Sewing Machine Interview with Jennifer

on June 11 | in Interviews + Profiles | by | with 215 Comments

Today’s interview with Jennifer from the Jennifer Ladd shop focuses on sewing machines for small business owners who sew their products. Jennifer creates gorgeous handmade bags, purses, and baby items; she loves her sewing machine and is a trusted resource for great advice!

Join in: Add your comments about machines for small business sewing and crafting, and answer the Sewing Machine Meme!

SMS: What brand and model of sewing machine do you have? Do you have more than one?
Jennifer: I have a BabyLock Design Pro. It is my only machine… for now! I dream (like most sewists) of owning several different machines for every different task. Someday… someday…

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Jennifer’s sewing space.

SMS: How long have you had it?
Jennifer: I received it as a gift from my very generous (and wonderful) mom in 2003, so I’ve had it for five and a half years.

SMS: We know you make and sell gorgeous handbags. How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
Jennifer: I sew A LOT! Way more than the average machine should have to take. I sew every single day for at least 4-5 hours straight, usually more. It just shows how good the machine is. When my mom bought it for me, I was still a pretty casual sewer – I didn’t have my business yet, so I mainly sewed for myself and as gifts. So she picked out a pretty basic machine and didn’t really consider how much wear-and-tear it would be taking. Pretty quickly, though, I caught the sewing bug and started putting my little machine through a lot of stress. And opening my own business has just added even more to the workload. Now, five and a half years later, it is still running strong, and I am proud to say that in all this time, it has only broken on me ONCE!

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An example of Jennifer’s beautiful work.

SMS: Did you do any research before the purchase? If so, what type of research?
Jennifer: Since the machine was a gift, I didn’t even know it was coming (but I did secretly hope someone in my family would have caught on to the hints I was dropping everywhere at the time!). My mom was the one who did the research, and I think she asked every sewing machine dealer in a 100 mile radius for a recommendation. Almost everyone said the same thing to her: BabyLocks have a great reputation, last a long time, and perform well.

SMS: Is this the first machine you’ve used for your business? What would push you to consider upgrading?
Jennifer: This is the only machine I have used for my business, and I’m so glad! I have sewed with many machines throughout my life, and this is by far the best. With all my other machines, I spent about half my time sewing and the other half fighting with thread and bobbins. This machine is so easy, so forgiving, and rarely gives me any trouble. If it does one day break (sob…), I will be sure to stay within the BabyLock brand, but I will upgrade to a higher power machine because I do put so much stress on it. I should probably get a machine that is more prepared for my extreme work load.

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Jennifer’s Machine

SMS: What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Jennifer: I think it’s important to think about what you need and what you don’t need. The more the machine has, the more it will cost, so it’s important to think about whether those extras are important enough to you to spend the extra money. For me, a lot of those extras are probably not important enough to justify the extra cost. I would rather put that extra money into more POWER, rather than more gadgets on the machine. For other sewers, though, the fancy stitches and the electronic controls are more essential.

Another big consideration is to think about how long you would like to keep your machine. I think for most of us, we want the machine to last (and last and last!). So I would always recommend that you buy from a brand that has a reputation for long life (BabyLock, Husquavarna Viking, Janome, and Pfaff, for example). I also recommend buying from a local dealer (rather than a chain store) because you will want excellent service on your machine in order to KEEP it running as well as the day you bought it. Make sure you are able to get regular tune-ups (and it’s a bonus if those tune-ups are provided free of charge!) and make sure you will be able to bring your machine in for repair in case it does break. It is also important to ask if the brand tends to keep supplying parts, even for discontinued machines, or if they stop making parts once the machine is no longer produced. If you have a machine but can no longer get parts for it, it will be worthless to you.

Finally, try to test out the machine before you buy, if at all possible. Ask for a demo on how to wind a bobbin, thread the machine, or make a button hole. If these tasks are too complicated, you will probably end up fighting with your sewing projects instead of enjoying the process. See if the store will let you sew some fabric scraps: you should be happy with the speed of the machine (can it go both slow AND fast?), it should be able to sew a straight line easily through both thick and thin fabrics (try out both types), and you should not have problems with tension and bunching up of the thread (this was always my biggest problem with the other machines I have used in my life).

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A recent clasp clutch purse.

SMS: As a small business owner who creates products with your sewing machine, what types of features are important for you in a sewing machine?
Jennifer: It sometimes surprises people who know how much I sew, but I actually don’t have and don’t need a super fancy machine. While things like automatic needle threading and hundreds of fancy embroidery stitches might be nice, I am just perfectly content to have a good machine that sews well, even if I do have to thread my needle myself. Since I depend on my machine for my business, I need reliability more than these fancy gadgets. What is important to me is that I can trust that any time I need to wind a bobbin, adjust my tension, thread the machine, make a button hole, or just sew a straight line, my machine will work and it will work well. I have had so many machines that have given me headaches over the years, it is so reassuring to have machine I can depend on for all the basics.

