A Colette Pattern and a Question...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sewing 1

My first Colette Pattern - I have a bit of a thing thing for wrap dresses (or just things that wrap in general), I own three and in this horrible sticky Sydney weather, being able to just throw on a quick cotton wrap dress during the weekend is a god send.

David bought me this pattern for Christmas and I am eyeing up a few different bits of fabric from my stash to make many of these lovely little things. I'm looking forward to an easy sew too - no buttons or zips.

Sewing 2

Also, a question for all the sewers out there - what type of machine do you use? I'm thinking about upgrading - my Brother and its problems with tension is really starting to effect the quality of the things I'm making. So much so that I have to double stitch everything!

I'm eyeing up a Janome and thinking about buying an older machine mostly because they just seem to last longer and seem sturdier.
But I would love your thoughts and opinions on other brands and specific models if you'd care to share.

Thanks so much in advance,

20 comments on "A Colette Pattern and a Question..."
  1. I bought a Toyota for my workhorse sewing. I love it :D

  2. I have a Brother too, it was about $500 but was usually listed as $700... I got it at the Sewing Machine Warehouse in Penrith's Supa Centre (spelling of 'super' is intentional!) ... they sell on ebay, but you can take your old machine in and they'll give you a better deal.

    It's a drive out there, but worth it for the discount! I love my Brother!

  3. I have had a Frister Rossmann, and two husqvarna vikings. My newest machine is a husqvarna and I adore it. But I have a soft spot for Janome's and Bernina's too as I worked on them at college.
    Out of all of them I think that the Husqvarna is the best seconded by the Janome! Good luck with your colette pattern they are fab!

  4. I have a Pfaff Select 3.0 , which I love. I got it after my Brother (the lowest-end model) wore out.

    I like my Pfaff a lot for the following reasons - the integrated walking foot is a dream, it's very intuitive, it's a manual, it changes feet easily, and it's quiet and sturdy.

    It's heavy enough that it's stable, but is also easy to move around when I want to sew with friends. And I was able to sew through several layers of thick wool coating no problem.

  5. 1. I'm almost done making that dress right now. It took 3 muslins to get the fit right. It is both necessary and worth it to make a muslin if you are going to make more than one.

    2. I replaced my cheap machine with horrible tension with a refurbished Janome from overstock.com (I have no idea if that site is available to you down there). I know some people think "a cheap machine is a cheap machine" (i.e., none of them are worth it and you should save up and get a Viking or Bernina), but this machine, for less than $200, is leaps and bounds better than the one I had before. I must admit that my sewing machine experience is not very broad and I've only finished 3 projects on the Janome, but I'd still recommend it.

  6. I have a brother machine. I don't think it is a very advanced one just one of the cheaper ones. It's my first machine. It was giving me heaps of troubles with tension and I got it serviced and now it works like a dream. THe guy that serviced it told me that particular brother sewing machine has a lot of issues with tension so it is pretty necessary to get them serviced to get it fixed. Maybe try that first before upgrading. That will give you a bit longer to look around for a new one.

  7. Hi Jen,
    I just saw your post on Sew Retro. I have a Janome 415 (since early '04), and it's a total workhorse! I also have a Singer 401 and an entry level Viking (similar to the Husky line) I bought new maybe 3 yrs ago. I've given up on my Viking -- it feels like all plastic parts and refuses to take heavier fabrics. My Janome is still my go-to machine, and although loud, RARELY complains, and I can get pretty crazy about how many layers I want to jam under it.

    Good luck on your search,

  8. Brothers are usually pretty crummy machines. My mom finally threw hers away and we celebrated!
    I learned on a Janome and they make a basic one that does everything from leather to georgette, although you'll get a finicky one once in awhile. I loved those machines.
    I have a Babylock denim pro, which is basic and a total workhorse. It works for what I need, band doesn't have all that crazy electronic stuff.

