Monday, January 2, 2012

I Love My Husband

Okay. This is about sewing and not knitting, but I had to share.

My DH got me a sewing machine for Christmas.  I rarely ask for something specific.  I like being surprised.  But I really wanted a new machine. 

I had two machines, one is an industrial machine DH got me about 8-9 years ago.  Love it.  But it is super powerful and not good for small, detail work.  The other is a Kenmore I have had at least 15-20 years. 

The problem with the Brother is that things are really off with it.  I used it to sew cotton velvet, faux fur, interfacing and boning for this stunning dress.  It was modeled on a Jane Seymour dress. I didn't have the industrial machine at the time (guess what prompted that). Frankly, it was a lot more than the little machine could handle.  It hasn't worked right since.  The tension goes off no matter how much I adjust it.  The stitches aren't even.  Basically, I end up with a load of problems when I try to use it.

I did say I wanted one-step buttonholes.  I really loathe sewing buttonholes when it is such work.  And given I wanted this machine to sew things for the kids & DD 18" doll, I figured that function would get a fair bit of use.  And if you have read my blog, you know my relationship with buttons isn't a good one.  *laugh*  So anything that makes it harder is likely to mean I never *actually* will do it.  Yes, I am a lazy sewer as well as a lazy knitter.  Why do you ask?  *grin*

Of course, I didn't state it in a way that parse to DH since he isn't a sewer.  So he got me a machine that does buttonholes.  The slow, 4-step way.  *groan*  I have messed up many a project with my buttonholes.  Thank heavens when I was doing my medieval sewing most of the time they didn't have buttons. Otherwise they would never get done.

So for the first time ever, I asked him to exchange a gift for me.  I never do that.  But I figured this will be with me for many years to come with any luck.  So I want it to have the abilities I desire.

He was so sweet about it.  He went out as soon as possible to exchange it.  (We saw family the two days after Christmas.)  We talked about what I would love.  And he got me the Brother SQ9050 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Alphabet Font.

Wow.  Wow. Wow!

I have to say I didn't know sewing could be so good.  *grin*

I *love* the machine!  It sews like a dream.  It has more stitches than I will ever use.  But man, it is soooo good.

I did a sampler with some stitches and such to test drive it.  Love the sampler.

Stitch Sampler

Stitch Sampler
Playing with toys

It does 7 different button holes even.  And get this, it will *sew on the button*.  Yep.  You tell it the distance between the button holes.  It does the rest.  And did I mention the one-step buttonhole?  Gets better.  The foot has a spot for the button.  You put the button in the slot and it *figures out* how to do it all.  *le sigh*

It is sooo sweet. 

I confess that given the letters are only about 1/4" high, they won't get used a ton.  But it is sweet knowing they are there.  And when the kids need things labeled, there is something fun about being able to sew labels for them!  And it is so easy.  You type in the number for each letter and it does it all for you.  Soooo cool and super easy.

The first project I decided to sew was a skirt for the 18" doll Santa got Elanor for Christmas.  I went stash diving.  Though it is funny how much fabric I still have and how little I think I can actually use for stuff I want to do now.  I built my stash when I was doing medieval recreation.  So the thrust is so different.  I can't imagine using at least 3/4th of the fabrics since they aren't machine wash!

The item I pulled out was a brown cotton velvet skirt.  I think I bought this when Karen and I worked together and would haunt the $10 stores.  So I know it was $10 or less.  So I figured if DD ruined the skirt, who cares?  It was cheap.

I looked at the patterns and decided on McCall pattern M6257.  I figured I could replicate the skirt for Elanor.  So I cut out what I thought would work for her. 

Though I made an error with Elanor's skirt.  It is tighter than I would like.  But it does fit.  It just won't fit for very long which is too bad.  But I can keep the pieces and maybe build it out if she loves it.

The doll skirt came out really well.  It looks cute.  Though I am annoyed with the pattern.  The front of the skirt has a waistband which is a separate piece.  Which was *smaller* than the front of the skirt!  Ummm...  What?!  I trimmed it a bit but there was no reason it should be more narrow than the front.  The illustration shows the edges matching up too.  So it definitely seems like a pattern error.  I checked the paper pattern and they are indeed different widths.

Also, a pet peeve of mine that I had forgotten.  If something needs to be cut on the fold, *MARK IT ON THE PATTERN PIECE*.  Not on a line next to the pattern piece.  Not in the written part.  *On the piece itself*.  What is more frustrating is that out of five pieces, only two had it marked on the piece itself that it was supposed to be on the fold.  *groan*  Glad I checked thoroughly.  That is easy with five pieces.  I hate to see what would happen with their people sized patterns.  *sigh*  But I will be cautious.

The completed piece is very cute & fits well.  So I am happy.  But it definitely tells me proceed with caution.  It bugs me because the point of buying a pattern is that someone else should have done the work for you.  The fitting, the figuring out what works best.  And if I hadn't caught the errors, I would have had to toss pieces.  And it already took some creative piece placement to get the pieces cut out of the remainder of the skirt.

Doll with Sewn Skirt & Knit Sweater

I am definitely enjoying the sewing machine.  I am still debating if I am going to add a decorative stitched border to the edge.  Not sure it would work with this pattern.  So I may just make something else.  *grin*

Wish I had more time off.  Back to the office tomorrow.  It has been lovely having some time home!

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