Should You Invest in an Expensive Sewing Machine as You’re Starting Out with Sewing?

For the entry level seamstress, a big question in the beginning is if she/he should pay the extra buck for a more expensive sewing machine or should simply use a beginner’s machine instead. This may not be a question only for the beginner seamstress, but also for the more experienced one who’s sitting on a fence about he/should step up his/her game or not.

Do you know any expensive models anyway?

Jenome Skyline S5

Let’s take, for instance, the Janome Skyline S5 that you may try at some of your friends or in a shop. It’s quite a special sewing machine that separates on many levels from a budget one, but you need to scroll down for the details.

When you’re using a Brother sewing machine, you may find it ok for most of your sewing jobs. You may even create a nice variety of garments with it, so why spend your money on a pricier model?

The more you’re using a more expensive model (the Skyline is a very good example of that), the easier for you to realize that you’ve been sewing a lot less with your budget machine.

At glance, the most important difference between the two types of sewing machines comes from the pricier machines are a lot more customizable. Additionally, their level of automaticity is way higher too.

What does an expensive model have to offer?

We all know that sewing is rather repetitive and very detailed focused, so it’s only natural that you like a lot any machine that isn’t just automated, but also helps you get better results in the end too. Buttonholes are quite a dreadful job and you need to do it manually if you have a budget sewing machine.

The pricey Janome though comes with a fully automatic buttonhole plate that turns buttonholes into an easy peasy job. You don’t need to do any measurements and you simply place your button in the plate and let the machine take it from there.

The number of automatic functions is impressive and it’s impossible not to appreciate the auto locking stitches at the end of every seam (no more backstitching for you!), the automatically pulling of threads to the backside of the fabric and their clipping to. In the end, sewing becomes way easier and …a lot more fun.

More benefits from the pricier sewing machines

When you’re sewing, you know that you’re going to work on a great variety of fabrics and what works for cotton may be awful for knit fabric. The same way of hemming a gathered skit isn’t the best option when you’re sewing a circle skirt so the list of setting you constantly need to change gets even longer.

If you’re using a highly customizable sewing machine, you don’t need to get frustrated anymore (not because of that, anyway). You don’t want to sew some knits on a low-priced sewing machine, but you can definitely put the Skyline S5 to work. The machine comes with an impressive list of functions that puts your frustration on hold. You may lower the pressure on the foot or. You may use the feed foot to help the machine feed easier. The stretch stitch is long lasting and even looks like a straight stitch, stretching way nicer.

The number of functions that you may customize is high and you may set the stitch length, stitch width, tension, feed dogs up or down, the pressure. You may also sew with a knee bar and not with a presser foot, if that’s your liking. The machine gives you hundreds of stitches to choose from, using the digital controls.

How easy is it to use an expensive model?

One may think that a highly customizable sewing machine like this is very difficult to understand. By contrary, the Skyline S5 is quite user friendly and that’s also because its instruction manual is very easy to follow. You’re not going to need a learning curve and you’re going to be able get the best out of it sooner than expected.

The quilting part

The sewing machine also comes with a quilting guide bar to use when you’re making quilting parallel lines. It features automatic stippling and clasp stitches and different settings so that the free motion stitching is a lot easier.

If you’re going for a hand quilting look for your work, you can use some of the special stitches of the machine.

The conclusion

Is it worth to spend the extra buck on a sewing machine? If you’re not positively sure that sewing is your thing, a more basic sewing machine (Brother has plenty to offer), is a great option for you, for less than $200.

On the other hand, if you find sewing fun and you really spend most of your time doing it, you shouldn’t hesitate and get a pricier model like the Janome Skyline S5. If you’re sewing or regular basics, you’re going to find it less frustrating and way easier to finish your sewing jobs.

Bottom line, getting a more expensive sewing machine is great. As long as you’re actually using it as much as you can.


Summer is in full swing and so are we at Stitch and Thyme Shop

Just a few more weeks and we will be celebrating our 4th Anniversary. Our theme for grown ups is “Be A Kid Again”, details will be coming as the days draw near. Be sure to enter your name each day for our big prize drawings on July 1st.

What’’s New at Stitch’n’Thyme:

Voting for our Quilt Challenge Viewer’s Choice is ongoing. The judges’ awards and announcement for Viewer’s Choice will be done on June 30th. We so appreciate those of you who participated.

Block Party pick up is next week and we want to remind you to look over the border and binding kit choices. You must prepay next week in order to pick up your finishing kit in July. The samples are displayed in the shop.

