Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hurrah for Vogue!

Vogue/Butterick/McCalls  have completely redesigned their websites. As they are all the same company, they have tied all 3 together. When you buy from any of the 3, it all goes to one shopping cart. All I can say is: It's about time! I like some of the new designs for Spring and there is a $3.99 sale on right now - so I am off to shop!

Love this!


and this




Monday, January 4, 2010

New Decade, Time for Some Sewing!

I'm finally back and adding a new entry to this blog. In the past year and a half I started a new business so my sewing took a back seat, unfortunately. I have done some projects but never found the time to post them up. I know that a lot of people refer to this blog for sewing ballroom dresses. I am not sure if sewing more of those is in my future, but I am excited to work on some regular sewing.

Early last year I got a new sewing machine, a Project Runway Brother LB6770PRW:

Brother LB6770PRW Limited Edition Project Runway Sewing Machine

It definitely has a lot more stitch choices than my 25 stitch Kenmore plus it does embroidery which I have just started playing around with. Getting  new sewing machine takes some getting used to. I felt like I was driving someone else's car for the first couple of months. I was used to old reliable (Bessie), the feel of it, I knew the exact way to hold things, loop things and there were no computerized thingies. I must admit I was frustrated at first and a few times I went back to trusty Bessie. But over time, I began to get more comfortable and now I think it is a good machine. I have named my new machine Scarlett, after Austin Scarlett on PR. I have only come across one issue just now. I have been sewing some riding breeches for myself. They have a full seat of microsuede. I was excited to see Scarlett has a blanket stitch, several variations of it. I wanted my breeches to look like the expensive ones  and I especially liked the look of the stitching on this retail pair:

Knowing that I might have trouble on a home sewing machine with thicker thread AND thicker fabric I experimented on scraps of microsuede. I determined that the topstitching thread they sell in  the fabric stores is impossible to use on Scarlett. It jams. Upholstery thread is a safer bet or in my case I could not use the color I wanted so I went with quilting thread. A regular sewing needle will not work on the microsuede so I went and bought jeans and leather needles to try. My dilemma: they would not fit in my sewing machine! The shank seems to be too large, for some reason. I have never had this happen before on Bessie, they are just Schmetz needles. All the other Schmetz needles I have fit fine.

I took a closer look at the jeans needle package. I went to the Schmetz website to investigate further. The Jean needle package says 130/705H-J and the size is 100/16. Apparently 130/705H is a household sewing needle. I'm assuming the 'J' is for jeans. I've looked in my sewing machine manual and nowhere does it list restrictions on needle size. It references 100/16 needle size a few times. Right now I am at a loss. In comparing the shank size to my other Schmetz needles, they look the same. What gives?

Update: I have determined there was one bad needle in the packet as the others fit. Go figure. However, the leather needles - 110/18 - do not fit in my machine.