easy to do I’ll link a video Here on seam finishes without a serger. ⇓

For a beginner It’s always suggested that you begin with # 1 a basic sewing machine, but it also depends on what kind of sewing you are going to be doing. Are you going to be quilting then you need a quilting machine, are you going to be embroidering then your going to need an embroidery machine, and so on and so forth. But for basic sewing (and for these classes) just a basic sewing machine is necessary. And by Basic I mean not all the cool buttons and features, all you need is a machine that sews.

If you’ve read my Bio you’d already know that I started with a terrible old fashion industrial machine which by terrible I mean a nightmare (It was like trying to sew with a chainsaw). Anyways after that, I got my moms sewing machine that she had in the basement it was a Brother LS 1217,which in my opinion is a really easy machine to work with (considering the nightmare I went through with the industrial machine lol). I’m not sure you can find that machine anywhere anymore. But Brother also came out with a great beginner machine that I find is easier to work with and that would be the Brother JX 2517 and I even taught my siblings how to sew on those machines. So it really is an easy machine to work with.

Now whichever brand you choose to buy is up to you. Now me I’ve only worked with Brother sewing machines so I can’t talk to you about Singer or Janome etc. While all sewing machine do basically the same thing some machine brands work very differently.

Buying A Sewing Machine

If your buying a sewing machine online, make sure it’s from a trusted source so you don’t end up with a crappy machine.

It’s better to buy a sewing machine in store, so that you can see the machine and test it out rather than buying online and deciding later you don’t really like the machine.

Please, Please, Please, Keep an eye out for Sales at your local crafting store like Joanns, Michaels, Hobby Lobby Etc.

There’s nothing worse than having to take out an arm and a leg for a pile of metal and plastic, look for bargains, sales, & Use Coupons (if you can).

As a beginner you should spend no more than about $60-$180 on a new sewing machine.

I bought my Brother Jx2517 Sewing Machine for $70 at Walmart. 😉

I can’t tell you which brand is the best to buy as there is no one perfect machine but I can give you some tips on how to choose the perfect sewing machine for you & what you should be considering & looking for while you’re machine shopping.

  • Skill Level
  • Sewing Style
  • Sewing Interests
  • Etc..

The first thing you should consider when machine shopping is,

What kind of sewing will I be doing? – Sewing Interests.

  • Will I be sewing Curtains, Jackets, Rugs, Upholstery, Decor towels, Stuffed animals, Heavy Thick Fabrics, Leather, Denim, etc…

Then you will need a Heavy Duty Machine.

  • Will I be sewing Clothes, Undergarments, Gloves, Cotton, Silks, etc…

Then you will need either a Basic Mechanical Sewing Machine OR a Basic Computerized Sewing Machine.

The kind of Sewing you intend on doing will determine what kind of sewing machine you need to buy $.

What is my sewing expertise? – Skill Level

If you are just getting started, and you’re not sure if you’ll really like sewing. You’re just testing it out, then you just need an inexpensive machine with just *4 Basic stitches,

*Straight Stitch 

*A Zig Zag Stitch 




*Buttonhole Function

It’s best if you can adjust the stitch Length & Width on your machine & Move the Needle Position to left or right and centered.

However if you plan on developing  your skills, you should get a machine that has the 4 basic stitches along with a wider range of stitches, accessories and functions.

¡Remember you can’t add Extra stitches and functions later, so think ahead!

If you already have a sewing machine, Do you like it? What features do you wish it could have? Do you want to replace your machine with a newer model or with similar features?

If you already have a machine and/or are planing to upgrade just think about what you would like your current machine to have such as,

  • Built in needle threader
  • Automatic End-Of-Stitch Features

  • Better lighting
  • Special Layered Fabric Feeding System

  • Easy buttonhole maker
  • Easy portability
  • Simplicity and ease of use
  • Auto-thread snipping
  • Programmable stitch patterns
  • Automatic rolled hems, seams, and other common sewing chores that need to be accomplished etc…

If you have been sewing for a while you know which features you would like to get on your next machine to make sewing easier and faster for more efficient sewing.

However if you are a beginner buying a basic sewing machine and sewing for a while will help you determine what features you would like if you ever plan on upgrading.

A good tip would be to borrow a sewing machine from a friend or relative, and practice sewing to see what features you would like your sewing machine to have. Also ask the person for their advise on purchasing a sewing machine.

What is my Price Range?

Whatever your budget, there is a machine that will give you hours of sewing satisfaction and suit your wants and needs. You can always start out with a modest machine and trade up as your sewing skills improve. If you have your heart set on a particular machine but can’t afford the newest version, check out the classified ads, garage sales, tag sales, estate sales, yard sales, online auction sites for bargains on a used machine. Get to know the machine before you shop so you will know if there are missing parts or feet.

