Sunday, November 30, 2014

Butterick 6777 Finished...

Although it took me awhile to finally finish these, they are so easy to make I have no idea why I even thought of buying white cotton half slips or pettipants from Vermont Country Store!  I used the white broadcloth from Joann's that I believe I mentioned in my first post about this pattern. The fit is good, and the time involved is minimal. My two pieces sat there waiting for me to do the deco stitching on the hems. I just did a pale pink deco stitching around the hems to add a little something. I need these two pieces for next summer when I wear a couple of skirts I made that are pretty thin fabrics, so I haven't worn them yet.

The pettipants are an experiment to see if I like them. We did have some thinner waistband elastic so that is what I used in the casings for the waist. One could do it the lingerie way and get special elastic that sews on the outside and has a pretty edging to it. If I like these I may make more. I can picture them in a nice pale yellow. I used Kimono Silk for some of the deco stitching, but had two thread breaks, even though I changed tensions, presser etc., so I changed to the same color in Bottom Line that I happened to have. Truthfully the Bottom Line doesn't look different than the silk, and it sewed problem free.  I had a So Fine #60 pre-loaded Class 15 bobbin in in white.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas Place Mats done...

Down to the wire on Thanksgiving Day I finished the Holiday place mats. One side is Fall (Halloween, Thanksgiving, anytime) and one side is Christmas. Both sides are fun Peanuts prints and of course as usual place mat making was fun. I cut them out on Tuesday and sewed them up Wednesday with my Janome MC6300, which is FAST. I used the turn-method. No binding that way. Smaller quilted pieces really lend themselves to that. I used some Warm and Natural Batting left over from a quilt, and then I did FMQ on them. I used the Pfaff for that, as she really does it the most painlessly of any machine I have ever used and I wanted to get this project done for dinner Thanksgiving Day. :) I did two mats Wednesday night and then finished the other four Thanksgiving Day while I cooked dinner. A fun little project.

The pattern was a brown paper pattern I made myself back in about 2003. I have made lots of place mats with it. You get four out of a yard of regular width cotton quilting fabric. So you buy two yards and then a yard of batting between. this time I wanted six place mats so I bought a yard and a half. I used Superior So Fine #50 for the quilting, and I used OMNI and a Class 15 pre-loaded Superior So Fine #60 bobbin for the sewing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Butterick 6777...Cotton Half Slip and More...

Beginning to really need a half slip. Want cotton. So I am using the white broadcloth I bought a bolt of a couple years ago for muslins! It is a nice soft fabric after washing, and is working out well. I find you cannot find patterns for these items easily now days, especially ones for woven fabrics. There are a few in print though. I shopped and found one out of print that has it all and is not too complex. But if you want to shop around, Colette Patterns has the cutest two patterns, and there are more from other companies. So far I cut out and assembled the plain half slip, made it a bit more A-Line, skipped the slit in the side seaming, and have cut out a pettipant version of the tap pants. It will be sort of a half slip in pants. Anyone remember pettipants? It is my plan to finish off the seams, and use a small elastic casing waist.  And then I want to use several deco stitches to embellish the hems. I hope they look pretty.  I did purchase the KWIK SEW Lingerie book for the sewing sequence, and the finishing details. I am so glad I did - what an excellent instruction book even if you do not use the patterns! If you purchase this be sure to buy new so you get the included master patterns. Many used copies will be bereft of the patterns.  I did purchase my copy from AMAZON because it turns out to be less even though the book is more. At the KWIK SEW site the postage is high. But the pattern I am using is the Butterick pictured here.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Amazing Pfaff 1222E...

I wanted to do a complete expose of the features of the Pfaff 1222E, since I have enjoyed my machine now for over 35 years. While surfing the web I came upon a really good site with info on the machine, and many comments which have enhanced the information quite a lot since the poster did her first installment on the 1222E.

I am going to make my post shorter because the first thing I am doing is linking to her blog posts! Her first post  covers some basics and her experiences and her update really gets going with the comments and the information that fill out the picture.

