SEASONAL SEWING CONTESTS

INTRODUCING SEASONAL SEWING FACEBOOK CONTESTS! Show off your beautiful seasonal creations. Get your friends to vote for your photo for a chance to win great prizes! Facebook fans can now enter theme related photos of their creations for a chance to win great prizes from Allbrands.com! Entries must be hand or machine sewn. Enter up to 5 times to increase your chances. The Photo With The Most Facebook “Likes” Wins!

Contest Schedule:

  • (May 1 – July 31, 2015) “Spring/Summer Themed Creations”
  • (August 1 – October 31, 2015) “Fall/Halloween Themed Creations”
  • (September 1 – December 31, 2015) “Holiday Themed Creations”
  • (January 1 – March 31, 2016) “Winter Themed Creations”

Win Great Prizes!:

  1. Janome MC9500 Embroidery Machine
  2. Electrolux Steam Iron
  3. $25 Allbrands Gift Card!

Enter Now or Learn More at http://www.allbrands.com/contest

View Entry Gallery

Allbrands 2Go Mobile App

Introducing Allbrands2GO Mobile App for Apple & Android devices.

Everything you love about Allbrands.com right in the palm of your hand.

  • Instant Coupon Codes
  • New Products
  • Social Feeds
  • Sew Forum
  • Events & Classes
  • Schedule Maintenance
  • Customer Support

Download Free http://goo.gl/CeNE6D

 

The proof is in the pudding!

10846063_10152744268983644_2143612744807828746_n

Fae Stene 5 starAllbrands is a great place to shop. I bought a gravity feed iron and a converter box, for my embroidery machine. Both had excellent prices, great service and came really fast.  Thank you Allbrands. I will continue to shop here. Fae Stene.

Claudia Foxworth 5 starHad a wonderful time learning from all of the professionals at the All Brands Event in Houston, TX this past weekend. Every teacher was VERY INFORMATIVE & helpful. I especially learned so much about the Quattro 3 that I have in that class.
The few things that I felt needed a little improvement are:
a) printed handouts in all the classes
b) chairs spaced with a little more elbow run (during the full class segments-everyone all together.
Thanks so much for a wonderful couple of days. Rae from Baton Rouge was especially helpful! Claudia

Bridget Robertson 5 starI love the deals that I find on Allbrands! I’ve shopped the site for many years and will continue to do so!

Debra Joy Hart 5 star“Sew” excited to get my extension table for my sewing machine. Gonna be cranking out those quilts.

read more>


GIVE YOUR REVIEW

John M. Douthat 2015 ‪#‎VDTA‬/SDTA sewing and vacuum Hall of Fame Inductee

10499430_10152916570788644_2240926712288175045_o

John M. Douthat, Allbrands owner is 2015 ‪#‎VDTA‬/SDTA sewing and vacuum Hall of Fame Inductee.( David Oreck of “Oreck Vacuums” is the only other Louisianian in to receive this honor.)

John M. Douthat was born in Buckhannon, WVA in 1943. His father was a high school band director and mother a pianist and English teacher. John was in middle school in the late 50’s when he got a gilt from the FFA Future Farmers of America chapter pig chain to raise in his backyard in Webster FL. One of the grown up sow’s piglets cut open it’s stomach on a piece of glass in the pigpen. John got his mother’s needle and thread to sew up the pig who grew out and went to market. He thought his calling was to be a vet student at UF but graduated in economics and journalism. It was not until after he met and married sweet potato yam and sugar cane queen Annette Repp, an LSU Home Economics graduate, that they realized it was their mutual calling to eventually be in the sewing business. John worked for Ralston Purina Company in St. Louis who sent him to Washington University for an MBA in accounting. John and Annette spent a year each in Thailand and Korea with Purina building and starting animal feed plants. John then worked for AO Smith and Annette for Stretch & Sew Fabrics in Ft. Wayne IN. They opened a franchise in Baton Rouge LA in 1976 which became AllBrands.com in 1996 with 6 retail stores in Louisiana and now Texas. Twins John F Douthat. is IT director and daughter Barbara Chatelain is in charge of product management. Both work for AllBrands. Son In Law technician Seth Chatelain does all LA service. Daughter Dr. Yvonne Hartinger teaches voice at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
Son Robert is an actor and videographer in NYC. Thank God for the many family businesses in the sewing industry who can take care of their customers, employees and vendors for the long haul. AllBrands with 49 wonderful employees is a buying agent for all of our customers, not just a selling agent for the manufacturers. John Douthat, Owner Tech,AllBrands.com Sewing Machines and Vacuum Cleaners.

