Important Links

I want to share and acknowledge some wonderful cover stitch resources.

First up is Deb Cook of Stitches and Seams.  Without question, her tutorials (organized on her page “All the Stuff“)are the most helpful when it comes to cover stitch machines in general and of course her beloved BLCS.

I’m a member of Pattern Review, but I’ve never found the site intuitive. At one time I had links for two very good threads which discussed the various brands (in one thread) and cover stitch functions in general.  I meant to share these specific threads, but can’t find either and my links no longer work . (My most common complaint about PR is that I create a link but it quits working.)  However, Pattern Review supports several discussion topics which just about cover all the brands.  The Janome thread is 433 pages long. That’s nice, but a lot of chit chat to wade through if looking for something specific. Nonetheless, if you’re hungry for information, I provided the link.

Stitcher’s Guild is not only good a spending my money, but they provided a few important discussion topics like:

These are easily found by entering either “coverstitch” or “cover stitch” in the search box.

Janome Home Page for the 900CPX Information gives a nice over view with beautiful pics. Also there is a list of the accessories which come with the machine and a list of official Janome accessories for the 900CPX. Keep in mind that there are generic accessories which might work very well but  Janome doesn’t sell and isn’t interested in advertising .  (It might sell the machine to know how wonderfully versatile it is.)  One thing Janome does point out is the large harp space.  I think that’s important on all my machines and was a selling point for me. While you’re there, take a look at the Projects tab, CoverPro section.  I do samples, lots of samples, to learn and perfect a technique. But I like projects.  It puts something in my hands and makes me feel that I’ve not only learned, I’ve accomplished!

Janome 900CP User Manual. As I said in my first post, this book is a mere 21 pages of English information plus another 21 in Spanish. However, it’s online and a small savings if your manual has gone missing. Even though my machine is a CPX this book applies. As I understand it, the difference between the CP and the CPX is the size of the harp. I did not look for or include links to the 1000CP/CPX. The focus of my blog is the 900.  The manuals will be slightly different as the 3rd needle requires a third thread path and provides two narrow hemming options (the same width but using mid and right or middle and left needles).  I imagine there are a few other variations possible because of the 3rd needle. If you have a 1000 and need the manual, I suggest Googling for “Janome 1000 instruction manuals”.

The BLCS Manual.  Unlike the Janome manual, the Babylock manual contains many pages with many samples directly relating to cover stitching techniques.  I was directed to this page to help me with turning corners on the 900CPX.  While some of the particulars are different between machines, the concepts are the same.

I may repeat some of the information contained at the sites referenced above.  In Deb’s case, I don’t think I can do a better job than she and recommend that you study her posts carefully.  However, it’s not impossible that I do things slightly differently just because I’m different and my 900CPX is slightly different from the 1000cpx or the BLCS or Brother or etc. If I choose to blog about those things, I promise to use my own pics and my own words. Two things though,

  1. We are talking about similar though not identical activities/accessories so the verbiage can be very similar. At times a few words or even entire sentence may be exact. It’s rather like designing a wallet. Wallets are designs to hold, among other things,  credit cards. Credit cards are all the same size.  It’s quite likely then that every wallet you see will have a pocket exactly the same size, possibly placed and stitched the same for the purpose of holding a credit card or credit card sized object.  It doesn’t mean that the new wallet designer “lifted” the idea or process rather it means the basic issue (holding a credit card in a wallet) requires the same answer/process.
  2. The industry has and uses standardized language. If something says “cover stitch”, we can rightly assume it’s different from and not “a twin needle”; and a twin needle is not the same as a double needle. But if I mean double needle (i.e. two needle eyes one above the other on the same shaft) and say “twin needle” (two needles joined to one shaft) the reader will be confused. It’s important that I use the standard terminology for readers as well as myself so that I communicate what I really want to say.
  3. If you think you deserve credit for something your wrote, please let me know.  I’m happy to acknowlege the work and inventions of others. I’m grateful to be the beneficiary of so many talented individuals. I want more. I think to defraud someone of the credit they deserve only serves to discourage invention and sharing  and I won’t be able to have more. I truly believe this. So if you find me in error, let me know.  I will give credit and/or amend my blog to direct traffic to you.

