Monday, October 21, 2013

Lutterloh Pants And Spas for Machines...

Another stab at Lutterloh pants coming up. Even though I did say that's the last garment sewing for awhile - after my skirt last post, well, the gals on PR have been making Lutterloh pants, so I thought I would give that another whirl. I will draft the pants here in #81, 2010. But I am going to make the pants more full, and regular length - my crazy idea is to use the upper part for fitting, make a muslin pair of shorts, and then use the final product for a couple pair of palazzo pants to wear around the house. I have some rayon that is drapy and great for that use, as I was going to make skirts out of those lengths of rayon blend.

Meanwhile, on the sewing machine front, I took my Elna TOP 300 into Smitty's Sewing the other day, and He fixed the dial so it works perfectly to select stitches now, and he fixed the clutch so it will wind bobbins, and looked it over and cleaned whatever there was, timed it, and all is smoothly working now. It is a nice machine with a nice little stitch package. Something about rehabing these foundling machines is a good feeling, but now I want to make sure any machine I re-home has a good home. Right now the Pfaff 307 is in for a spa treatment itself, as it sews nicely, and I love it, but it has a not-so-great hot electrical smell coming from the innards. So we'll see what resolution we get on that problem.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lutterloh Skirt Finished for Transitional Seasons...

I finally finished the skirt about a month ago! The tropical fabric is really nice in a skirt. I made this one a bit more full, so it drapes very nicely as well. This is my TNT skirt pattern Lutterloh Supp.257, #14, 2005. I have talked about this pattern a few times in these pages. This fabric was a really nice print from Gorgeous Fabrics. Cotton in an easy care bottom weight with the least little bit of stretch. I have had it several years waiting for use. I was going to make a shirt of it, but a skirt seems a better choice. This required a few purchases of tops to go with it, as my color holdings didn't really do the trick. Land's End as usual. This ends my garment sewing for this year, as far as I can tell so far. I really don't need any more clothing at this point, and quilting calls. I am done with the strip quilt top, and now on to the batting, backing and quilting. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pfaff Hobby 307 - my new baby sweet machine....

Yes, I  know. I DO have enough sewing machines to outfit a small sewing school. And yes, I do NOT sew on them all very often, or even sew very often really. I am a slow sewer and I often just play with the machines. I do love them. So - this is the second find my hubby made at the Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift store on the trip out west. It seems the thrift stores out in the Seattle area are repositories of nice older machines, as are the pawn shops. Who knew? You could wait 100 years around here for a thrift store to have even a tenth of the nice machines you can get out there. Good thing too, or I would need a new wing on the house. This machine is so close to my heart. It rounds out a nice set of Pfaffs living with us now. After just a cursory clean with a damp cloth, it was in fine shape, and from my testing and looking around in the bobbin area and so on, there is nothing to suggest it was used more than two or three times. All the original accessories were with it, including the original manual, which looks pristine. I found it in PDF online so I printed that out and won't bend the original manual. I know - again - strange. Anyway, I love this thing. It sews like a charm, is very heavy and solid and although not made in Germany by Pfaff, was apparently made to specs that give us a really nice solid mechanical machine with a nice stitch package for most ordinary needs. NOW - here is the best part.

This baby does FMQ like a charm. I had been looking at various Hobby machines of this vintage, as well as Hobbymatics and Varimatics - mostly on the Brubaker Sewing site, and I just never found the one I wanted. Brubaker's has so many nice machines and is always worth a call for your Pfaff needs. So, when he called and told me he was looking at this machine, and it was in a case (not a Pfaff case, but a nifty all purpose solid case like the Brother or Singer plastic hard-shell case with bottom) I was smitten sight unseen. The next day was a 50% off day, so back he went and picked up this and the Elna. It has been a good machine year. My plan is to use this machine for free motion quilting if the projects are not too large for the harp. It has quite a high harp, so that shouldn't really be too much trouble. It uses my vertical Elna darning foot well, as you can see, and I also bought it a really nice free motion foot from Mr.Vac and Mrs. Sew. I purchased this through AMAZON, and had it in two days! Amazing service. The foot is solid and very easy to get on and I love the large open ring and the all metal foot.

This machine is from that transitional period where machines were part metal and part plastic. So the casing is both, and the weight, well a nice substantial one, is not a back breaker like an all metal machine. It has a vertical bobbin, and takes snap on feet, but is a bit wider in the feed dogs and feet than the usual 5mm vertical machine, so some of the Janome drop in feet work fine on it, and it takes Janome bobbins. I bought it the new blue ones. It came with the most clever zipper foot I have ever seen. It is a combo regular and invisible zipper foot. OH so clever.

The feed dogs drop for darning and FMQ. The stitch package is just a basic set of 8 (they call it 7 because the straight stitch is variable to a narrow to wide ZZ) stitches, but you can vary the length and you have a nice 4 step buttonhole that I like very much. I love the control of a four step buttonhole. There is a setting on the length control dial for S.S. - stretch stitching. Those stitches are in purple and you select the stitches merely by turning the stitch dial to the picture of the stitch. The manuals for most Pfaffs are available on the Pfaff website now, which is really nice. There is a nice large tension dial and unfortunately no presser foot pressure adjustment on this machine. I cannot say that is a huge drawback for me anyway.  In future I will report back as to how the machine handles the free motion. I am about to work up to the end of a quilt I am making, and I intend to use the 307 to quilt it! Looking forward to the fun.  If you run across any of these older models of Pfaff Hobby machines, I think you can't go wrong. Meanwhile, the Elna TOP 300 is in for a spa treatment and a fix of a few minor issues.