Readers Questions – 3

Readers-Questions-Your-Answers Thank you SO much to everyone who took part in the earlier rounds of Readers Questions.  I love that we can all take advantage of decades of sewing experience and learn from each other.

Thank you all for taking the time to share your sewing tips, tricks and resources. I hope you all enjoyed reading through the earlier questions and answers.  Well I have some more sewing teasers and dilemmas for you today. What can help out with experience and advice in these areas:


I'm going to be using bias bound seam finishing for a project. Do you think it would be okay if I cheat and apply the bias tape to the edge of the fabric before stitching the seam?


I purchased a great sewing machine in 1976.  I just love it.  But it is starting to give me problems and I have been looking for a new machine.  Most of the manufactures have been consumed by the larger companies and no longer have the quality they once did, or the customer support.  I found a Janome for around $600 and a Bernina for $2400.  I like the price of the Janome and the quality of the Bernina.  Has anyone recently purchased a new sewing machine?  What did you get and do you still like it? 


We are having a 1920's themed birthday celebration for my daughter and I am having to make the dresses for myself, and two daughters.  Where can I get a pattern and the material patterns of that day for authenticity? 


I am looking for a batik, dark aubergine, dark blue, dark rose  Can anyone help me?


Thank you everyone for the really interesting questions and answers.  A lot of variety of topics this week.  Please leave your advice in the comments below.  It's Ok to leave links to helpful and relevant articles on your own site or someone elses.

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I reline leather jackets and would like to use the same type of lining in the body of the lining shell- single sided, diamond quilted, nylon/polyester blend.
Does anyone know where to get that? I’ve looked at my local retailers (SE WI), online, friends, etc.
hoping someone can help.


a few weeks ago I tried to purchase your gore skirt and did not have any luck. I contacted Craftsy and they didn’t get back with me. Can you assist me in this process? I do not have a paypal account. I was using a charge card.


Linda, I have several machines, I recently purchased a Pfaff passport. It is within your budget, is light,only 13 lbs, has the built in walking foot which is great feature. and it sews like a dream and has some decorative stitches and is great for classes. I have also two Viking embroidery machines which I love but the class machine is my Pfaff.

Connie Bollard
Connie Bollard

Linda, I am fairly new to sewing, although I did a little back in the 70’s on my Mom’ old Singer. I bought a Janome 7330 for about $400. I purchased it from the dealer who can service it and received lessons on operations before I left the store. This machine has just enough electronics to make it a breeze to use and maintain. Loving it so far.

I absolutely recommend buying from your local dealer, whatever saving you get from buying online is offset by being able to take it directly to the dealer for any problems, (any problems I have had have been my own mistakes.)

As far as the machine, I have really liked the Janome for my beginner efforts in casual sewing, lots of placemats and table runners and bags. I can see that I may need a more sophisticated machine for quilting that I am just beginning to enjoy. I have not made clothes, yet, but am thinking of doing so. I think my Janome will do fine for clothes construction.


Linda you should check sewing machine reviews from the Sewing Pattern Review site. Real people review their machines old or new in all makes and models. Here is the link: you need to sign up, but it’s free. I have reviewed all of my machines on this site. Whatever you buy, buy from a dealer where you can actually sew on the machine. You wouldn’t buy a car without driving it first would you? Plus you get the first service free and free classes when you buy your machine from a dealer. Most machines are made in other countries and the manuals can be incomplete or words lost in translation and there is so much more you can learn about your machine and how to use it in a class. Your dealer is always there for support too since you bought your machine there. Online you get nothing and it could be a headache if something is wrong with the machine, which would cost you more money if you had to return it through the mail or pay for service at a dealer. I am not a dealer myself but I have purchased used machine online and regretted it!
Reply to  Daryl

Thank you Daryl. I will definitely check out that site. Appreciate the input.


I have purchased 3 sewing machines in the last year. I bought 2 Janome and one Elna. I purchased the 2 Janome from ‘’ . They have wonderful customer service and great prices. I purchased my Elna from the local dealer, and love it. You didn’t mention what you are sewing on your machine, but if it is garments, you won’t need as fancy a machine. If you are making quilts and using it to quilt these quilts, you will need a larger ‘harp’. I hope that this give you a bit of an idea to go on.

Theresa Diaz Gray


One of the easiest ways to make 1920s fashion is by using the one hour dress pattern. It’s a simple pattern draft that can be customized in so many ways. You can download the pattern and book with a bunch of extras from the internet or you can order the book from Amazon. I downloaded it from < this site. There is also a lot of 1920s fashion info on that site. I’m a value shopper and I really thought the book was worth the money.

There’s another book called, “Fashion in the Time of the Great Gatsby” is interesting reading, but unless you have an avid interest in historical costuming, I suggest getting it from the library rather than buying it.

You can also get ideas from pinterest, lots of people are interested in the 20s. Midvale Vintage has a bunch of scans of vintage fashion pages including the 20s. Vintage Dancer also has lots of links including a infograph on how to dress like a flapper.

While I love historical costuming, I am not all that well versed in the 1920s since I haven’t had the boyish figure in vouge for that era since I was a pre-teen. However, I think for a party this should be sufficient information.



Misha, why not make it easy for yourself, definately apply the bias before sewing the seam. May not be technically correct, but if it works……
Linda, I love my husqvana. Not quite the quality of a bernina, but not bad either. It is now about 18 years old, but it is better than some of the more modern machines.