Fabric woes, a new machine and some corn bags!

I have been having some tension issues with my sewing machine lately and it came to a head Wednesday night. Nothing was working right and I was working on an order for cornhole bags for a friend. No matter what I did I could not get the seam to lay flat. It puckered and bunched and was just awful. So, like any 21st century sewer… to the internet!

What I found out was a little good news/bad news. Good news: found out what the main problem was – the material. Apparently broadcloth is just a pain in the butt to work with. I’ve worked with it before and noticed some puckering but never as much as this. So onto the bad news: a big part was the machine. Not in any way that I could put my finger on, but in the small, you know something is up and it’s just not working right.

Learning this I had two choices 1) spend $70 and get my machine serviced even though it really isn’t that old (less than a year) and should really last longer than that, or 2) pack it back up, as I kept all the packaging (looks like Dahl’s almost crazy-like need to keep all the boxes is rubbing off and has come in handy) and return it for credit and get a new machine.

Guess which option I chose! Returned and upgraded to a slightly ($15) better model. Well, I love it. And while not all the puckering is gone – curse you broadcloth – I did not get the urge to throw my machine out of the third story window last night while making the bags.

There are some pretty awesome features on his machine: start/stop and speed control for foot free sewing, automatic up/down button for the needle, lots of stitches and best of all it came with the two feet that I needed to get anyway – a walking foot and quilters foot. Definitely worth the extra $15.

So I guess the biggest thing I learned through all this… broadcloth is awful. Never buying it again. I’ll spend the extra money and get quilters cotton. But if anyone has tips for sewing with it, I still have lots I need to use up first as I’m not about to waste it!

Also, I will also say that the cornhole bags turned out great! They are usually done with duck canvas but of course the associates at my local fabricland looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if they had any… so I got shoe canvas instead. My friend wanted them in Manchester United (red and white) and FC Barcelona (blue and red) stripes. I made the outside stripes with broadcloth then attached them to the shoe canvas and stitched in the ditch between the stripes with heavy duty thread to reinforce them. They were then filled with whole kernal corn feed, which of course could only be purchased in a 53lbs bag and I only needed 16lbs! At least it’s cheap and now I can make myself some. I think they look fantastic. I’m shipping them out today and I hope she will like them as much as I do!

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