About Those Bernina Feet

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Before I made it home from the airport on Saturday, I  went to the Bernina supplier nearest me. I won’t lie. I did not walk away empty handed. I also asked Jordan to wait away from the register as my purchase was rung up.

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  • Walking Foot (which cost more than any one of my non Bernina sewing machines!!!)
  • 1/4 inch / Patchwork foot (I do piecing and I love it for the welt zipper tute by Kenneth King)
  • Edgestitch foot (on order) I live for stitching in the ditch
  • Button sewing foot (I wish I’d had one for the last project. Sometimes thick fabric needs this kind of attachment)
  • Low Shank Adapter

I’m eating Ramen noodles for the next two months. From now on, I’m on the one new foot at Christmas and my birthday plan. Or maybe the foot on sale at the dealership….

My machine did come with a bunch of feet:

174 4mm Lap Seam/ Feller 
20 Open Toe
28 Pintuck foot
181 Clear applique
452 Buttonhole
003 straight stitch hemmer
419 Tailor Tacking
168 2mm Roll and Shell Hemmer Foot
016 Blindstich
470 Overlock
16 Extra wide gathering
007 Zipper
030 Embroidery
000 Zig Zag
285 Small Darning foot

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I really wanted the Low Shank Adapter so I could make use of the ‘regular’ feet I already have. While I would like to have *all* Bernina feet, I am not the recipient of a lottery winnings. I also was desperate to see how my vintage buttonholer would work.

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So, I did, like, 20 buttonholes. They aren’t terrible. But, no matter what, I couldn’t seem to get the spacing wider in the middle. You can see my progression from stitches being right on top of one another to getting a but more wiggle room in the middle.  I’ll need to be super precise when cutting them open. Anyone else use an adapter / vintage buttonholer combo? I just can’t go back to a four step buttonhole ::shudders::

Which leads me to my Singer 301. I think I need to sell her. I bought that machine to have one at my parent’s place in Fla. I brought it home because my dad is certainly not ever asking me to sew for him when I visit. I was going to keep it to do buttonholes but I have my Featherweight and my Kenmore 1030. So, I’m going to list the 301 on Craigslist (pricing will be ‘firm’) and hope for the best! That might at least cover one or two more new Bernina feet!

The Machine Above All Other Machines?

Greetings from humid Florida!

Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about getting a Bernina? Well, folks, it’s happened! Meet my new-to-me Bernina 830 Record. Mechanical. Solid. Mines.

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Why a new machine when I have three others (Kenmore 1040, Singer 221 Featherweight, Singer 301)? Because I love sewing machines!! And, making Jordan’s jacket last month reminded me I needed a machine with a free arm (had to borrow a blog-reading neighbor’s) and it’s nice to have a heavier full size machine that won’t whine over tough seams. That’s not the fault of my Singer 301. I love that machine. I just needed something stronger.

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Trena seems to think that if I have a Bernina, my machine collecting will be behind me as I will have ‘the one’.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that’s just not true :-) I do still have my eye on a modern Juki straight stitch (I’m a lover of speed) or a vintage Singer 201. But, I will let the universe bring those to me just as it brought the Bernina 830 in my path. How is that you say?

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Well, I have to thank blog reader Patti for making it happen. After I posted last month, she emailed to let me know she lived within 30 minutes of my dad in Florida and 15 minutes away from both a Bernina 83 0 and 1230 that were on Craigslist. Not only did she live close, she offered to test sew them for me! And after test sewing, she let me know the 830 was the bees knees and she’d be happy to procure for me if I wanted!

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Can we have a collective hug for how terrific the sewing community is? And snaps for Patti? I have been on pins and needles to get down here and try it out. And, I do love it. The stitch is beautiful. It’s solid and heavy. The packaging is so well designed. All I have to do now is take out a small personal loan from the bank and start adding to my presser foot collection (1/4, walking, straight stitch, button).

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Can’t wait to get her home and start working on my next project.

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And, I can’t wait for Friday! I’m meeting up with other sewists! Trudy of Hot Patterns and Tracy (no blog) and I are doing some fabric shopping in Sarasota. And later on we’ll head to Tamps to meet up with Andrea and Myra. Again, I need more fabric like I need a hole in the head. But, I always need good sewing company and conversation!

Of *course* there’s room for one more

I say you can never have too many sewing machines.

*cough*

Meet my new Singer 301, the mocha colored big sister to my  black Featherweight.  I had already spied this 301 on Craigslist before getting down here. I emailed her before leaving and she still had it available. We picked it up on Wednesday morning. I’m in love. Hopefully I can show what I’ve been working on before leaving Florida on Sunday. For now I’m going to keep it at my parent’s place.

The case smelled like the Playboy club in the mid 60s. REEKED of smoke. It was so bad we drove it home with the windows open. It’s currently full of kitty litter and sitting outside full time.  After two days it smells much better! We’re now working on the mildew smell.

