Monday, August 29, 2011

Burda 08-2011-138

I used the “new to me” Activa140 to sew this top. As hoped, it did just fine. However, I will not be switching it out for the 930 Record. The 930 is my solid tank and has the undisputed #1 spot here.

As is my custom, I ignored the Burda instructions and put the top together as I pleased. The buttons and loops at the back were skipped. First, I didn’t want to spend time sewing details on a top that might not work; also, I don’t think I’d be comfortable with that back neck opening. The top is cut longer in the back and I love the ¾ sleeves! The sleeve bands are a nice touch. I didn’t interface them but next time I might - I’ll see how they do. Also, I will bring in the neck yokes at the shoulders to ensure bra strap coverage.

The fabric came from – a stretch rayon. The color makes me smile.

Make it a great week!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Didn’t Need It/Couldn’t Leave It

By now, no doubt, you think I’m a sewing blog sluggard. It is partly true but I’m still blaming the weather.

I love to go to restaurants at lunchtime, but I’m avoiding them as a little mid-day walking gets me through the afternoon better than a heavy lunch. Occasionally I will go - I’m not a recluse after all.

Last week, as part of my move/don’t sit lunch, I took myself to a “new to me” thrift store. On the way out, I spotted a yellowed plastic box that promised to be a sewing machine cover. My attention was focused, and I admit I was entertained, with the large number of curled price stickers all over it. The corners couldn’t stick due to the cobwebs and the dust…To me, the little red and yellow stickers looked like birds in flight.  I studied them, looking for a pattern. I decided there wasn’t one – someone had just had fun with a pricing gun.

Curiousity got me when my eyes made it to the top of the cover and read “Bernina.” I had to lift it.  Underneath, the machine was white – not yellowed like the stickered cover. I plugged it in, the screen lit up and when I pressed the foot pedal, the needle started moving up and down. I took that as a good sign.

Now, you know that I really do not need another machine. And, you have to agree that just because it powered up doesn’t guarantee that it won’t need expensive repairs. Yet I couldn’t walk away. A quick check to see if the bobbin case was there (it was) and a glance at the accessories: only a zipper foot, an appliqué foot (?), and a few other bits. Nope, no manual and no little table but still I grabbed it up and made a beeline for the register.

My sewing time this week has been spent on getting acquainted with this machine, a Bernina Activa 140. I downloaded and printed a manual. Sewing on scraps has been trouble free. I haven’t been able to find much information about it, other than it is (was?) on Bernina’s low end of quilting machines. The machine and accessories were fairly dirt free, but I gave them a thorough cleaning anyhow. It appears to have been cared for and I found only a small amount of purple fuzz around the feed dogs. The cover? Well, after vacuuming inside and out, it ended up in the tub. Looks so much better, but I don’t know what can be done about the yellowed plastic and scuff marks. Any clues?

Ok, ready to take it for a test drive…

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ottobre “Mom” Jeans, a Jacket and More

Seems like forever since I last blogged, but it really has only been a few weeks. My routine has been predictably boring and once I have taken care of the requirements of the day, there's not much energy left for sewing. It is just too easy to substitute a glass of iced tea and a sliver of Key lime pie.

I did finish the Ottobre “mom” jeans. The pockets were embroidered with randomly dialed stitches…nothing planned at all. To help tie the front and back together, I continued the embroidery onto the front of the jeans. Even though they are not my favorite pair, they do fit and I’ve already worn them to the office and put them through the washer and dryer. This is how they look straight from the dryer.

I traced the pattern for an unlined jacket, Burda 08-2008-127, and pinned it on the dress form to get a rough idea of how it would fit. It has stayed there for two weeks. With the heat, it is not pleasant to think about trying on anything long-sleeved.  There is, however, a piece of mystery brownish black/gold brocade that is a wonderful candidate for the pattern.

Burda 08-2008-127

The downside: due to the loose weave, the fabric will need to be block fused and then underlined. Also, bound buttonholes would be best. I’m thinking that this is a bigger investment than I am willing to make with an unproved pattern. And, since there is still plenty of denim, I’m gonna try it out with that (no block fusing/no underlining required).

While tracing the jacket pattern, I went ahead and traced a top pattern, Burda Style 08-2011-138. I like that the front and back hemlines are different. The buttons on the back add a nice detail, but I’m betting they are more decorative than functional and so will pass on them for now.

Burda Style 08-2011-138

Jalie 2806, a  top pattern purchased months ago, has patiently waited on the sewing table. It promises to be a basic and versatile style for me. Problem is, I can’t decide what size. Overlaying my BML (Bernina My Label) t-shirt pattern, it looks like my size incorporates three different pattern sizes. I keep stalling as I don’t want to waste my time or my fabric with a poor sizing choice. Purely illogical as I have a $1.00/yard knit that is perfect for testing; not much to lose if it doesn’t work.

Julie - Thank for your shirt pattern suggestion (Silhouettes Classic Blouse, #600). I have several projects in the works but hope to order this soon.

Jared - You recently asked about my sewing machine and the denim I’m using. Most of my sewing (including the denim projects) is done on a Bernina 930 Record and the denim came from Safe Denim. And yes, it is holding up. The fabric is wonderful!

Okay, off for another glass of iced tea (decaf – it is late after all)…Happy sewing!