A Message From Joanne Banko!

Hello Sewing Friends! Joanne Banko here to tell you about an inspiring and informational sewing show you can watch for FREE this week. I know that many Allbrands subscribers watch It’s Sew Easy TV on local PBS television stations, but did you know you can view some of these educational episodes online too?
I would like to invite all of my Allbrands friends to view episode 702 titled START SMALL. Tune in by simply visiting the website at It’s Sew Easy. Watch this FREE program and you’ll learn how to piece and quilt a colorful Pinwheel Patchwork Tote. Get some great tips on using machine accessories for piecing and patchwork on most any machine. You’ll learn about fabric selection, needles, threads, and more when you watch this show. Brother Sewing machine fans will be especially interested in seeing me demonstrate the featured Brother digital dual feed foot, also know as the Muvit™ foot.

This show begins airing on the site at noon on October 3rd and continues until noon on October 10. Want step-by-step instructions for making your own tote? Join the website and access the entire archive of free project downloads from It’s Sew Easy TV.
On this show will also see Paula Reid, quilter extraordinaire, demonstrate easy techniques for managing all that “fluff” when you are machine quilting. And, last but not least learn how It’s Sew Easy TV’s awesome sewing and embroidery expert, Angel Wolf, quilts faux leather and pairs it with fashionable fleece. Angela has a tremendous knack for making ordinary fabrics look sensational!

Speaking of my friend Angela, I hope you are making plans to come to our Big Bash in Baton Rouge November 14th and 15th, 2014. Angela and I are teaming up to teach sewing enthusiasts a multitude of our favorite sewing and embroidery tips and techniques. Spend two delightful days stitching something you can keep for yourself or proudly give as a custom crafted gift. Please join us at the Baton Rouge River Center this fall. CLICK HERE for more information.
I hope to see you there! Happy sewing from your sewing friend,

 

JoanneBanko

 

JoanneBanko_signature

 

 

 

About the author: Joanne Banko is a freelance sewing educator and a self proclaimed sewing cheerleader. You can see Joanne’s online teaching segments broadcast on the popular PBS TV show, It’s Sew Easy, and online at www.itsseweasytv.com. She is a frequent contributor to Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine and author of the book Wrapped in Embroidery. The book is available at AllBrands.com. CLICK HERE for a preview. Visit Joanne at http://www.letsgosew.com/.

Our 6 Retail Locations Get LED Displays

Greetings Everyone. We thought we’d let you know that in each of our 6 retail locations we’ve installed these new LED Displays. They provide an interactive experience for our customers allowing them to stay updated with all the happenings with Allbrands.com. From classes, to events, to just information about us, these TV’s provide an awesome outlet to stay connected with us. Visit your local Allbrands retail and check it out. Who knows? You might just see yourself on TV

Great Customer Service Feedback

Hello Everyone check out this awesome feedback we received from a customer this week!

Betsy writes:

“I recently contacted AllBrands to order an insert for a new sewing cabinet that I had recently purchased. The customer service person who assisted me explained that since it would be custom made to fit my sewing machine and sewing cabinet, it would probably take a few weeks. That was on a Tuesday morning. Imagine my ecstatic surprise when I arrived home Friday, just three days later, and my new insert was there! I quickly went down to put it on my cabinet to see how it fit, and it was perfect!

