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Crystal Prep Skirt – Creation and Sales

Information on how to order the skirts and necessary information will be below the image. 

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It is finally time to post the information on how to order your very own Crystal Prep Equestia Girls Skirt!

Up first, let’s talk about the specs:

~The skirt is made with a plaid and solid color, 100% cotton flannel and is machine washable (I do recommend hang drying the skirt, followed by a nice steam ironing to get the pleats to pop back into place)

~Each skirt has been cut, sewn, folded, and adjusted by me. There will be small hiccups in each skirt. However, I will not send anything out I wouldn’t use myself.

~The length of the skirt is roughly 13in with a 2inch waist band. The back has a zipper and hook and eye for easy wear. Skirts up to 45 inches around will be the same price. If your waist/hips are passed that number, there is an extra fee. All information on pricing can be found on the etsy listing (posted below).

~The only measurement needed for the skirt creation is your hips/waist (AKA: where you want to have the skirt sit on you). I will probably add 1/2 inch to that measurement to make sure it’s comfortable. If the skirt does not fit right, you didn’t measure yourself correctly and that’s on you to be honest to yourself and myself as well! I don’t care about your size. I promise. It’s just another number to me that I will forget after I ship out your skirt.

~Turn around time is between 2 to 3 weeks. There is a chance it may be less if I have the fabric pre-created. If you want to know if there is any fabric made ahead of time, you can reach out to me. Please note that I cannot and will not rush an order. I have a life and it doesn’t revolve around making skirts all day and night.

~If you are interested in a longer/short skirt, this will be a custom order and I will have to treat it as such. This means you’ll need to message me with the length you are after. We will continue discussion after that.

~I do not know how long I can order the plaid fabric or if it will be discontinued in the near future! I cannot place holds or reserve an amount for you because you plan to buy it later. If the fabric gets discontinued, there is nothing I can do and I will end orders for the skirt until I find something else to work!! AKA: wait at your own risk!

 

Interesting in ordering a skirt? Click the link here to place your order.

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Sewing Machine 101 – Picking out the best for you

Today will be the start of a several part tutorial on sewing machines. I’ll be going over the process of how to select your machine, how to use your machine, and how to care for your machine so it’ll last as long as possible. There will be little blurbs along the way for tips and tricks as well.

I had the opportunity to work at a sewing machine shop (I sold sewing machines during that time) for about 6 months and I learned a lot about sewing machines, companies, and who’s the best for what type of sewing machine. Many friends have come to me for my opinion on what machine would be the best and why. After realizing I more or less say the same information every time, I decided it’s time to write it all down for others to enjoy and use.

*DISCLAIMER*

All the information below is biased, personal opinions and NOT sponsored in any way! You may have different opinions or information than I do and that’s okay! I’m not here to tell you who’s right and who’s wrong. This is all MY opinion and MY knowledge.

 

Sewing Machine Companies:

There are several different sewing machines out there. I am just going to touch base on the companies that I know the most information about.

Brother –

  • Sister company to Babylock (Which is why their machines look similar in a lot of ways).
  • Cheaper made machines (plastic parts) so prone to breaking if worked too hard.
  • Cheaper parts = cheaper machine so good start machines when learning or on a tight budget.

Babylock –

  • Higher quality machines vs Brother
    • (Fun fact! Babylock intentionally has Brother machines cheaper so you’ll want to upgrade to Babylock machines. They look the same for that reason. “Yes, it works the exact same as a Brother machine, but it won’t break as quickly.”  I have had a sale person tell me that exact line.)
  • Costs more than Brother due to the different innards used. However, the machines work just about the time.

Singer –

  • Not worth the time. Seriously. Just don’t. They use to be good, but not anymore. If you can find an older machine and a shop willing to service it, you’re set. However, do not get a new machine from them.

Pfaff –

  • See above. Same story. They got sold to China and the machines are just NOT the same anymore.

Janome –

  • Metal innards, so less breakage.
  • Higher end of the price range, but the cost is worth it for the machines
  • The company focuses on quilters and clothing makers.

Juki –

  • Not a lot of personal information available. I didn’t sell them, or service them.

Bernina –

  • Not a lot of personal information available. I didn’t sell them, or service them.

 

Best Kind of Machines from Each Company

Most sewing companies have one specialty they prefer to focus on, or one of the first companies to create that type of machine, so they more “perfected” on that type of machine.

Brother/Babylock – Embroidery machines were one of their focuses so their embroidery machines are setup pretty well. The sewing normal sewing is good as well. If you need a serger, Babylock is the company to get them from.

Singer/Pfaff – Back in the day sewing machines were great from them. Now a days, no so much.

Janome – Janome’s focus as been on sewing machines mostly. Yes, they are expanding to embroidery, but their sewing machines are the main focus if you were to get a machine from them.

Juki – Their older sergers are very durable. Not much information passed that.

