Should I Buy an Embroidery Machine?

If you’ve seen all of the cute monogrammed and appliquéd items floating around out there and keep saying to yourself “I need one of those machines- I could make this stuff,” then you’re not alone! And guess what? You very easily could make all that cute stuff you see. I have an embroidery machine myself and let me tell you, they’re not hard to use at all. However, the question is: should you?

I write this only because I have had countless friends and acquaintances message me about my embroidery machine, asking about how difficult is it to use, what you need to get started, the total cost involved, etc. I hate to see someone make the purchase along with the necessary accessories, only to use it a few times and then let the machine sit there or sell it for a fraction of what they paid. I mean, we’ve all done that with something, right? “Honey, I need this- I’m going to use it ALL the time,” said every woman in America. Yes, I’m definitely guilty of it too :/ haha.

So today I thought I’d talk a little bit about my embroidery machine and what you need to purchase along with it in case you, yourself, are interested in getting one. Oh, and if you ever want to see what I’m working on monogram-wise, you can check out my Facebook page, Sassy Momma Monograms.

Should You Buy an Embroidery Machine? Everything you need to know to get started.

I have a Brother PE-770 (which I bought from Amazon) and it’s an embroidery machine ONLY. Some machines do both sewing and embroidery but at the low end, your hoop sizes are limited if you go this route. Not to mention, I already had a sewing machine and this was the most cost effective embroidery machine that would do both a 4×4 and a 5×7 hoop. That’s important because you need the larger (5×7) hoop to do appliques and larger designs. The 4×4 just won’t cut it. And yes, you’ll find other Brother machines for half the cost, but they only use a 4×4 hoop and you’ll quickly realize you need something larger. So do yourself a favor and get a machine that does both sizes from the get-go.

As for other things you’ll need:

Embroidery Materials

  • 4×4 hoop  as your machine only comes with the 5×7. I bought this exact set and I love it!
  • Embroidery thread  (not regular sewing thread, there’s a difference). I prefer the Isacord brand and once you find which colors you use most often go ahead and buy the larger 5000m spools as they’re much better deals than the small ones. Also, a color chart is super helpful if you plan on ordering your thread online.
  • I bought a package of pre- wound bobbins because I didn’t want to wind my own every time they ran out, especially when you’re in the midst of a project. Just pop a new one in and you’re good to go!
  • You’ll also need stabilizer.  There are so many kinds to choose from depending on what you’re embroidering but I generally use a medium weight cutaway in either precut (for 4×4 monograms) or from a regular roll (which I’ll cut to size) as well as sticky stabilizer.
  • On occasion you’ll need something called a “topper”. One common brand is Sulky but I buy the Pellon brand from the fabric section of Joann. This goes on top of heavy embroidery items to keep the thread from sinking in. I use it on towels, anything fleece, and knit fabrics to keep the thread looking neat.
  • Some other items- basting sprayso the stabilizer will stick to the item you’re embroidering
  • Seam ripper
  • Curved embroidery scissors– these Gingher 4 inch scissors are my fav
  • Dual purpose marking pen
  • And of course blanks to monogram on! You can find them all over the place so always keep your eye out!
  • Finally, you’ll also need an embroidery program- I bought Sew What Pro (there’s a 30 day trial version) so you can digitize all of your designs on the computer, save it to a jump drive then plug it into your machine. You also have to buy all of the pretty designs- appliques and fonts (these can run anywhere from $.90 to $20+ just depending on what you’re buying) plus all of the fabric you’ll need.

In all, I spent close to $1,000. Consider how much you will use the machine and what you intend to use it for. If you want to monogram just a few things for your kids, then I’d say it’s probably worth it to just pay someone to monogram whatever items you had in mind. BUT, if you plan on monogramming your things, plus using your machine to make gifts, and want to sell a few things on the side then this is a great investment. My goal was to sell enough to pay for the initial cost (which I did) so now, anything I make is extra and I have an embroidery machine out of it. Mostly though, I use my machine to make gifts for others (burp cloths, bibs, and other items) as well as items for Harper.