The high points I believe are the needle UP that you get with the use of the presser foot lifter and the many many patterns you can make with the stitch patterns in combination.  I have used that about three times over the years.   The Pfaff 1222E was TOL when it came out. I wanted it very much for two reasons. At the time I was sewing on a Kenmore 1602 flatbed machine - nice machine, but I wanted the narrow free arm because I was sewing little children's clothing at the time, as well as doll clothes.

I also was in love with the idea of the newest thing on the sewing block - the MATCHMAKER FOOT!  That was the original name for what is now called Pfaff IDT.  And believe me when we bought the Pfaff it seemed like a whole lot of money and caused me some little guilt but I got over that very very soon. The IDT is the very best thing since the wheel I think.  Note the all metal sturdy IDT on the 1222E.

I never even heard of seams becoming uneven after that, or collars not turning out even. Nope, the IDT solved all those situations with ease.  The fact that there is not a presser foot pressure adjustment is just not relevant at all - I have sewed heavy canvas, light gossamer voile, and everything in between with my Pfaff.  For those who need a manual, there is one now on the Pfaff site.  The free motion quilting this machine does is the best I have seen on any of my machines. It is not thread fussy, and will really remain stable while you toss around a quilt on your sewing surface. I have used thread ranging from Isacord's lightness (which the machine did for me but didn't particularly care for) to heavy 30 weight C&C quilting cotton. The results are always lovely except for my user errors.

The machine has electronic features ranging from the needle UP feature to the variable speed foot control, and it all works incredibly smoothly. I still have the original needle threader on it and it works.  It has needed a couple of replacements of it's smaller nylon-plastic gearing and a new screw in the needle threader but for 37 years I don't think that's very much to have to have had done.  I bought her a Sew Steady extension table and just last week installed ECOLUX lighting. We are a happy couple.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ecolux Part II...

I need to augment the first post about the Ecolux Lighting  with before and after pictures on both machines.

Ceiling lights on and normal room illumination in place.

After I found I could sit and sew at night now without a cluster of OTT lights, I really could not curb my enthusiasm about these lights.

The Janome and the Pfaff are very happy with the new lights, just as am I.

I promise not to wax eloquent any more about these...maybe....

Ecolux Lighting is Worth It...

Last week I finally ordered the Ecolux LED lighting for both my Pfaff and my Janome. One 6 LED full kit and one extra 6 LED strip with connector. The pictures do not really show the full impact of this lighting because they are so bright they cast the rest of the picture into more darkness than exists with the eye in the room. Top photo shows the light strips in place under the harp of the Janome 6300. The strip is thin vertically, so it nests up in there really well.  It adheres with 3M adhesive which is the top of the light strip. You remove the backing and stick it right on the machine, and then the delicate white cord goes right around the back of the machine, and doesn't take up measurable space in the harp at all. two small holders stuck to the back of the machine hold the thin cord which connects to the switch connector which then connects to the power cord which goes to the adapter in (hopefully) your surge protector.

Both the Janome 6300P and the Pfaff 1222E measured within the parameters of the 6 LED set. No sense getting the 3 LEDs unless you want to put them in a very very small machine.  Here you see the Janome 6300P with the LED lights on and the Pfaff 1222E with the LED lights on. I notice that in the pictures the LEDs tend to make the machine's own light look dim, but of course it remains the same. I did not turn on the overhead lights in the room so that the pictures could better reflect the lighting of the LEDs and machine lights.

I wanted to photograph the back of the machine so you could see the attaching of the small holders as well. I am very very happy with these lights. It would seem there are other less expensive ways to accomplish this sort of lighting although for the past two years I have looked at other options out there, I really haven't seen anything that compares aesthetically with these lights. I don't like black cordage, so this suited me just fine. It's kind of an Apple sort of treatment - all white and very delicate, very nicely put together. Yes, I could have put the holders on a bit straighter, but I installed both sets in under ten minutes since I was excited to begin sewing with them! I was able to sew at night a few nights ago which I wouldn't have been doing last week before these lights came. Not having an OTT lamp taking up space behind the machine will be an asset in pushing quilts through as well!