Sunday, 16 July 2017

Juki HZL-27Z Electric Sewing Machine Review

Juki HZL-27Z Electric Sewing Machine

The Juki HZL-27Z is a durable sewing machine that beginners can learn to sew on. With automatic features and support to help you learn, this lightweight sewing machine can sew through thick fabrics with ease. While it lacks some accessories and features that beginners find helpful, you can learn the basics of it.
PROS / This durable machine powers through tough fabrics and is reasonably priced.
CONS / It lacks several features that beginners find particularly helpful, such as adjustable speed or a start and stop button.

Features Of The Juki HZL-27Z Sewing Machine

The electric sewing machine has some automatic features that can be particularly helpful when you are first beginning to learn how to sew. The automatic needle threader and bobbin winder help you complete common sewing tasks quickly and efficiently. The machine also has twin needle capabilities so you can hem clothing with ease.

Automatic Needle Threader
Automatic Needle Threader
Simply lower the lever and turn it back and forth. This single action makes it easy to thread the needle.

White LED Light

White LED Light
Brightens the needle entry area. LED light will not heat up even during long operations.

Easy Drop-in Bobbin
Easy Drop-in Bobbin
It is simple to prepare the bobbin thread and to clean the hook area. The remaining amount of bobbin thread is visible through the transparent cover.
Free Arm

Free Arm
The accessory box slides off for free arm sewing. Standard accessory parts can be neatly stored in the box.

 Large and Easy-to-Use Reverse Stitch Lever
Large and Easy-To-Use Stitch Selector and Reverse Feed Lever
Stitch patterns can be selected by the large, easy to operate dial. The Reverse Feed Lever is also conveniently larger for simple operation.
4 Step Buttonholing
4 Step Buttonholing - Snap on, close the button tray to set the buttonhole size, and sew this way. Step 1 - Sew 4 or 5 bartack stitches. Step 2 - Sew forward to the end of the buttonhole length. Step 3 - Sew 4 or 5 bartack stitches. Step 4 - Sew backwards to the beginning of the buttonhole mark.
7-Point Feed Dog
7-Point Feed Dog
From light-weight material to denim. 2 extra Feed Dogs are located in front of the needle entry hole. With the 7-point feed dog the machine feeds any lightweight to heavyweight materials consistently.
Easy Multiple Layer Sewing Start
Easy Sewing Start
Push the black button at the presser foot and make it parallel to the throat plate. This makes it easy to start sewing multiple layers of fabric or overlapped materials.

Pros And Cons Of Juki HZL-27Z Sewing Machine

Unfortunately, this simple sewing machine only has one buttonhole style, and it uses a four-step buttonhole operation. Four-step buttonholes require you to manually measure the size of the button and mark the fabric with the proper dimensions. It will stop stitching after each part, and you must turn the dial to the next step before sewing. The drawback is that you must repeat this to sew additional identical-sized buttonholes. Additionally, you also control the tension of the machine using a dial.
Despite the Juki's durability, it only weighs 13 pounds, which helps it serve as an effective portable sewing machine. Although this machine does not include a transportation case or a handle, it has standard design features including a sewing light, free arm and built-in thread cutter. The machine also features a drop-in bobbin enclosed in a clear case. It is easy to load, and you can replace the thread before it runs out.
Juki’s sewing machine lacks a start and stop button, which means you can only sew using the foot controller. Likewise, it does not come with an extension table to equip the machine for larger projects.
The easy-to-use sewing machine comes with few accessories. The Juki includes both standard and buttonhole feet. Because the machine comes with only two presser feet, you will have to purchase additional feet for most projects. This machine does include needles, bobbins, a screwdriver, spool cap, seam ripper and brush. Additionally, a soft cover protects the sewing machine from dust.
Juki's warranty covers the machine’s motors, light assembly, wiring, switches, circuit boards and speed control for two years after the original purchase date. The rest of the parts are covered by a five-year warranty.

Our Conclusion

 The price is nice but other machines outshine this one in terms of stitch pattern variety and sewing speed, as well as ease of use features like adjustable speed and a digital display.

