Thursday, December 07, 2006

Knowing When to Stop

I was reading a thread over at SG the other day about slowing down your sewing to gain more accuracy in order to prevent mistakes. I agree with that and posted my own rule about stopping at collars, cuffs, sleeves and waistbands. When tired, these are the places most likely to require frog stitching the next day. As I attacked yet another mod in my attempt at drafting the perfect cut on hooded shawl collar for my HP coat, I realized that I need to stop. I have done 4 versions and none have worked and I am no closer to the vision in my head. However, there is snow on the ground and more coming. The temps are steadily around the freezing point and lower. I need to have this coat finished so that I can wear it. It is not yet cold enough for the down coat already in the closet, but it is getting too cold for just the Gore-Tex and a sweater.

So, last night I took the muslins and started to cut back the hood to leave just a widened shawl collar. I then made the changes to the pattern. I have tweaked the fit enough that I think it will be a good fit. I am going to finish the lining muslin tonight and then I am going to cut the windbloc interlining. If it feels right between the muslins, I will then go and start cutting the real thing.

Why wait till tonight when I had all afternoon? Because I have to design the layout of 3 pages for the in laws family calendar and I really have to finish painting the dining room. We have one wall left to do, but I can't do that one as it involves moving the china cabinet and removing all the contents ahead of time. Need to have the Pilot here for that one. What is the good of him working out at the gym and staying so buff if I can't drool over him once in a while while he works, right? So, I will start the calendar pages once I am finished here and then take them to the Posties.

When I get home, I will put on some music from Loreena MacKennit's new album. I love the blends of cultures in her music. Her music is what I imagine ancient bards used to be. When I listened to this one clip, I realized that I had not bought any of her latest albums. I have 2 or 3 already, but this one I love! I love the fusion of the eastern and western music. Sting has another track I love for the same reason ... I love his song "Desert Rose". Great sewing music, even the little monkey loves it. It "helps [her] concentrate" when she is sewing, she says.

The Pilot has another week of work away before his 2 week break, so I am going to get a late start on the holiday sewing marathon this year. Usually I get going after the second Sunday of Advent as he occupies the kids at night and I disappear into the sewing room. I have't even gone looking for fabric for the DD's dress yet, let alone started Pilot's new shirt muslin or even my own holiday clothes. Then again, if I cam going to get that HP Trumpet skirt done, I am going to need some boots to go with it ... So, which comes first, the skirt or the boots? Shoe divas, help me out here!

Some good news, although I said I was going to wait and save my money for a new serger, the need to reward myself for those casual hours and saving $ combined with the Scottish genes from my father. Last week I found a New Home 234 D serger in excellent shape on eBay. I tried real hard to not get my hopes up as I did with that Janome that I lost. But God was with me on this one. I was the only bidder and got the serger for $75 plus shipping. I had the shipping costs already in the Paypal account from selling a few back issues of WOF that I no longer wanted. Combined with the money I earned/saved, I had enough saved that the post shipping tune up will be paid for as well!

So, by next week, when I am ready to start sewing the wool and silk, I will have a differential feed serger in the shop, ready to play ... Good thigns come to those who wait. Last week, somebody else waited to the last minute and took the other machine and now I have one as well. Patience and persistance to pay off! And I paid less for this one which make sit even better in my books! This machine is not TOL, but it will last me a few more years as I get used to using 2 needles and the diff feed. Hopefully it will last a long time and I can start saving for an actual new sewing machine. That one will not be an eBay buy as I want to test drive many different brands. The German blood in me wants a Pfaff, but I really like the Huqvarnas ... lots of feet to play with. And button holes are a big issue with me. I will be doing lots of road testing on my own fabric swatches once I am able to actually go out and buy. Of course, this could happen as soon as this fall if we are posted ... I get a share of the next leftover posting $ for my workshop. The last one went to a table saw, shop vac, drill press, new drill and numerous hand tools. None of which I mind, BTW.

We have a deal, the Pilot and I. As much as he spends in his shop, I get to spend in mine. And we only count items bought brand new, not used items. So far, I am at a potential buy of about $1000 (Canadian). Now, if only I can convince him to get that chop saw ... Of course all of this has an ulterior motive. He has promised that when he removes his uniform, and we have settled into our home of choice, he will build me a custom workshop. Considering that is at least another 10 years off, I/we have lots of gear to buy to deserve the wonderful shop I am envisioning ...


LMH said...

1) Congrats on the serger! I only use mine for finishing edges, but what a difference that makes.

2) Buy the boots & make the skirt simultaneously.

3) I've got a Viking (445, which has performed outstandingly for me), was thinking of upgrading to the 775, but then I got the walking foot, which has made an incredible difference to how the fabric feeds. I now hate having to take it off to use other feet, and it's made me think that, as much as I love Vikings, I really need to consider getting a Pfaff (the 2046, I think) because it has built in IDT. You don't get that with Vikings until you plunk down thousands for one of those embroidery machines, and I don't want to do embroidery. Anyway, just a thought, since you mentioned both these machines.

Mary Beth said...

Lovely post, Lorna. I can almost hear the music! Don't we wish we sew faster, like maybe our friend, Lisa Laree at Sew Random?

Tini said...

Hi Lorna,

just found this post :)
please don't get a Pfaff if you haven't tried it out. I used to have one and I hated the buttonholes. You really don't need IDT if you have a walking presserfood for you machine...