I bought this one while visiting my parents in Florida. The woman I purchased it from has well over a dozen machines of her own, mostly treadles. She tried to leave the case outside to air out and it didn’t help. Here she is at the County Fair giving a demonstration on one of her treadles.

This  Minnesota machine was made for the Sears Roebuck company. You can see the company’s name on the base. Beautiful.


I also got my first chance to try a hand crank machine. This is one I would definitely buy if I had the chance.

I’d like to tell you I’m all done buying sewing machines. But, I’m not. LOL. That, a grasshopper by Elna, a white Featherweight, Singer Genie and  a pink Necchi are all on my list to accquire some day.

Click to enlarge some photos of her other machines from the Fair:

So far, Florida has been great. My dad and I hit the County Fair and Youth Livestock Show.

I may have also sucked down a big plate of fried green tomatoes. I’ve tried to make them at home once. But, these were fantastic.

I’d go back to the fair for more if I didn’t have to pay parking and the admission fee. Oh, who am I kidding. I still may go back for more.

Things Calm Down

It’s been a crazy busy month on this side of the world.  But, my reward came early! Remember when I bought the Singer 221 Featherweight? Well, one came without a case. The woman selling said her mom had the case and accessories and she’d let me know when she got it from her mom.

Well, this morning I went and picked up the case. It was in perfect condition. I noticed it was crazy heavy and I figured there must be a buttonholer inside.

Which there was….

And this zig zagger!

And this great book!

And these singer sewing lessons! Complete with samples from the class!

And a complete box of accessories!

And a random tucker!

An instruction manual, two keys and a can of oil!

Awesomeness


If I owe you an email, package or phone call — I’m working on it this week. Thanks for your patience! I slept a full 12 hours Monday and Tuesday after three solid weeks of work. I’ve never appreciated a day off so much :) I’m having a party this weekend — and you know how much time that takes! I have hopes (ha!) of making something for the party. But, I doubt it’ll happen :)

 

I Got a 94

I had to work Sunday — perfect weather and time for my final project dress. Sometimes, when you wear a garment and take photos, you notice stuff you totally didn’t see before (like the fact that I need to get my hair back to one color). First, here’s the most flattering photo of the dress, but I’m not smiling — odd for me :) I was probably trying not to sweat.

I wore it Sunday and it was perfect for celebrating Italian Republic Day. My hemline is usually just below the knee and I’m making a concerted effort to sew shorter skirts. My knees felt all liberated and I feel taller. There are some issues at the armsyce because I forgot to add the shoulder seam allowance!!

Here I am smiling. I also acknowledge that the skirt is too big on me. I was really worried about it being small, so I have a touch more ease than I would were I too sew it again. See all the puckering at ruffle insertion? I think this happened because I sewed in the ruffle from top to bottom, and top stitched from bottom to top. You can’t see that in the original photo below.

I came home from my program tonight, picked out the top stitching, pressed and re-top stitched. It’s now perfect.

When I was in Seattle I got to try on the original Anthropologie dress I copied.

You can see here that they tacked down the ruffle (I didn’t) and they did not insert the ruffle. Just sewed it down along the outside dart. I learned a great deal from this project and will spend the summer perfecting my sloper. It’s a whole new world :)

Finally, are you ready for something crazy? After I blogged Saturday night, I actually went back out and picked up a second Featherweight. Long story short, there was a second one on Craigslist that I had been working on simultaneously and I felt it needed to be rescued. I know I should sell the first when I’m done cleaning up and repairing the carrying case and keep the second. Although I spent most of today wanting to keep both.

I think I’m going to name her Issie. You know, for Issac Singer.

Two Great Things in One Awesome Day

I practically had to toss a coin  to figure out of the two great things today, which I would talk about first. And, it came down to photos. So, I’ll chat about the great thing with good photos first.

I finally got a Singer 221 Featherweight!!


And, it does sew just as beautifully as they say. And, I do a killer happy dance!!

Blog reader Melodye tipped me off that one was on Craigslist for a 1/4 of the going rate within 20 mins of me. Actually this is the second one she let me know about, but the first time I was in Seattle. I emailed the woman Thursday night, looked it over on Friday morning and picked it up today. Her grandmother first got it in Christmas 1954. Then it was her mom’s. And finally, it became hers. But, she already had a machine and it was ‘just sitting in the basement’.

My friend Kristy and I (who got her beautiful Centennial edition above all perfect and unused in the trash of all places) went to work at it for about an hour today to get the bobbin area cleared of horrible thread snarls. Now, it’s fabulous! I’ll do a size comp with my Kennie 1040 soon. So, that brings my machine count to…five. Four vintage. All loved. Seriuosly, I was talking to the Featherweight.

Kristy, myself and Lisette

The second awesome thing was that I met up with Lisette today from La Cubanita Cose (which I always say is my favorite sewing blog name)! We went to Ikea to see the ‘Sew Me What You’ve Got Fashion Show’. I’ve got a lot to say about that, but want to organize my photos better. Lisette though, was awesome. Funny, smart, charming and wearing a great BWOF skirt that I didn’t get a photo off. My pic above is awful, so I’m hoping hers was a little better.

