Rounding up the extras…

Posted by on February 6, 2013 at 5:34 am.

I recently purchased my first sewing/embroidery machine. Naturally since I didn’t have the proper tools to accommodate this new crafty adventure my start up cost was a bit higher.

Embroidery machine thread

Machine embroidery thread


When I ordered the Brother SE-400 from Amazon, I also placed an order for 40 cones of colorful embroidery thread.

Sulky Stabilizer

Sulky Stabilizer



You need stabilizer for machine embroidery so I ordered some of that. In hindsight I should have ordered more of that in different weights — I only have stabilizer for lightweight fabric, but I’m about to change that.

I also ordered needles for my sewing machine, 100 of them for under $8.00, they’re made by Organ. Since I didn’t have the correct bobbins (it is a different sewing machine brand than the ones I have) I also ordered ten bobbins. I got those for under $4.00.

Gutermann serger thread

Gutermann serger thread


You’d think I was done with initial start up costs, right? Apparently not… Now I’m looking at serger threads. Within the serger community, I’ve heard lots of great things about Maxi-Lock, Gutermann, and Wooly Nylon and so I did some hunting and found an online store where I’ll be purchasing most of my threads. Fortunately it’s only a few states away since it’s located in New York, and I’ve heard positive reviews of their customer service and shipment times so I’m willing to check them out.

Serger thread is about the only thing I need to get before purchasing the serger. And no, I’m not spending over $2,000 for the serger as I mentioned in a recent post. I was impressed with the Babyloc: Evolution, but had qualms about spending that much money later this year. The main draw for me was the auto thread feature… and I like having eight spools that can be used to sew but for now, I realize it’s something I won’t use as much. After more research I settled upon a machine that carries most of the features I want but for a fraction of the cost, it costs under $220. Eventually I might find I need a bigger machine, but for now I’m happy with my upcoming purchase and based on the reviews the serger should serve me well for many years.

I shouldn’t feel guilty about the purchases I’ve been making, after all I haven’t touched my savings and the money used for my wants is specifically set aside for extras. Outside of my needs, there isn’t too many things I really want, so that money set aside for ‘fun stuff’ is fairly large.  After a set amount of time I put most of that money back into savings. When I  purchase ‘wants’ I pay for it in full.  Years ago, one of my friends told me I sounded like Dave Ramsey with my approach to finances. I never heard of the man but was curious enough to do some research. And it does seem that we’re on the same page.

  • Not spending what you don’t have
  • Don’t put your wants ahead of your needs
  • Don’t go in debt if you don’t have too
  • Saving wisely
  • Making sacrifices — if needed to achieve financial freedom.

Wow what a concept! (sarcasm) To me, that’s just common sense. If I can avoid debt, why in the world would I add debt — if I don’t have too?

I’ll be doing a newbie review of my experiences with my sewing/embroidery machine; Brother Se-400. Hopefully it’ll help someone that’s interested in machine embroidery. I’ve already received a few emails from people who had questions about the machine.


  • Jennifer says:

    The beautiful thing about the internet! Finding like-minds and sharing ideas and pros and cons of things others have try and want to try! Awesome!
    Jennifer recently posted..Granola Mix, Ethiopian Potatoes, Radish Sprouts, and Such!


    Opal Reply:

    @Jennifer, Agreed, it’s been extremely helpful for myself and it’s always nice when I learn that some of my purchases have helped others too.

    When I write about products I try to say more than something is “great” because I want the person to know why I feel that way. Since that’s the case it usually takes me some time to give a review. I’m almost at the point where I feel I can give a well rounded review of my Hiya Hiya Sharp knitting needles. I have only had them for about a month but I’ve used them a lot and with numerous weights of yarn/textures.
    Opal recently posted..Sew Crafty; Sewing reusable sandwich and snack bags…


  • curls and q says:

    Q – All of this “talk” sound just like mom and her machine embroidery! I LOVE it! I have one of the first Babylocs that mom purchased for me when dinosaurs roamed the earth! It still is running strong! A total work horse, you can’t go wrong purchasing one. She actually gave her newer model “fancy” Babyloc to me, but I just love my old one so gave the new one to my daughter Sarah.
    curls and q recently posted..Knitting And Sewing Up Something Good: WIP Wednesday


    Opal Reply:

    @curls and q, Oh you should convince your mom to post some of her work, this newbie would love to see what she’s done. I’m still in shallow end of machine embroidery but I’m enjoying it immensely.

    During my research of sergers I learned that Brother makes Babyloc serger machines… that explained a lot. 😉
    Opal recently posted..Sewing for angels…


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