One of our favorite things here at Pink Castle Fabrics is kids who sew. They come in the shop, carefully choose their favorite prints, and excitedly tell us about what they're making. With kids who sew (or want to sew!) comes a common dilemma-- what kind of machine should they have? Toy machines from big box stores break almost instantly, but you probably don't want to spend several hundred dollars for a machine that will be way over their skill level. That's why we decided to carry the Hello Kitty 15312 (blue) and 13512 (red) from Janome!
| These machines are lightweight at only 13 pounds, but have aluminum framework on the inside for stability. They have 12 stitches respectively (including zigzag and machine applique stitches) and both have a 4 step buttonhole feature in case your little sewist wants to try their hand at apparel sewing. The tension and stitch length can both be adjusted so you can do topstitching or small quilting projects. The needle postiion can either be center or far left for use with the zipper foot.
Both machines come with all the notions you need to get started, including bobbins (these machines use standard Janome bobbins,) a seam ripper, extra needles, sliding buttonhole foot, blind hem foot and a zipper foot. All you'll need to add is thread and fabric!
You can even remove the lower compartment to create a free arm, perfect for sewing around small circles like sleeve cuffs and small bags.
The Hello Kitty Janome machines make great simple travel machines if you're looking for something to tote to classes or retreats, and are small enough to stash on a bookshelf. The hardest part of buying one of these machines? Choosing red or blue!
With Glamp Stitchalot just a few weeks away, it's time to think about packing! It can be nerve wracking to take your sewing machine away from home, so we thought we'd share with you a few tips for safely traveling with your sewing machine and sharp supplies!
For Air Travel
- According to the TSA website (link below,) the biggest concern for sewing machine travel is size. As long as it fits in the overhead bin or under the seat you are good to bring your machine as a carry on. If it doesn't fit in either place, you'll have to bring it as checked luggage.
- Remove needle from machine and put it with your hand sewing needles and pins. It may seem like overkill, but any sharp, pointy object can raise a red flag at TSA, and it might just make life easier to take it out.
- Really, you'll want to avoid checking your sewing machine luggage. It's always the safest (and cheapest) bet to bring it as a carry on. You don't need to bring a super fancy machine to Glamp Stitchalot-- just something that reliably sews both straight and zigzag stitches.
- Hand sewing pins and needles are okay to take in carry on luggage as long as they're secure, such as in a latched box or soft needle book.
- Scissors under 4" long can be taken in carry on luggage as long as they're in a sheath or case. Any bigger and they need to be in checked bags. No circular thread cutters are allowed on planes, even those little rings with a bladed notch for thread clippings.
- Rotary cutters are typically not allowed in carry on luggage. The easiest way to deal with this is to remove the blade from the tool, take the handle as carry on, and purchase a new blade when you arrive at Glamp (discard the blade before your return trip.) We will also have some Olfa rotary cutters available at each cutting station during the classes.
Here's a link to the TSA website: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/household-and-tools
For Car Travel:
- Try storing some of your fabric for the trip inside your sewing machine case, rolling it around the machine to help pad it in case of tipping or bumps.
- Use a magnetic pin box for pins and needles so there's no risk of spillage
- Stash a plastic trash bag with you so you can cover your machine/case with something waterproof in case of
General Considerations for Both:
- You'll need to haul your machine through the airport four times over the course of the trip or in/out of your car, and sewing machines tend to be a bit heavy. We reccommend a case with wheels (as long as it still fits in an overhead or under the seat compartment) such as the Tutto. If a wheeled case won't work, a sturdy bag with comfortable shoulder straps is best. Janome makes a sewing machine tote, and Jeni Baker has a great pattern for a roomy and strong tote you can make.
- If you really enjoy going on retreats or just want to be able to sew on vacation or out of town trips, a small-ish, light sewing machine is a good investment, especially if your at-home machine is very large or expensive.
flying with a sewing machine,