SMS: Are there any sewing machine features specifically related to sewing bags and handbags that are really important to you?
Jennifer: The most important feature is that my machine has a lot of power. When I sew other projects like skirts and dresses, it’s not a big issue, but since I sew mainly bags and purses, I need a high-power machine. I often end up with WAY more layers to sew through than I should probably have (outside fabric, interfacing, batting, lining, zipper … and often, all of these layers are doubled) so I need a machine that can power through it without slowing and without breaking. I also like having a variety of feet available for when I need them (such as the bias tape foot and the teflon-coated foot), although I almost always use just the regular foot, the zipper foot, and the button hole attachment. Finally, I like that my dials are all simple, easy to read, and easy to use, since I change my stitch, my stitch length, and my tension with almost every different fabric I work on.

SMS: Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
Jennifer: I love my machine. It doesn’t have a name, although my daughter does call it my “baby” (since I once read her the words “BabyLock” on front of the machine). I must say it does receive a lot of care and attention from me!

SMS: Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Jennifer: Hmmm… not really.

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Hard at work!

SMS: Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Jennifer: Absolutely! This machine was intended as a fairly basic machine, and I have pushed it well beyond what it was intended to do and it has never let me down. It would be great for a beginning OR an advanced sewer. And for all the power it has, its price is not too expensive, either.

SMS: Did you have any machines in the past that you would recommend for other uses/reasons?
Jennifer: NO! I despised all of the other machines I have owned! I was always battling with the tension and the thread (usually, quite literally, with thread tangled around my machine, my project, and my fingers!) and was never satisfied with their performance.

SMS: Do you have a dream machine?
Jennifer: Someday (when I win the lottery), I would like a fancy embroidery machine that lets me design my own work and program it into the machine. I would also like a serger to make sewing skirts and dresses a little easier. But unless the magic “sewing machine fairy” brings me the extra cash for these machines, I have other priorities for now and I am happy with just the basic sewing machine.

SMS: Do you have any other advice for people looking to buy a new sewing machine for their small business?
Jennifer: Since you are running a business, cost is always an issue. It doesn’t make good business sense to put every bit of your profit into a super-expensive machine if you don’t need all the bells and whistles. At the same time, however, it is important to know that in general, you do get what you pay for with a sewing machine. While my machine was not thousands of dollars, it was also not a $50 special from a chain store. My mom spent just a little more on a powerful, respected machine, and I have been happy with it for years. I have a feeling that since I actually hate to spend money on things for myself, I might have gone with one of the cheap deals from the chain stores had I bought the machine myself instead of my mom. I’m certain that had I made that decision, I would have wasted that money and would have been forced to upgrade to a new machine, now, to keep up with my growing business. Set a budget for yourself and ask around to find the best machine you can get for that money.

Join us for Sewing Machine Month! Enter to win this week’s prize package from our Sewing Machine Month sponsor: Husqvarna/Viking. Comment on any post this week for your chance to win the Quilting Package (over $150 retail value), or you might win one of four $20 gift certificates to Sew,Mama,Sew!.
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215 Responses to Sewing Machine Interview with Jennifer

  1. I’d love to see a side by side comparison of different machines.

  2. Jenni says:

    Thanks for this interview- I am in the market for an embroidery machine- and this information will come in handy!

  3. Penny says:

    thank-you for this interview! Great info!

  4. Thank you all so much for your sweet comments …. the ones about how tidy my space is are making me laugh! I have to keep my space clean — I have a two-year-old who LOVES to “sew”. Notice how high I have to keep my scissors and thread?!? I always clear my space off after each sewing session so she can’t get into anything. And yes … I do have closets and cabinets all over the room to store the rest of my supplies! πŸ™‚

  5. Christy says:

    Beautiful handbags… and beautiful sewing room. Thanks for all the good tips and advice.

  6. Sarah B says:

    I am AMAZED at her tiny workspace! Maybe there’s a closet crammed full of scraps just out of lens view… I note on sewing machines, what she says is so true… I’ve used fancy machines and hated them. My current machine is a realtrooper and SUPER easy to use… It’s a Huskystar. I also have a Huskylock serger that is just as swell. I put these babies through the ringer, making wedding dresses, costumes, home decor, everything!

  7. Nani says:

    great article…I’m looking into another machine & this was really helpful.

  8. Andrea says:

    What a beautiful space for sewing. Of course she tidied up for the photo shoot! LOL. It is refreshing to read that normal, lowkey machines are being used for such wonderful projects. Alot of people think that the more deluxe, the better the machine.

  9. Tanya Barrett says:

    Great information!

  10. Christen says:

    Thanks for sharing all your know-how. Great interview.

  11. Deb G says:

    What a tidy workspace! And your bags are lovely…

  12. Jasmine says:

    Doesn’t it feel like a dream? bright colours, clear spaces.
    Cute and kitchy room. Wonderful interview too!

