Tag Archives: sewing machines

Waiting…

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There is still an empty space in the heart of my sewing room while I`m waiting for the arrival of my new sewing machine. Hopefully, tomorrow will be the day – but then originally it was meant to be Monday, but the dealer called my to let me know that there was a problem ordering the machine I’d originally decided on (the Bernia 550 Quilt Edition), so now I’ll be getting the Bernina 530 with the Quilt Giszmo and a free walking foot thrown in – big happy face!

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In the meantime I started to do what I could on my new dress Burdastyle 4/2016 #101, last pictured here:

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Following my recently discovered obsession for solids I bought a royal purple knit. The pattern calls for a woven, not a knit, so in order to stabilise the bodice I underlined with nude knit lining. I hope that is going to be sufficently stable to keep the bodice in place while still allowing me to omit the back zipper – putting that into a dress made from a relatively thin viscose knit would be a recipe for desaster, I think.

Other than that I even tidied my sewing room in preparation for the new arrival (“preparing the nest” as one commentator very aptly put it 🙂 ). For a little while I thought I might even publish one of those “Look at my sewing room” posts while everything is tidy – but then I decided that a tidy sewing room would be such an unfair representation of the state the room is in 99.9% of the time that it would be almost a lie. My sister keeps saying that we were at the back of the queue when the tidiness gene was handed out…

So I’ll leave you just with a snippet of tidiness: my new “I`m the next project in line (once the queue is moving and if Chris doesn’t get distracted by something more shiny)” sewing magazine organiser:

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For once in its life time it’s being used as intended, so it can only be minutes until it gets covered in all sorts of other sewing paraphenalia…
If you know where one can get a backup dose of tidiness genes, do let me know!

A Last Salute for the General

Thank you so much for all your kind enquiries in and good wishes for the health of The General.

I’m sad to have to say that the General has passed on – what I thought might be a simple case of exhaustion has proved to be a fatal heart attack. The General will now live on in my thoughts and memories and – no doubt – have a great time in Sewing Machine Heaven. While I’m observing a minute’s silence you might want to read how it all started.

Sad, ey?

But the General is dead, long live the General: Grief-stricken as I was I ordered a new Bernina machine there and then in the sewing machine shop where I received the dreadful news. Hopefully it will arrive early next week. Who knows, I might even manage to make an Easter dress on it. As you know, it’s not a matter of lack of fabric that’s keeping me 😉

Look who’s come to stay! The Babylock – Juki Standoff

IMG_0227I’ve got new company in the sewing room! And I’m all enspired by it! After much to’ing and fro’ing I only went and bought myself the Babylock Enspire overlocker.

IMG_0228Look – it overlocks!

That’s all very good, I hear you say, but what about the air-threading??!!

Can I just say: IT IS AWESOME! I have had the machine for about a month now and you can still find me of an evening changing the threads just for fun and just because I can. I even change out the threads for a single seam now!! And that from the girl who used to sew whole projects on the normal machine because she couldn’t face wrangling with overlocker thread tension again.

Another feature that I like is the LED light:

IMG_0231It’s really bright white light which makes seeing what I do a lot easier than with my 1980s Bernina (though I wouldn’t want to diss my Bernina, she is the best!):

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When I was in the decision making process it was between two machines, the Babylock Enspire and the Juki M1000. Both have the air-threading system that I really wanted and they are the only such  machines within my budget of € 1000. On paper both seem to be really similar and from reading up on the two machines I thought I might go for the Juki. But when I had a look at the machines in the flesh it was pretty clear that I preferred the Babylock.

Here’s what I found:

  • the Babylock is a lot smaller than the Juki which I thought was nice as I have three machines on my sewing table and I like to be able to swing a cat in between.
  • the Babylock is a lot faster. The Juki is more quiet, but my motto is said&done, not said&bereallyquiet, so I prefer the Babylock.
  • I liked the look of the Babylock seams better, although that might have been due to the sales assistants who showed me the machines. There isn’t a shop locally that has both models so I had to go to two different shops. Maybe the same sales assistant might have got the same seam quality out of both machines.
  • Especially the quality of the rolled seam looked a lot more consistent on the Babylock.
  • The Babylock will do a narrow piping without a special piping foot. The Juki assistant said this wasn’t possible and I would have to buy the separate foot.
  • I got the Babylock for around 100 Euros cheaper than the Juki and the shop will pick up my machine locally if it needs servicing or repair.
  • Babylock offer 4 years warranty after registration.

So far I have made a few knit garments on the new machine and that was a good experience. It is hard to really get excited about overlocking as such as it seems such an unrefined process, but the machine does as it should and that’s the main thing.

And then there is the air-threading – which is just amazing!

Air-Threading Serger Advice Needed

I took my serger to be serviced the other day and while it works a lot better now it still doesn’t work perfectly and the serger man said that I couldn’t really expect a 20 year old serger that had originally cost 200€ and had gone through some rather tough times with me to perform the wonders I wanted it to.

So I had a conversation with Santa’s Little Helper who indicated that a new serger might be on the cards for Christmas and that because I worked so hard I might even be allowed to spend a little more.

Also, the serger man cleverly showed me a JUKI air threading serger. Blimey, these things are cool. Have you ever seen one of them? Wow!! You just press a button and – swish – the loopers are threaded. A-MA-ZING!

But rather than being seduced by a shiny new machine and the sparkle in the eye of the serger man I decided to hold off an impulse purchase and ask if you have any recent experience with air-threaded sergers. I know now that JUKI do them, also Babylock seem to have them.

Are they really as cool as they seem? To me they seem immensely cool, but that might be because i’m the kinda girl who sews whole knit projects badly on her normal machine because she is too lazy to re-thread the serger – and mine isn’t even properly horrible to thread.

So what’s your advice: Is air-threading really worth the extra money? Or do you have other recommendations for a serger?

Thanks in advance!

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