I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Saturday 5 August 2017

My review of the Brother Innov-is NV800E Embroidery Machine from Jaycotts.co.uk

A review of My Fabulous embroidery machine plus a tour of my sewing room

I have been longing to tell you about my fantastic new embroidery machine but I am (annoyingly some say) very good at keeping secrets!
The week before last I drove down to Chester to visit Jaycotts and to look at this  machine. I have to be honest I have never in my life used an embroidery machine before so I was doubly excited and keen to see how it would work.

Do have a look at my embroidery machine on this link Brother Innov-is NV 800E

This is the machine. It is an embroidery only machine. There are some which do "normal" sewing as well as embroidery, but well, this one is perfect for my needs, and is exactly what I wanted. I prefer things which have a specific function rather than something which tries to do everything.
There are some things to consider when purchasing any machine, including an embroidery machine and I would strongly advise you going to Jaycotts to try a few out.  If you can't do that then do give them a call on 01244 394099 because they will discuss the different options with you before you make your decision.
Of course you should be looking at a machine which YOU find easy to use, is reliable and value for money. It makes good sense therefore to buy your machine from somewhere reputable like Jaycotts.
Other things to consider are
The embroidery area needs to be large because as you become more proficient you are in danger of outgrowing the machine inside of a year if you limit yourself to a small embroidery area.
This machine comes with built in designs but I would definitely chose a machine with  a USB port so that you can download additional designs - and there are plenty of free ones in the internet. I have just found lots on Pinterest.
You need a machine which is easy to thread, how many times have people told me that they hate their machine because it is hard to thread! Choose one which is easy to thread and which comes with a good quality needle threader, it will save hours of frustration and time. You may be changing thread several times for each design so this is important. I have a preference for all Brother machines in this respect.
You need to see if the machine has a colour touch screen which is clear and easy to use.
And finally you need to choose a machine which has on screen editing so that you can build up a picture using more than one design and add lettering and so on so that your embroidery becomes personal to you.

I highly recommend Jaycotts for all your sewing needs but in this respect they display and demonstrate a wide variety of embroidery machines which means that you can see them in action before you make your purchase You are also welcome to return for advice and demonstrations anytime. Plus a great bonus is that they offer regular in- depth tuition sessions with the lovely Melanie who is  Brother UK's sewing guru.
In case you need any further incentive to purchase your machine from Jaycotts they have been selling Embroidery machines since they were first released in the UK over 20 years ago. They are therefore very experienced not just in sales, but the aftercare, service and maintenance is terrific. They will keep your beautiful new machine performing perfectly for many years to come. I can testify to that because a Brother Machine I purchased  from Jaycotts over 15 years ago is still in constant use by one of my pupils and she loves it just as much as I did.
So, having been a customer  of Jaycotts for many years, well before I became their blogger,  I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending them to you.

On Thursday I was given a one hour delivery slot first thing in the morning and bang on time the delivery man rang my bell. I really appreciate a tight time slot don't you, I hate waiting in all day wondering what time the delivery will come and not daring to pop out just in case.
I don't know about you but I am one of those people who if they get something new just has to use it immediately. If I buy new shoes for example I will come out of the shop wearing them! I can't help it, I get terribly excited at having anything new, particularly if it is something to do with sewing!
It was the same with my parcels. I just had to open the boxes the second they arrived.

A problem I had to consider, albeit a nice problem, was where was I going to put my new embroidery machine
I have a Horn cabinet ( mine is the NOVA) and Jaycotts told me that Horn make an insert to enable the cabinet to be used for cutting out, or in this case to make space for an additional machine. I have to admit I had no idea that such a product existed. If you are interested then ring Jaycotts on 01244 394099 and they will be able to tell you what is available for your cabinet.
If you are choosing a new cabinet for yourself then the same considerations for choosing a machine matter here too, so always choose the size which you can grow into and will suit your future needs. Click on this link to view the Horn range.
Horn Sewing Cabinets   more products such as the insert are available on request.