  13. Joan says:

    Great Interview. Thank you for sharing so much wonderful information.

  14. angel says:

    Great interview and gorgeous purses and bags! What a beautiful, clean work space too.

  15. Anusha Subrahmanyam says:

    Great interview and great advice by Jennifer. As a mom just starting out on sewing for my little girl, I did go out and buy one of the cheap ones from the chain store and I realize the limitations. I wish I had a good, reliable and durable machine.

  16. Lisa says:

    Great interview. Thank you for the inspiration. What a lovely sewing studio! –Lisa

  17. Brittany says:

    This interview couldn’t have come at a more perfect time; I’m in the market for a new machine, and have a budget to stick to. After seeing the things Jennifer makes and reading her glowing reviews, I’ll definitely be taking a close look at the BabyLock line. Thanks a bunch!!!

  18. Colette says:

    It is wonderful to read how others use their basic machines for fabulous creations!

  19. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the sweet interview πŸ™‚ Its nice to read about other peoples love of their machines. Love the things Jennifer sews too!

  20. Kimberly says:

    Your work is so lovely. I love that clutch purse. I am looking into a new machine so this was great timing. Thank you.

  21. This is a great interview and I have learned loads from it, thanks. I love the bright colours in your sewing room and it’s sooooo tidy! Bet you cleaned up that day lol! The little purses are fab, well done you for making such lovely things. x

  22. sonja says:

    This was a very interesting interview…. enjoyed reading it

  23. Anna says:

    Oh that room!!!!!!!

    I am insanely jealous, is it always that tidy though ???!!

  24. lesley says:

    great interview, thanks for sharing…

  25. Very helpful information. Thanks!

  26. Laurie McIntosh says:

    great interview I have been thinking about getting a new machine and all advice helps.

  27. Helz says:

    Is it The Table from Ikea that I Love or that beautiful clear space ??? Thank You Jennifer for sound down to earth advice … A Huge Help !

  28. Cynthia says:

    Thank you for a great interview.

  29. Kristi says:

    Another great interview, and such wonderful advice for anyone thinking about going into business.

  30. claudia says:

    Good advice! Fully agree with keeping it simple!

  31. ruth says:

    Thanks so much for having these great interviews. These have helped me out a lot.

  32. mari says:

    lovely studio space

  33. Christine says:

    Great Interview. Loved it and loved seeing her handbags too. Just beautiful work!

  34. Valerie says:

    That was a really great interview, I’m in the market for a new machine and now I’m thinking about it in a different way.

  35. Lynne in NC says:

    Awesome advice. I never considered a Baby Loc before now. Thanks!

  36. Leslie says:

    Great interview. I’ve always had Singer’s and am starting to compile information before shopping for my next machine. This has been very informative and Jennifer’s products are beautiful!

  37. Julianne says:

    What a gorgeous sewing space. I’m very jealous. Thanks for the interview!

  38. Christina says:

    I wish I could keep my sewing space that neat! Great advice, I’d never considered a BabyLock before, but it seems like many people who own one really love it.

  39. Mindy says:

    What Jennifer said makes so much sense. It is hard not to want all of the fancy stuff, but if you stick with what you need the most and make sure you get something reliable in that department, that seems like the best way to go!

  40. kern says:

    It really shows you that a good sewer can use a simple machines and get great results.

  41. Kaye says:

    I have a Janome which I really like. I have several friends and family members who have Baby Locks and love them. When I up grade I will be looking into both models. Thanks for this review it was very helpful.

  42. Ananda says:

    Love the sewing space. It’s so cheery. I’m glad your “baby” has been a good machine.

  43. We love basic machines. We use the Project Runway machines by Brother at DIYStyle, both for our projects and stuff on the website, and for our new DIYStyle Woekshop. There are tons of features on these “basic” machines. It’s a great way to dive into sewing and starting a business, then add in the serger, and high end machines as you need them! That’s our two cents!

  44. April says:

    I like the honesty of saying that even if running a business you can still be budget friendly and use your skills to really rock out a less-expensive machine.

    It breaks my heart to see people who want to sew go out buy a very high-end machine and end up intimidated and only using it a few times. Of course, that’s how my mom snagged my Brother embrodiery machine so cheap, and it’s been very nice to me so far.

  45. Angel says:

    love Babylock!

  46. Scubagoose says:

    Good to know. I have bought all my machines used, so it’ll be nice one day to actually pick and choose what features are important to me.

  47. Loved this review – very helpful, thanks!

  48. Ingrid says:

    I really liked the purses and love reading these memes!

  49. I really love these interviews and just learning how other people do things, especially the more experienced. You never know when a “light bulb” moment will happen and makes you so excited to create!!