Our Quilting Class Calendar has been updated to include July, August, and September.  Be sure to check out our new classes coming this summer.  The new Knitting Classes will be posted tomorrow.

The New Block Party 2017/2018 sign up and samples will also begin on June 30th.
Andrea has been busy collecting and displaying all of our “Employee Favorites”, she has displayed books and patterns, notions are next.

Our home décor area has been recreated with an Asian theme, we invite you to come in and get some simple ideas for your home.

New fabric:
Benartex: Riverbed-beautiful muted colors with reeds, dragonflies, rocks, we will be getting the full lines of “Christmas Treasures” by Susan Winget and “Peppermint and Holly Berries” by Nancy Halverson. We will email you as soon as they are in.
Timeless Treasures: “Noir” several bolts of deep indigo, “Dream Catcher” southwest design, “Heads, Shoulders, Knees &Toes” a fun fabric for kids to color and then assemble to make goofy kids!
SouthSeas: “Good Ship Noah”,
Moda: “Visions” by Sandy Gervais,
M&S Fabrics: from Australia, 10 bolts of interesting Aboriginal designs, perfect for wearables
Free Spirit: 20 bolts of “Field Study”, these colors really glimmer
Loralie: finally, several bolts of her new “Teachers” theme fabric
Michael Miller: desert vista, three new bolts of Cuddle Up,

New Yarn:
Gorgeous selection of Noro Kureyon – it felts beautifully.
Karabella: Boise, Margaritte and new light weight Supercashmere
Novelty yarns: from Crystal Palace: Splash and Blippity, new Fizz and Fizz Stardust
*watch for our July coupons – we will add 20% off of yarn each month.

New books/patterns:
Quilting: New Asian Fabric magazine, “Quilts Through the Seasons” by Eleanor Burns, Super Simple Triangles from Possibilities, 9-Patch Pizzazz and Puzzle Quilts are back in.

Knitting patterns: Felted Fish, Demi Brim Felted Hat, Felted Fish Pajama Bag and Pillow, restock of 2nd Treasury of Magical Knitting, restock of needle felting kit.

New notions:
Finally, the pompom maker is in and it is really fun. Come in and try it.

Marti Michell’s new “My Favorite Log Cabin” rulers in two sizes are in.

I would like to send a heartfelt thank you to all of our wonderful customers who have made the last four years so wonderful. A special thanks to our new Knitting Family, including “Mom” Barb, your support and friendship mean so much. And more than ever, to my staff. A group of women whose talent, inspiration and sense of humor I value more each day. Thank you for all that you do.

Hope to see you soon, have a safe summer,

Gil and Staff

Janome Sewist 500 REVIEW

Janome sewist 500 is a product for those designers that love to sew. The sewist 500 makes it easy and fun to sew, and the price is affordable. This versatile machine gives you 25 stretch and utility stitches to use as your own creative flare to any given project. This machine also offers a convertible free arm and a one-step buttonhole stitch for clothes or accessories.

The most practical of features like extra storage and the top-loading bobbin, which is see-thru, will make your creations effortless. The sewist 500 will give you hours of enjoyment in creating your one of a kind artwork whether it is a designer shirt or a quilt sewn on the machine.

The Janome Sewist 500 is a powerful and precise machine that will give you the power you need plus the precision you require. This is a perfect machine for your crafting design from home décor to arts and crafts. The sewist 500 is a well built system that can handle any design including thick leather. This machine offers great stitching patterns and is reasonably priced for a Janome machine. It has unmistakable and satisfactory reviews and is very simple to use.

The Janome product line is known for their industrial and retail sewing mahines that are high-end. Since their popularity has risen Janome has created several lines of products that can be used in everyday creation of sewing, home décor, and home products. The sewist 500 is Janome’s top model.

The choice of purchasing a Janome sewing machine does involves making a number or stress-free decisions that are important in determining which machine has the amount of stitches you will use the most. The built-in-stitches are the sources of patters that are pre-programmed for your sewing expertise. The Janome sewist 500 will sew every stitch with no intervention or assistance.

The one flaw with this Janome machine is the fact that you cannot add more stitches to the machine. It does not have the ability to add a card reader and does not have a USB port to allow more downloads for more stitches. However, the stitch width can be adjusted to 5mm and the stitch length to 4mm. These new options give you more design for the stitches to look different but would be just exaggerations of the already known patterns. Thus the idea of changing the width and length are ideas to add to the creation of your own design pattern. The ability to change the width and length will also provide you with more flexibility with working with the different types of fabric.

