This is my new "wearable muslin" (yes, I did make a r e a l muslin too) of the "Painted Portrait Dress". It's a pattern by Anna Maria Horner and it almost got to me! I am a fan of Anna Maria Horner fabrics for quilts although I have not used her patterns. The written directions for this pattern were frustrating in some ways.
"Sew Hungry Hippie" must have realized that a few videos would be helpful and she graciously shares them with the world on her blog....and in a Facebook group as well. Because age has made me busty I seem to always choose to me a size large...and almost always it is....well....way too large. My muslin was too large and so I cut the pattern down and went ahead o use some very thin Indian cotton gauze that I had gotten more than a year ago. Because the bodice yoke, back yoke and side panels are two layers I did not have enough of any one of these two fabrics, but was not yet willing to commit to "good" fabric. When It was all said and done the dress still was way too large! Ugh! I took it apart and had to make some seriously odd alterations so that it look and fit correctly...took me forever! Now I have corrected the pattern and should finally be able to make another from "good" cloth...which oddly enough is from the "Loominous" line from ...who else...Anna Maria Horner! It came close to being put in a pile and forgotten for another day a long time in the future. When was said and done I Happy that I powered through, because now I like it a lot. It is a comfortable, versatile dress and will see much use I think.
What is my new machine? This:
I have been interested in this machine since it first came out, but I thought that is was very overpriced and could not have afforded it anyway. What made me begin to consider one is that as much as hand work is truly "my thing" my hands just are not up to as much quilting through many layers any more. I want to preserve my hand power for embroidery, appliqué and other sewing that is not as hard on my hands...and so I began to consider the Babylock Sashiko 2 again. The MSRP on this machine $3999., although who would pay that for what is essentially a one stitch wonder I don't know. It was on sale locally, and I had saved some down payment and went ahead with buying it. A day later I got an email from Babylock for an August through September special for an even Lowe price and Quality Sewing honored that price for me. I was a happy sewer!
A year or so ago I was gifted with my serger. It too is a Babylock product (I got the Imagine serger). I am impressed with Babylock quality. I had never even test-drive a Babylock machine before buying that serger, but now I thunk I am "sold" in the company. I chose the serger because Babylock has been the in the forefront of "jet-air" threading or sergers and I figured that after all of this time they had the process down...and they do. Unlike my old Pfaff serger that I struggled with for 25+ years to the point of not using it, the Babylock is a dream and a pleasure to use.
Babylock seems to be innovative in their machines and designs. I mean who else would develop a one stitch wonder machine. It seemed expensive and superfluous to me for years, but now that my hands get so sore I saw/see the value in it. What's more I can also see being able to quilt some of my own, smaller sized, quilts with it as well as making the quilts bags that I enjoy making.. the machine is seriously heavy...as heavy as my Janome MC8900 or a full sized Bernina. I had thought that it might be lighter like my Embellisher....but it is a full on quality machine. It is very well made, well designed and easy to use, although making sure that I get the bobbin threaded right will take a few uses to sink in well.
I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy this new experience. I am glad that waited until I found a great price, and even happier that I hit the Babylock special sale which made it even easier for me. I am also happy that I buckled down and got my dress pattern done right...now, it will please rather than continue to puzzle!
How can we be so close to Labor Day?! Wasn't it just the beginning of summer