The Juki HZL-27Z sewing machine has the features and capabilities to complete difficult sewing projects. Unlike other machines in its price range, this sewing machine works through thick denim with ease. As a sewing machine for beginners, it only has 22 stitch patterns with a sewing speed of 550 stitches per minute.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Singer 1304 Start Sewing Machine Review

Singer 1304 Start Basic Everyday Free-Arm Sewing Machine

Singer needs no introduction when it comes to sewing machines. In fact, it seems to have been the most attached brand when it comes to sewers. From bigger manual Singer sewing machines comes a compact and portable model like the Singer 1304
For those looking for new sewing machines or thinking of purchasing a Singer 1304, let this review be your buying guide.

The Singer 1304 Start Basic Everyday Free-Arm Sewing Machine
The Singer 1304 Sewing Machine is a compact and portable machine suited for beginners and starters. With Singer, customers are assured of a reliable sewing machine. It is equipped with key features that let sewers saves time and makes sewing less intimidating and enjoyable. Singer 1304 Sewing Machine is one of the most affordable and pocket-friendly sewing machines in the market today.

Features Of The Singer 1304 Sewing Machine

The Singer 1304 Start Basic Everyday Free-Arm Sewing Machine belongs to the new breed of sewing machines. Automatic, built-ins, and lightweight. Its name practically gives customers a clear idea about this machine.
This machine only weighs 9.8 pounds with a dimension of 13x7x11.5 inches. Like its contemporary, Singer 1304 has an easy thread system, stitch selection of 6 built-in stitches, and an automatic 4-step buttonhole.
When buying this sewing machine, it comes with free accessories like a 3-snap presser foot along with others safely stored in a compartment. Its free-arm is convertible and can be removed to give way for certain sewing needs like sewing hems, collars, and cuffs.

Benefits Of The Singer 1304

This particular model is targeting novice and those who are new in sewing. Its automatic set-ups like threading are great for beginners. The types of stitches is sufficient for hobbyists since you don’t need a lot of stitch styles in your dressmaking and home furnishing projects. The features of the Singer 1304 makes a novice feel like an experienced dressmaker and tailor.
Setting up the machine like the cord from the machine to the power source or the foot presser is simple that you start sewing right after you receive this product.

Pros And Cons

It is a no-frills machine for people who want non-complex machines and just want to start with their repairs, alterations, and projects. It is lightweight and portable, thus you don’t need a big space to accommodate your Singer 1304-Start Basic Everyday Free-Arm Sewing Machine.
On the other hand, the common issue raised by consumers about the Singer 1304 is their instructional guide. The accompanying instruction is not easy to understand. Some customers have reported to checking videos just to follow the right instruction. It would be great if they can have a free DVD Cd for tutorials too.
The machine doesn’t have a dust cover; you have to buy it separately. Since other brands have dust covers included, this will also be a good idea.
The needles included are great for most fabrics but for fabrics like upholstery, denim, corduroy, and other heavy-duty fabrics, you need to buy the applicable and correct needles.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Singer 1304 Sewing Machine

Q:Can you sew buttons using the Singer 1304?
A:Yes, you can. The instructions will show you how to do it.
Q:Does it have plastic bobbins?
A:Yes, the bobbins are plastic.
Q:Will the Singer 1304 sew through fleece?
A:With the the right needle and thread, the Singer 1304 sewing machine can handle fleece.

Our Conclusion

The Singer 1304 is one of the best sewing machines out in the market specifically for beginners. However, this doesn’t mean that experienced dressmakers and seamstresses cannot use this machine. As long as you are not in a commercial scale or into more intricate designs, this machine can do that job.
The price is affordable and the brand is a good security to all costumers. The key here is to set your expectations from this machine’s specs, features, and price.
Singer 1304 Start Basic Everyday Free-Arm Sewing Machine

Monday, 3 July 2017

Your Guide to Understanding the Different Kinds of Sewing Needles

Knowing which sewing needle is needed for the fabric or project that you are working on can be overwhelming, especially if you are just starting out. The type of needle is important, because if you use the wrong needle you could damage your fabric. After this guide you will be able to tell which needle you will need for each project. Throughout this guide I will use the singer needles as examples.

