Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Lots of thinking and preparation - but not much actual sewing.

Well, my week off sewing has stretched to rather longer than that. Things happen, of course. I've been busy with family and golf and haven't been keeping too well.

However, class started last Thursday again. I altered and cut out Simplicity 2594. I needed to grade pattern from an 18 at bust to a 22 at hips. I've decided to make view A of Simplicity 2594 (the green and white diagonal stripe top left on pattern envelope) in a pink polyester type fabric. View A is longer so I won't need to add so much extra length. I'm not planning at this stage to add the belt but may do when I finish it if it looks as if it needs it. I  have already altered pattern and cut out, grading from an 18 at bust to 22 at hip. I'm a real pear. I did have to lower waistline position to match mine, which effectively lengthened pattern overall by 1". Front and back are cut on the bias in this pattern which has a loose draped neck. This picture is view C, which I will do for my Mum. My fabric is a pink polyester type, I think.


My mother loves these necklines and my plan is to do the shorter length (view B- the main picture)for her in a fabric she gave me. She can no longer sew due to her eyesight and gave me a number of notions and a bit of fabric. The one I have chosen to make the top for her just doesn't suit my colouring  but is exactly her.
She also gave me a fabric in purple floral and this is so not her! I see that a part of the fabric is hemmed all around; it is in 2 pieces - I wonder if she was planning some home dec? No, I can't see where it would fit in. There is a fair bit of this fabric so I need to decide what I can do with it.
I'll carry on with Simplicity 2594 tomorrow at class.

My serger/overlocker has (nearly) been pronounced defunct! The printed circuit board (PCB) has a fault and these are normally replaced rather than repaired even though it could simply be a loose connection. The dealer I went to for the repair has been incredibly slow - promised 7 - 10 days and it has now been 3 weeks. He is trying to get a price for the PCB but feels I would be better in any case with a new serger with guarantee as the price would be higher than I had initially okayed. I'm not happy with this dealer. I had been considering a Pfaff coverlocker but feel his service has not been good - doesn't phone when he promises etc and it is clear they are under great stress at present. They do Pfaff, Brother, Juki, Janome, and Toyota. The Toyota jeans machine might work for DH's leather?
My husband wants to sew some leather and my sewing tutor suggested getting a reconditioned mechanical Bernina from another slightly less local dealer. We went, they didn't have one, but in summary DH was very impressed with Bernina (and the dealer) and has offered to get me a Bernina overlocker (not a coverlocker as dealer advised against this) AND upgraded sewing machine - the 750QE - for my big birthday coming up. The dealer has good reviews from other people. On the basis that people say choose your dealer, then the machine, he seems the one to go for. The dealer I bought my current Brother from (who is also a Viking agent which is why I went there in the first place - my original Viking 6690 died) is okay. I go there for a monthly sewing class - tomorrow night - but they largely deal with quilting, hiring in a dressmaking tutor once a month. We are going to the Bernina agent on Friday for a play and demo of the machines. I must say DH is more keen than I am - I think the 750QE is overkill! I do want to have my machines so that they can have interchangeable feet etc and that is not currently the case with a Brother and a portable Viking (bought to use the feet from my previous Viking but I don't really like it - just too light weight, really). I bought the current Brother Innov -is 350SE when I wasn't sure whether I would take to dressmaking. However, it has been providing problems with sewing over seams where stitch length alters and a few issues with catching. Rather frustrating and I'm happy to upgrade - but this far? I'm not a quilter.
Any thoughts?
The monthly sewing tutor is doing an additional all-day class this weekend to make a skirt and I'm going along to that. I haven't quite decided on my fabric etc. It's using McCall's 3830. I'm going to do view C - the knee length one.

I recently visited Linton Fabrics in Carlisle as I'd heard so much about them from the sewing community. Their fabrics are pretty pricy but I bought some remnants and also 2 x 1 metre skirt lengths. They have a large check though and the sewing tutor advised against this for the skirt, so they won't do. I washed one of the cotton mix fabrics and found that was a bad idea! There was a great deal of unravelling! I won't post picture yet.
I haven't carried on with the knits I was doing because of the lack of a serger. I've enjoyed the experience of working with them, though. I have enough of the fabric from my grey dress left over to make a skirt, and am wondering whether I could use that on Saturday. I'll ask tomorrow night. That would increase the versatility of the dress and jacket. I'll have to think about a suitable top though.
Tomorrow night, I believe we are starting to make some trousers. I'm looking forward to that but I'm taking muslin rather than a fashion fabric. I will have quite a few modifications to make to the pattern - I have tried pants muslins before but gave up as it was so difficult on my own. This should be good.
On a last note - my mother has bought me a 3 day sewing break for my birthday. I will be having individual tuition! It's a bit away from home so I'll be staying in a hotel for 2 nights. I originally hoped to take her class on finishing techniques, but I'm also going to be making a jacket! The tutor chose a jacket pattern from my selection and yesterday I bought the fabric - 100% pure wool. This is the most expensive fabric I have bought as yet. I still need to buy the trimmings and I want to line it. I'm looking forward to this.

When I went to the fabric shop, I also bought a metre of purple cotton jersey to make a tee shirt, using Wendy Mullin's (Built by Wendy) Sew U Home Stretch book but that will have to wait until I have a working overlocker.
So, not much sewing but a lot of thinking about it and preparing for it!!


  1. Some sewing weeks are like that - lots of behind the scenes work. I hope you enjoy your sewing tuition over the three days - I had to teach myself, nothing much like that available here:). I have a Bernina overlocker, just a basic machine, 700D. Not sure what would be best for your DH - I would suggest something robust if he wants to sew leather, and something for you - that way you can all do what you like with the feet you like :) But that is an ideal world!

    1. P.S. I have that pattern as well, not yet made up. It is rather pretty, so hope it works out for you.

  2. Thanks, Sarah Liz. I continued with top on Thursday. No major problems with it. I'm going to keep that to the Thursday class for the moment at least. No Sewing at home yet. The dealer I put my overlocker into has been highly unsatisfactory. 4 weeks in he doesn't know whether the part is even available far less being able to give a price. He really doesn't want to have anything to do with my machine, we feel, so we're going to pick it up next week, unfixed. The overlocker is usable, it's the display which is causing problems. We've looked at some replacements.

  3. Anne! I have finally done my Liebster Award work. thank you sew much for nominating me. I do spend a lot of time in prep, then sew up a storm.
    If I were sewing leather, I would get an old mechanical Singer like a 301.
    I just purchased one on eBay for $165.00 just to make buttonholes.
    My mother is twirling in her cannister knowing that I sold the original black Singer and had to buy a used one...oh well., gives her something to think about. thanks again for the nomination.
    Besos, susan

  4. I must look at your answers. I find the stories so interesting. Long story short, I've just got a new sewing machine, a Bernina, and it looks as though it will sew leather fine. I've nearly completed a dress for my daughter (will finally blog about it next week possibly) and it sewed through several layers of denim some of which was also ruffled, without a problem. Gorgeous! I love it, even though it has fewer bells and whistles. I might protect it and go the old mechanism route anyway ...


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