Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thin Man Embroidery?

After making the appliqué shirts for my nephew and his friend, I became interested in appliqué and embroidery.
Flower Shirt
  I started looking at embroidery machines.  An inexpensive one isn't to be found.  So I started keeping my eye out on eBay.  I soon discovered the ones more than a few years old needed special software and maybe even a special computer(windows XP or older) to work.  Even some of the new ones need special software.
I lucked out last month when I spotted a brand new Janome MC200E for only $159 with free shipping. This machine sells for $500 and is still being sold.  The machine was brand-new, it was only missing the power cord.  I quickly did my research and thought I would take a chance since the seller had a high feedback and allowed returns.  I hit buy it now, then bought a power cord from another vendor for $5 with free shipping.  They both showed up two days later.  I indeed received a brand-new embroidery machine with all the accessories(except power cord) in the original box.  I plugged it in and all my anxieties quickly faded as it started to embroider.  Plus this machine works with any .JEF file I download onto a USB flashdrive, no software needed.

I tend not to question when something extraordinary like this works out.  I just figure it was meant to be.

Now all I need is more room!

My first real project is a pillow for my Nephew (It is a Christmas present, so don't tell Chase).  He of course loves trains and cars at the age of two.  He also has two Westies.  I think this embroidered quilt like pillow case which  was inspired by a Janome quilt pillow project will be cute.   It is from Janome Sew for Home.  This site has great projects for both sewing and embroidery.

Here is the project I am following, except for a regular sized pillow and of course, embroidery.
EZ Nine Patch Pillow.

Here are some of my finished squares.  I haven't decided how many more I will make.  I think all squares embroidered would be too busy.

MC200E Embroidered Squares
 Thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bernina 731 and a New Flannel Shirt

I didn't realize it had been so long since I last blogged. It is not that I have been busy, it is that I haven't done anything I thought was blog worthy.

I did get a Bernina 731. This is the same as the famous 730, except it has 4 fancy stitches instead of 8. Once I became familiar with the controls, I found it not only easy to operate, but quiet and smooth. Now I see why sewists love their Berninas.

Of course I needed to use my Bernina for a project to see how it would perform. I chose my old reliable Simplicity 7330 shirt pattern for this task. A long-sleeve flannel shirt for Joe seemed perfect since I had some material in my stash.

I have been reading David Coffin's Shirtmaking book. So I implemented some of his techniques. The rolled seam foot makes a perfect hem on the shirt. I will say I tried this hem before with no luck. It wasn't so much me as the rolled hem foot supplied with every sewing machine except my Bernina. The Bernina made a 1/4" hem as compared to an 1/8" hem. In other words, unless you are putting a rolled hem on really light material, it won't do it with the standard rolled hem foot. Bernina got this right when no one else has.

I also used the flat-fell foot to finish the seams. However, I made beautiful French Seams because I did not fold the material properly on the second pass.. Maybe next time.

I am not sure of making the button holes with the Bernina. For those of you who don't know about older Berninas, they do have a built in manual-buttonholer. However, it is several steps and the sewist is responsible for making the proper length. I thought to be on the safe side, I used my Memory Craft 6000 so I would be sure they would come out properly.

One other little extra on this shirt is a label. This came about because when people comment on my clothes and I respond I made them, they are in disbelief. So, a label should remedy that.  This is where yet another machine came into use.  My Singer 6268.  It sews wonderful letters.  My Memory Craft does letters, but I like these better.

Originally, I said I wasn't busy.  I guess now that I think about it, I have been busy oiling and learning how to use my new machines.

Thanks for stopping.