  50. Andi says:

    There are some very wise tips here – it is all too easy to want to spend on a brand new bells and whistles machine. I appreciate Jennifer’s common sense approach – although I am definitely going to check out babylock when I am looking for my next machine! πŸ™‚

  51. Marlene says:

    She does nice work, thanks for sharing

  52. Susan M in Alaska says:

    Thanks for the helpful information on what to look for in a new machine. I’ll be sure to plan my next sewing machine purchase out in advance.

  53. Jill says:

    Love this information, thank you! I agree with the power as I tend to push mine to the limit as well. I’m having another giveaway contest if you’d like to check it out. Blessings!

  54. Tammi says:

    It’s good to be reminded what’s really important in a machine, dependability, power, and no tension wars or thread crises!

  55. Carla Melton says:

    Interesting interview, thankyou. Its so interesting to here that its the basics that count, even for you running a sewing related business.

  56. Julie GM says:

    Is your sewing space ALWAYS that neat? Wow. Super cute!! THX for sharing.

  57. Winter says:

    Thanks for the interveiw. I love the sewing room too, whish mine could be kept tidy. I am more motivated when my place it clean πŸ™‚

  58. jackie says:

    i agree jennifers space is lovely. i love the bags. thanks for the tips.

  59. Natalie Jost says:

    My first thought was, anyone who has sewing space that looks like that, doesn’t ever do any real sewing! πŸ™‚ Beautiful, and great interview too. I definitely agree with the “bells and whistles” being secondary. My niece’s husband recently called to ask about what sewing machine to get her and I gave him the same advice: get something that works, and auto threading is nice. Most machines have that now though I think. Mine is OLD (and doesn’t)!

  60. Page says:

    Jennifer, I just wanted to let you know not to worry about extra machines b/c you have what all sewers reay want and that is a great space to work in. Thanks for this post! ~Page

  61. Jessica T says:

    Your advise fits well with what I’ve always believed about sewing machines and really anything else in life.

  62. Elizabeth says:

    What great insights!

  63. Amanda says:

    This was a great interview to read considering I am opening a small business. I have a cheapo and it gives me headaches! I am looking into buying a new machine… That is if I don’t win the one from SMS! =D

  64. Liz says:

    It’s so nice to hear someone with so much experience and such a large workload say she doesn’t need lots of fancy features. I love the solid feeling of a dependable mechanical machine.

  65. Kimberly Fennie says:

    I LOVE your workspace! Great interview!

  66. Beth Ferenc says:

    I have 2 Baby Locks….an old serger & the Ellageo. I love them both. After my machine of over 30 years died on me I had to shop for a new one. Talk about sticker shock! I wasn’t used to all the bells & whistles. It was like going from a VW to a Cadillac! I wish you would have had this series before I was shopping. But I love my Ellageo. I feel like I made the best choice for me.

  67. Jen V says:

    I’m loving the interviews. Every machine has its strengths & weaknesses.

  68. arlene says:

    great sound advice Jennifer! I will remember this interview when I look to upgrade my machine.

  69. Mary E. Hubbard (retirednana2008) says:

    What a great interview!! And what a talented young lady. It’s so good to read about young people going into a business that relates to sewing. Sometimes I think sewing is becoming a lost ‘art’, but was very excited when my 8-year-old granddraughter expressed an interest in learning to sew. Santa needs to read this interview!!

  70. KatieV says:

    Great questions and info! (Hope I win this week!)

  71. Heather says:

    Fantastic interview! Jennifer gives you much food for thought about how to chose your machine.

  72. Kristin says:

    Thank you Jennifer, for the thorough review of your Baby Lock. It certainly makes me think about an investment in a newer machine and how to purchase one.

  73. Jessi says:

    Thank you! I am just at the point of needing to invest in my own machine (I’ve been using my mom’s Viking from the 70s….and I’d like to have my very own). I’ll be re-reading this post for the info.

  74. Sara says:

    Great tips! I love her orange sewing room, btw! What a great area to be inspired to do something fun! Love her bags!

  75. allyson turner says:

    I enjoyed this interview. I am in the market for a new machine right now because I need more power. My mom’s 35 year-old Singer has been hanging in there for me for years, however! It is finally starting to give me some problems. It’s still hard to complain…..

  76. Maranda says:

    Lovely clutch:)

  77. Kim Beladi says:

    Great workspace……..thank you

  78. Sarah says:

    I have always loved Jennifer’s bags (I’ve followed her tutorial for a fat quarter handbook several times), so it is interesting to find out what she loves about her machine. I’m sure I will need to upgrade to a higher quality machine soon, so it is great to get all these awesome resources!

  79. Angela says:

    Great interview and good to hear, as a recent BabyLock owner, that the brand lasts and lasts. So far I’m super happy with my BabyLock (Decorator’s Choice). I love the photos in this interview too! I have to check out her handbags now!

    Thanks for all the great sewing machine info. I think this is a wonderful theme for this month!


