Now what did you think this post might be about when you read my post title? It’s probably not what you thought at all, so relax. I’ll tell you all about it.
First, I have to admit something. Since I posted about my new Opal, I’ve been terrified to touch it! I mean, there’s a whole
world lifetime of difference between this:
Husqvarna Practica 5 6230
Husqvarna Viking Opal 670
But then my father-in-law had asked me to make him a tote for his tablet, and I knew there was nothing for it but to sit myself down in front of this jewel (sorry, had to be said at least once), and just start it up. So I did. I read the part of the manual that shows me how to thread the needle, wind the bobbin, and then instead of slowly pressing my foot down on the foot control on the floor, I pushed that fancy shmancy button on the machine that starts the thing, and off it went!
I reckon that if someone was filming, it would have made a hilarious little silent movie. You’d have seen me frantically pressing buttons here. And then there. And all over the place. Trying to get it to stop before the stitching ran off my fabric. I next tried to start it going again, and this time, press the “SLOW THE &*$% DOWN!” button in time. I mean, seriously. I just wasn’t getting the hang of it at all. I felt all thumbs, like a brand newby, and then it happened. My first jam. Followed quickly by – as I tried to force things to move – my first needle break. I scrambled through my supplies looking desperately for another size 8 needle. You know, I thought I’d have packets of them, but I didn’t. Panic set in. It was evening, so no chance of a quick dash up the road to Spotlight. I nearly resorted to taking down my old precious and de-needling it, but I couldn’t do it. I had images of some old black-and-white movie evil dentist pulling on some poor shmuck’s tooth to extract info running across my brain, and I shuddered at the thought of it. Luckily, I found one in an old pack I’d dropped into a travelling pocket from my quilt guild days. Phew!!!
Quick as a flash, I rethreaded. Then I hit that button again. I was going to beat this. So there’s me again, pressing buttons with jerky movements, trying to get my timing lined up with the machine’s. Hitting that other button that makes the needle dance in one spot before heading off on its path, and then again when I wanted it to finish. The only button that I felt was my friend during this exercise was that lively little one that I can press once the action had stopped, and made the needle do a neat little step-to-the-right-and-cut thing that finished off for me. I reckon that one little maneuver alone would save me hours on each project! So OK, a little smiling was starting to happen.
Editor’s note (yeah, it’s me, Helene. the wannabe writer/editor in me just felt like saying that): The Opal does have a foot control, so I can always use that. I just thought that since this machine is all loaded up with modern gizmos and all, I should jump into this decade and learn how to use the thing with the buttons. I’ve already made a mental note to use the foot pedal on my next project, and perhaps get some expert tips and instruction on the buttons with my first “new machine” lesson at the shop
Well, I made it through my first sewing project, and ta-dah! Here’s what I made…
I stitched the strap over the side seams
a surprise – I used a second piece of fabric for the bottom of the lining
a simple hair elastic, one of those thick ones, secured under a piece of the strap tape I used
I used a couple of small d-rings on the strap so it could be lengthened or shortened
I had difficulty finding the right button in my box, one that wasn’t at all feminine-looking. I think this one’s great, a nice manly kinda button.
Curious Nature fabric cut and ready, and the trace-around template I’d made to get the measurements
the finished Tablet Tote for favourite father-in-law, Gooter
I wish I had a camera on my father-in-law when I gave this to him. He loved it. My mother-in-law pulled out her old sewing box and starting handing me things from it. Do you need this? Could you use this? And this? What about this? I don’t use it any more. This is still from when I worked with Sala. Sala was her sister. She’d had a furrier business years ago, and my mother-in-law had worked with her in the factory on Nicholson Street in Carlton.
old linen threads, and a spool from the overlocker, a pin cushion with old pins still buried deep in its side, and a set of vintage buttons
all I can say is I’m glad I never worked in the Beutron factory! It doesn’t say “every one” which would refer to each button, it says “everyone” which refers to people! Hilarious, no?
vintage buttons – what a find! I love them!
