products we love & products we hate

  • Dritz Magnetic Seam Guide
    Reviews,  Sewing,  Tutorials

    Perfect Seams? Try a Magnetic Seam Guide

    Magnetic seam guides are super handy tool for keeping your fabric aligned to help make perfectly straight seams. Typically, sewing patterns mention a seam allowance that should be used for the project. Quilting patterns often use a quarter inch seam allowance while fashion projects often use three eights of an inch or maybe half an inch. Lining up these standard seam allowances with a custom sewing machine foot or the lines on the sewing machine make it fairly easy to get a consistent seam. However, if it’s a non-standard seam allowance, it may be more difficult to keep your seams straight and perfect. This blog post contains affiliate links and…

  • Singer 6215C Sewing Machine
    Reviews,  Sewing,  Videos

    Singer 6215C Sewing Machine Showcase

    How to Thread the Singer 6215C Sewing Machine According to the manual, the Singer 6215C sewing machine is from 1984, so it was one of the newest sewing machines in my vintage collection. According to the International Sewing Machine Collectors’ Society, the Singer 6215 models were produced in Brazil between 1985 and 1989. It features the free arm sewing machine bed option, 8 built-in stitches, buttonholes, and a drop in bobbin. I won this item in an auction for 1 whole Canadian dollar – approximately $0.70 US.  I couldn’t resist when no one bid on it. It was described as functional, but it turned out that it had timing issues.…

  • Husqvarna 1070 Sewing Machine
    Reviews,  Sewing

    Husqvarna 1070 Sewing Machine Showcase

    Most of the sewing machine information I’ve been sharing on this blog are more “traditional” vintage sewing machines – gorgeous, all metal machines. However, this machine has grown on me, and I’ve come to choose it out of all my machines when I’m looking to do a decorative stitch. This is my first Husqvarna sewing machine, although I did share a Husqvarna serger with my mother when I was younger. I purchased this machine from the thrift store for $20, and over the years, I’ve invested in a new foot pedal, new standard feet and 1/4″ seam foot. A new walking foot attachment is actually tracking to arrive in the…

  • Viking 788P Sewing Machine Review and Demonstration
    Reviews,  Sewing,  Videos

    Eaton’s Viking 788P Vintage Sewing Machine

    This is the Viking 788P sewing machine.   Recently my husband was passing through Value Village when he spotted this machine in the electronics section.  He texted me immediately and told me it was a retro Viking sewing machine for $19.99.  The bobbin case, cord and foot pedal were all there.  It operated well – and did I want it? Of course, I had to try it out.  Both of us figured it was an older Husqvarna machine.  But no!  These two Viking brands are totally unrelated. After doing some research online, I found out that Viking was the store brand of the Canadian department store chain, Eaton’s, which went bankrupt…

  • Michaels $4 Grab Bag Haul - What Was the Value?!
    Reviews,  Videos

    Michaels Grab Bag Haul: September 2019

    Periodically, Michaels grab bags are available, where Michaels combine several products together in a mystery bag, package it together, and sell it all for $4.00 flat. They do this several times a year, but I’ve been unlucky with timing and they are always gone by the time I get over there.  I haven’t had the opportunity to purchase one for over five years!  My last bag was great, full of scrapbook stickers and various paper craft items, so I was hoping that this round would be as useful for the kind of crafts I like to make. This year, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she picked up…

  • White ESP Model 4000 Sewing Machine Guide
    Reviews,  Sewing,  Videos

    White ESP Model 4000 Computerized Sewing Machine Guide

    The latest sewing machine in my sewing machine collection is the White ESP model 4000 sewing machine. What attracted me to it was its small size – it’s no Featherweight, but while this sewing machine is in its case, it measures only 6 inches deep and 12.5” inches tall. After doing some research online, I learned that it was one of the first, if not THE first computerized sewing machines made by the White Sewing Machine Company, produced in the 1970s. This isn’t the type of sewing machine I usually seek out (I usually want them older), but I was pleasantly surprised with the smooth operation. I was walking down…

  • Singer Futura CE-200 - AUTOPUNCH Feature
    Reviews,  Sewing,  Videos

    How to Use the Autopunch Feature on the Singer Quantum Futura Embroidery Machine, CE-200

    I’ve wanted an embroidery machine for years, but the cost of these fantastic machines had always prevented me from taking the plunge.  That’s why when I saw this Singer Quantum Futura Embroidery machine pop up for auction on a local buy and sell group on Facebook with a starting bid of $150 back in October, I knew I wanted to get in on it. I heard that this was a good beginner machine, but the reviews were mixed online. This was the listing photo that pulled me in:   After the 24 hour auction with $1 increments was over, I won the bid at a whopping $152. Whoohoo! Getting the machine…

  • Donvier Ice Cream Maker - Retro Review
    Recipes,  Reviews,  Videos

    Retro Review: Donvier Ice Cream Maker

    I love going thrifting. Beyond salvaging sewing machines, I also love examining household products, the more retro the packaging the better. When I came across this Donvier Ice Cream Maker for just $2.99 at Value Village, I had to try it out. Donvier Ice Cream Maker Parts I opened the packaging in the store and thought it was all there, but unfortunately it was missing one part. The Donvier should come with the following pieces: The Case (essentially the outer plastic shell) The Chillfast Cylinder The Blade The Ring The Lid The Handle The Cap Mine was missing the ring, which is used as a seal between the case and…