Since I’ve already been asked, let me share some sources for accessories.

I purchased my Janome certified accessories from Kens Sewing Center. However I paid on Amazon.com. I have a Prime account.  I’m out in the cow fields and patties.  It’s 90 miles to the nearest quilt store.  For real fabric I have to drive 180 miles (those are one way trips).  Often I make these trips and still can’t find what I want.  I buy many things off Amazon.com so my Prime account pays for itself.  I checked Amazon first and found that Ken’s advertises there and is happy to give me the same price as if I had purchased on his site.  The advantage for me is that I’m not giving my credit information to yet another dealer.  Amazon invests big $$$ in security.  They are probably still vulnerable to hacking.  But I feel safer shopping at a site which maintains a staff devoted to protecting my information.  Any way you shop, either at his site or through Amazon, Kens’ will take care of you.  I’ve purchased from the store in the past.  I asked to return an expensive item because I was disappointed during actual use. I called. They told me no problem. At the time they charged a $10 restocking fee and paid for postage.  That was several years ago.  Can’t be sure they are still so generous, but I still feel generously towards them.

I’d also note that more 900CP accessories are now available at Ken’s.  Be careful. The accessories designed for the 900 aren’t always the same as the 1000 and won’t always work. If Ken’s says they will work. Ken’s will give you back your money.

To a limited extent Allbrands.com also has both machines and accessories. Again the accessories are not necessarily swappable between machines.  Allbrands has a nice B&M store as well as on-line presence. But their return policies are not as generous.  I asked to return one item.  I would have had to pay postage both to me and from me (generally when Allbrands will pay shipping to you), and a restocking fee.  I opted to sell that particular item on the SewIt’sForSale list instead.  Don’t misunderstand, I like Allbrands.  Still have an active account. But I don’t buy from them unless I know it is exactly what I want.

I will have a 3rd reference in the future.  I purchased generic binders off Ebay from a vendor with a good reputation.  I haven’t been able to get these binders to work. I feel it is my ignorance which is at fault.  I can get the binders on the machine but can’t bind a thing.  I put the binders away until I had more experience.  When I am successful, I promise to acknowledge the seller, provide a link and maybe buy more stuff from him.

I’ve also purchased a number of sewing machine parts and accessories from SewingMachineParts.  I know that the brands severely limit  these stores as to what they can sell on-line.  Within the limitation of what they can sell, the service has been great. I’ve not had to return anything. Either the item worked perfectly or it was so inexpensive I didn’t feel it worth the effort to return.  They do have a special place in my heart.  Sarah at Sewing Machine Parts.com sends me (and I’m sure a thousand others) videos of products in use.  I love her clear instructions and easy manner.  The girl was born to be a star, glad it was for SewingMachineParts.

So where are these links in regards to my workbook?  They were in several folders on my big PC.  Since I’ve placed them here, I will probably remove them from favorites/bookmarks folders of my browsers.  It’s not really helpful to have a hard copy in the binder so they won’t be there.   Nonetheless, just placing all the relevant links in one of my blog posts makes it more organized and easier for me to access the on-lite site I want to visit.

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Note: this post will be in flux and may be converted to a separate tab at the top of  this blog.  As I find links which are important to me, I’ll update here. 

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2 Responses to Important Links

  1. Thanks for the link to Sewing Machine Parts! I didn’t know about them.

    A word about Allbrands.com–the White-Branded Viking sewing machine I bought from them 10 years ago started giving me serious problems a few days after its warranty expired. I called allbrands’ number anyway, and they connected me to “Alex in the back room,” who spent about an hour (and several phone calls at the store’s expense) walking me through how to fix the problem, because “It’s a good sewing machine, and just wouldn’t break down.” And he was right. It’s been fine ever since.

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