  80. Nancy says:

    I really like reading about what crafters need in a machine because it makes me think about what my sewing needs truly are. I thought basics and variable speed, but now that I’m branching out and trying new materials and patterns, I realize I need power too. I’d also love to have lots of built in embrodery stitches. Maybe I don’t need all the bells and whistles (like an automatic thread cutter) but embrodery stitches and an LCD screen would be really, really nice!

  81. Victoria says:

    I too dream of having another sewing machine, but mostly so others can come over and sew with me!
    Yay sewing machine interviews!

  82. emily says:

    this post has inspired me to keep my sewing space neat and tidy! πŸ™‚

  83. Raphiel says:

    Lots of info, thanks!

  84. janet says:

    i have a babylock serger that I received as a gift. it’s absolutely wonderful. i will definitely be considering a babylock as my next sewing machine. thanks for this interview. it is definitely much better than mine!

  85. Jacqueline Clare says:

    Great purses. Wonderful colours

  86. Andrea says:

    Thanks for the interview! I also have a Baby Lock and love it.

  87. Astreia says:

    what beautiful handbags!!! Thanks for the interview.

  88. Jessica M says:

    Oh that elusive Sewing Machine Fairy…
    You’re not alone in wanting to be graced by her presence (and cash)!

  89. Heather says:

    It’s all about power isn’t it. I really like my machine to plow through all the layers.

  90. Suzanne says:

    I used to work as a dresser and in costume shops. I miss having access to industrial machines–they did make life much easier. And I love her purses.

  91. Katie says:

    Jennifer has a great point about bells and whistles. I have a very simple machine and it works great (could use a tune-up probably). All I really feel like I need is a straight stitch and zig-zag. Even then, all I really use is the straight stitch, maybe I should explore the capability of my machine a little more.

    I love Jennifer’s studios. The bright colours and white desk look so awesome together. Jennifer’s bags are really great too. I really like the clasp clutches.

    Wish I had the same focus. Incredible that she sews 4-5 hours straight (at least) a day! Holy smokes!

  92. bess says:

    interesting info – thanks!!

  93. Water Works says:

    I appreciated Jennifer’s need versus want approach to the different capabilities of the machine. I know that what I want is truly beyond what I need, so I must reconsider the model I’ve had my eye on.

  94. Monica Gee says:

    What cute purses!

  95. Grand dad says:

    I, too, love my teflon foot and the statement about needing to sew through so many layers and sometimes doubled layers is very important to keep in mind. Good interview!

  96. Adrienne D. says:

    What a darling sewing space Jennifer has. It is good to know that you don’t need the most up to date fanciest machine to run a business. I like her realistic down to earth attitude. Thanks for this interview.

  97. Susan says:

    Great interview with Jennifer. I love her bags, especialoly the clutch/wristlet. I love to see how others use their machines to the fullest!

  98. Deb V says:

    That was a great interview. I just love the bags that you have in your shop. Very cute!

  99. Becca says:

    Thanks for the interview. It makes me feel much better about my basic little number. I would love to know where Jennifer gets her fabric. The Japanese Flowering Tree print is gorgeous.

  100. Elaine says:

    So helpful!
    Thank you for the wonderful advice and
    we appreciate the craftsmanship you
    are putting in your work!

  101. georgia says:

    I totally agree–you don’t need fancy stuff on a sewing machine! Just reliability and ease of use.

  102. Shelly says:

    Great advice and a great interview. Thanks for doing this sewing machine series!

  103. DeerDominique says:

    That was a great interview. It was refreshing to see someone with a fairly basic machine, making good of what it has. Jennifer’s sewing space inspired me to be more simplistic with mine while I set it up (again).

  104. Desiree says:

    Sounds like a great machine – I have never sewn on a Baby Lock, but will have to give it a try sometime soon.

  105. Wendy says:

    What a nice clean space, Wow! Thanks for the tips on buying a new machine.

  106. erica says:

    This is fantastic advice – I am on the hunt for a new machine and amhave been shying away from the LED/LCD computerized machines – this article has reassured me that I don’t yet need all that stuff! Thanks, SMS.

  107. ann says:

    I’ve never heard of BabyLock machines, but this is a great endorsement. Thanks!

  108. Mary says:

    Another great interview. And what a colorful sewing space, I love it!

  109. Ariane says:

    I’m so glad to see such a positive review for this machine! I bought a BabyLock Maria (the new name for this model) after using it in a sewing class. I was a little worried about how it would work out in the long run because I’m just a beginner, but I’m happy with it so far!

  110. Catherine says:

    What an encouraging and informative interview! Thanks!

  111. Hannah says:

    I really like your advice about not buying from a chain store. I’m debating on getting a new machine soon and hadn’t thought to take customer service in mind. Thanks!

  112. Rochelle says:

    Her sewing space is as creative as her bags! Great interview!

  113. susan says:

    She makes beautiful bags. Wow, what a tidy workspace.