  • Reviews,  Videos

    White 642 Domestic Sewing Machine Demonstration and Review

    Today I’m going to show you a demonstration of the White Model 642 Sewing Machine.  I picked this up from a thrift store a few years ago.  The dials on this machine operate a little differently than I was used to, so I thought I would share the settings I used to achieve different stitches in case you were having similar problems. Watch the video below for the full demonstration.  I go over the parts of the White 642 sewing machine, how to thread the machine, and the settings I use for each pattern.  I also show you the variation of stitches you can achieve purely by adjusting the stitch length…

  • Singer Tiny Serger - TS-380 Plus
    Reviews,  Videos

    Singer Tiny Serger TS-380 Plus Video Demonstration

    I spotted this Singer Tiny Serger in the display window of my local Value Village thrift store. It was tagged at what I feel was an unrealistic price for this plastic machine, $129.99. I watched the machine as it slowly came down in price over a few months, and I eventually scored it for just $29.99.  Good things come to those who wait! Singer Tiny Serger TS-380 Plus Video Review My Notes About the Tiny Serger The Tiny Serger works for what it is, but if you are doing a serious amount of sewing, I would recommend skipping this and purchasing a full-size serger. Why, you ask? The machine is…

  • Articles,  Community,  Reviews

    My Favourite Artisans at the One of a Kind Show (Spring 2017)

    Yesterday I attended the One of a Kind Show in Toronto.  This is my third time attending the show, and it always is a great time.  This season did not disappoint!  I always love seeing what other crafty people are making, and I absolutely love seeing how artisans create their customized booth setups. The Details Craft Show: One of a Kind Show ( Date: Wednesday March 29 to Sunday April 2, 2017 Location: Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto Size: 500 artisans My One of a Kind Show Haul I was a spectator this season due to being on an extremely strict budget (maternity leave problems, ha!).  I didn’t expect to…

  • Reviews

    Crafting with a Baby: My Favourite Products for a Crafty Mommy’s Sanity

    I was worried that after I had a baby that I wouldn’t have time to craft anymore. While I’ve certainly had to tone down my time at the sewing machine (my baby always is my priority!), nap time is the perfect time to get away for an hour or so to get a little me-time in. My son is almost 7 months now, and while the first few months were tough, we’ve fallen into a sleeping schedule that both allows baby to be thoroughly rested and mommy to get her crafting time and keep the house (moderately) clean. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. Full disclosure: If you happen…

  • Reviews,  Videos

    Sewing Machine Showcase – Singer 237

    I picked up the Singer 237, a gem of a basic sewing machine, while travelling to pick up my Singer Featherweight machine for my wedding anniversary.  While shopping for the Featherweight, I found this machine with its dirty case looking sad and lonely.  It was labeled with a sticker that simply said “not working, $9.99.”  I had a 30% off coupon so I figured I would take a chance on this machine and take it home with me; if worse came to worst, I could always donate it back to another thrift store locally to give someone else a shot. When I plugged in the machine, it actually did work but the tension was…

  • Reviews,  Sewing

    Sewing Machine Showcase – Singer 301

    My Singer 301 sewing machine has become my favourite sewing machine for piecing quilts.  It’s one that I would recommend to any quilter looking for a solid straight stitch machine. I never really sought out the Singer 301 – it wasn’t on my list of must-haves.  I had read great things about the machine, but I didn’t think that I actually needed to seek it out because I had machines that could do the same things that the 301 could.  So why did I add this machine to my collection? The Back Story of My Singer 301 I wrote a post recently about my two Singer Featherweight machines.  My first Featherweight was missing…

  • Articles,  Quilting,  Reviews

    What Tools Do You Need to Start Quilting?

    Quilting is one of my all time favourite crafty activities.  I’m always trying to get my friends started on quilting (with a few successful recruits, hooray!). What do you need to get started quilting? You don’t really need much to get started. People have been quilting long before fancy sewing machines have existed.  You can cut patches out of fabric with a standard pair of scissors, and sew together by hand with a needle and thread.  So the bare-bones list would be: fabric, scissors, needle, thread, and batting. But I’ll be honest: I hate hand sewing, and cutting out fabric patches with scissors would drive me crazy because it is…

  • Reviews,  Sewing

    Sewing Machine Showcase – Singer 99

    Last year while thrifting I picked up this vintage sewing machine with case. I was instantly drawn in by the case, which had this beautiful Singer handle and a two-colour design in beige and brown. I couldn’t resist bringing this machine home with me. The Singer 99K is the 3/4 size version of the Singer 66K that I already have in my collection.  I love having both of these machines because the 99 is like the little sister of the 66.  My 66 is in a cabinet while the 99 is fairly lightweight in comparison and is portable.  The base serves as both the base of the sewing machine and the…

  • Knitting and Crochet,  Reviews

    Singer 360K and Singer HK-100 Knitting Machine Unboxing

    As a fan of vintage sewing machines, I’m always on the lookout for vintage machines while out thrift shopping.  Earlier this year, I came across a set of mangled boxes in my local Salvation Army that featured the word “SINGER” prominently.  It caught my eye since the bulk of my VSM collection are Singers.  However, the main box was long and thin – no way was this a sewing machine! Upon opening, I realized that it was parts for a knitting machine, which I knew absolutely nothing about.  Usually my knitting is done by hand, not by machine. I ended up taking the boxes home with me, wondering what I was thinking…