Sewwwww Long!!

The other day, I said goodbye to my old faithful sewing machine:

See that pink button?  That was the start/stop button.  None of this pedal malarkey!  The yellow button was to go slowly, and the lever was to backtack.    And the simple dial with the stitches?  Three different lengths of straight stitch, three sizes of zigzags, four that I don’t think I ever used, and three buttonhole stitches.  If you imagine there are no stickers to show you how everything works, this machine was basic.  And it scared the hell out of me.  My lovely sister J bought if for me, assuring me that it would make my life easier (this was when I was going through the making kindy bags month.  So she picked the simplest looking one, but one that wasn’t going to be good for nothing.

And I’ve been able to make a whole load of things with this machine!  Bags, pouches, trousers, dresses, skirts, purses, all sorts.  But…I am ready for an upgrade.  And I can totally blame B in Nagano for this, as she bought the same one as me, and brought it to my attention on the U.S. Amazon site at a much lower price than on the Japan one.  So last weekend, this baby arrived:

Today is Thursday and I made my first item using this today.  That’s a whole load of days to wait, but to be honest, I was a bit nervous.  I like change, but it makes me a bit nervous. I am comfortable with the familiar but get bored quickly.  What a contrary madam I am….

So firstly, look at all of those stitches!!  Oh My God!!  There are 60, SIXTY!  I doubt I will ever use them all, but I’m going to give it a damn good try!  And it’s so pretty and sleek!  I had no idea that Brother was a Japanese brand…I’d always thought it was American.  But if it’s good enough for Project Runway, it’s certainly good enough for me!  There is a pedal, but also a speed controller, which is a bit less scary than simply a pedal, but also a little frustrating that you can’t have the full speed range at your foot, so to speak.  It’s computerised, and I’m just getting used to that, but it has a lovely little computery noise when you first turn it on and the needle sets itself into place.  The display tells you which foot to use and it comes with like a billion of them.  Zipper foot, walking foot, buttonhole foot, button foot, quilting foot, and I can’t even remember the others.

It feels so much smoother to sew than my old one, but of course I am still getting used to it, so I’m not really in love with it yet.  I should really read the whole manual first, but I find it easier to read as I need.  There are a couple of things that I miss from my older machine, but these are very silly things.  Like the little bit at the front that you pull off for sleeves or to attach the table, my old one was a little box to keep my bobbins and feet in.  This one is similar in that it has a little bag in that part, but it’s a bit more fiddly.  Also, I find the spool a little short, but I’m sure I’ll get used to these things in time.

Today, I made this little pouch:

I picked up the material in the offcuts section.  I think it’s really cute!  And the lining is a laminated heart fabric.  Perfect for a little cosmetic bag as it’s so easy to wipe clean.  I still have fabric left, so I may make some different sizes for a set.  It’s been a while since I sewed one of these though, so I forgot to attach the pull tags which make it so much easier to open.  But still, cute and I didn’t find the machine that hard to use.  I didn’t get as close to the zip as I would usually like though, and the top stitching is also a little far away from the zip, but again, I think these are things I can get used to.

I’m excited about getting back into sewing a few things.  I ‘ve been a bit bogged down with garment making lately, so I’m giving that a bit of a rest, as I much prefer making accessories and smaller projects that don’t take forever to make.  Plus you can generally go much bolder with prints and colours when making accessories, unless you are making children’s clothes of course, and I love bright colours!

Happy Sewing!

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