This particular designed sewing machine of the Janome line has a great selection of over edge and stretch stitches. This helps with those strong seams that finish off edges of fabric that would likely ravel. This is also for garment construction. Besides, being the greatest for making clothes, the strong stitches can be used for other home accessory projects that use a variety of thicknesses and designs of fabric.

Here are a list of pros for the Janome sewist 500 sewing machine.

Here are two consumer reviews for the Janome sewist 500 sewing machine.

“My husband bought me this machine for an early Mothers Day gift. I am really new to sewing and so far am in love with my Janome!! It was so easy to learn to wind the bobbin and thread the machine, going by just the manual. I havent sewn a thing since 8th grade home ec and after 2 days of practicing Ive already hemmed some things and fixed a few seams in my husbands boxer shorts” from a consumer at

“My new Janome Sewist 500 is so easy to use!!! I am using it to do simple sewing projects and it has served me very well. It is very lightweight to carry. The size fits nicely on my table. Its a joy to have a sewing machine that practically threads the needle itself. “ from a consumer at

If you would like a sewing machine that gives you quality at a good price than the Janome sewist 500 is just that pick of a machine. It gives you choices that only you would think about with your designs. The sewist 500 is flexible with all your needs and is at the right price. Each idea is different and the Janome system is willing to create your designs with just a few simple clicks of the knobs and dials.

The choice is pretty simple, especially knowing that creation is just a heartbeat away from the machine of your dreams. Creation is everything when designing a project for the home. With the sewist 500 you can have your creations done in record time and still have the ability to create more with a bit of flare.

If after doing your research and you still want the Janome sewing machine, than I suggest taking t a trip to your local department store with the machine in stock, or searching the internet for a dealer that sells the product and who is reliable enough to fix the product if it breaks down during warranty. This product is just a trip away or just a click away.

You can buy it on Amazon, or at your local dealer.

How to sew denim

Learn some tips and tricks for sewing with denim. I’ll share with you how to get your denim fabric ready, what thread to use, which machine needle to insert, what stitch length to set your machine at and what tools to use when cutting and pinning denim.


On Tuesday, March 7, Bev Proulx will return to North Dakota to conduct appraisals and to teach another great class in fabric history. Appraisals are $35 per quilt and must be signed up for in advance at the shop. The class, Quilts through Time, 1900-1960, is a hands on, feel the vintage fabrics experience. The class fee is $15

Bev is a former high school and college English teacher. She taught literature and its history, research techniques, creative writing and formal composition; she also directed plays and coached competitive speech events. After taking early retirement, she has researched and written a 400-page semi-narrative book on her Dutch ancestors. Bev is currently researching her German ancestors and hopes to have the work completed by 2017. In addition to genealogy work, she continues to judge competitive drama and speech events in Minnesota and to extensively design and quilt works for herself and occasional clients.

Bev has been quilting and collecting antique and vintage fabrics for over 25 years. She began collecting antique blocks and studying the history of the fabrics. In the past 15 years, she has added antique and vintage quilts, quilt tops, quilt blocks, fabric pieces and yardage to her collection. As she studied what she had found, Bev also developed a large research library on fabric history and quilt history. Bev has two children and two grandchildren. She lives with her husband in North Branch, Minnesota

Bev’s first line of fabric for Chanteclaire Fabrics, The Roaring 1920’s, is scheduled to arrive at BQC by the end of February. This is the first line of reproduction fabrics to focus on the decade of the ‘20s. If you sign up for the fabric history class, you will receive a coupon for a discount on any purchase from the line. The deadline for registration for both appraisals and the class is February 25 .

Appraisals: March 7, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. $35 per quilt

Class: March 7, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. $15 per person, non-refundable

Sustainable Quilting

Okay, there has been a lot of talk about Sustainable Sweden, and Bayfield and Washburn . . . Now we have sustainable quilting. A fancy name for quilting using recycled wool clothing. This will be a three part class—(1) finding and felting the fabric, (2) designing the quilt top, and (3) finishing and tying (yes, TYING, just like great grandma did) your top. Class dates will depend on your schedules. $15 for 3 session class.

The “A” Word—Appliqué!

We are going to attempt an easy appliqué wall hanging, using fusible web, batiks, and decorative stitches on your sewing machine. I don’t do hand appliqué! Class dates will depend on your schedule. $10 for two session class.


Here is an opportunity to get together and knit/crochet—and learn from each other. Morning, afternoon and evening sessions—again, dates will depend on your schedule. Donations for beverages/goodies appreciated!