Hi, I’m Aly Marie!
So…I’m actually an eye doctor by profession, but can we all agree saying, “Which is better? 1 or 2?” can be an incredibly boring way to spend a day? Where’s the creativity and novelty in that?
I mean, I love talking to people all day, and that allows for some variety.
But whew, with the way healthcare is going these days, I’m pushed to see more and more patients in less and less time. No time anymore to really get to know people and barely enough time to do a thorough eye exam.
Disillusions with my profession aside, the best part of grad school was when I met an awesome guy and decided to marry him.
A couple of years later, we decided life was getting a little boring. We thought, what the heck? Let’s have kids!
Cue the end of all boredom and the beginning of the endless laundry pile.
Once my two amazing daughters were born, I put my career on a pretty big pause to stay at home and raise them and have not looked back!
I work a few days here and there still to keep my doctoring skills for when my girls are older and I’ll work more, but much more of my joy and passion in life revolve around creating new things and crafting! (And my husband and children, of course. My daughters are hardcore crafters, too, in their own ways.)
Thanks to my amazing husband for supporting my crafty ventures and allowing me to live the good life and be around when my girls grow up!
Why am I writing this blog?
Now we’re getting to the part you are curious about–the why!
Well, I come from generations of sewing lovers.
My grandmother was a high school homemaking teacher, and my mom was a math teacher who stayed at home while I was growing up. I spent countless hours watching them sew and learning to sew from them.
My grandmother first taught me to sew by hand one summer, and my mom later introduced me to sewing with a machine. Here’s her old, trusty Singer TouchTronic 2001 sewing machine:
I’ve been sewing as a hobby for a long time now, and I want to share my love for all things sewing and embroidering with you. I love how creative I can be and how I’m always learning new techniques. The possibilities are endless!
And my girls love that I can sew or embroider them whatever they want.
On this website, I provide sewing and embroidery tutorials and guides, project ideas, and even reviews of some of the machines I’ve used. I especially love to refashion, repurpose, and upcycle items of clothing and other household items into new masterpieces. Free fabric, anyone?
All My Sewing Machines and Embroidery Machines…
I own and have owned a LOT of sewing machines. I started small and have slowly been trading up and adding more to my collection over the years.
I also own way more sewing supplies than your average sewing enthusiast. Hoarding sewing accessories is an exhilarating (but very costly) pastime.
Here are my machine purchases over the last 10+ years:
Starting in the early days, I began doing my everyday sewing on the Brother CS6000i. I loved it so much better than the bottom-of-the-line Singer I had been using before that (not picturing it, because I hated it, and it’s gone forever)!
I then started learning embroidery with our library’s Janome embroidery machine. I wasn’t sure how I’d like it, so I didn’t initially invest in my own and instead drove to the library when I wanted to monogram or embroider something.
Then, I bought my own Brother SE625 sewing and embroidery machine, which had a lot smaller hoop than the library’s machine but was my very own!
I realized that embroidery allows me to create goodies for my girls and make groovy gifts for friends and family. As a biomedical engineer before I became a doctor (I know, I know. I’m not really using either of my degrees now), I loved how creating designs with embroidery software involves engineer-like thinking.
I loved embroidery so much and felt constrained by the 4″x4″ workspace that I eventually traded in my Brother SE625 and upgraded to the Brother SE1900 combination sewing and embroidery machine. It’s pretty rocking awesome and I now embroider all. the. things.
Once I got the significantly more expensive SE1900, I decided I probably didn’t need my CS6000i anymore, so it found a new home with some nice owners from Craigslist.
I then decided to venture into more sewing, so I bought a heavy-duty sewing machine so I didn’t have to test the limits of my SE1900’s sewing abilities. Here’s my Singer 4423 heavy-duty sewing machine!
And then one day while shopping, I came across a great deal on a Singer 4452 that I couldn’t pass up!
I added it to my collection and found new owners for the Singer 4423 on Ebay. The 4452 came with more stitches and accessories, which is why I’m keeping it. As much as I’d like to keep two heavy-duty sewing machines around, there’s not much use for them both!
Somewhere along the way, I also cleared out space in my craft room for my very own Brother 1034D serger.
It has been SO nice having this serger, and it was well worth the purchase. I also brought the 1034DX. One stays threaded with white thread, the other with black. (I admit this is the height of laziness.)
As a loyal Brother machine lover, I also purchased a Brother 2340CV coverstitch machine during the early months of 2020. I’m slowly learning to like this machine (read more in my Brother 2340cv review).
I really wanted more professional hem finishes and bindings and to have the option of a three-thread coverstitch for athletic wear. That’s why I bought the coverstitch machine.
But, this machine is just so darn finicky that it can be a hassle and a time drain to use. I hope I’ll overcome the beginner coverstitch learning curve soon and learn to love it, though!
Update: I never could get used to it, so I saved my moolah and splurged on the Janome CoverPro 3000, which is much easier to use, but I still really hate binding with my coverstitch and kind of stink at it.
I also have a Brother 7000X that I purchased in September of 2020 when it came onto the market. I
use it mostly for tutorials now since it’s considerably less advanced than my SE1900. My older daughter likes to “sew” doll clothes on it also, and I don’t feel as anxious helping her learn on a machine that was 1/5th of what my SE1900 cost!
Y’all, I can’t stop with the machines. I also finally bought a Brother Luminaire XP2 and now I can embroider anything and everything I want. I even shelled out to upgrade it to an XP3.
Then, one day I decided I wanted an air-threading serger and one with automatic tensions, so I sold my Brother 1034DX (kept the 1034D) and bought my first Juki machine ever, the Juki MO-3000QVP. Worth every penny!
Lastly, I’m a huge Cricut fan, and I purchased the original Cricut Maker on Black Friday many years ago to help cut smaller pieces of fabric more accurately. (Well, actually it was because I love vinyl crafts and iron-on crafts and any type of crafts really except for crocheting. Years of playing cello KILLED my joints.)
There it is in all its glory! (Yes, that’s my younger daughter’s bouncer in the background. We used to smile at each other while I crafted and she ate snacks. We both enjoyed that short amount of time. Now she’s much older and doesn’t sit still for a minute.)
I also have a Brother ScanNCut SDX330D that came with my Luminaire. I like my Cricut more and am more familiar with it, so I use that more often. But, the Brother does some cool stuff.
Oh, and I can’t forget my AccuQuilt Go!, Silhouette Cameo 4, and Sizzix Big Shot Plus that reside in my craft room. I spend WAY too much time in there!
Anyway, I hope you will come to love sewing and embroidering as much as I do.
Stick around and learn more about sewing and embroidery machines and how to use them like a pro!