Monday, September 26, 2011

Sewing Mojo v. Blogging Mojo

I've been spending more time in the sewing room and less time at the computer.  I'm glad my  sewing mojo is back but it's been difficult to find time or motivation to document my sewing progress in a blog.  I finished this outfit over a week ago, but I didn't take the time to photograph or write about it.  Really, there isn't much to say.

Tank Top - Burda 3215:  Piece of cake!  The instructions called for a turned under finish on the neckline and armscye.  I used bias binding instead.

Pants - Burda Plus Fashion SS-2010-426 : These pants have an elastic waist and a mock fly.  I think the concept of a mock fly is a little silly.  It's just as easy to install a zipper – so I did.

Blouse - Burda Plus Fashion SS-2010-424:   The blouse fabric was somewhat sheer,  but I chose not to do french seams.  A serged seam was good enough for this casual outfit.  I decided on a narrow 5-thread stitch with the chain stitch needle in the rightmost position  and wide three thread overlock stitch.  When I tried to insert a needle into the rightmost position, it just wouldn't GO!   The next day, I took my serger to the dealer for a little look-see.   I thought the problem was me, but it turned out there really was something wrong with the machine. The good news was it could be fixed while I waited.  The bad news was I had to wait while it was being fixed!  I love my dealer, but waiting for over two hours did get a little tedious.  It wasn't a total waste of time, though.  I got to read a few sewing books that were in the store and I advanced two or three levels in Angry Birds on my iPod.

The straight stitch needle plate made a big difference in sewing the lightweight fabric.  I paired the needle plate with the patchwork foot and I had no problems with the delicate blouse fabric. 

I worked on this outfit in 20-30 minute periods to give my mojo time to get unpacked and settled-in.  I'm happy with the outfit because it turned out just the way I pictured when I bought the fabric.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

If I Thought of it ………

……why didn't the Bernina engineers think of it?

Recently, I bought a straight stitch plate for my sewing machine.  I can imagine sitting down to the machine, switching to a utility stitch,  and ………wait for it ………… BAM!  The needle hits the the plate, breaks and scares me out of 6 months of life.  And let's not even think of the broken needle point flying toward my eyes.  As I sit at the machine, there is no easy way to tell which plate is in the machine by simply looking.

It's very easy to tell the plates apart when they are not in the machine.

Here's an idea:  Put the bright red warning decal on the FRONT of the plate when it can be seen!   Sure, I can mark the front of the plate with a permanent marker or a stick-on dot, but shouldn't someone at Bernina have thought of that?   

NB: I broke a needle before I even had a chance to edit and put up this post!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Mojo: Gone But Not Forgotten

I always get a little disoriented during this time of year.  It's "Back to School" time and my mojo always gets out of the way because I can get quite bitchy when summer vacation ends.  This  school-year is different because, if all goes according to plan, I'll be retiring at the end of it.  My attitude about my last year working in a large and failing urban school district is not the best. Frankly, it sucks.  Trying to keep a rein on all that sucky-ness is stressful and the stress has leached into other parts of my life - including sewing.  But,  I don't worry anymore when my mojo takes a powder.  Eventually things will fall into place and I'll be a happy sewer again - even if I'm unhappy at work.

Recent sewing projects have been for my daughter.  She wanted more dresses and selected three Burda patterns.  Her tastes are very conservative for a 21 year-old. (I wonder where she got that from?).  She has no interest in the sewing process - only the finished garment.  So, I selected several patterns I thought she'd like and printed them out. Instead of searching through an entire pattern catalog, she had to search through only a few pages.
I liked 7798 because it was more youthful than the other two.  So naturally, she wanted 7602 and 7972 sewn first. I finished the dresses weeks ago.  Maybe my mojo sneaked into the box when I mailed the dresses to her.

Just when I thought my mojo was back, I started working on an outfit that will be totally inappropriate for the season by the time I finish it.   I ran into a little problem.  I'm using a soft, sheer fabric I bought during at Fishman's Fabrics during PR Weekend.  It's so soft and sheer, it bunches up under the presser foot and a glop of thread forms on the underside.  According to Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide,  I should be using a  small hole needle plate on my sewing machine.  I don't own a small hole needle plate, so a trip to my dealer is in order.  I was disappointed when I couldn't work on the blouse.  My mojo tried to come back to me but was prevented from doing so because I didn't have the right equipment.  I'm sure the trip to the sewing machine dealer for a new throat plate will be inspiring and my mojo will come back home where it belongs.