When I embroider my next items, I’ll be sure to take pictures so I can post a very basic tutorial about how to use Sew What Pro and my Brother Pe 770. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment of send me a message!

Happy Crafting!

Xoxo Lindsey

2016 Mommy Must Haves: Baby #2

With baby #2 on the way, I’ve already been thinking about what we will need this time around compared to last. Since we’re having another girl, I will give almost everything of Harper’s to this baby but there are some new things that weren’t on the market at the time that I’m dying to get my hands on to try out. After all, who doesn’t love the latest and greatest? Oh, and if it’s pretty and functional- sign me up! So today, I compiled a list of “must- haves” for baby numero dos. We have a few of the items on this list already but I kept them in because they’re just such good products I’d vouch for them all day long.

By no means is this list complete, in fact I’m compiling a major baby must-haves post in the near future (so if you’re a first time momma, that one’s for you) but if this is your second, read on!

2016 Mommy Must Haves

  1. UppaBaby Mesa Car seat. I love the sleek design of this car seat, the fact that is has a 10-second accurate install, as well as a no-rethread harness. It weighs less than 10 lbs (that matters when you’re still trying to lug your baby into stores when they’re asleep in their car seat) and it clips right into your UppaBaby stroller, no adaptor needed. Not to mention, it’s one of the TOP rated car seats by consumer reports and it’s been awarded a 5-Star Rating by NHTSA.
  1. Tula Baby Carrier. What a gorgeous design! As someone who LOVES fabric and patterns, I cannot get enough of this pretty carrier. I fell in love with soft structure baby carriers with our first (and used an Ergo which I still love) as they provide so much support and can grow with your baby but this pretty design beats my Ergo’s solid navy blue (I was being practical) any day of the week. Yes, this is a mommy must have!
  1. Owlet Smart Sock. This is something new on the market and I think it’s absolutely brilliant! It’s a smart sock that has a built-in pulse oximetry that alerts you if your baby stops breathing. It has an independent base station that has an alarm and changes color if your baby stops breathing. You can also connect it with your smart phone to get real time stats. Even though it’s on the pricier side- it will fit your baby up to a year, in some cases 18 months and the fear it will alleviate (I can’t tell you how many times I’d wake up in the middle of the night to look at our video monitor to make sure Harper was alive) is priceless.
  1. Vino. Does this need further explanation? Enjoy momma! :)
  1. UppaBaby Vista Stroller. We actually have this stroller and if I could shout “I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!!!!” from the rooftops, I would. There are so many strollers out there but this is a winner for me for two reasons: 1) you can add another seat or skateboard for another child- hence it grows with your family, and; 2) the basket underneath is MASSIVE. I’ve fit countless shopping bags, my diaper bag, and even our 6 lb Morkie in there. This is not a cheap item but the fact that we don’t have to buy a double stroller (just another seat) is so worth it. It comes with a bassinet, seat (which can be turned towards or away from you) with sun canopy to shield your little one’s eyes, bug net, and rain guard. We also bought the car seat adaptor for our Chicco Keyfit 30 (the UppaBaby Mesa car seat wasn’t on the market at the time), and a snack tray. It’s super easy to fold up (and the seat stays on) and has such a smooth ride, I would even jog with ours. Y’all, you will not be disappointed with this stroller… it’s the bee’s knees.
  1. Halo Bassinest. This is another new item that I think will be a lifesaver, especially since I’ll be having another c-section and I won’t be moving around too well those first few weeks. It’s the only bassinet that does a full 360-degree swivel and the side walls lower for easy access to the baby. There are a few different models to choose from but the one I like is the Luxe series as it comes with a storage caddy for all of your baby’s essentials, a soothing center that features 3 lullabies, 3 soothing sounds, vibration, nightlight, and nursing timer. Can you say command central?
  1. Ubbi Diaper Pail. This is another item that we already have and it was worth every penny! As someone who used cloth diapers, the stink could get pretty darn bad but this diaper pail made it so you couldn’t smell a thing. No joke. It’s sleek, has a small footprint, comes in tons of colors to fit whatever color scheme you have going on, and you can use any type of bag with it (we used a Planet Wise reusable trash bag). Another plus: it has a sliding lid that comes with a lock so little inquisitive fingers cannot search around inside. Highly recommend!
  1. Halo SleepSack Swaddle and SleepSack (for 6 mos+). I can’t say enough good things about these swaddles. We actually did the old fashioned swaddle with a blanket and it worked like a charm in the early months. But then your baby starts moving around and breaking out of the swaddle so these Velcro swaddles are able to keep their little arms and legs all tucked in. Once H was around 6 months, we put her in a SleepSack and she wore that until she was two years old (different sizes of course). These are an absolute must have.
  1. Milk Snob Toggle Multi-Functional Cover. Again, I think this is absolutely genius! One item that does the job of 3: car seat cover, nursing cover, and shopping cart cover. This one item would have eliminated so much junk I had to carry around. Plus, the designs are ever so stylish! Perfect for the fashionable momma.