Again Keep an eye out for Sales at your local craft store.

  • Get the best machine you can for what you can spend: Quality & Durability
  • Get a machine you can grow into, but not so big that you feel intimidated to use it or feel baffled by unnecessary features
  • Gather as much information as you can and choose the right machine for you. Don’t feel rushed or pressured. (As sometimes someone at the store will try and pressure you to buy a machine, don’t let that happen)

Where can I find out how to get the best from my machine?

The Sewing Machine’s Manual is key to getting to know your machine and get the best performance.

If your manual is missing, contact the manufacturer for a new one. To ensure that you get the right manual, include the model number of your machine with your request. The number is usually stamped on a small metal plate secured to the machine. On a free arm machine, the plate is located to the back of the machine; on a flat bed machine, it is located on the front.

In fact, sewing machine manufacturers estimate that 80% of all expensive repairs could be avoided if owners would read and follow the guidelines in the manual.

Tip: Visit a specialist retailer for advice on buying a sewing machine and take the chance to try out as many different models as possible. Testing the machine’s buttonhole function is a good way to check that it makes even, balanced stitches in all directions. Take a variety of fabric swatches with you when you test-sew.

Buying A Serger

Don’t Buy a Serger just yet!

If you don’t plan on sewing in the long run you don’t want to waste money on investing in one that you don’t plan on using. Again most professionals don’t even use a Serger. Here is a video on Seam Finishes without a serger.

Here are some things to consider when deciding if you should buying a Serger:

  • A Serger will not replace a conventional sewing machine. However it will save you the time that you would otherwise spend finishing off raw edges and is useful for creating special effects, so it is worth investing in one if you plan to do a lot of sewing.
  • Some of the less expensive sergers may stretch the fabric and pucker as you stitch. This is quite a common problem so be sure to try out several models before you buy.
  • Some Sergers use standard sewing machine needles, but many models use special needles, so make sure these are easy to find and purchase.
  • For more sewing options, choose a machine with differential feed. This will enable you, for example, to adjust the feed when working with knits to obtain a good flat seam, to speed up the feed to create a ruffle on single layer of woven fabric, or to create a waved edge effect.
  • There are now several lightweight inexpensive sergers on the market, but be very wary of these. A serger is designed to sew at quite a rate, so it needs some weight to keep it firm and steady on the table. A very light machine may start to jump around as you speed up, which can be dangerous.

Sewing Space.

Don’t buy a Ginormous sewing machine if you don’t have the space for it in your house. Make sure you have every thing organized.

You need a place designated for sewing, it doesn’t have to be fancy and elaborate but you have to have your sewing machine set up and ready to go whenever you feel like sewing. I remember when I began sewing I didn’t have a designated space so every time I began sewing I had to steal a table from somewhere and pull out my sewing machine from it’s case and it just became burdensome. So now that I have a designated sewing space my sewing machine is all set up and ready, so I can just get started on my project with no delay.

Also If your moving your sewing machine around a lot it could get dings and bangs and slowly wear out, so have a place for your sewing machine and don’t forget to cover it so it doesn’t get dusty. (We’ll have a class on Sewing Machine Maintenance)

  • Have good lighting
  • Set up your Iron & Ironing Board nearby
  • Have your sewing kit handy nearby
  • Find a comfy convenient corner where you can keep out your equipment and work in progress without disrupting the rest of the household.
  • Convenient electrical outlets for sewing machine and your iron, are essential.
  • Do hang up garments under construction between work sessions so that they do not crease, and use padded hangers to avoid hard creases and folds.
  • Ideally your working area should be chosen so you have the benefit of as much natural light as possible or use a lot of artificial lighting.
  • Keep your work space tidy and organized at all times use plastic bins, baskets, rolling carts etc..


Features to  look for when machine shopping:

  • Free Arm
  • Automatic button holes
  • Assorted Presser Feet
  • Adjustable Foot Pressure
  • Adjustable Thread Tension
  • Adjustable Stitch Length & Width
  • Adjustable Machine Needle Position

Choose a machine within your price range, skill level (keeping in mind you can’t add Extra stitches and functions later), & Sewing Space.

So now that you know a little bit about Sewing Machines, hopefully that will help you in your machine buying process.

If you have any Questions Comment down below.

Psstt. At the end of this course you will get a certificate if you show your work (In the Sewing School Group) for each class where homework is given.

