Alina Sewing and Design

Hello friends! Can you believe it’s March already?! How are we already in the third month of 2013? Craziness. This year (and our time left in Kansas) is flying, just like I thought it would! One thing I’m excited about it the prospect of Spring. Definitely ready for that. 🙂

I get asked a lot about what I sew & shoot with, so I thought I would go over a bit about my sewing machines and my camera equipment!

Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

Sewing 1

I LOVE this machine. I’ve had it for nearly a year now and, even running my own business, haven’t even made a dent in all that it can do! I’ve had zero problems with it, which is something that is really important to me. A reliable and hard-working machine is what I wanted and that’s what I got. I especially love the extension table and it stays on my machine. I bought this machine through Amazon, which is something I would also recommend. JoAnn Fabrics sells this exact machine for $800 in their stores! It seems to stay at $329 on Amazon, so that’s awesome if you’re wanting to take your time in deciding if this machine is right for you. Oh, and I know that the actual machine isn’t in focus in this picture, but I included it because I wanted you to see all of the presser feet that come with it! I told you I haven’t even made a dent in what it can do!


Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger with Easy Lay In Threading with Differential Feed

Sewing 2

I purchased my serger last November. It’s probably the best thing I could have done. I decided that if people cared enough to buy my products or pay for my upholstery, then I needed to provide professionally-finished seams, at the very least. If you’re looking for a reliable serger, this one has been great. Though I definitely haven’t pushed it to its limits, I have nothing to complain about and it’s been a great machine for the price!


Now….for the camera equipment!

Camera 1

Just kidding, I don’t shoot with that. 😀  THAT is my late grandfather’s vintage Petri 35mm. I was lucky enough to find it in my possession. Maybe someday I will venture into film cameras, but for now, I’ll stick with the DSLR. 🙂


Camera BodyCanon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Sensor DIGIC 4 Image Processor Full-HD Movie Mode Digital SLR Camera with a 3.0-Inch LCD and Dedicated Movie Button (Body Only)

We bought the T2i from Target, using our extra wedding gift cards in December 2011. This camera has been a great “entry-level” DSLR. In my research, the only main difference between the T2i and the most expensive Rebel, the T4i, is the flip-out screen present on the T4i. That feature wasn’t worth the extra few hundred for me, so I’ve been really happy with this one. (I would like to note that my SIL shoots with the T4i and uses the flip-out screen a lot, especially when shooting selfies of her and the kids together, so you just need to decide what’s best for you!) Eventually, I’d love to upgrade to a full-frame EOS, but this crop-sensor body serves me well for the time-being!


Camera 2Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II SLR Lens

This is the lens that came with my camera (AKA the “kit” lens). I used it a lot when we first bought our camera because it was the only one I had. It’s a great little zoom lens, which is why its usually included with lower-end camera bodies. I still use it for shots where I need the super wide angle (the 18mm end of the focal range), like when I’m photographing rooms.

Camera 3

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens

This was the second lens I got. My mom got it for me as a birthday/early anniversary present last August. This lens’ f/stop will go as low as 1.8, which means you can achieve that delicious blurry background (AKA “bokeh”) and is great in low-light situations. This lens stayed on my camera 99% of the time when I got it! For around $120, this lens is a great addition to your camera bag! Oh, and that thing on the end is a super-cool lens hood; its made out of rubber, so it collapses out of the way when you’re not using it! I bought it for around $3 at a local camera shop. (And that lens cap is a white balance lens cap, if you were wondering.)

Camera 4

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

This was the second lens I added: the 75-300mm. This one is considered a telephoto lens. It will zoom in A LOT. I don’t use this one as much, but for around $125, it’s a great deal for the focal range. I used this one a lot when my father-in-law went skydiving and I needed to zoom way in to get some shots of him coming down, even while he was still 5,000+ feet away from where we were standing!

Camera 5Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

This one…this one is by far the nicest lens I own. And by far my favorite. It’s made by Tamron and retails for around $499 (for Canon). It has a focal range of 28-75mm and the f/stop will go as low as 2.8, so you’re getting that bokeh and still have a zoom lens, meaning you don’t have to move around as much, or can shoot in tight spaces. I LOVE this lens. Now…don’t hate me, but I actually happened to score this lens for $275 last month. A lady was selling it on Craigslist after a camera upgrade. She hadn’t used it very much and listed it for $200. I quickly offered her an extra $75 to win out over the other interested buyers and met her later that day to pick it up. I probably wouldn’t normally buy a lens off of Craigslist, but that deal worked out amazingly for me. Even still, after using this lens for a month or so, I would pay full-price if I had to. Canon’s alternative to this lens (similar focal range and same f/stop…granted, it is an “L” series lens) retails for around $2,000. So, $500 is totally reasonable for what this lens offers.

All of the photos in this post were either taken with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 or the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, just to give you an idea on the kinds of photos they are capable of (though, I don’t claim they’re anything special, you can see the “bokeh” I’m referring to 🙂 ).


What do you guys sew and shoot with? I’d love to hear all about it!


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