Needle Anatomy

Needle Anatomy
Wow, that is an intimidating chart. So lets break it down.
First up is the Shank. The shank is the thickest part of the needle. It has a flat side on the back, and is rounded on the front. This is so that it can fit into out machine perfectly, and never be backwards.
Second is the Point, which is located at the complete opposite end of the needle. The point is important because it is the first part of the needle that touches the fabric and can do the most damage. If you have a larger needle, it will make a bigger hole. See below for the correct point size for you fabric.
Next is Shaftwhich is the longest section of your needle, and holds other important aspects to the needle.
The Eye of the needle is where you thread the needle. This part of the needle carries the thread to the bobbin casing and makes a stitch.
The Groove of the needle can only be seen on the front of your needle. The Groove just leads into the eye of the needle.
Last, but not least, is the Scarf. The Scarf is on the backside of the needle just above the eye. It allows the hook of the bobbin casing to get close to the eye of the needle to catch the thread and form the stitch.


Next we will be talking about the colors and how they refer to your fabric.
As shown above there are two colors on every sewing machine needle. The first color tells you what fabric type the needle is for. The second tells you the thickness of the fabric that is best suited for the needle.
As stated above, the first color tells you what fabric type the needle is for. This is just the general category such as Universal, Jersey/Ballpoint, Stretch, Jeans/Denim, Microtex/Sharp, and Leather. You can see in the picture above the 6 standard needle types with an extra type, the self-threading. The colors of the needle types are circled above, and are the colors of the written text below.
The Universal, needle for pretty much anything, it is the standard machine needle that all sewing machines come with. This needle sometimes doesn’t have a color. If you are quilter then this needle is your best friend.
Jersey/Ballpoint needles are used for knits and fabrics that have some stretch to them.
The Stretch needles are more common than Jersey/Ballpoint needles. Stretch needles are used for knit fabrics of any assortment, that are super stretchy. Such as ribbed knits, jersey knits, and cotton knits. If you love sewing baby onsies then this needle is your best friend.
Next up is the Jeans/Denim needle. This needle, as you can see above, is super sharp. This is for any of your woven fabrics such as, denim, suiting material, houndstooth, and other woven fabrics.
The Microtex/Sharp needles are used for any of your “thin and lighter” fabrics. I say that lightly (no pun) because those describing words come more into play with the second color. But any way, this needle is used for your silks, coated fabrics, foils, polyester, and things of the like.
Finally, the last needle that we will be talking about here is the Leather needle. This needle is the scariest looking of them all and is used for… you guessed it, Leathers!
Now, out of all the needle types above, the two most common are the Universal, and Stretch. With the information below we will be using these two as examples.
The Second Color
Just a pack of Universal/Embroidery Needles.
There are three standard, second colors, that we will be talking about today. The Second Color tells you the thickness of the fabric that is best suited for the needle. If you look to the needle package above, the arrow shows which color we are referring to.
80/11, also known as the Orange size. is for lightweight fabrics.
90/14, also known as the Blue size, is for medium weight fabrics.
100/16, also known as the Purple size, if for heavy weight fabrics.

Double and Triple Needles

First, a couple of things that you need to know about double and triple needles. Almost any machine can have a double needle used with it, but be warned if you machine doesn’t have a zig-zag foot then you are one of the few who cannot use them. This is because you will just break you needles when they try to go into your bobbin casing. Oh, and don’t be afraid when you look at the underside of the fabric, because there will be a zig-zag pattern, this is just a result of the bobbin catching both needles. The sizing of the needles refers to the distance between the two needles.
The Twin, or Double needles are just two needles mounted on the same shaft, that creates two rows of stitches that parallel each other. You would use two different spools on top, and just one bobbin underneath. There are several types of Double Needles. Each type referrers to the different types of needles that are paired together.
Below are the listed different types of multiple needles:
Universal Twin – This is the typical type that you normally think of when you think of a double needle. It comes with many different sizes that are, again, based on how far apart the needles are from each other.
Double Hemstitch – This double needle type uses a hemstitch needle along with a universal needle, with a 2.5mm separation.
The Metallic Twin – This uses two metallic needles together.
The Jeans Twin – This uses two of the Jeans needles together.
The Stretch Twin – This uses two of the stretch needles together.
The Embroidery Twin – This uses two of the Embroidery/Universal needles together
Universal TRIPLE – This bad boy uses three, that’s right THREE universal needles together!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Everything You Need to Know About Serger Machines

