Saturday, May 1, 2010

Finished: BS 01-10-133

I decided I needed a new white blouse for the occasions I usher at a local theater. I started the blouse in plenty of time for my next scheduled usher duty. However, my machine started making frightening noises so I stopped working on the blouse and immediately took it in for repair. Luckily, it only needed routine cleaning and I got it back just in time to finish the blouse.

According to the description, "Its hip length – with tucked folds front and back – cleverly conceals any slight bulges." Sounds like my kind of blouse! I used a white tone-on-tone shirting cotton for this blouse. I love working with natural fiber fabrics that are easy to press.

Just when I thought I had mastered Burda instructions, I encountered a problem. When I read "Baste piping to front, on joining edge of insert " it seemed contradictory. Do I baste the piping "to front" or "on ... insert"? I went for the on insert interpretation. Wrong. It wasn't until I later read "Lay front inserts on joining edges of fronts, next to piping cord", that I realized my mistake. A picture certainly would have helped. I know now I will never master Burda's directions.

I was excited about making and inserting piping for this blouse. I used The Complete Book of Sewing for instructions on making the piping. I liked this method because the allowance on the piping was exactly 5/8" and this made it very easy to insert the piping. After being misled my Burda directions for the piping on the front insert, I used the method described in Kenneth King's Cool Couture for inserting the piping on the collar. This was the first time I actually used the book for a specific technique. I found King's directions easy to follow and I was very happy with the results. When I meet Kenneth King in person at PR Weekend in Philadelphia and ask him to sign my copy, I can honestly say I've successfully used the technique.

When my machine got sick, I was really tempted to run out and buy a back-up machine. But, the money I'd spend on a back-up machine would be better spent on the repair. Then, I tried to buy a RTW white blouse. Naturally, because I desperately needed a white blouse, I couldn't find one I liked. I was thrilled to get my machine back in time to finish this blouse.

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How often do you clean and oil your machine? I took my machine in for repair because it was clunking very loudly and the door to the the bobbin compartment kept popping open. The clunking was caused by an accumulation of lint in the bobbin area. My machine has a LCD screen on which an icon appears when it's time for oiling and cleaning. When ever the icon appeared, I stopped sewing to oil and brush out the bobbin area. According to my dealer, I shouldn't wait for the icon. I should be oiling and cleaning after every three garments. And if I were to be lucky enough to go on a sewing retreat where I would be sewing all day, I should clean and oil every evening of the retreat! I had no idea machines required that much maintenance. I learned long ago to change needles after about 8 hours of sewing. I guess I'll have to get into the habit of oiling and cleaning when I change needles.


  1. Great looking blouse, isn't it so nice to have those great reference books.

  2. Great blouse - you'll be the best dressed usher at the theatre!!

  3. A girl cannot have too many white blouses. This one is really cute!

  4. Nice blouse. I bought a piping foot years ago and still haven't used it! And I have Kenneth King's book. Perhaps I should have a go!

  5. On my old machine, I oiled it every 2-4 garments. On my newer machine, there is no where in the instruction book (which is quite large) that has any info on oiling it. It seems that all the usual oiling spots are covered and maybe that is because it is electronic. I'm not sure. So, I haven't oiled it, but I do clean out the bobbin case before I start any new project. About once every couple of months, I take off all of the covers and blow out all the lint with canned air.

  6. Love the blouse! I agree about those Burda instructions. Most of the time they don't make sense until you're actually doing whatever they say to do.

  7. This is a lovely blouse on you.
    As for oiling and cleaning, I have a Viking that doesn't require oiling, but I try and clean it after each garment. I will say that this machine doesn't get as linty as my old Viking did. Why? No clue.
    I'm with Vicki, I have a piping foot and I've never used it!

  8. That is a really nice blouse.