Everything about my experience was awesome. The customer service person who assisted me was incredibly helpful, the insert was received quickly and fit perfectly. I was thoroughly impressed, it was the ultimate customer experience. THANK YOU!” – Betsy H.

For her amazing story we sent her $10 to use how she wanted with us. We really appreciate and value our customers. Thank you all for your support!

logo_sig

CREATIVE YOUTH

 

Dare to be dramatic! Dream in design! Be a Creative Youth! Try a FREE Intro class today!! Creative Youth is the only school in the entire Washington Metro area offering Fashion Design & Illustration, Sewing, and On Camera Film Acting Classes for Children & Teens! All curriculum has been tailored to the needs of Students ages 7-18! Acting classes are taught On Camera and foster improvisation, public speaking skills, and a self confidant attitude that serves throughout life! Our Fashion Design and Sewing studios provide step by step instruction to teach any novice what it takes to be a Fashion Star. From professional design markers to couture fabrics, everything is included! www.creative-youth.com

Dress Up with Decorative Stitches – Joanne Banko

Dress Up with Decorative Stitches – Part Three of Easy Embellishments

by Joanne Banko

JoanneBanko

 

 Let’s Get Started

Image1_meanddress

Today I’d like to share some embellishment techniques I used for a group of dresses featured on the popular PBS TV show, It’s Sew Easy. This informative sewing show is produced by KS Productions Inc. and airs all over the country. Check local PBS listings for show times in your area. Designers and teachers involved in every aspect of the sewing and embroidery industry are featured on this show. It’s Sew Easy will help you enhance your sewing skills and have more fun in your own sewing space!

In addition to watching the PBS TV show, you can view segments on itsseweasytv.com. Each week a new episode is uploaded and remains online for a full week. Visit the site this Friday, May 16, 2014 you will see me demonstrate decorative techniques for dresses on Episode 608, titled Classic Use of Ribbons and TrimsJoin the website and you’ll gain access to the entire archive of free project downloads, which includes valuable tips and a helpful supply list for the dresses seen on episode 608.

You’ll get lots of information and inspiration by watching the show but in this post I’d like to share some additional insider tips, techniques, and ideas with my Allbrands blog friends.

Image2_fourdresses

I love to sew garments and I had a lot of fun creating each of these dresses “from scratch.” Using a couple simply styled sundress patterns as my starting point, I added contrasting fabric bands in strategic places on four different dresses. Dress patterns are abundant right now so you’re sure to find something that suits your taste. Of course these same ideas will work for dresses with sleeves as well as many other garments.

Image3_patterns

Deciding where to add decorative dress bands is up to you. You may find dress patterns that already include a separate pattern for a band at the waist, hemline, etc. In addition, pocket tops, sundress straps, and bodice bands are perfect places for rows of decorative stitching. Feel free to add bands of fabric in other areas too! If you have a favorite pattern without a separate pattern piece, it’s easy to add a band by drawing a line, cutting the pattern, and adding seam allowance to each cut edge. When you sew the pieces back together you’ll end up with the same size piece you started with. You can cut apart most any pattern piece as long as you remember to add appropriate seam allowance. I like to trace the original pattern onto paper or tracing cloth, draw lines for placement of contrasting pieces, and then trace off new patterns to use for cutting my fabric. Consider inserting zippers for a fun and functional accent. I took a plain pocket piece and did just that for one of my sundresses.

Image4_pocket

In the show I talk about preparing your pattern and your fabric for the decorative stitching. In most cases I stitched multiple rows of decorative prior to constructing the garment. Ribbons add to the mix of dress embellishments. Decorative stitches combined with ribbons create a colorful, coordinated look.  I used decorative stitches on ordinary ribbons in a recent blog for Allbrands. I invite you to CLICK HERE and read this post for a few additional basic ribbon stitching tips, including some needle, thread, and stabilizer guidelines.