The classes will be right here on my blog (for free 😉 ). Follow me via email, or Join my Face book group to be notified every time the class is posted.

In our next lesson we will learn about, Sewing Machine Anatomy. See you in our next class! Enjoy, Study and Learn!

 Join Tsibiah Israel’s Sewing School  –  Group on Facebook

Shalom Ladies MHNCB!

Tsibiah’s Sewing School – Crash Course- Thread 101

Shalom MHNCB,

If your following this class, good to see you back again.  If your new, Shalom Welcome to the class! If you need to catch up you can click here to go to the Class Directory to catch up! .

Today class will be about: 

Thread 101

When starting a sewing project you always have to set up your sewing machine, and in doing so you have to thread your machine right. But what thread do you use? Thread is something you don’t really put much thought into you just put some all-purpose thread and call it a day. Yet your garment could come out a lot and I mean a lot more professional looking if you use:

  • a better quality thread
  • the appropriate thread for the project
  • thread that will not damage your fabric
  • and most importantly the weight of the thread, yes threads have weight

Yet the most important thing to remember when purchasing thread is to buy quality thread. How to tell the quality of thread? When your shopping for thread, pick up a spool of thread that’s priced really cheap (the kind of thread that priced “to good to be true”) and compare it to a more expensive brand name thread. You will notice the “fuzzies” on the cheaper thread that’s a sign that the thread is made from cheap and short fibers. This type of thread will fray and break as soon as you begin sewing with it. It’ll also let out a lot of bits of lint that will clog up your sewing machine.

There are different types of threads at the craft store and these are a few of the threads you might run into, and some you didn’t know you can use for sewing:

  1. A regular spool of thread: This is the thread you will see almost everywhere where there’s a sewing aisle and it comes in fibers such as: Polyester, cotton-covered polyester, and more. Make sure that you use the best quality cotton thread for your project.Thread
  2. Cone Thread: This thread is used for sergers/overlockers because they bring about 3,000 yards of thread, and sergers use a lot of thread. Usually they come in 100% polyester or 100% cotton.Tsibiah's Sewing School - Thread 101 - Cone Thread Serger/Over-Locker
  3. Buttonhole Thread: It’s a heavyweight thread that is commonly made with three-ply silk and is more durable than construction thread. You use this thread to sew buttons onto your projects.Tsibiah's Sewing School - Thread 101 - Buttonhole Thread
  4. Embroidery Thread/Floss: Used for embroidery but you can also use it to decorate your dress or poncho etc… There’s also machine embroidery which uses Embroidery Thread which is very different from Embroidery Floss. Embroidery floss has 6-strands of thread so you can choose how thick or thin you want your stitch to be, usually of cotton but also manufactured in silk, linen, and rayon
  5. Yarn: Used mostly for knitting but yes it can be used on a serger/overlocker machine. There are many varieties of yarn such as: Wool (Lamb’s wool, Merino wool, Pure new wool/virgin wool, Shetland wool, Icelandic wool, Washable wool), Fleece, Silk, cotton, linen, rayon, synthetic, Novelty (Ribbon, Boucle’, Chenille, Thick-Thin, Railroad ribbon, Faux fur) Specialty (Tweed, Heather, Marled(ragg) Variegated) and the list goes on and on. In order to use it on a serger/overlocker machine the yarn has to be smooth,and tightly twisted to feed evenly through the machine. It also must be fine enough (small/thin enough, not chunky yarn) to thread through the eye of the upper looper easily and strong enough to feed through the thread guides. Yarn tends to stretch as it is sewn, so you might have to loosen the thread tension completely.
  6. Decorative Threads such as: Fine monofilament nylon, Top stitching thread, Metallic threads, Woolly Nylon Thread, Rayon and silk, Crochet thread, Pearl cotton (which is also used for embroidery) Ribbon up to 1/4″ (6 mm) wide can be used if it’s lightweight, soft and pliable, such as ribbons designed for knitting. You may also find knitting ribbon on spools, cards, or cones. It’s available in acrylic, cotton rayon, and silk. Polyester ribbon is usually not pliable enough to be used in the looper, but can be laid flat and over edged with a serged stitch for a decorative effect.

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  7. Elastic Thread: Used for shirring  Check out this video on how to sew shirring.
  8. Jute and Twine, Rope, Pastele Thread: Jute and Twine can be used for sewing upholstery as well as piping/cording. Rope can be used to make a rope baskets and used as piping/cording  etc.. Pastele Thread can be used for gathering fabric etc..

Yet there are many more types of thread out there that you can incorporate into sewing. The options are endless.

Don’t forget to study and memorize as much as you can & take notes.


