Monday, August 1, 2011

A New Machine and a New Dress

I've talked about how when I wanted to start sewing my mom lent me her machine so I wouldn't have to buy my own in case sewing wasn't all I thought it would be. Well, did you know the reason my Mom even had that sewing machine? It's because my senior year of college, I hand embroidered about 12 blocks of the Noah's Ark Story and I wanted my mom to turn those blocks into a quilt as a college graduation gift for her. (circle of life) Her 30 year old JC Penny machine was kaput, so she picked up a Brother LS-1520. And it served us well.

Recently, Mom came across a great sale and picked up a machine for me. not a loaner, but an actual machine that I own. awesome. Except, it's WAY more complicated than the old one. Digital, 80 stitches, embroidery, smocking, quilting, applique stitches that went on for days, a function to sew without a foot pedal, more feet than I've ever seen, 8 different options for making button holes ... it does a lot. So, I let it sit in the box for awhile and used the less complicated machine. Then I got out the manual and read the entire thing. seriously. Then a few days later I decided I'd take the machine out of the box and learn to use it while watching the instructional dvd. yes. It came with an instructional dvd. Well, I kept putting that off and off and off.

Finally, last week I just got it out, got the manual out and got started. I pieced some charms for a disappearing 9 patch I'm forever piddling with. I made a practice quilt sandwich and played with applique, quilting, the decorative stitches and binding. I've done pretty much everything except buttons and zippers.

the big bad SQ-9000
now that I know how to use it, it's not so big and bad anymore.
By far, my favorite feature is the visible bobbin.  I can actually SEE how much bobbin thread I have left just by looking down!
Lastly, I played with the smocking a little bit. (Fun fact about me -- neither of my kids have ever worn pastel smocked clothes. gasp. true.) And because I already learned how to baste, it was easy peasy to figure out.

Daughter has a couple of great dresses that Tina (yes, linking her twice in one post) put together with "pre-smocked fabric" that she loves. And I figured I'll take the left over pink fabric that Daughter picked out for the wonky log cabin quilts and make her a dress like those.

The practice fabric on top of the actual fabric used.

It only took about an hour to get the dress put together, but I didn't have any white ribbon for the straps and didn't feel like going to get any. So it took about 3 days before the dress was finally finished!

And, seriously, this was the best picture I could get of Daughter wearing the dress. After I snapped this picture she said, "I stood like this (she struck her pose again) so you can see my whole dress." good job kid. crystal clear. ;-)
I made it a little longer and a little bigger in the chest so hopefully she can get at least one more summer out of it.

So, I've boxed up the old LS-1520 and the SQ-9000 is here to stay. AND Daughter has a new dress she loves.LOVES.loves.


Kim said...

I really liked this post. I even told my mom about your new sewing machine. She and I both are excited for you!

Mom made me one of those pre-smocked dresses last year in leopard print. She originally but black ribbon on it to keep it up, but I really didn't need the ribbon and it made it a bit ackward to wear so I cut it off. I LOVE wearing it around the house when I am cleaning or watching TV!!

Christy Ross said...

ooohh. I would make myself a presmocked dressed with no hesitation if I found something more adult than what I've seen at my Jo-ann. And because of my (cough cough) endowment, I could skip the straps too.

Thanks, Kim. You've put me on notice!