To add ribbon to the sundress straps I placed my ribbon on top of the fabric piece and stitched through all the layers, anchoring the ribbon in place as I added the decorative stitches. Sundress straps become a focal point on the garment with a decorative ribbon stitched down the center. By repeating the technique on the bodice and the banded hem this dress gets a designer style touch that makes it unique. For the banded hem and the bodice I chose to stitch the ribbon separately on a base of stabilizer. Then I used a fine fusible webbing to attach the ribbon to the dress.

Image5_dress1bodiceImage6_dress1hem

On another dress I selected a sheer ribbon and sewed a light weight decorative stitch down the center. To stitch on this soft sheer ribbon I opted for a light weight fibrous type of water soluble stabilizer, instead of my usual tear away stabilizer. I use this type whenever I need stabilizer to totally disappear when I’m finished. For added stability I layered a strip of stabilizer over the top and bottom of the ribbon. After washing out the stabilizer I used a narrow zig-zag stitch to attach the ribbon to the upper embellished band. I had a bit of leftover ribbon so I gathered the edge of two small pieces and formed little rosettes to decorate the straps. The resulting trim is subtle but pretty.

Image7_dress2bodiceImage8_rosetteWhile creating the dresses I had fun playing with different decorative stitches. Some of the bands feature candlewick style stitches. You may have a stitch like this built in to your machine. Candlewick stitches are usually defined as a stitch that resembles a hand sewn French knot, or a little star like stitch that produces a heavy bump, almost like a bead. The dress in the photo above has alternating rows of the French knot style stitch, shown in turquoise thread. My zippered pocket shows an example of the star style candlewick stitch on the lime green accent piece. There are quite a few variations of this stitch found on different machines. It is likely you’ll need a Candlewicking presser foot to successfully sew these bulky stitches. This foot has a deep groove running the full length of the foot, gliding over the bumps formed by candlewick stitches.

Image9_candlewickfoot

If you have a Brother Model machine with the My Custom Stitch™ feature you can create candlewick stitches right on the screen of the machine. It’s a simple matter of plotting stitch points along a special gridline. These stitch points then serve as coordinates telling the machine how to form the stitch. There is an entire book aptly titled My Custom Stitch™ written to guide you in creating your own special stitches. CLICK HERE to research Brother Model machines that include the My Custom Stitch™ feature. On this same page you will find a link from Allbrands to the Brother Design Studio where you will discover many free My Custom Stitch™ design coordinates, including the French knot style candlewick stitch. Follow the path outlined below to locate this stitch, along with many more My Custom Stitch™ coordinates available from Brother.

Image10_mycustomstitchmap

These dresses are perfect for making use of the many decorative stitches available for your particular machine. To use decorative stitches to the fullest, I encourage you to consider making a sampler of the stitches built in to your machine. If you add a new My Custom Stitch™ to your repertoire you will want to stitch a sample of that stitch too. To make your sampler, select a firm woven fabric in a light color, adding medium weight fusible interfacing to the wrong side. Place an additional layer of tear away underneath. Use contrasting thread to sew out each stitch in your entire stitch menu, from beginning to end. I’m sure you’ll see many stitches that are far more beautiful in thread than they are on the screen of your machine or printed in the instruction manual. Keep your sampler handy and it will inspire you to use those pretty stitches more often. I hope these ideas empower you with motivation to make your own summer sundress or apply these decorative techniques to other garments and crafts.

For those of you have been following this series you may recall that last time I said I would talk about embellishing ribbons with bobbin work decorative stitching. Bobbin Work stitchery isyet another of my all time favorite embellishment techniques. I promise to cover that subject next time as I finish up this series. Until then, happy sewing from your sewing friend,

 

JoanneBanko

JoanneBanko_signature

About the author: Joanne Banko is a freelance sewing educator and a self proclaimed sewing cheerleader. You can see Joanne’s online teaching segments broadcast on the popular PBS TV show, It’s Sew Easy, and online at www.itsseweasytv.com. She is a frequent contributor to Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine and author of the book Wrapped in Embroidery. The book is available at AllBrands.com. CLICK HERE for a preview. Visit Joanne at http://www.letsgosew.com/.