You can see from this photograph that I now have a massive work space!

The machine does come with various accessories but there are some additional essentials which you need to purchase too.
You need embroidery needles, these needles have enlarged eyes which helps to stop friction which in turn causes the embroidery thread to fray and snap. Don't forget to change your needle frequently! Machine embroidery needles
You will need embroidery stabiliser. You need to put this behind the area which you are embroidering  Embroidery stabiliser
There are other stabilisers  on this link Stabiliser
I suggest that you buy a small selection because they have different purposes. You need a general tear away stabiliser which adheres to the back of your fabric and as the name suggests it tears off after you have finished embroidering. There is a water soluble stabiliser which is useful to put on top of the embroidery area in addition to the stabiliser below to enable you to embroider towels, velvet, leather and lots of other fabrics.
You need a Bobbin thread too, Brother Bobbin thread this one is suitable for Brother machines, if you have a different machine there are other makes available
Bobbin thread
It sounds complicated but once you see your machine it all makes perfect sense. The fabric has to sit tightly in the embroidery frame and it needs to be backed with a Stabiliser to support the stitching and to prevent damage to the fabric.

The most exciting accessory purchase in my opinion is choosing your threads. The machine gives you the option of changing their recommended colours but you still need as large a selection as you can afford. Please note that you can use a good quality sewing thread such as Gutterman but it will not have the sheen which embroidery thread gives. Brother have  individual bobbins of embroidery thread , available at Jaycotts, but in addition the boxes of Brother Embroidery threads which Jaycotts sell offer good value for money and would make a great gift Brother Embroidery Threads

There are other brands of embroidery thread on this link Embroidery and other threads. There is a massive choice of colours and effects.

The embroidery frame has a removable grid which you use to help you to position your chosen design on the correct part of your fabric.

Once I had unpacked everything I immediately plugged the machine in and got the instruction manual out. Within minutes I had started to embroider my first design! I have to say this, please do not be daunted by these machines. You get good tuition if you want to take advantage of it but the instructions are very easy to follow and if you take it step by step as I did you too will be embroidering away within minutes! I do advise  you to take up the offer of having tuition, these are expensive machines and in time you will want to do more and more such as positioning designs, mirroring, continuous borders etc, and I always feel that it is easier if somebody shows me how to do something as I remember it better rather than just referring to a book.

I did a short video so that  you can see how mesmerising the process is!  The display tells you which colour of thread to put in your machine and stitches everything required in that colour, then it tells you which colour to thread next. Other than keeping an eye on it you can just sit back and relax and watch a miracle happens before your very eyes - that's what I thought anyway. The machine tells you if your bobbin thread runs out or if  your top thread snaps. How wonderful is that!

An hour or so later I had produced my very first ever piece of embroidery. Stunning isn't it!

I am going to show you around the rest of my sewing room which also doubles as my son's bedroom when he comes home to stay. I do not go in it when he is in residence so if I want to do some sewing I really don't mind adjourning to the dining table - I am always delighted to have Matthew home.

This is where my sewing machine and overlocker store away when not in use. The Horn cabinets are amazing because the machine effortlessly glides into position when I need to use it.
My sewing machine is the Bernina 350PE, see it here on Jaycotts web site
 Bernina 350PE it is extremely reliable and hard working
My overlocker is the Brother 3034D Brother 3034D Overlocker and I love it!
Underneath the overlocker shelf is a large drawer where I store the overlocker foot pedal and overlock thread.

This is how the machine looks when it is raised to the sewing position. There is a flat bed option or this position for free arm sewing which is useful for sewing sleeves and so on. These cabinets are truly amazing!

The door of my Horn cabinet holds threads, scissors, pins, clips, seam rippers, rulers, marker pens,chalk,  and everything else I could possibly need when sewing . Oh and Tailors hand cream. I also keep a notebook where I make notes for my blog posts
I do constantly change my equipment round when I clean the cabinet or get new tools to test and blog about.