  9. Yikes! Sewing machine problems are never, ever fun... I hate when machines act up! :p I own two hand-me-down machines (well, three counting my grandmother's c.1950 Singer, but that's in storage): a late 80s Singer and an early 90s Kenmore. I've looked into buying a newer machine, but haven't been able to justify it quite yet. I have pretty much decided though that when the time comes for an upgrade, I plan on getting one of the basic Bernina machines. Gertie (of Blog for Better Sewing) had a post about the basic Bernina machines awhile back that was really helpful. They're a bit costly from my understanding, but are workhorses. A girl can dream though! I have to say that I do like both my older machines; they run great and have metal "guts" which I trust a bit more than the newer machines that have a bit more plastic inner workings.

    Oh, and I got the Crepe pattern for Christmas too! ;) It's sitting on my sewing desk, waiting my attention (and spare time ;). I think I've already picked out a fabric from my stash too... Can't wait to whip it up eventually!

    ♥ Casey

  10. I have a Singer 338 which was a model made in 1964! It's probably not the best of the older Singers according to the Vintage Singers Yahoo group - but it's still all metal and after a good oiling it's running really nicely.

    I wouldn't be able to give you any hints on buying a new machine - but from my searches around, the Singer machines that were made up to the 60s are all great.
    My machine was one of the last models to have all metal parts - some 338s do have plastic gears.
    The older machines don't have any fancy stitches but my reasoning was that I'd be working on patterns from around the same era anyway and home sewers back then would have used a similar machine.

    It all depends on how much you want to spend I guess!

  11. I have a Janome MyExcel 18W that I've had for nigh on 20 years, which has had no servicing but what I remember to do occasionally, has made heirloom dresses for wee girls and fancy dresses for big girls and trousers and coats and toys.

    So yes, I'd recommend a Janome...


  12. Casey mentioned Gertie's blog. I'm guessing you're aware that she's doing a sewalong for the Colette Crepe Dress, but just in caseyou're not.....well worth a look as lots of info on constructing that particular pattern...
    I had a 60's Singer Touch & Sew which was really gutsy and reliable (and lovely to look at!). I currently have a new Brother machine. So far have been very impressed with it and have had no issues whatsoever, despite a high plastic content,lol!

  13. Hi Jen, I was so excited to see your blog post on Sew Retro and also find out you are a fellow Sydneysider! How are you holding up in this hideous weather? So hot and humid... but I guess I can't complain seeing what Queensland is going through right now. Anyways, just wanted to say hi! Sam xox

  14. Hi, I have a Husqvarna Emerald, i got it last year and i love it, so lovely to sew with. I did lots of sewing machine research first on Pattern Review. Have a great weekend!

  15. I have a Janome MyExcel 18W, it's absolutely perfect for my beginner self but you seem like you might be a bit more advanced than me! It was on sale for under $400 and has been so easy to use and reliable compared to some of my friend's machines. Good luck with the wrap dress cannot wait to see it! I finished my first dress a few weeks ago and I pretty much haven't taken it off I am so proud haha. It is wayyy to big so next time I know to double-check the 'finished measurements' to make sure they aren't designed to have a super loose fit! xxx

  16. Hi! I just saw your post in sew retro.
    I have a Janome and I think it is good.
    About your dress, go and see Gertie's blog, she is hosting a sew along of that dress.

  17. Can't wait to see your version of the dress. I sew on a Bernina 1630 and I'm in love with it.

  18. Hi Jen,
    Thanks for your comment :)
    Dunedin's fine, I am loving relaxing and working freelance, means I have lots of time for myself - I'm sewing lots, and have started quilting, and thinking about knitting! It's great... apart from the weather. Plus it'll be super fun working at OUSA for O-Week, I can't wait!
    In regards to sewing machines, I got the Elna 3210 (nothing fancy, the model below when they turn into computerised ones) for my grad present and it's been awesome, no issues at all, and has all the functions you need. Down here I'm using my mum's Elna 3003, which is a step up, and it's a bit sturdier, and comes with a hard case as opposed to my vinyl one (my problem with it).
    I would recommend either of them... I've never used anything else so I can't really comment on any other brands!

  19. i have a hello kitty machine. it actually works really well for all the basicy sorts of things. and most importantly... it's PRETTY.

  20. I have a Brother, it's been working fine for over a year now. When it dies, I think I'll upgrade to a Janome. well, that is, if I can't talk my mom into letting me "borrow" her Bernina. ;) She's had that thing for 30 years and it's still amazing!


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