  114. Linnea says:

    Thanks for the great interview Jennifer. Your bags are super cute!
    I’m also happy to see that I’m not the only one who needs an extra light at my sewing station

  115. AllieK says:

    I love reading these sewing machine interviews … my only tip is to watch craigslist & garage sales for adding cheap (nice)machines to your collection… people buy machines or have them gifted to them, sew on them once and for some silly reason decide that sewing is just not for them (I can not imaginge going through life without loving sewing).. that is when you can get a good deal on a machine.

  116. Cira says:

    It’s encouraging to see such awesome bags made on such a humble machine. Makes me excited for what I can make! πŸ™‚

  117. Denean says:

    Great advice and tips, Jennifer! Your sewing space looks so serene. Love the bags you featured.

  118. Anne says:

    The machine looks great but I love the table set up!!!

  119. lizzie says:

    Thanks for a great interview with good advice. I will check out this machine. Love the cheerful sewing space!

  120. Lori says:

    I would just love to have a wonderful work space like that. Right now I am crammed into a corner of a back room. Sigh.

  121. carolyn says:

    thanks for the great interview and great advice!

  122. Stephanie says:

    I totally love her sewing space! Great interview.

  123. Teresa says:

    Another useful interview with advice on what features to look out for when buying a new machine.

  124. Brooke says:

    Such a cheery space!

  125. Russ says:

    Sounds like a great machine from someone who knows what they are talking about. Thanks.

  126. Samantha says:

    Again, such good info for the future. Thanks.

  127. Stacy says:

    This machine sounds wonderful! I am looking to upgrade myself and will keep this brand in mind!

  128. Java Jane says:

    Thank you for sharing your insights. What charming work you do!

  129. Mary says:

    I love that in this interview and yesterday’s, the sewing machines were gifts. My sewing machine was also a gift. For some strange reason I find this heartwarming!

  130. Shawna says:

    My sewing machine is so basic, so I am glad to hear that Jennifer has been able to get so much use out of hers.

  131. Ann Dilcher says:

    I like pretty basic machines. I loved my White for 20 years so I got another one but it is just not the same quality. Maybe I will look into a BabyLock.

  132. Becky says:

    I had never heard of this brand of sewing machine before. I must go check it out now!

  133. Stephanie says:

    Great interview Jennifer! I love your bags and your honestanswers in the interview!

  134. Margie says:

    Babylock sounds like a perfect machine to go through so much. I too love your sewing space so bright & cheery.Your purses are so beautiful. I have such a fondness for purse making.

  135. Tonya says:

    Thank you for the interview. Again, it is nice to know how much you can do on a “no frills” machine.

  136. alison says:

    Thanks for the great machine review. Jennifer makes beautiful bags!

  137. molly says:

    I was also struck by the unusual yet gorgeous color combos in her studio. Her work is amazing.

  138. Jacey says:

    Thanks for the great advice! I sometimes get side-tracked by all of the fancy bells and whistles of machines I see in my local store, but I’ve been very happy with my simple, straightforward machine and am happy to see the recommendation by such a fabulous sewer!

  139. By LuLu says:

    I loved your advice about “It doesnÒ€ℒt make good business sense to put every bit of your profit into a super-expensive machine if you donÒ€ℒt need all the bells and whistles.” This is something I forget some days when dreaming of a new machine! LOL

  140. crystalsews says:

    I absolutely love her sewing space…it is awesome. It looks so relaxing.

  141. Ellen Ban says:

    Great information and what a wonderful, uncluttered work space!

  142. Melissa H. says:

    Thank you for your input. I agree, the power of the machine is often more important than the bells and whistles.

  143. Beth v says:

    Nice to read the review on your model. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside about my BabyLock.

  144. YAY! Another BabyLock girl! I have two BLs at home and several on loan from our local dealer at my shop, and even though I don’t earn commission on them, I “sell” more of my students BabyLocks just because I genuinely love them so much! And as with everything else – price is relative. I see many people in classes who have paid more for their machines than I did for my car (actually, some of them more than TWICE my car!), but I still haven’t seen anything that makes me want anything but a BabyLock. πŸ™‚

  145. Tricia L. says:

    That looks like a great machine. When I bought my serger, I soooo wanted a Babylock but definitely could not see spending so much money at the time. When I upgrade my machine, I definitely want a babylock. They are worth every penny!

  146. Renee E says:

    Thanks. I really like your machine. Great creating place too! Especially that pink chair!

  147. Rose P in AZ says:

    Lovely bags and a great interview. Simplicity in use and power to sew through many layers seem to be the key for many. Food for thought, thanks.

  148. phyllis says:

    Great advice. Love your bags Thanks

  149. Lori Trickey says:

    Thanks for sharring about your machine. I love the orange chair in your work room.

