Saturday, 30 May 2015

A little catch-up

On my sewing table

I've been making a new summer dress out of some spotty blue and white cotton I bought on my honeymoon (so it's only been in my stash 7 years).  I was holding off on making clothes for me for ages because I'm breastfeeding, but then I read Gertie Sews Vintage Casual and I thought: centre-front zipper!  Hel-looooo baby!

I'm using my own self-drafted pattern and it would have gone together really quickly were it not for a hiccup with the overlocker which ceased to proceed.  More of which later.

Since it's not done yet and there are no photos, I'll save more waffle on this for later.  Hold on to your horses, I bet you can't wait.  ;-)

On my needles

Lots of lovely people I know are having babies soon!  There's a bunch in June/July, and another bunch in Nov/Dec.  I must knit faster!  Some items have been completed already, and some are still planned in my head, but of course I can't post anything until the babies have their gifts.  So there will be a bunch of knitting posts through the rest of the year about projects I'd finished 6 months previously.

I treated myself to a set of ChiaoGoo Red Lace interchangeables with my birthday/Christmas money plus some proceeds from the sale of 20m of my mum's pink upholstery velvet (thanks, Ebay and Mum).  It's very decadent to spend that much on needles, but as my entire family say: "You never regret a quality tool purchase."  I think that might be a family motto.

Out of my toolbox

So, half-way through the summer dress my overlocker (US translation: serger) started to make noises even more alarming than usual.  If I put my foot down, it said CLUNK CLUNK BANG and then the threads snapped.  It was already pretty noisy, as toddler pointed out: "Mummy, use that 'chine: Uh-uh uh-uh UH-UH!"  It finally got to the point where no tension settings worked to make a nice finish.  I couldn't pretend any longer that it didn't need a service.

It's surprisingly easy to take a Baby Lock Prestige 750DS to pieces.  Much easier than my sewing machine.  Instead of stupid plastic lugs everywhere that must be carefully eased apart, the Baby Lock is just screwed together neatly.  The main carcass is metal and all components are easily accessible when the plastic casing is removed.  As usual, the cure-all was just a thorough dust, clean and oil.  The quantity of fluff was amazing, but probably unsurprising after the amount of fluffy nappy-related fabric that has been put through it.  Here I must thank my unendingly patient husband who volunteered to do the cleaning and oiling of the actual joints on the basis that he's more patient and methodical than I am.  I cleaned the tensioners by removing each one in turn and flossing it with a cotton fabric scrap.  For most bits, we used the standard light sewing machine oil, but I did splash out on a can of Lithium grease to use for one metal-to-metal sliding joint which looked like it had been greased with this before.

The whole machine hums happily now.  Splendid!  Another £70 saved.  Ker-ching.

For my next trick

Tomorrow the second ever outfit-along starts!

I'm taking part again this year.  Last year I missed the deadline by sewing in yarn ends and buttons.  Boo!  This year I'm almost ready to go.  I'm making Hetty and Simplicity K1653 (which is a v-neck mock-wrap dress) in this fabric/yarn combination:

I already washed my practice fabric which is black jersey and swatched the lace pattern for the cardigan.  The real dress will be made in the floral jersey in the picture.  £5 for 3m: score!

Wish me luck!

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