Second time mommas, is there anything I left out that’s a must have?!? If so, please leave me a comment below!

Xoxo Lindsey

(This post does contain some Amazon Affiliate links which helps to support my blog).
April 29, 2016 - 3:53 pm

The Sassy Momma - UPPAbaby - […] Read more […]

DIY: Spring Floral Wreath

Today I have a fun craft that I hope you gals will like. It’s pretty, pink, and—the best part—can be finished during your little one’s nap time. Although, truth be told, most days I’m napping right along with Harper, trying to catch up on sleep since I haven’t been sleeping all that great with this growing belly and the aches that come with it. But today, I had a crazy surge of energy so after our regular library run, Harper and I made a detour to Michaels to pick up some supplies.

What exactly are we making? A spring floral wreath! In my mind, I was going to buy a grapevine wreath with lots of bright faux flowers to go around it, however when I saw these monogram letter wreaths on sale for $2.99 (compared to $8.99) I knew I had to get one of those instead. Plus, what southern girl doesn’t love a good monogram? After I grabbed the monogram wreath, Harper and I went to the floral department (all stems were 40% off) and grabbed a handful of greenery and pink (H’s and my signature color, kind of like Elle Woods) accent flowers. After that, we made one final stop at Ulta (I mean, a girl can always use a new nail polish) then it was back home for lunch and a nap (for H). If you want to join me in making one of these oh-so-pretty wreaths, read below for what you’ll need and how to do it.

DIY Spring Floral Wreath... and it takes 30 minutes!

Materials:

  • Monogram wreath form
  • Faux flowers
  • Wire cutters
  • White craft paint (to paint wreath form)
  • Ribbon for bow
  • Hot glue gun

Directions:

Seriously y’all this may have been the easiest wreath I’ve ever made because all you’re doing is cutting, laying, and hot gluing. Easy peasy. The first thing you’ll want to do is paint the wreath form white (or whatever color you’d like) and let dry. Afterwards, arrange the florals and lay them on top of the wreath in a pattern you like. It may take some rearranging to get the look you’re going for.

DIY Spring Floral Wreath @ The Sassy Momma

Once that’s done, you can start using your wire cutters to trim the wire stems and then hot glue the faux stems/flowers into place. I worked in a counter clockwise fashion just to make sure I didn’t forget to hot glue anything into place. Once everything was glued down there was still something missing so I grabbed some burlap and added a burlap bow to top it off.

DIY Spring Floral Wreath @ The Sassy Momma

I hope this gives you some inspiration for a new spring wreath! I’d love to see what creations you come up with so feel free to post on my Facebook page, The Sassy Momma or tag your picture on IG– #thesassymomma.

Happy Crafting!

Xoxo Lindsey

We’re Expecting… Again!!!

Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is enjoying the gorgeous spring weather! I know up here in Erie we have had a few glorious days that have truly felt like spring- which of course meant I had to break out my white pants, coral colored top and gold sandals… But, alas, it’s now back down to the 30s. I’m crossing my fingers this cold air leaves soon and we can get back to warm(er) weather and sunshine!

