Sunday, January 20, 2013

Things I've Sewn Lately: New Look 6150

Finally got to take some pictures of some of the things I've made lately and I've got several pieces of clothing queued up to show you.

I made Greg play the part of fashion photographer today. Isn't he such a sport? All photo credits are his, of course.

But first, a sewing machine update. No, I didn't rush right out and buy a new machine -- but my mom, bless her heart, is too busy to sew lately, so she's graciously loaned me both her sewing machine AND her serger. 

It's practically too good to be true. I was so depressed about my machine breaking -- again -- but so so excited and grateful to be loaned some really high-quality machines to play with. Though I worry I might become spoiled...

And, bonus, her serger is the exact model I've had my eye on to buy. So it's like an extended trial. :D

Of course, the second I got the serger home, I had to rush right out and get a knit pattern and some knit fabric to play with. No time to delay!

This is a super soft rayon knit made by Sew Classics and bought from JoAnn fabric -- all Sew Classic knits are 40 percent off right now, so hurry up and go get some!

The pattern is New Look 6150, a faux wrap with ruched sleeves and a ruched side and I sewed just about everything with the serger.

For those not familiar with sergers, look at the inside of a stretchy shirt you own. I bet you're wearing one right now! See the funky stitching on the seams? It's done with a four-thread serger. Fancy, right? You use a serger so that the stitches stretch with the fabric. Have you ever bought a cheap stretchy top, pulled it over your head and heard thread cracking and breaking? I know I have! That's what using a serger avoids. I'll try and snap a picture of the one I'm using, but, as you might have surmised from previous posts, my sewing room is in the basement and sees very little natural light. 

Anyway, back to the shirt! Did I mention it's really soft and comfy?

I wore this outfit to work on Friday and it was so nice and comfortable all day long. 

Here's a closer look at the sleeves:

And the back:

And the always-important bend-forward test. 

Here's a link to my review on Pattern Review in case you're interested. I highly recommend this pattern! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Letting Go

Last night I went downstairs to sew after I finished work. I finished cutting my latest pattern, Butterick B5781, last week, so I was excited to start sewing.

I got through some stay stitching and was putting the bodice back together when the machine got stuck. The needle is in the locked down position and the bobbin assembly won't turn.

I took the whole business apart and examined the belt and the inner workings. Everything looks fine. I took out the bobbin and cleared the fuzzies out of the bobbin case. I put the whole thing back together. Still no dice.

I'm a little frustrated. I was so excited when I got my machine repaired in late September (my handy dandy ticket tells me I picked it up on Oct. 1.) I spent nearly $100 getting it repaired then and afterward it worked wonderfully. Three months later? Not so much.

At the time I had a major dilemma -- fix the machine or put that money toward a new machine? It's the same dilemma I'm having now.

Should I start visiting dealers and squirreling away cash for something new? I had been lazily saving for a basic serger, but it looks now like that might be a bit farther off.

One thing's for sure, I can't drop $100 on my beloved 338 every three months. That's just insane.

Repair it once more and hope for the best?

I'm not leaning toward that option.

I suppose the best idea is to start visiting various machine dealers and saving my pennies and looking for sales. Buying a sewing machine seems like one of those things, like buying a car, that's best done in person.

The thing is, I'm just so sad about it the whole thing. I finally got my old bookcase from my parents' house and got the whole room set up nicely. I got a dressform for Christmas and a padding set and I spent an entire afternoon measuring and padding and measuring. I should be ready to sew!

Letting go isn't easy, but I think it's what I have to do.

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ringing in the New Year

The second the ball dropped in Times Square, marking the beginning of 2011, he kissed me for the first time.

Now, two years later, we live together.

Crazy how those things work, right?

So many wonderful things have happened since then. That year I made one resolution: to carry cash. (I've renewed that particular resolution every year since then with mixed success.)

I never made resolutions until 2011. I never wanted to be the type of person who resolves every Jan. 1 to "get fit" or "find love." Mainly because I know I'm not the type of person to follow that sort of resolution. (Many kudos to those of you who manage it!)

I try to keep my resolutions to things that I want to be mindful of in the new year. And frequently they're things I've started doing before the new year. But writing my resolutions on paper helps me to remember them. I've always kept a journal -- a book of lists and appointments and recipes and calorie counts.

This year, I'm ordering a new book (I've only got two pages left in my old one!) and I'll copy this list onto the first page.

For 2013, I am hoping to follow these goals and be mindful of my desire to achieve them:

  • Work: Use all of my vacation and better track my comp time. 
  • Fitness: Run once a week and do yoga twice a week.
  • Health: Drink more water, visit the dermatologist, wear glasses more frequently.
  • As always: CARRY CASH. 
I'm sure I'll have varying success with these. For instance, I tend to get stuck in fitness ruts. Lately, I've been going to yoga  all the time and somehow, now that it's cold out, I've conveniently forgotten about running. Oops! So I want to attempt to give myself a goal of running once a week. I can do that, right? 

Mostly, I just want to make a good effort at all of these. But I won't hate myself -- or give up completely -- if I mess up a few times. 

So here's to a successful 2013 -- I hope it's wonderful for all of us!