The serger is a very helpful companion for your sewing machine that will help bring your sewing to a whole new level. Sergers produce nice clean seams like those found on most store bought clothes, help reduce puckering and stretching on more fiddly fabrics like knits, and create different decorative stitches. Instead of using a needle and bobbin like a sewing machine, the serger, also known as an overlock machine, makes stitches with needles and loopers while a knife cuts away the excess fabric. It does all this at a fast rate, which makes sewing a professional seam a quick and easy one-step process.
Common Stitches 
In this section I am going to cover the stitches you will utilize on your serger most often. The most common serger stitch is the 3-thread overlock. This stitch uses one needle, which holds in place two looper threads. This stitch has a bit of stretch, which makes it a great stitch for knits.
3-thread Overlock (left) and 4-thread Overlock (right)
If you add another needle then you get the 4-thread overlock, which works well with wovens and makes a sturdy stitch that is good for clothing and home dec projects.
Rolled Hem
The rolled hem is probably the most common decorative stitch used on a serger, and can be made using two or three threads. It is a great way to finish napkins, ruffles, scarves, and other edges. You can even use decorative thread to give it that extra pizzazz.
Flatlock Stitch
A flatlock stitch is a variation of the 3-thread overlock. The flatlock stitch joins two separate pieces of fabric in a flat seam, leaving no bulk. You usually see the stitching made by a flatlock, so it is often used decoratively as well.
More expensive sergers also have the capability to do a 5-thread safety stitch and a coverstitch. The safety stitch is a very sturdy stitch that combines a chain stitch and a 3- thread overlock stitch. You often see the coverstitch on your t-shirts. No blade is used and the two needles sew two parallel lines on the top, while the loopers form a braided pattern on the underside. You can also purchase a separate coverstitch/chainstitch machine for making this stitch if your serger doesn’t have this function. Some people prefer owning a separate coverstitch machine because on a combination machine the knife has to be disengaged making it difficult to switch back and forth between the coverstitch and the other stitches.
Most sergers today also have differential feed, which can help with sewing knits and creating ruffles. The serger feeds the fabric from both the top and the bottom. So when you are sewing a regular woven edge you will usually keep the feed the same. However, with knits you can adjust the feed so that the fabric feeds through at a different rate so that your seams don’t stretch. You can also use the differential feed to create gathers, ruffles, and lettuce edges.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Serger
1. Threading Ease: This is often the most common complaint about sergers. However, it doesn’t have to be if you do your homework. Make sure your dealer goes through threading the machine with you before purchasing. However, if you do not have a dealer, most sergers are color-coded to help you through the process and come with helpful manuals and videos. 
2. Tension Adjustment: Because there are 4 or 5 threads in a serger there are also just as many adjustments to make to the tension. Basic machines make you do this manually, but don’t worry: most come with a guide for adjusting the tension for different stitches and fabrics. More expensive sergers even adjust the tension automatically or have it pre-programmed.
3. How easy it is to convert to a rolled hem? Some machines require you to change the throat plate making it more difficult.
4. Does it have a free arm? A free arm helps sewing small areas like sleeves.
5. What kind of needles does it use? Some sergers require special needles while others can also use regular sewing machine needles.
6. What kind of attachments does it come with? There are several different types of feet for sergers that can help with different techniques like gathering, blind hems, piping, beading, and elastic and tape.

So, if you are looking for new sewing adventures consider looking into a serger! A serger doesn’t just have to be just for advanced sewers. It can be a very helpful tool for sewers at all levels. It can help speed up your sewing and give your projects a more professional look.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

How to Adjust the Tension on a Sewing Machine

How to Adjust the Tension on a Sewing Machine

Having proper tension on your sewing machine is crucial because it ensures your stitching will be consistent and look the same on both sides. But, as important as correct tension is, even well-versed sewers avoid the tension dials on their sewing machines. Adjusting the tension on a sewing machine can seem like a daunting task, however, once you grasp a few basic concepts, there’s actually nothing very mysterious about setting and adjusting thread tensions on your sewing machine, whatever its make or model.

