I guess you could say I “made it work.”

Project Runway has been a mainstay in my adult life since my senior year in college (2008, cough), when we would all cram into a stupid dormroom and quietly sip from bottles of vodka because #drycampus. That was the year of Christian Siriano, which, let’s be honest – you knew he was going to win from the beginning.

Cut to 2010, I am literally interning at Marie Claire working under Nina Garcia. I am steaming her structured no-nonsense dresses, running out to get her a grilled cheese sandwich, and learning how to pronounce all the words I only pretended to know how to say before. (“Gee-vonch-cheee.”

I’m no longer in fashion so directly, but I still watch the hell out of Project Runway – especially when I’m sick or kind of depressed and just need to see some LOOKS. Therefore, I obviously jumped at the chance to try out one of the Brother sewing machines featured on this season of PR. Did I create a full ensemble that showed my point of view as a designer, while striking Zac Posen silent from my genius. Er, no. Did I embroider a totebag with my Insta handle on it (Cough, @lyzaster and yes you can follow me), and did I later use that tote bag for my gym clothes? YES. It felt like a very productive day.

To be honest in general, I was shocked at how incredibly user-friendly and easy to use the machine was. I am a little familiar with the way a sewing machine is set up, but barely. My mom quilted when I was little and I made a gym bag in one of those weirdly named school classes from the 90s’ (Home and Careers). So while I did proclaim when I sat down that I “knew what a bobbin was,” I did not need to. The whole experience was shocking easy and enjoyable. Some key takeaways?

Sewing machine

Things I leaned

  • There are 105 built-in embroidery designs to choose from, AND you can easily download more
  • It has a back-lit LCD touch screen display, which means easy ways to access and edit built-in designs and view tutorials
  • You can embroider designs at up to 400 stitches per minute
  • There is an advanced needle threading system. With the press of a lever, the thread is pushed through the eye of the needle
  • Connect it to your Wi-Fi, and you’ll get free machine updates and easily import embroidery designs

End result: Me seriously considering buying one of these and embroidering the hell out of all my stuff. Gifting things….you name it. If you’ve ever thought about maybe trying a hand at crafting in this upscale way, or opening your own Etsy store…get yourself one of these babies. You’d make any Tim Gunn proud.

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