One of my very favourite sewing machine accessories is my walking foot. I love it so much that I hardly ever take it off the machine. It is invaluable for sewing stretch or slippery fabrics and they are available for most machines. This is the one for my Bernina but Jaycotts have a wide selection of feet for all the machines which they stock Walking foot for the Bernina range. Do contact them for other makes 

The top of the Horn cabinet has this recessed storage area where i keep the spare feet for my sewing machine and overlocker There are lots of machine feet available at Jaycotts so do take a look at this link Machine feet, all brands
I also store spare bobbins and sewing needles here plus all the tools and accessories which came with the machines

On the opposite side of the room is have a sewing machine which I use if I am giving a lesson or a demonstration. It is normally stored in a carry bag by the way. It is the Brother Innov-is 15 Mine is pink but the later model is now white as it has been upgraded. It is a brilliant machine and has a lot of functions. It is also easy to carry around
Sat in front of the machine are the bobbins and spare feet etc for this machine which again normally live in the carry case.
Underneath are boxes of patterns, a few books and a couple of boxes of lace and trimmings.
I keep a few sewing magazines here too together with my machine manuals which I refer to constantly.

Next to that is a shelf unit for fabrics _ the rolls of fabric are tucked down the side. In the boxes I store linings , interfacings and smaller pieces of what I consider to be useful fabrics for patchwork and so on

Next to that is a wardrobe for out of season clothes. The tins on top store buttons, poppers and general habberdashery findings , shoulder pads and other interesting things
I keep a diagram of machine feet and a list of the stitches my Bernina does on the cupboard door. I do love to be organised!

I have a mannequin, yes I know she is just wearing a frilly underskirt but there is a reason for it I  promise!  Jaycotts have a lovely supply of dress forms. I use mine all the time and I am forever changing her measurements! Dress forms
My chair is also by HORN Horn hobby chair  I spend many hours sewing and to me it is essential to have a good chair to sit on and to support my back. Plus it just swings found without moving it when i want to use my overlocker.

I cut out on the dining table and so I store cutting equipment, tracing paper, tape measures and so on in a basket - purely to make it easier to take into the next room.
That's my son's bed the basket is sat on, just to reassure him that it is still there!

Again this is me being organised, I fasten my pattern instructions to a trouser hanger so that they are easily accessible to refer to.
I also keep a list of the fabrics and notions I am using for my current garment to make it easier to write my blog post later.

This is the view from my sewing room window - right over the rooftops. The shoreline is in the distance and on a clear day I can see the hills of the Lake District. I love  watching the birds fly past and occasionally the Red Arrows will fly past, always exciting to see them!

I do always tidy up when I have finished sewing. Look at how beautifully neat the Horn cabinet is when it is shut! That's my pink waste bin. The most annoying thing is that there always seems to be mess around it, never actually in it. I guess my aim is not as good as it used to be.

I keep a good selection of sewing thread colours on the wall , just so that they are easily accessible. Gutterman is a great brand but I also keep a stock of cheaper threads too.

The whole point of this blog post is to introduce you to my beautiful new embroidery machine. If you want something new or different then seriously consider one .
I have a project planned already and have found out how to download additional patterns from the internet. This fabulous machine is opening up a whole new world of sewing for me and i am very excited at the possibilities. I know that I need a little extra tuition as there are one or two things I am not totally sure of yet, but that is why I love Jaycotts so much - there is tuition available and nothing is ever too much trouble.

I know that Jaycotts will quickly become your first port of call for your sewing needs. If you have not already done so,  sign up for their newsletter where you will be the first to hear of special offers and promotions and will be able to read my blog too. Sign up in this page Email newsletter

The contact for Jaycotts is here Contact Jaycotts The address, email contact form and telephone number are all on this page

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this post, do let me know if you decide to purchase an embroidery machine , you won't regret it!

I am always willing to answer your sewing queries and so do not hesitate to contact me at any time.There is a contact form on my blog.

Thank you so very much Jaycotts for all the equipment you provide for me to blog about. I am eternally grateful to be given the opportunity to promote a company I truly believe in.


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