New toys!

aka the “i got a shiny new machine” post

Back in May I did some overtime which gave me the ideal impetus to buy the sewing gadget I’d been lusting after trying to justify. Given that the price is the same regardless of where you buy it in Australia, I traipsed into my local sewing machine shop and bought it there. But I also bought some binders from the US on the same weekend – which managed to arrive before the machine did from the Janome warehouse in mainland Australia. Go figure.

The machine went away to Orford with me  for Creative Camp and that was my first real experimenting. I had four garments waiting to be finished that I’d packed, some hemming and some topstitching on knit garments. I’d previously used Mum’s overlocker which converts to coverstitch and that was what really sold me on the idea.

What I’ve learnt so far:

  • Use reasonable quality thread. Regular overlocker thread is OK, the large Birch rolls are just fine, as are Gutermann making for very predictable in results. The three reels of cheap crappy unnamed thread you’ve been using in the overlocker without trouble for the last 19 years (but are the only ones in the right colour) make a mess, and leads to frustration.
  • Play with the direction you cut the strips for binding. Some works better on grain and others cross grain.
  • It’s surprisingly easy to use, if you pay attention to points 1 and 2.
  • Read the Patternreview threads, and Melissa of Fehrtrade’s binding tips.

Some hemming with the matching colour up top and white underneath. Doesn’t show through. Winding off some of the gutermann thread onto a bobbin saves buying two reels.

Topstitching this top was so easy. I’d previously tried on my sewing machine and got horrid results with stretching and sliding all over the place on this cotton viscose knit.

The trio of machines at Creative Camp – the coverstitch is on the left.

look at that topstitching!!

Since then I have made a wee baby wrap top for NNTB and last night used the binder to edge a vest my son and I have been working on. I suspect binding the edge of slippery nylon, sleeping bag innards and merino knit lining is pushing it. The stitch length shortened as the machine didn’t feed the layered fabric through quickly enough but I was leery of changing the stitch length too much as it was working.I just concentrated on lining everything up straight and keeping an even speed.

Ruby cat loves this vest. What cat wouldn’t? A garment made out of  a sleeping bag? I’d put the vest on the table, turned my back and she’d claimed it. As I write now she is sitting on it over on the couch. Maybe I should make a cat blanket next?


2 thoughts on “New toys!

  1. Your son’s vest look very impressive and I can see why Ruby likes it so much. I’m envious that you have got your industrial binder to work, I just need to find the time to play :)

    • I still feel like I not quite getting the hang of the binder – if it rains again this weekend I’m going to practice on some lighter weight knits to try and make some camisoles. Once I started on the vest I kind of kept going without messing with the settings in case it totally argued with me. They don’t seem the easiest beasts to tame.