Every evil plan needs SUPPLIES
I’ve had folks reach out to me for intel on supplies and although I do not have an amazing state secret to share about how I procure all my sweaters, I DO have some worthy business suppliers and recommendations for other things that go into my art, such as machines, thread, needles, etc… None of these are affiliate links, so I receive nothing if you purchase anything from any of these links. I don't mind - just trying to be helpful. If you do find info here at all useful, show me some social media love and follow my Facebook page. If you don't have Facebook, you can follow me on Instagram, or be part of my Pinterest community (lots of sewing tips on my sewing board!). I rely on word-of-mouth, so your social media support costs you nothing to provide and means SO much to me. 💓
I use my needle-felting machines ALMOST as much as my sewing and overlock machines. I like the Babylock Embellisher EMB-12 which VERY sadly has been discontinued. Here’s the original product page:
If you get lucky, you might be able to find one of these hiding somewhere at your local Babylock dealer (use the Babylock website link to look up your local store). I found my backup machines on eBay. You can also search on Craigslist and see if someone local has one they're willing to part with. These machines were a pricey ~$600 brand new and came in both 7-needle models and later 12-needle models. Go for the 12-needle if you can. I've also had a Simplicity 12-needle model (also discontinued) and the Babylock machine just works better. The bummer about buying used is it's not under warranty, but this machine is fairly simple so if something's wrong, it's not a complicated repair.
I have both this industrial model as well as several home sergers, so I can write lovely prose about the differences between the two, and that should be a whole separate blog post (note to self: write future blog post extolling the differences between home/industrial overlock machines). Love the Juki the best!
Regular sewing machine:
I have a Babylock Destiny, which I use for on-the-fly non-hooped embroidery stitches that a regular sewing machine won't do. Warning, this thing will destroy your wallet. ☠ I was only able to afford mine when my late grandmother left me a bit of money, so it's named Emily, after her, in gratitude. She loved to sew, and I felt it was a good way to honor our mutual love of sewing and to feel connected to her. They've upgraded and changed the models (Babylock is famous for doing that) 🙄, so you can probably get a used Destiny for a lot less than I paid for mine.
Thread and Notions:
My Katwise-inspired coats use a LOT of thread, so I prefer to buy in 6,000 yard spools. My favorite sources for thread:
Venus thread: https://vti.saha.com/
Venus thread has the best range of colors. If you want to get from them, be sure and get a color card. I think it's around $15.00 and well worth it. The staff at Saha (the manufacturer) are SO wonderful and friendly to talk to! I'm not sure but I *think* you have to be registered in your state as business to buy from them, but you can just call and ask. I'm an introvert and if I can reach out, you can do it too, pinky swear!
California Thread Supply: https://www.ctsusa.com/
CTS has a far smaller range of colors than Venus, but is generally a bit cheaper if you buy in a big enough quantity. They also have embroidery thread as well. Invest in a color card, it's just worth it. I have both the embroidery AND the overlock thread color cards. Their website is always a bit glitchy, but they are generally good when you can get an order through. Ooooo UPDATE - their new website is https://www.calthread.com/. (I think the old one still works too - it's the same company.)
Wawak's thread color range is a bit meh, but they are very quick to ship. They also have a good zipper collection. When I don't have a reclaimed zipper, I just get them from Wawak. The #5 jacket zippers are all good quality YKK-brand.
The Thread Exchange: https://www.thethreadexchange.com/
Don't bother buying invisible thread in tiny store-bought spools. It tangles up and is SUCH a pain. I buy mine from The Thread Exchange on large industrial size cones. They'll last you forever, and are a lot less prone to twisting/tangling. They also have grab bags of rayon and polyester embroidery thread so if you're into embroidery, it's a great way to build up your stash of less-expensive thread to play around with. They've got needles too.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Kai scissors. I have them in 11-inch and 12-inch and I will NEVER go back to regular store-bought scissors. I also don't trust rotary cutters as I nearly sliced my fingertip off with one. I'll spare you the gruesome photo. Bleh. Instead, look at these beautiful things. Are these not the most amazing scissors you've ever seen?? (Wawak sells these too.)
C Cartwright's Sequins are simply unmatched in colors, shapes, sizes. I have 230+ different colors, shapes and sizes of sequins and just when I think I have every color, they come up with something new. They ship from Arkansas and send things pretty quickly too. Are you into beading?? They just started carrying seed-beads as well.
Most of my fleece I have gotten from Joann's. I'm not proud. They are a big-box store, and I wish they'd pay their staff more. Plus they have a habit of introducing a really pretty pattern and then quickly discontinuing it. So they don't get a link. Booooo! 😒
Shout out to Denver Design Incubator for their efforts to provide shared maker-space as well as instruction on the ins and outs of industrial machines and apparel construction. Even if you don't work in a "cut sew" operation, I think it's great to have an appreciation of how everyday clothes are made. If we didn't have apparel manufacturing and you didn't have sewing skills, you'd be walking around in your birthday suit! 😮 Here's their Facebook page and please show them some social media love too. They are a very worthy organization!
Well, did I miss anything? If so send me a nice nag: firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on social media.
Again - I don't do "affiliate links", so there's no financial incentive for me to ever steer you one way or another. I prefer it that way. The suppliers and businesses above earned their shout-out just by having great service and great products. If you found valuable info here that was super helpful, you can always buy me a coffee (more likely a little bag 'o sparkles) and it is greatly appreciated. 🥰 My virtual "tip jar" is here: