A New Baby (Lock)

This is a quick round up of a few random projects that I used to christen my new sewing machine!  Yeah!

I have had a Brother sewing machine at our lake house for 12 years.  Because I never did much sewing here it was fine.  But as I started using it with more substantial projects in mind, it just wasn't up to the job.  Last fall I had considered a new machine for Florida, but ended up taking my Janome to have there.  While I was shopping around I realized that I have had 4 different machines over the years with the whole shebang!  Monster embroidery units that I have never even taken out of their boxes!!!!!  I didn't want to do that again.  

My advise to people when they ask me what machine they should buy is always to get what you need and a smidge more to grow into.  Know the dealer.  And know where you will have it serviced.  I finally took my own advice!  I got a really lovely Baby Lock machine...sans embroidery, from the local dealer who has a service department right here!  Isn't she a beaut!

So far I am really, really pleased with my choice.  (Can you see me taking the picture in the side panel😜?)  I have had two different Baby Lock sergers that I have loved so I didn't go in completely blind.  It is very intuitive for the way I sew, so it has been a very smooth transition.  The dealer does have owner classes that I will definitely take to get the bells and whistles figured out.  But the basics have been easy to get used to.  So what have I been practicing on...?

I had a linen bias cut dress that I liked but didn't really wear.  I scrutinized it and realized that the fabric is a bit heavy, it is a decorator print, and the sleeves were just not right.  I decided I could take them out and make the dress cooler to wear and eliminate the whole sleeve issue!  

When I looked at this picture I was horrified!!!  Had I really worn this out in public!?!  The big brown leaf with the spot in the middle in exactly the WRONG place....OMG!  I was about to scrap the whole thing!!!  When I calmed down I realized that my dress form is a bit 'perkier' than I am at this point so when I put the dress on it wasn't as much of an issue.  Whew!

I took the sleeves off...and added a bit of elastic to the back waist seam to pull it in a bit, which gives it a little more definition at the waist.  Much better.  I'm much happier with the dress and think it will come out of the closet this summer, finally.

The second project I tackled was another pair of Merchant and Mills Eve pants.  I love this pattern!  I made them in a mid weight army green linen.  I love linen!  What can I say...they are great!

I do make one major modification to the pattern when I make it...it doesn't have pockets!  What!?  Right?!  So I incorporate slant pockets and hide the opening in the left hand pocket bag.  The original pattern calls for a side seam zipper, but because the opening is hidden in the pocket, I don't even bother with a zipper.  The button at the waistband moves forward a bit and I like making it a bit of a feature.

...And the last little project in this round up is a patchy linen top.  I did mention that I love linen didn't I?
and, yes, I had all these bits and bobs of linen scraps in my stash!  I lined it with a very soft Liberty of London lawn so it is still very light weight.  

...and I love my new buttonhole foot!

Now that I have eased into a few simple projects, I will see if I can get out of second gear over the next month and try out some of the other features of my new Baby...Baby Lock!


Movin' On Up and a May White Shirt

My May white shirt is finally done!  We will ignore the fact that it was actually made in June and move on.  May was spent loading boxes and laundry baskets of stuff from our home of 25 years into the car and carting an hour to our summertime house that is now our everyday house, in preparation for selling the aforementioned 25 year home!  The run-on sentence is kind of how the whole process felt.  What are we doing today?...loading the car and carting stuff up 40 steps...what about tomorrow? ...loading the car and carting stuff up 40 steps!!!!  If you think I'm kidding about the steps...

Anyway, since my sewing stuff spent the month of May in boxes and laundry baskets I did not have a chance to make my May white shirt, so we will pretend that it happened in May and hope I can get the June installment in books before July!

Before I get to my shirt, let me show you my new sewing 'cupboard.'  As part of our move to our former summer cottage, now everyday house, I said good bye to my sewing room and moved into a large closet on the third floor.  The loft room was planned as a multipurpose room so some days it's my sewing room and other times it is the yoga studio, or an office.  So all of my sewing paraphernalia is now on wheels and rolls neatly into the closet when I finish working.  I am liking the discipline of cleaning up after a project and starting with a clean slate.  It seems to make sense in my new downsized lifestyle.

Good bye old sewing room....

Hello new sewing cupboard...everything folds and rolls...

When it's time to sew, my treetop loft becomes a lovely sewing oasis...

At the end of a project, it all folds back into the cupboard to make space for whatever comes next...

So that is where my May (ahem...June) white shirt happened!

I really liked the Closet Core patterns that I tried in March so I got them out again.  My plan was to make the sweatshirt, but with a little wiggling I managed to get a pair of shorts and a tank top as well.  I got a really lovely rayon French terry in a creamy white and a matching rib knit for the bands.  It is soooo luxurious.  It has a bit of sheen and amazing drape, I feel very special when I wear it.

The tank top is a self drafted pattern.  Basically, I cut arm holes into the sides of the circular ribbing fabric.  It was a bit of an experiment, but I am happy with the results.  I like the neckline of the tank under  the sweatshirt which has quite an open neck edge.

The patterns are quite oversized and while I like my new shirt and pants, I think I might go down a size or even two for the next go round with these patterns.  They feel a bit overwhelming!  I really like the way the pockets and side seams are done on the pants.  It was a bit of a head scratcher the first time, but once I figured it out, it was very slick.  I'm not sure how many "lounge" outfits I'm going to need now that we are coming our of Covid hibernation, but for now I am loving these cozy pieces.  ...on to June!