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New Sewing Machine

Originally uploaded by tokyo mommy

My new sewing machine arrived the other day and what a Joy. It is the Kenmore 110 stitch model and I must say I was a bit more than pleased with my self when I traveled to Yuzawaya the other day and played around with a Janome machine almost completely identical for close to $700 more than I paid for my machine from sears. I did quite a bit of research before I purchased my machine but I didn’t realize exactly what a great deal I was getting until I could physically compare my machine to the ones sold here in Japan.

I think people overlook the Kenmore brand but honestly their customer service has been great so far and feature for feature you can’t beat the price and the warranty is actually a bit better than what you get at a high end dealer a full 25 year parts warranty and a 90 money back guarantee. The machines stitches are so solid it reminded me of my friends 40 year old Viking. The machine is also incredibly easy to use any beginner could jump right on and start using it. I think the only pitfall if you could call it that is that the horizontal spool pin and bobbin winding system takes a bit of getting used to. But once you get it figured out its no problem whatsoever.

In other news I finally got my etsy shop up and running I am very excited and very nervous as well. I had my first sale this week and was a bit blown away at international shipping rates I ate quite a large fee and had to immediately fix my rates. Other than that I am very optimistic. Wish me well!


I made my first baby toy today It was incredibly simple and lots of fun to make thank goodness I took photos of the wonky little thing BEFORE handing it over to my munchkins because it was covered in ketchup within minutes due to my gourmet dinner of fish sticks and french fries and my 2 year olds mad dash of jealousy after said dinner to inspect his baby brothers recent acquisition.  Any way it isn’t perfect as nothing that I make is quite perfect considering I have no verify-able sewing skills just a jumble of ideas on how to do things because I am without a teacher and my last home ec class was maybe 15 years ago.  But I have fun reading blogs and tutorials and trying to guess what my Japanese sewing books are telling me to do for that matter I often have to guess what patterns written in Englishare telling me to do.  Tonight’s little project was easy even for me and I really enjoyed embroidering it. 

Terry Teether Toy

I found the pattern in one of my favorite japanese craft books by ondori called Organic Cotton Akachan

adorable ideas in this book

I have a ton of these books and I have to say I think this one is my favorite probably because its mainly for little boys and my little ones both happen to be boys.


So aside from my slacker dinner and crafty couple minutes tonight my main concern/ problem recently has been trying to find a new sewing machine.   It is absolutely driving me insane.

I would really love a new Janome or eep maybe even a Bernia but both are not really options for me right now.  I would not buy either without a local dealer and lessons on the machine the whole shabang.  I would buy a lower end Janome not the 6260QC that I have my eye on but even a lower end machine is out because here in Japan they are outrageous and the voltage is different so a machine that runs for about $200 in the US is $800-$900 here in Japan its totally nuts.  Because of this pricey conundrum Janome has a contract with US dealers so they can’t sell their machines to people overseas.  I refuse to Pay $900 for something that I know I can get for $200 so that leaves me with 2 options A Kenmore or a used machine.  But Apparently the sears corporation is out to stifle my buying efforts and they refuse to put their machines on sale *argh* But a month or two ago when I didn’t have the money on hand they had almost all of their machines discounted hundreds of dollars.  I have been trying to be patient but It may be the death of me.  Well that’s enough for now I stayed up until 2 am yesterday rearranging my living room so I am dead tired at this point and not entirely sure why I am still awake.

I found this beautiful linen at Okadaya the other day and absoutlely could not wait to make something from it. I ended up with a beautiful little dress and a little boxy pouch. I have attempted clothing before but none has really come out the right size or it just ended up being too wonky to put on my child. But finally I have something worthy of being worn! I am so excited with the way it came out. The funny thing is that I did not follow the patterns directions. I wasn’t thrilled with the way they constructed the bodice it was a bit long and confusing. So instead of the many many steps they required I just faced the lining to the front and back pieces respectively then stitched along the neck and arm holes then turned it right side out faced the front and back pieces to eachother and stitched up the sides. It just seemed easier and more logical to me.

I really love this fabric!

So I recently came across the a crayon roll. I immediatly decided my son needed one I went picture hunting in Flickr (I love flickr) after looking at many many many different disigns I just sort of winged it. which resulted in a slightle lopsided proto type. (don’t you just love the Japanese robot fabric!)

After this attempt and my 2 year olds test drive of it. I decided I could improve upon the design and that a certain piece of dinosaur fabric that I had lying around was destined to become my second attempt and that my friends 3 year old who loves dinosaurs should get to enjoy this one.

Now I think I have an idea for the perfect crayon roll and this one will be going to my sons birthday twin Lucy just as soon as I decide which fabric should be transformed.

Tokyo Mommy Fabric and Crafts

Flickr Photos