I’m Sew-Savvy

My sister and I had planned to go all the way to Divisoria today to look at fabrics. I wanted to buy materials that I needed for sewing as well. YES! I finally purchased a machine – just the low-end one with basic stitches – that can aid a novice like me without breaking the bank. This is a Singer Promise 1408 with 8 built-in stitches and automatic 4-step buttonhole.


A week ago, the husband drove me all the way to Sta. Cruz, Manila (braving traffic and enduring hunger pangs as we hadn’t had lunch yet and it was about noon) to go to the Monteverde showroom. They are the official distributor and importer of Singer sewing machines. Had I known that their Makati branch was actually nearer, we would have gone there instead. The folks over at Sta. Cruz were very helpful though especially Allan who did a very good demo of the use of the machine (I think he sensed that I was a total beginner) and hands-on training for myself. TIP: Do not buy from resellers if you’re thinking about purchasing a Singer machine. Go straight to this distributor. The price difference is huge. This low-end one, for example, fetches upwards of Php 10k on Lazada while I only paid Php 7,5oo at Monteverde complete with demo, training and freebies of extra needles, bobbins, machine oil and even a wall clock). The sales lady at the shop was gunning for me to get the higher-end one but it was a good thing that Allan took over because he convinced me to get the most basic one instead since I was only starting out and I wouldn’t need all the other additional fancy stitches. The lady initially told me that I wouldn’t be able to sew heavier fabrics like curtains, etc. but Allan assured me that all I need is a change in needles. I left their shop happy and confident that I can sew!

I first practiced on some leftover fabric from when I gave our old dining seats a makeover. Thank God for the internet! I found an easy-to-follow tutorial on YouTube on how to sew an envelope pillow cover. Because this didn’t involve zippers, it was perfect for my first ever sewing project.

It took some time to do the first one, but the next two ones took less than 15 minutes to make after I got the hang of it.


Without intending it, the pillows matched the marsala-colored fitted sheet on the sofa bed. I was beaming. 🙂 There were a few challenges during this first project though and it was a learning experience. If I had my choice of fabric, I wouldn’t have chosen this leftover that I had because it was too silky and so it was difficult to work with. Ironing it didn’t help much as the fabric couldn’t stand too much heat. I also didn’t have sewing pins and had to use spare needles to keep the hems in place as I was running them through the machine. Paper scissors were the only pair I owned and I didn’t have a long ruler to draw straight so my lines were uneven.

These were the reasons for the planned trip to the Divisoria. It was a blessing that my husband suggested Kamuning. My sister had not heard of the fabric area there and she’s been living in QC for more than 30 years! I looked up the place online in the hopes of finding blog posts  about the area and sure enough there were very good reviews of the place so off we went. I still did not expect much but when we saw the numerous blocks of fabric even from the entrance of the compound, my heart skipped a beat! The place is situated right next to the Kamuning Public Market and while the parking spaces were all taken, there were surprisingly not a lot of people there. We would have had a very different experience had we gone to Divisoria. My sister and I salivated over the gorgeous fabrics on display. The prices ranged from 100 to 350 per yard. There was only one go-to store for materials other than fabric though, and that was Del’s Merchandise located inside the market. Here are the stuff that I bought:

  • measuring tape = P 15
  • 5 different colors of thread = P 20/ea
  • 1 rugged thread (heavy duty) = P 35
  • tailor’s chalk (Drizt) = P 45
  • zipper – 6 yards
  • zipper slider – 4 pcs

I couldn’t recall the price for the zipper items but my total purchase was Php 220 – not bad! I did have to go back for tailoring scissors (P 220) and interfacing fabric (P 100+). From another store, I also bought 1.5 yards of earthy linen-like fabric at 320/yd (brought down from 350 – yes you can haggle) to dress up the grey blinds in my kitchen (I thought I need the interfacing for it but it turned out I didn’t).

I had to avert my eyes from all the very pretty fabric that will look really good on the cushions of our 3-seater rattan. I’ll have to return when I have the budget and my skills are highly advanced – which may be a few years (maybe months with constant practice!) down the road. Crossing my fingers!

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Freelancer. Jack-of-all-trades. Wife to the best man in the world. Mom to a Persian-Himalayan cat, a Yellow Lab and a Beagle. You can find me on Twitter and .

6 thoughts on “I’m Sew-Savvy”

  1. Good thing you posted about this. I want to reupholster my sofa bed and I want to buy some nice fabric, ayoko namang sa mall kasi baka mahalia.

    1. Bumili rin ako sa mall dahil wala akong time bumalik sa Kamuning. Ang sakit – ang price was 600/yd and I needed 6 yards. Never again!

  2. hi! i’m thinking about getting this for my sew projects.. have you tried changing the needle and sewing heavier garments? and may nakita ka po ba na thick interfacing? hehehe.. thank you very much po!

    1. Hi AndreaKZ! Thanks for your comment. I do change needles depending on what I sew. I use the 90/14 ballpoint needle when sewing knits, and the 80/11 regular needle for thicker fabrics. I use 90/14 regular needle for regular woven ones. I got the think interfacing online. I joined a good Facebook group and the members can usually get the stuff that you need. One member got me my thicker fusible interfacing, as well as some presser feet. Her name is Emerald Pearl. You might also want to look at the Facebook page of Sew Corner Manila. I bought my cutter and ruler from them. Carolina’s Shoppe in Glorietta and SM North sell notions as well if you don’t want to order online or go to Divisoria. Hope this helps!

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