Part 1

Understanding Your Machine

1. Find the thread guides. 

The thread guides are the metal devices that help regulate tension. They are various loops that you run the thread through before looping it into your needle. They keep the thread from getting tangled and distribute the tension evenly from the spool to your fabric.

2. Find the tension discs and regulator. 

The tension discs and tension regulator together are called the tension assembly. The tension discs squeeze the thread as it passes between them, while the tension regulator controls the amount of pressure on the discs. The tension regulator is elementary: when adjusted to a higher number (turned clockwise), the discs move closer together, increasing the pressure. Turned to a lower number (counterclockwise), the discs move apart, decreasing pressure.
On older machines, there are only two tension discs, controlled by a screw or knob. On newer models, there are three discs controlled by a dial or keypad on the front of the machine.
Unless you have a newer machine that makes automatic upper-tension adjustments, using a thicker thread without resetting the dial will increase the pressure and cause the upper thread flow to decrease.

3. Find the bobbin. 

The flat bobbin case spring exerts pressure on the thread as it comes out of the bobbin case. You can either have a loading drop in bobbin (you won’t have a bobbin case), or bottom loading with a bobbin case in a compartment below the needle. The amount of pressure on the bobbin is regulated by a small screw at the rear of the spring.
Both the spring and screw are easy to locate when the machine has a separate bobbin case. When the machine has a drop-in bobbin with a built-in bobbin case, locating the tension screw can be more challenging but a little bit of searching will prove it’s there.
In either case, to increase the resistance, use a small screwdriver to turn the screw clockwise (to a higher number) or counterclockwise (to a lower number). Turn the screw in small increments and never more than a quarter-turn between tests.

4. Understand tension. 

Tension is what keeps your bottom and top stitches in equal tension with one another. In other words, it is what keeps your front and back stitches looking the same. Both the top and bottom tension must work together in order to create consistent stitching. If your top and bottom stitches aren’t even, it may be due to your tension not being right on the top or bottom.
Most domestic sewing machines are of the "lockstitch" variety. That means an upper thread and a lower thread "lock" together. When they don’t “lock” together properly, you could have an issue with the tension.

Part 2

Ensuring Tension is Your Problem

1. Sew a test seam. 

Using a small swatch of fabric, run a couple of seams down the middle of the square. Observe the top and bottom surface of the seams, using a magnifying glass if need be.
Remember you want your stitches to look even on both sides of your fabric. If the thread is so tight it’s causing the fabric to bunch around it or if the stitching is loose and falling apart, you might have an issue with the tension.
If your stitches look perfect and your sewing machine is sewing wonderfully, don’t touch your tension knobs!

2. Identify your problem. 

You’ve sewn a test seam or two and you’ve inspected the seams. A perfect stitch will have threads locked midway between the two layers of cloth, with no loops on the top or bottom of the seam and no puckers in the cloth.
An easy way to think of the thread balance is tug of war. You have your top thread and your bobbin thread pulling on each side. If they’re both pulling equally, the seam will be even and consistent. If one side is pulling too much, the thread from the other side will be visible.
If the bobbin thread shows on the top side of the seam and the top thread is straight, the upper tension is too tight. If top thread shows on the underside of the seam and the lower thread is straight, the upper tension is too loose.

3. Inspect your machine. 

There are multiple problems that could be causing issues with your sewing machine that aren’t the tension. Make sure to check these possible causes before adjusting your tension knobs:

  • Incorrectly threaded machine: Is all of the thread running through the thread guides? Is thread unwinding freely from the spool or is it catching? Is the bobbin inserted correctly?
  • Dirty machine: Thread ends can get lodged between tension discs, around the bobbin case, and under the throat pale. This can cause an increase in resistance and restrict the thread flow. Check all of these areas to ensure they’re clear.
  • Damaged machine parts: Bent needles and bobbins and rough or damaged surfaces on the needle eyes, thread guides, tension discs, take-up lever, throat plate, presser foot, bobbin case, or in the bobbin area can all cause problems. Give your machine a general inspection and remember that even the tiniest damage can distort tension.