Just like spring showers bring new flowers- this new season brings something new for our family. A BABY :) In fact, a Baby GIRL will join us on August 5th! We are so excited and happy for her arrival. But I’m pretty sure the happiest person in our family is our 3 year old, Harper. She, without a doubt, cannot wait to be a big sister. In fact, she regularly asks, “Is it August yet? I’m ready for baby to be here!” Every time we have gone for an ultrasound, she thinks that we are going to pick up her little sister and bring her home. Needless to say, the ultrasound pictures do not do her justice. Harper wants a real live baby to cart home. Patience, grasshopper, she’ll come. And then, it’ll be a whole new ballgame.

Second Pregnancy Announcement @ The Sassy Momma

This week I’ll be 20 weeks along- crazy! It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway there! This being my second, I’ve felt this baby move so much sooner than with Harper and I LOVE it. I also have to say, that I am THRILLED to be having another GIRL. I think there’s something so special about a sister having a sister. I have a little sister and absolutely love her to pieces. I know Harper will make the greatest big sister ever as she’s taken to babies for as long as I can remember. Ever the nurturer, she adores all my friends’ babies and loves playing with them. Here’s to hoping those same sentiments remain when our little one arrives :)

I probably won’t be posting pregnancy updates nearly as much as I did for my first pregnancy but I’ll be sure to sprinkle some posts in, so stay tuned!

Xoxo Lindsey

April 4, 2016 - 7:50 am

2016 Mommy Must Haves: Baby #2 » The Sassy Momma - […] With baby #2 on the way, I’ve already been thinking about what we will need this time around compared to last. Since we’re having another girl, I will give almost everything of Harper’s to this baby but there are some new things that weren’t on the market at the time that I’m dying to get my hands on to try out. After all, who doesn’t love the latest and greatest? Oh, and if it’s pretty and functional- sign me up! So today, I compiled a list of “must- haves” for baby numero dos. We have a few of the items on this list already but I kept them in because they’re just such good products I’d vouch for them all day long. […]

Easter Sugar Cookie Bars

Good Morning friends! If you’re looking for an easy, Easter-themed treat to make with your little ones, then I have just the thing for you! I came across this recipe in the middle of the night while I was trolling Pinterest in hopes of magically becoming tired (and actually falling asleep- which happened, 2 hours later). When I saw the picture for these bright, adorable little cookie bars I knew Harper and I had a baking adventure on our hands. I love baking things that aren’t too complicated so that Harper can participate, too – she especially loves pouring the ingredients, mixing the bowl, and following me around with her stool (which I’ve cursed under my breath a few times as it’s landed on my toes more times than I can count) because little Miss never wants to miss out on any kitchen action.

Easter Sugar Cookie Bars @ The Sassy Momma

This recipe comes directly from PinkWhen and I didn’t change a thing. Thank you so much Jennifer, this is a recipe I’ll be using again and again! You can find the recipe below.

Easter Sugar Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 ½ Tbsp sour cream (we subbed Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 11 oz bag Ghiradelli white chocolate chips (yum!)
  • 1 bag Easter themed M&M’s
  • Sprinkles
Easter Sugar Cookie Bars @ The Sassy Momma

Look at that face- refusing to give me even the tiniest smile when the camera is out. Sheesh, toddlers ;)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 9×13 pan with foil (or parchment paper) and coat with a non-stick cooking spray.

Mix the butter and sugar in stand mixer until creamy.

Add in egg, egg white, sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well.

Pour in flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix well.

Add in white chocolate chips and mix until incorporated evenly.

Pour mixture into 9×13 pan and smooth out. ** Tip: I like to spray Pam (or whatever non-stick cooking spray you’re using) onto my hands and use them to smooth out the dough. It always seems easier than trying to manipulate the dough with the spatula.

Cover with bag of M&M’s and Sprinkles (Harper and I may have snuck a few, or 10 M&M’s during this step :) ). Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 45 minutes. Cut into bars and serve!

Since we made these for Harper’s preschool class I put them into little cellophane treat bags, added a tag (you can find them at Hobby Lobby) that I had stamped “Sent with Love” and added a “Love, Harper” all tied with some bakers twine.

Easter Cookie Bars @ The Sassy Momma

Happy Baking!

Xoxo Lindsey