OHhhhh....How I LOVE my new Zoje 628! I can say that NOW but let me tell you the first few days of getting to know this beast had us almost on the path to mutal SEPERATION! LOLLLLLLLL
Let me start at the beginning! OK....so you already know I sew bags.....and as you also know, bags have many layers and often many thicknesses. Yes....my domestic pfaff handles the job OK BUT.....ahhh yes..there are times when it struggles a little....which would be OK if I was only making an occasionally bag....BUT given I sew LOTS of bags and am also starting to have some FUN with leathers, faux leathers, pleathers and vinyls etc PLUS given the fact that hubby wants ME to reupholster his hot rod (Yeah right....like I want to do that when I could be sewing a BAG? HMMM BUT....OK YES....GREAT EXCUSE REASON why I need an industrial sewing machine??? Gotta be SMART here! LOLLLL)....it just seems a natural progression for me to acquire a new machine....(and Christmas is coming, right?)
So anyway......admittedly I didn't know much at all about Industrial Sewing Machines....I certainly had NEVER sewn on one! So I started googling (How else do you find out info these days?) and yes.....it was interesting AND confusing at the same time.....
GOSH...do you realise how many different types of Industrials there are? Unlike domestics, generally each machine does ONE job but does it very well! None of this zig zag + fancy schmancy stitches + button holes etc etc....Plus there are mechanical ones as well as Computerised ones and clutch motors and servo motors and....geesh....just WHERE do you start??
Anyway.....along the way I mentioned to my bag tester extraordinaire Maria of Mia Creates that I was thinking about getting one....and so she talked me into it..... Hahahaa....OK......so she didn't really BUT she DID say how pleased she was with hers, A ZOJE! Up until Maria, I hadn't really heard of that brand before, I admit!
Soooo....I marched off to my local sewing centre and low and behold....the very machine recommended to me was? Can you GUESS?? None other than A ZOJE! If it was good enough for Maria....it was good enough for ME! LOLLLL (By the way, have you SEEN Maria's workmanship? NEVER a wonky stitch EVER! Let me tell you, her sewing is pure PERFECTION!!)
The very helpful people at Lismore Sewing Centre ordered it in especially for ME! (Thanks Doug & Florence! By the way, Florence has the most AWESOME embroidery designs you ever did see - check them out here!) Within a few days (OK it seemed like a MONTH! LOLL) they had delivered it and set it all up ready for me to rock and roll:
As you can see, it comes complete with it's own table! NO way will I be lugging this machine to any sewing get togethers! It weighs a TON!....ok....so maybe not a ton BUT enough to blow a gasket if you are foolish enough try to lift it youself!
The motor is located under the table! This is of the clutch variety. Noisy BUT fast and reliable! Mind you, nothing fancy in the way of electronic speed control and no fancy auto thread trimming or backstitch either! This machine is pure mechanical!
See the on/off buttons just under the table on the right?....That is all the buttons you get! LOLLLLLLL
Bobbin winding is done on the right hand side and you can wind your bobbin while you are sewing too, so you are ready to go when the one in use is empty! That's handy! LOLL
Like I said....no buttons! If you want to reverse, you have this lever just below the stitch length dial which you press downwards and it scoots of backwards. YIKES! The first time I did this was at the end of a practice row and I almost ended up back where I started from! So much for my 3 0r 4 easily controlled Pfaff backstitches! HA!
One thing I did find nifty is this oil pan! You just tilt the machine backwards to reveal this pan of oil and those cords hanging down rest in the oil, seeping it up into the machine...so it oils itself! How clever is that! LOLLLLL At least oiling the machine regularly is one thing less I have to remember!
And just so you don't forget about the oil altogether because occasionally you will have to replenish it.....it has this cute little clear bubble thingy on the top of the machine where you can actually see a shot of oil spurt up into it every few seconds! What FUN....just make sure you don't get too carried away watching it while you sew or else you might sew your finger if you are not paying attention to your needle! LOLLL
Doug DID show me how to thread the machine when he delivered it ....BUT....By the time I went to do it, I had forgotten! Typical! LOLLLL I had a bit of drama and a few emails back and forth to Maria who sent me some pics of hers....ok, not exactly threaded the same BUT it helped and soon I was on my way again!
The instruction book that came with the machine was almost useless though.....OK...it wasn't even a book, just a couple of pieces of paper! LOLLLLL (HEY Zoje manufacturer - some of us have never used an industrial machine....a little more info would be nice??)
Check out the foot! It's a compound feed walking foot machine which means the fabric is fed by the feed dog, presser foot AND the needle! WOW! There is absolutely NO slippage whatsoever. Absolutely PERFECT for those sometimes troublesome leathers and vinyls etc....WOOHOOOO! (OK and yes....it will be perfect for sewing hubby's upholstery! Shheesh...HOW am I going to get out of that one now??)
And how cool is this! You lift the presser foot by pressing down on the right pedal! Mind you....I practically had to stand on it to get it to budge the first time BUT....my leg is getting stronger and soon I will have one fat leg buldging with muscles and one skinny leg BUT who cares, right? LOLLLL Of course the left pedal is your speed control....if you can call it 'speed control'....I prefer to call it "rocket control''! LOLL
The bobbins are BIGGER too.....handy for the fatter threads I will be using! LOLL As you can guess, the one on the left is a regular sized bobbin and the one on the right is Zoje's! :)
So what do I think of my new ZOJE? It's absolutely FABULOUS! OK....so the first few times I tried sewing with it, it scared living daylights out of me! FAST is an understatement! LOLLLLL I thought it would take off to the moon! My first impression was that I would NEVER get the feel for controlling this beast who seemed to have a mind of it's own! BUT thankfully Doug came to the rescue and told me how to raise the motor a little so the belt slips which will prevent it from taking off so FAST! (OK...so I admit I didn't raise it, hubby did - minor details! LOLL)
All you have to do is loosen the top nut and tighten the bottom nut so the motor raises slightly and there you have it, one slightly slipping belt! It worked a treat and now I am quite happy with my takeoffs! LOLLLL
I have also read somewhere online....and I forget where (sorry!) BUT to help slow things down while learning, some people put a kids plastic bouncy ball underneath the foot control! I haven't tried it though....
Mind you....straight lines were easy to get the hang of BUT sewing circles is a different story! I printed off some of my circle diagrams and have been busy practicing.
As you can see, by the 12th sheet of paper I am starting to be able to keep to the lines better....mind you, that tight curve in the middle has me bamboozled.....I might need another 12 sheets to get that bit right! LOLLLLLLLL
Admittedly even Kenny is tired of hearing about my new ZOJE 628! :0 BUT if YOU have a ZOJE too or indeed any an Industrial Machine ....or hope to get one, do share with us in the comments below! I don't get tired of chatting about them....not yet anyway! LOLLLLLLLLLL