Monday, January 30, 2012

Leaving on a jetplane...

I love that song... Yes, I'm leaving for a looong trip to India to visit family and friends - the whole of February - which means busy planning, shopping gifts and pretending to pack. I also have been very busy at work pretty much the whole of January. So I couldn't find the time to sew or explore the coverstitch any further.

I plan to explore a couple of new places this time and yes,  I promise to come back with tons of yummy "colorful" fabrics (gosh! I miss all those colors...) and hopefully when I come back, I'll get sewing much! :) A girl can hope, can't she?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Janome 1000cpx

(Picture: Website of Janome Canada)

I am a proud owner of a Coverstitch machine as of yesterday. :) Wooohooo!

Tabatha was selling her Coverstitch machine as her she has moved from garment sewing to making gorgeous quilts! Check out her gorgeous quilts here. After talking on emails and taking a trip to Durham region yesterday, the 1 yr old machine which has never been used for more than an hour, is mine for $450. Tabatha was also very kind and showed me  a few things like how to thread the top thread, how to lock a coverstitch, etc.

I came home feeling elated and with a huge grin and a new machine! She's also selling her Viking 905 serger, but after mulling over it for a couple of hours and trying to thread the coverstitch machine in the mean time,  I finally decided that I'm not ready for 2 new machines and the coverstitch alone was enough to give my brain cells a big workout this year. What can I say? Threading the coverstitch was a humbling experience indeed. :) I made myself familiar with all the parts of the machine and threaded the top thread on my own. I could do it all the way to the needle, but couldn't get the needle-threader to work as per the instructions from the manual. I slept through it and then, tried the needle threader again this morning again. It took DH 10 seconds to do it, and that too without looking at the manual. He came up with his own way of using the needle threader and it worked!! No, this method didn't work for me! Having an in-house needle threader is fantastic, but just to be on the safer side, I'm going to get a floss threader and learn to thread the needle with that.

So far I've learnt

  • how to thread the top thread

  • how to do a 3 needle coverstitch

  • how to adjust the pressure adjusting screw

  • that the coverstitch is sewn with the fabric right side up and hem underneath it (It baffled me a sec!)

Next up, I need to work on learning

  • how to use a floss threader to thread the needle

  • how to thread the lower looper

  • how to remove a needle

  • how to do a coverstitch with 2 needles

  • adjusting the thread tensions to try different stitches

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sewing goals for 2012

If I know me right, I'd say if I don't push myself into something, I'd never get it done. So, here's my sewing goals for this year.  I plan to re-visit this list often and see where I am.

    1. Conquer my fear of doing a FBA -  I need a FBA. There's no escaping that. I need to conquer this beast first.

    2. TNT for knit top - I prefer knit tops than woven, so comfy! And very forgiving compared to wovens

    3. TNT pattern for knit dress - If I get a knit top TNT pattern, then this one would be easy

    4. TNT pattern for a woven top - I'd like to make an Indian style salwar kameez/kurta for me and  a TNT woven pattern will help.

    5. Make 12 knit tops this year as a part of TAM (1 top a month)

    6. Fix at least 20 garments - I have a lot of pants waiting to be hemmed, etc that are waiting on my Fix-It pile

    7. Organize sewing area: Now that I have a place to sew, I would like to arrange / organize my sewing area.

    8. Take 2 sewing classes 

    9. Learn to work on the coverstitch machine and serger (added serger to this list,now that I have one)

    10. Learn how to do at least one type of zippers (either center zipper or invisible zipper)

    11. Learn to make at least 5 type of drafting alterations on a TNT top pattern (say, changes to necklines, etc)

    12. Watch 12 sewing related DVDs - DVDs are so much easier for me to learn than from books.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My history with sewing and some more about me

The Sewing girl Seamstress with Tuxedo Cat by Tascha Parkinson

In a small town in Southern India, my Mom got me started on hand embroidery when I expressed interested at 7. For a while, I had the most interesting slips (chemises) in my school, lol, all hand embroidered by moi! Then came making doll clothes with mom's scraps. I even figured out how to make a vest by making 2 holes in a rectangular fabric!

And at 15, I took a class from my neighbor who was a sewing instructor and sewed a few clothes  (underskirt/petticoat, saree blouse etc) with her hand-holding. Then I had to give up sewing and focus on my education for quite a while... Then at 26, I took up sewing again - this time a month's worth of sewing classes, this time, while I didn't have a machine at home, I used the machine at the class  I made a kurti (just another name for tunic), a nice salwar-kameez outfit (again Indian style tunic and pants), a nice pair of Capri pants... LOVED sewing again but didn't pursue sewing after that.

After this, I pretty much didn't sew for the next 7 yrs. I bought a sewing machine (Kenmore 16231 from Sears), built a good sized stash and I remember making an apron, a small pillow and then years later, I made a pair of knit pants and a sleeveless tunic - both for my then 1 yr old daughter. Took some online sewing classes through sites like PR, but didn't really sew anything after those. What else? Oh yeah, I did sew a bra from an in person bra class in Hamilton (ON), which ended up as the most expensive UFO (Unfinished Object!) ever. More about it on another day.

Now that I want to get back into sewing, This time around, I plan to take it s.l.o.w. - start from small easy pieces with easy techniques and slowly work my way up from there. I live in one of the suburbs around Toronto, Canada with my little daughter Mischief, who is naturally artsy/crafty (unlike me) and my husband who doesn't mind my growing stash and encourages me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

We all start somewhere...

Have a decent stash, but overwhelmed to cut into it and start sewing...

Have been reading about sewing for a couple of years now, still stuck through...

Have great books to help me, still not ready to jump in...

Wonderful blogs, forums, articles on the internet for inspiration & education,  still no...

What has been holding me back? I have no clue.

Once a friend and I wear talking about the principle of Inertia and I was telling him how I feel stuck in a rut and unhappy without a job but I'm not able to jump head first into the job search, due to inertia.... He commented - 'There's another side to Inertia; Once you start moving, you don't stop. Maybe you should just focus on getting to that side.' Those words made a big difference! I got started on working on the issue at hand, worked very hard at that and landed a fantastic job... It's more than a year now and I'm ready to apply the same idea to sewing.