Thursday, 7 January 2016

Sewing machines

I am in a few sewing groups on facebook and other sites online and there is always a lot of talk about sewing machines. I have both computerised and mechanical machines and an overlocker and would one day perhaps like to add an embroidery machine and coverstitch but I can get by well without them.On my wish list is an antique machine as well, again not necessary but I would like one just the same, they don't make them like they used to.

Some people swear by and will only use one brand, others only want a mechanical machine and others only want computerised. My favourite machine, and the one that is always set up now that I have a sewing space, is my trusty old faithful Janome MC6500 P. It was not cheap by any means but for the sheer quality of the machine and the number of things it can do I really think it was worth the expense (particularly as it was purchased on sale for $1k off the rrp).

These are the features of the machine


It has been used a lot in the years I have had it but that said, there are still some features I have never used, such as the editing of decorative stitches, elongating stitches, using the extra high lift for the foot (I don't make quilts that are that thick) or even putting on the knee lifter. I rarely use the extension table and I am not even sure I have used all the feet that came with it. I think I need to sit down with the manual and work my way through it so I can re-aquaint myself with the seldom or never used features.

In the 9 or so years I have had this machine I have become reliant on the auto needle threader, the automatic bobbin winder, the needle down button, the lock stitch and the thread snipper button. The only thing this machine doesn't have that would be handy is a free arm, not necessary but it would be nice.

I hope this machine lasts me many more years as I don't like the idea of trying to find another machine that does all this one does, but then again the latest Janome 6600p or whatever it is by the time I need a replacement will probably have all this and more.

What is your favourite machine and what feature(s) can you not like without?



Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Sewing Space

As mentioned in the last post eldest ds bought me a desk for Christmas, so I would have somewhere to sew and no longer monopolise the dining room table.

Anyway, it arrived, I assembled it and set it up in my room.

I have since moved it to another location as the room was not working as it wa slaid out, but it now has my sewing magazines,some patterns and thread storage boxes all located on the shelves and within easy reach.

So far I am yet to get any sewing done but my space is there and ready to go as soon as I can find some time.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Sewing and Christmas

As mentioned in the last post I made a bit of a mess with the topstitching on one of the FST's, it is fine to wear around the house but I wear it out until I do something with it. I was considering covering it with a ruffle or trim and I have placed an order for a few trims so when they arrive I will decide if I am going to use one of those or make a self fabric ruffle. Either way I will be able to cover the less than perfect top stitching and hide my lack of concentration.

For now all machines are packed away, as I sew on the dining table and we needed it table for Christmas. However, my eldest son didn't know what to get me for Christmas and I saw a desk on sale that would be perfect for a sewing station. It is not as wide as some desks but is long enough to hold both sewing machine and overlocker and has some inbuilt storage.

Anyway, we saw it on sale on Boxing Day so it has been ordered and should be here within the week. It will mean there is some re-arranging of furiture to do but I don't mind that when the outcome is no more packing and unpacking machines!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Two tanks and a tee

I finished sewing second Free Spirit Tank the other day but I was not really concentrating when doing the topstitching on the blue version and I am not happy with it. I am trying to decide whether to unpick it all, not my idea of fun (and hard when you need new glasses), or to hide it with a trim or a thin ruffle made from the same fabric. I think I'll wait till I visit Spotlight and see what trims I can find before making a decision.

I have been trying to get together a set of TNT's and so far I have the tank mentioned above, Hot Patterns blouse back tee, Crafty Mammas Lovely Layers top and Love Notions Laundry Day Tee all adjusted to fit and all very useable patterns for summer. I have not started on any woven patterns or bottoms but I will get there eventually.

In a quest to add to these TNT's I made my first muslin of the Hot Patterns Shirt Tail Tee yesterday. I used a rather inexpensive striped interlock and while I know it doesn't drape like the top should I really wanted to test the fit and length before I used decent fabric. If this one doesn't soften with washing and improve the drape it will make a rather fancy pyjama top. The fit is ok but it feels a little on the large size to me and I think I need to add a bit more length to the front as well. No pics as I finished late last night and it was too dark.

Today I am planning on sewing up a muslin of the Hot Patterns La Strada Tee. Hopefully this one will fit too.

Friday, 11 December 2015

The first FST

I got back to the test run of my first FST on Wednesday. I opted to sew it together as a single layer, choosing not to add another layer to compensate for the sheer fabric. I am still considering how to hem it, the mesh is extremely stretch so I may just overlock the edge and do a sight lettuce hem or do a rolled hem (not sure how the fabric will behave so some testing will be required). It will probably be worn as is over a swimsuit to go to the beach over summer or with a camisole when wearing it around the house or out and about. I am ok with that.

Today I have another FST cut and have so far sewn the shoulders and side seams, only needing to add the sleeve and neck bands and hem it. This one is a medium blue in a linen knit fabric that is oh so soft. The fabric was on sale at Spotlight this week, 30% off, and while that is great I am kicking myself for only getting two colours and only enough for two tops total. This one should be finished tomorrow.

I am enjoying having my machines set up ready to sew when I have the energy and the time but I can't leave them there too long, we will need the table for Christmas at least. Perhaps Santa will bring me a sewing table I can squeeze into the bedroom? Well, a girl can dream ...


Monday, 7 December 2015

Ressurection ...

While moving boxes about in the garage looking for Christmas decorations this week I unearthed my dear old overlocker. She is a Husqvarna Huskylock 580 that I have had for over 23 years. She has been a bit neglected in the past I don't know how many years as it is hard to sew when you are struggling with RA and possibly Polymyositis, have 4 boys to look after, are doing a Uni degree and have no sewing space.

That said, I brought her out, dusted her off, gave her some new needles and plugged her in. Once the tension dials were set to say I was surprised is an understatement. Just look at this ....


She is sewing like she is new out of the box! Considering I thought she would be past her use by date and needing to be replaced this came as a great surprise. She has been resurrected!

Yesterday I cut out a muslin for the Patterns 4 Pirates Free Spirit Tank using a very fine stretch mesh. I have sewn together the shoulders and sides and so far so good, the fit seems fine and so does the length. Winning.

The patterned knit is so sheer however that you can see right through it. There are three solutions I can think of to this problem ...

1, Wear a cami underneath it
2. Sew a second tank in the same fabric and join it together at the neck and armholes before sewing on the neck and arm bands (making one slightly longer than the other).
3. Sew a second separate tank of another fabric, slightly longer and in a contrast plain fabric, to peek out from underneath this one but also to be worn alone.

I am undecided which way I will go but either way it should be done in the next few days. If I don't get to it today I have my brother in law's funeral to attend tomorrow, so I might not get back to it till Wednesday. Either way it is so nice having an overlocker to use, it makes finishing seams so much easier.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Sales

Just in case anyone has missed them, here is a link to a round up of PDF pattern sales

Black Friday Sales

Also, 50% off Sewaholic printed patterns with code BF2015 and free international shipping on orders over $50.

Sewaholic Patterns

Enjoy!