Test out & Play with different kinds of thread without breaking your machine 😉

  • Make your own piping
  • Shirr a piece of square fabric,  8 X 8″ Square
  • Take pics & upload them to the sewing group with the hashtag #Tsibiahisraelsewingschoolhomework

Psstt. At the end of this course you will get a certificate if you show your work (In the Sewing School Group) for each class where homework is given.

The classes will be right here on my blog (for free). Follow me via email, or Join my Face book group to be notified every time the class is posted.

 Join Tsibiah Israel’s Sewing School  –  Group on Facebook

Shalom Ladies MHNCB!

Tsibiah’s Sewing School – Lesson 1 Pt. 1 Basic Sewing Kit – An Israelite Seamstress Series

Shalom Israel MHNCB

In this lesson we are going to go over the basic sewing tools that you will need to get for sewing school and for sewing in general.

Let’s Begin!

  1. Fabric Scissors
  2. Paper Scissors; which ever brand you choose to go with is up to you and your pocket as fabric scissors tend to be on the pricey side, but you will need fabric scissors designated for only fabric. Never use your fabric scissors for paper or visa versa. Using fabric scissors for paper will dull your fabric scissors, and using your paper scissors for fabric will damage your fabric.
  3. Thread; begin with a basic black and white once you begin sewing garments you can expand your thread collection.Tsibiah's Sewing School - Basic Sewing Kit
  4. Pins & Pincushion; the pins with the colored ball tips are the best ones to begin with, along with the classic tomato pin cushion.
  5. Needles; Hand Sewing Needles & Machine Sewing Needles; machine needles come in many size and for many fabrics, start with a universal pack, and a basic hand sewing needle set.
  6. Bobbins; depending on the machine you’ll either buy the plastic bobbins or the metal bobbins, also check which size bobbins your machine uses.
  7. Measuring Tape; make sure to buy the Fiber-Glass plastic ones not the fabric ones,as they will stretch and disfigure.
  8. Seam Ripper you may want to buy at least 3 of these as they tend to dull out from much use. 
  9. Marking Tools; Tailors Chalk and/or Fabric Marker; depending on your preference, I prefer chalk cause sometimes the fabric marker might not come off your fabric. I’ve had a bad experience with fabric markers in the past.


Optional helpful tools:

  1. Magnetic Seam Guide; helps you cheat when pratice sewing.Tsibiah's Sewing School - Basic Sewing Kit
  2. Sliding Seam Gauge

Tsibiah's Sewing School - Basic Sewing Kit

Check out Crafty Gemini’s Must-Have Beginner Sewing Supplies Video

 ∴Organizing and storing your sewing supplies∴

I’ll touch on this briefly as we are going to have a class on staying organized. There are many ways to store your sewing supplies. You can check out my post on the many ways of storing your sewing supplies Here and the way I store my sewing supplies Here.

Here are ideas and some inspiration on how to store and organize your sewing supplies.

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And if you are really serious about sewing you might be considering a sewing studio or a corner of your room designated for sewing, here is some inspiration for ya.

Shalom MHNCB








Sewing Rooms Inspiration Pt 1

Shalom Sisters MHNCB, Welcome back to my blog. I Hope your doing  well!

If your like me and sometimes might  run out of a little inspiration, this is what I do to give myself back that surge of sewing energy.

I love looking at pictures and videos of sewing rooms, I don’t know why but its something that just gives me that tingly feeling to start sewing if I get bored or discouraged. It happens sometimes after you’ve sewn for a while that you just loose inspiration but you must get it back!

So for me one of the ways I get back my sewing tingly feeling is just simply looking at sewing rooms, and sometimes I’ll be so inspired that I’ll actually go into my sewing space and redecorate/redesign my room. And with the web there are so many ways you can get inspired to design and decorate your sewing room!

This room is my all time favorite, I call it the Minimalist Design.

My favorite sewing rooms are the ones with the less ‘stuff’ in them. Minimalist.

I like how this one has so much light and then in the summer, Fresh Air!
I love how the washer and dryer are in the sewing room as they play a big part in the sewing/designing proccess.
This sewing room just has the bare essentials, Love it!

Below are some sewing rooms that are just Beautiful!

Ohh and don’t even get me started on Mimi G’s Studio/Closet. I just love it!! If you have not seen it check it out HERE

Here are also some of my favorite Youtubers/Sewers, Studios/Sewing Rooms!







Disclaimer: I own none of the pictures above they're just pictures I found on 
Google, If you own any of the pictures above you can contact me so I can  link 
the picture to your blog or website ;) Shalom.