Bernina – The sewing machines are good. Not much information passed that.

Where to Get the Machines

I am going to get a lot of flack for this answer, but it’s the honest truth: Go to a shop to test the machines, purchase online unless the shop has an AMAZING deal.

I love Ma and Pa shops. I worked at a Ma and Pa sewing shop. It’s a wonderful place because you get to play with the machines and test what you like. However, the prices aren’t always the best out there. HOWEVER! I have seen many good deals that make purchasing from a shop better than online. Some shops will have upgrade options (trade up the machine within a year and we’ll put the cost of the machine towards the new machine), or payment plans (Which, most cases this IS a credit card. Be sure your credit score is good enough to allow this). Ma and Pa shops may also offer extra goodies or classes that make shopping there worth the difference.

So keep and eye out on the deals and see if they’re worth it to you, or if Amazon has something better.

How to Decide What Machine is Best for You

This is one of the hardest questions to answer because what is recommended depends on what YOU want in YOUR machine. Do you want an old fashioned no tech machine? Do you want something that will automatically cut the bobbin and top threads with the push of a button? Do you want something that’ll warn you if a bobbin is low? How about speed control? Do you want the option to not have to use a good petal? How many stitch types do you want (As a side note: you need at least forward, backward and zig zag for the minimum. Everything else is a perk).

Depending on what you are after will depend on what you need in a sewing machine. The best idea is to have an idea of what you want, how much of a budget you have, and got explore. Check out a sewing machine shop, tell them what you want and see what they offer. Don’t tell them your budget or they will low ball. However, when they tell you the price, feel free to say “That’s out of my budget. What’s the next step down?” and keep going until you get a chance to see all the options for what you want. After you see it all, make a decision from there.

What I Own

I know this question is going to come up, so let me break down everything I have and what it does.

Brother SE400 – This was my first embroidery machine that has now become my normal sewing machine since my Babylock Encore has finally given up the ghost.

Brother PE500 – This is my embroidery machine and nothing else. This one doesn’t have the 2-in-1 option that the SE400 has.

Brother PE770 – I own 2 of these guys thanks to a friend selling her 770 to me because she didn’t use is. This has a larger size from the SE400 and PE500

Juki Serger – The model I have isn’t even created anymore. I was given this serger after my grandmother realized she was too blind to sew like she use to. This serger is very, very old, but still works like a dream.

Babylock Serger –  Yet another “This serger isn’t made anymore” moment. This was one that I’ve had for many, many, many years and still works well.

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I sew and I’m a Twenty-Something; Don’t Ignore Me.

This past Monday, I had a fluke of an accident happen with my embroidery machine. The needle bent and broke, damaging the bottom thread cutter. At the time I didn’t put two and two together and just understood that the thread cutter wasn’t working and sounded wrong. Insert the voice in the back of my head (That sounds like my mother, who taught me about sewing machines) telling me to check the normal problem areas: thread, needle, lint. Check, replaced, and check. I took the foot plate off the machine and tested the thread cutter a few times. There was nothing physical that I could see and fix. Which meant one thing:

Time to get the machine serviced.

Since the machine is under warranty, I went off the sewing store that was recommended to me by the sewing machine company. I had a shoulder bag that was large enough for my machine and made sure that it was safe and sound before I left for a 30 minute drive down to the store.

Here comes the fun part (Mind you, I use the term “fun” in a very, very loose manner).

 I hefted the bag onto my shoulder and walked into the store, going straight to the point of sales and waiting behind an older lady. The lady finished her transaction….

…and the sales associate ignored me and looked over to the lady on the other side of the point of sales with a smile and asked if she found everything alright.

This happened 8 times. I’ll say that again. I was ignored EIGHT times.

By this time, my shoulder was starting to get sore. 20 minutes of holding 20 pounds in one position will make anyone sore. I got up close to the point of sale desk and cleared my throat.

Want to know what I got from the sales associate?

“Was there something you needed?”

“Yes, I need to drop my machine off for repairs.”

“Oh, we’ll get someone here to get your machine from your car.”

“That’s not needed. It’s on my shoulder.”

“What??”

I twisted slightly to show them bag on my shoulder. “It’s not heavy unless I’ve been standing with it for a long time.”

“Oh….hang on then.”

It took another ten minutes and 3 more explanations before I relieved of my machine. Another explanation from that, and being informed that it would be 3 weeks before my machine would be ready.

Personally, I have no issues with waiting 3 weeks for a machine. I can understand things being busy with many projects. What I can’t understand is why a twenty-something was ignored, then spoken to like I don’t belong in that store in the first place.

No store should judge a person by how they look and their age. I know many 18 year olds that sew better than I can and I know 30+ people that can’t sew to save their life. Having this happen to me was both disheartening and frustrating. I know that once I receive my machine back, I will be doing my be to never had to have the machine serviced again lest that store gets a rather rude awakening before I let myself walk in there again.