4.Pay attention to your needles, threads, and fabrics. 

Different thread sizes on the top and in the bobbin can throw off your basic tension settings. A needle that is too large or too small can also unbalance your stitches. If you’re getting puckers on a lightweight fabric, trying shortening the stitch length to 1.75mm. All of these small details can wreak havoc on your project so make sure you’re detail-oriented when setting up your machine for a project.
Polyester thread is a true all-purpose thread, and it’s a good choice for most sewing projects. Wool thread, on the other hand, is very thick and if you were to use it, you'd have to adjust your tension.
Common heavy duty fabrics include canvas and burlap while cotton and polyester are common fabrics with a standard weight. If you’re switching between heavy fabrics and something of a lighter weight, you’d have to adjust your tension to keep the stitches even.
Needles come in various sizes for different purposes. There are thicker needles designed for denim that won’t break when they’re being used and thin needles that won’t damage thin, delicate fabrics. When buying needles, you can consult someone in the store to help you find the best option for your fabric.

Part 3

Adjusting the Tension

1. Find your tension regulating dial. 

It will be in a different place on every machine so if you’re not sure which knob it is, you can check your sewing machine manual. If you don’t have a manual, it is the knob with numbers on it that doesn’t change your type or stitches or length.

2. Adjust your top tension if it’s too loose.

 To increase your top tension if it’s too loose, turn your knob so that the numbers are increasing. Try ½ to 1 number lower, then test the stitches on a piece of scrap fabric. Continue until it looks even on both sides and you can no longer see the bottom thread on the top.
If you are unable to get it completely even, proceed to adjust the bobbin tension.

3. Adjust your top tension if it’s too tight. 

To decrease your top tension if it is too tight, turn your knob so the numbers are decreasing. Try ½ to 1 number lower, then test the stitches on a piece of scrap fabric. Continue until it looks even on both sides and you can no longer see the bottom thread on the top.
If you are unable to get it completely even, proceed to adjust the bobbin tension.

4. Adjust your bobbin tension. 

You should always try to adjust your top tension first because you shouldn’t need to adjust your bobbin tension unless you are using a heavier or lighter thread than usual. If you’ve done that and still need to adjust the lower thread, locate your bobbin in either the top loading drop in bobbin (you won’t have a bobbin case) or bottom loading with a bobbin case.
With a bottom loading bobbin, an easy way to test the tension is to take the thread hanging from your bobbin case in your hand. If it doesn’t unwind at all, your tension is too tight and needs to be loosened. If the thread unwinds with no effort, your tension is too loose and you’ll need to tighten it. You want to hold the thread and have it drop just a few inches. When that happens, your tension is perfect.
Use a tiny screwdriver and turn the screw on the side of the bobbin case by ¼ turn. Turn it right to increase the tension and left to decrease it. Test the tension again. Repeat until the thread only drops a few inches.
Similarly, with a top loading bobbin, you use a screwdriver and turn the screw by ¼ turn, testing your tension between each adjustment with a test seam on scrap fabric. The good old righty tighty lefty loosey applies in this situation as well.

5. Test your tension until it’s right. 

Keep sewing test patches until your tension is right and you’ve got even stitches on both sides. Once you’re happy with the tension, finish setting yourself up, and start your project!


  • As you begin sewing a seam, remember to pull the thread tails to the back of the machine and away from the needle area or "bird nesting" can occur. This is another common and frustrating occurrence for new machine operators.
  • When you’re testing the tension with a seam, choose different colour threads for the top and bobbin thread. Make sure the thread contrasts with your fabric. This will make everything much easier to see and will make your adjustments more accurate. Just remember to change to the right colour thread before you’re ready to sew.
  • It’s a good idea to start a tension log for your sewing machine. Just keep a notepad with the numbers written down for which tensions work with certain fabrics, threads, and needles. Note the brand, type, and size. This will make the adjusting process much simpler in the future.
  • Always remember to try your top tension first. In 90% of tension issues, it’s just the top tension that needs to be adjusted.

courtesy: WikiHow


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