  150. Connie King says:

    A friend asked me about machines just last week. I told her to figure out what stitches she needed and see what brand provides it because on some brands they aren’t avaialble until you are in the higher end machine. I wound up trading up 3x because I didn’t really think this through. I would have been better off figuring it out and getting a better machine at sale price. In the long run I would have paid less and gotten more of what I wanted.

  151. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the interview! I’m a sucker for a cute bag. I love the little number with the circle handle!!

  152. Jennifer Probasco says:

    Thanks for the advice….my Mom has a Babylock too and swears by it. Your handbags are beautiful, keep up the good work!

  153. Catherine S says:

    Thanks so much for these interviews. So far, we haven’t seen super duper wizzy machines which I think is a great lesson. It just shows that to create beautiful things it is creativity and a few basic supplies that are needed. My sewing machine was my 21st birthday present from my parents (I am now 38) and it is still going strong. That said, one day I would like a super wizzy one!

  154. Elena says:

    Hi all!
    Thanks to Jennifer to sharing all this useful information with us. I would like to run my own business, and I will follow some of her advices.
    Great interview

  155. Yaneth says:

    Great interview!! Her bags are so cute and can’t even tell you how much I LOVE her workspace!!

  156. Kristin says:

    I never thought about asking to try one out. I too have had problems with tension in the past.

  157. Kara says:

    Thank you again for the info. I have been looking to buy a machine, and by the time I am done reading all of your posts I just might know what I am looking for!

  158. Sylvie says:

    Great interview!
    Full of good advice for any sewer and anyone willing to open a sew-related business.

  159. Dawn says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your info! I love my babylock and wouldnt trade it for anything!


  160. katie says:

    Thanks for sharing the good advice!

  161. lina says:

    Thank you so much! Now I’m happy enough with my machine.

  162. stefanie says:

    thank alissa and jennife for sharing her experiences!

  163. Nicole Kirk says:

    Great interview! Thanks for the information and advice! All of her items are beautiful! As another blogger said, LOVE the sewing space–so bright and cheery! Love that table too!

  164. Thanks for all the great comments, everyone. For those of you who asked about the white table … Ikea! I love it (so much so that I’m considering buying a second one and storing it in my basement just in case anything ever happens to it!!).

  165. Its good to know that all thoes beautiful bags were created a smiple machine it just goes to show you dont need to have a super fancy machine to create beautiful things.

    Thank you so much for the advice πŸ™‚

  166. great interview! and i am absolutely in LoVe with jennifer’s lovely sewing space!! *swoon*

  167. Stacey C. says:

    I love the Metro Wallets in Jennifer’s Etsy shop! Super cute and practical!

  168. Rita Maldonado says:

    great advice! It looks like it also has a knob to widen the stitch. That’s great if you want to do freehand embroidery. I didn’t know about that before I bought my machine which does it digitally–that’s pretty much the only thing I regret about my machine.

  169. Beth says:

    I love reading all of these! Although now I want to buy a new machine…

  170. Heidi says:

    I love the fact that you use a regular machine. While I’d love to have some bells and whistles some days, I do love my basic machine too.

  171. Jacqui says:

    Thanks for all the great advice!

  172. Brenda says:

    good machine review. I knew absolutely nothing about BabyLock previously πŸ™‚

  173. Danielle says:

    So cool! When I get better at sewing and have more time to do it I will have to look into the Babylock machines.

  174. Mary on Lake Pulaski says:

    Very thorough and complete review of the Baby Loc machine. Thank you for providing this and all the other information on sewing machines.

  175. Monica says:

    This interview gave me some great things to think about. I am thinking about starting a little shop with handmade items, so perfect timing.

  176. Regina says:

    Wonderful advice – I figure as long as my machine can go straight and zig zag, I am good! The rest is icing on the cake!

  177. Kerry says:

    Great info! It’s great to get this info from the pros!

  178. Vicki Terpstra says:

    Great interview and she’s right. Quality over quantity(bells and whistles) will always do you a great job. I like the way she thinks. LOVE the clutch purse. Some day I’ll figure out how to do those metal purse frames myself. I’m sure they aren’t hard to do but since I’ve never seen one they just appear impossible to me. lol

    Thank you

  179. Angela says:

    This is a great article. I wish I had thought of these things before I bought my machine. I didn’t realize that I would get sucked into sewing so fast. I like to work with decorator weight fabrics, and my poor little Singer just can’t take it. I’m constantly having tangle bobbins and broken threads. I will take your advice next time!

  180. Kris says:

    I thought I was the only one who had thread battles with my machine! I really need a new one!

  181. Patricia says:

    This was so informative! Great reading! Thank you.

  182. Mrs. C. says:

    I just love this!! Knowing that she’s tried other machines & has had this one for several years shows me exactly what I need! I am looking again now (my Bernina died I think) and unless I win the contest machine, will be looking at the BabyLocks!! Thanks for the interview/review!