And, here’s a teaser for my next post on the actual garments from the fashion show. More soon, I promise!

This is my machine (The Sewist’s Creed)

This is my sewing machine. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My sewing machine is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My sewing machine without me is useless. Without my sewing machine, I am useless. I must sew my machine true. I must sew straighter than my friends who are trying to dress me in Talbots. I must sew my clothes before Macys calls me.

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I will… My sewing machine and myself know that what counts in clothing is not the amount I make, the noise of our motors, nor the seams we rip. We know it is the perfect fit that counts.

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We will stitch… My sewing machine is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a sister. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its bobbins, and its stitches. I will ever guard it against the ravages of dust and humidity. I will keep my sewing machine clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other.

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We will… Before G_d I swear this creed. My sewing machine and myself are the defenders of cheap and nasty clothes. We are the masters of shoddy seams and cheap interfacing. We are the saviors of my fashionable life.

– adapted by me with all due respect from the creed of the US Marine Corps

Taxes

Hidy Ho Readers,

So, the last few days have been super busy. I think my mom is worried I may have been carjacked.

I’m popping in for one bit of news. I am a big hater of tax refunds. I see no point in letting the government take my money and keep it for a full year only to get excited when they give it back to me in April. I also hate all those ‘free e-file’ and ‘rapid refund’ places (nothing rapid or free about it). I go on a rant whenever my friends say they are scared to do their taxes but, I digress. Due to a change in job (and salary) last year and a change in my property taxes (more, grrrr) I ended up with a tax refund.

Being a responsible (ha!) person, I put 2/3 of it away in my IRA and the rest went to this.


Yeah. I joined the 21st century and got a computerized sewing machine. I didn’t go in and test it out, I didn’t bother comparing its features with other machines. I didn’t obsess about which one and solicit a million opinions.

I had been reading about Kenmores on PatternReview. I broached a ‘new’ machine with NiceGirl and Carolyn. One pretty much offered to drive me to Sears and the other practically put gas in my car.


So, while politics at home have kept me running, I’ve also been playing around with this a little and I’m in love.


Not that I don’t love my 1965 Morse. I do! And I’ll still use it to quilt and teach. But, it was time to enter the world of automatic buttonholes, twin needles, knit stitches and free arm sewing. And, I wouldn’t really travel with this, but that’s why I have my little Kennie.


I should add, I’m still wary of computerized machines as I bought one three years ago and it was a bloody PITA and lasted less than a year. But, this one isn’t a Brother and it’s a higher end model built by a reputable company (Janome). Let’s hope for the best over the next five to 10 years!


And thanks for the hints on the shirt. I totally wore my muslin to work on Monday and had several compliments on it. Nicegirl and I are getting together on Sunday or Monday. We’ll do measurements then. I think it’ll be interesting for me to compare mine with the pattern. Based on that, I can make some adjustments.

Welcome home little one

I love eBay. My new Kenmore 1040 was here when I got home. Sellers pitch it as the Featherweight alternative. It weighs 13 pounds or so and comes with a plastic carrying case with embossed flowers.

It has this cute plastic bump out to expand the bed… which also has storage for supplies. It makes a straight, zig zag, buttonhole and stretch stitch

It’s a 70s era machine in two shades of green to prove it.

I spent all night cleaning and oiling it (linty, dirty and disgusting) and resolved to start covering my current sewing machines when not in use. Now, I just need a new belt for it. The one it had was not engaging the way it should. And I refuse to buy Sears’ for $8.50 plus $8.50 shipping. The Dritz belt at Joann’s was too big. And Home Depot didn’t have the right size. I can feel today’s internet obsession already….

So, I now have my backup, travel and buttonhole machine. Yippee!!

Old Green Grill, New Pink Machine

The only thing I did with my jacket last night was move it from the sewing chair to the sewing table.

But, I did smoke beef ribs for dinner on my apple green Weber. There are no actual photos of the ribs because I was busy sucking down ice after I burned the roof of my mouth eating them as soon as they came of the grill. You cook something for three hours and you’d be little anxious to eat it too.

And this followed me home last night from Craigslist.

Now, it does zig zag which my Morse doesn’t. And it works with my buttonholer. So really, I needed it. Yeah, that’s right. Needed. I negotiated it down to $25 — they wanted $40. I think they really just wanted it out of the house. That’s a small investment for a backup machine, right? Right?

Yes, yes. Just last month I showed you the vintage Necchi. But, it needs rewiring. And he who gaveth the gift took it back to re-wire. Can’t really pressure someone to hurry up when they are doing it for free.

What else… ahhh, buttons. I bought two sets for the jacket and have decided to go with the double button on the top. The JHB brand was 40% off at Joann’s this weekend. So I got about a dozen for about $3.

And, there’s another bound buttonholer on ebay. For those who might be mad I put that on blast, I won’t post the next time one is listed :)