  183. Leah says:

    I am so glad to hear that you don’t need all of the fancy options on a machine! I enjoy sewing and making things for other people, and I get asked regularly if I have an embroidery machine. My answer is “No” because i don’t need one–I need a machine that works. Thanks for a great, practical review! I have a Brother right now, but one day might upgrade… πŸ™‚

  184. Serena says:

    Hmm, methinks I need to start leaving some more hints for a new machine. πŸ˜‰

  185. Gerwerken says:

    I could not agree more that power can be far more valuable in a machine than lots of gadgets!

  186. Grace says:

    Pretty sewing space.. I’m still looking for ideas for setting up a new home for my sewing machine in my new, smaller apartment.

  187. michele m says:

    you are so inspiring–look at what you have accomplished in 5 1/2 years. i am impressed

  188. anne says:

    A very helpful review/interview. Thanks.

  189. Aunt LoLo says:

    I am DROOLING over that sewing table – look at all that clean white SPACE!

    Great interview. πŸ™‚

  190. Christy says:

    Great interview! It is always fun to read about a small business owner!

  191. Michele says:

    She makes such beautiful bags!

  192. donnag says:

    I love the machine reviews! ‘ so informative.

  193. Kendall says:

    Thanks for such a straightforward interview. As a novice myself, I often get caught up in all the “gadgets” some machines offer and think I need more than I actually do. This was great!

  194. Sherrille Mackeigan says:

    It great to learn about other machine and how they work Thanks

  195. tara boos says:

    I like how so many of you have simple machines but are so loyal to them. When my daughter is older I would love to pass my loved machine onto her. This discussion is great, when doing workshops I am always checking out the other ladies machines!

  196. Suzi says:

    More great tips! Thank you!

  197. Andrea Methvin says:

    Yea! Another BabyLock fan! I was surprised with the poll results last week that so few people voted BabyLock as their machine of choice. I got my Decorator’s Choice model for Christmas 2007. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Especially the needle up/down, automatic threader and thread cutter, auto backtack, and the kneelifter. When I have to sew with other machines, my knee is constantly reaching for the knee bar…so funny. I would recommend BL to anyone in the market for a new machine. It really is a smooth operator. Thanks for the chance to comment.

  198. Excellent interview and pictures! I’m sure this will be very helpful to someone considering a new machine. I adore all of your creations! You have the loveliest shop!

  199. Melody says:

    That sounds like a great machine! Having just started my own business, I am quickly realizing that my hobby machine cannot do all that I want it to do.

  200. Judy Wolf says:

    Very good and interesting interviews.

  201. Kim B. says:

    I am a beginner sewist and in the market in the near future for a new machine. Thank you for this interview. I appreciate that Jennifer says you can get a lot of great features from a (fairly) basic machine.

  202. Holly says:

    That’s the same machine I have! I love mine too!

  203. Nancey says:

    I remember reading her spotlight on SMS blog a few months ago and thinking what a cool mom she seems to be. I appreciate her no-nonsense, simple take on sewing and running a business. It’s refreshing to see a business owner put her earnings towards non-business needs, like family and bills, as so many of us do, and not towards a bigger and better machine, studio, etc.

  204. Trudy Callan says:

    This is such great advice that could save someone a lot of money. I’t tempting to go for all of the bells and whistles when they really aren’t necessary. I will keep BabyLock Design Pro in mind when I need a new machine. Thanks so much, Jennifer.

  205. girlsmama says:

    I have a Babyloack Espire and love it. Babylock rocks.

  206. Sarah E. says:

    Awesome review!

    Um, I want that table!!!!! I need a sewing space! Anyone know where the table is from and if I could get a similar cheap one somewhere? πŸ™‚

  207. Melany says:

    I love Jennifer’s purses and always love reading interviews with her. thanks for some great info! I also work my little machine (a Janome) pretty hard. Hoping it lasts as well as your BabyLock has!

  208. Jeannie Eurich says:

    Great interview! I am lusting after that beautiful work space!

  209. Jane says:

    A very tidy sewing space, I am impressed.

  210. Ms. Cleaver says:

    Very helpful post -and those bags are lovely!

  211. Robin says:

    Loved this interview. Jennifer seems to be very down to earth about her machine. I have a love hate relationship with mine right now, so the temptation is there to get a super fancy one (that I can’t afford) and I don’t even use those features. Thanks Jennifer for helping me be happy with what I’ve got!

  212. LisaC says:

    Wow! What a neat and tidy space! My sewing room is a disaster. I always have a pile of stuff on the table that is waiting it’s turn on the machine. And the pins and scissors are there.

  213. craftytammie says:

    OK, maybe not tangerine, but you get the idea πŸ™‚

  214. craftytammie says:

    I love her sewing space! It’s so cheerful, with the tangerine walls and pink chair! Thanks for sharing!

  215. Tanya says:

    Great interview, I think Jennifer shared some valuable advice. Her bags always look so well finished–I love the little clutch made with Red Letter Day!

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