(Make sure you click on the image of the button card back to enlarge it and read the comment.) After my relative success with this first Opal project, I was ready to hit the next one with slightly augmented confidence. However, on the Sunday night of that weekend, I came down with a really bad chest infection. Last Monday I couldn’t talk already, and my cough! Oh. My. God. It was horrible. I had a fever, and I felt like shit. So definitely no sewing. Just heaps of chicken soup from my darling mother-in-law, lots of tea with honey and lemon, boxes and boxes of tissues, 4am alarms to take meds, much really vicious-sounding coughing from the deep dark depths of my poor aching lungs, not much talking or laughing (it leads to coughing so it’s out), catching up on Suits – isn’t it such a heavy-on-the-testosterone guy show? but I do love it – and not a lot else.
Hope you’re healthy and well, and staying clear of the winter nasties.
Last month, I crossed off another long-outstanding project that I finally finished – a wristlet for my friend, Lyla. She gave me the fabric from her own stash – oh, and by the way, if you’re into appliqués, you should check out her shop.
Do you like it? I did have a concern that the fabric would be too cutesy, know what I mean? But I think it’s adorable!
In the next couple of days, I’ll post about my next project… finishing the quilt I started for my friend, oh so very long ago! And after that, I’ll finish Moshe’s quilt, and then… oh boy, and then!!! Onto some really exciting projects – I’m making a coat for Moshe! Want to see the fabric?
I bought this superb wool from Tessuti yesterday, and I can’t wait till it arrives! It’s called Charcoal Intenso, and it’s a beautiful charcoal grey Italian 80% wool 20% cashmere. Divine! I can’t show you the lining I bought till it gets here and I can take a picture of it, because I think I might have bought the last of it. It’s a Fendi lining, with a lovely soft hand, while being quite robust and durable. It’s what’s called for when making a man’s coat, I’m told. Apparently they can be a bit rough on the sleeves, so a nice light silk that I’d use for a coat for myself, for example, wouldn’t go the distance. Go figure!
Anyway, more about the coat another day. And I’ll also show you the pattern I’ve chosen, and hopefully a picture of the lining. In the next few days.
OMGosh! I am so happy with how this little hat came out! So chic, don’t you think? Aliya has a little black party dress that I think this might look rather divine with. Hope so. I just love it! It’s the 3rd little reversible sun hat I’ve made using this pattern By MiekK, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!
I mean, it’s so cute! Click on the images below to enlarge. That’ll get rid of the strobe effect of the black dots on white fabric!
I’m going to pop them into an express post bag and hope they get to Perth before the weekend! Can’t wait to see how they look on darling little Aliya!
My darling daughter recently bought metres of flannel in 4 colours, and asked if I could sew up around 48 cloth wipes for her so she could ditch the store-bought wet wipes.
Of course, since I love both my daughter and my sewing machine, I agreed!
I have to fess up though, it’s been a s-l-o-o-o-o-w process for me. It’s not my very favourite kind of sewing, as you hopefully will agree. But I promised, and besides, there’s not much I wouldn’t do for my daughter, and even less for my grandson, and after all… there’s the good-for-the-environment angle that’s just all over this project.
So, in amongst the mundane cutting and sewing of flannel, I’ve spiced it up by adding in a little gorgeousness.
a pink hat for Aliya
I love this hat pattern by MiekK! It’s so fabulous to make up. It’s the same pattern I’ve just used to make a little bucket hat for Austin, but this one is for little Aliya in Perth, and I had to make a little adjustment.
Aliya’s hat needed a tie. Now, this would have been an excellent addition for Austin’s hat too, given he wouldn’t keep it on his head for more than a nanosecond, but of course, being a boy, that dog wouldn’t hunt, as they might say in some parts of the world. That is completely out of the question. Now, for Aliya, it was essential, but the pattern didn’t have a ribbon tie option, so I had to work out what to do.
I created a kind of button-hole for the ribbon to pass through from one side to the other, attaching the ribbon securely in between the sides.
I simply thread the ribbon through the hole, and gently pull it through.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy! If you’re interested, I could do a little tutorial to show how I did it. Let me know in the comments if you’d like that, and I’ll put one together over the holidays.
Isn’t it a simply adorable little hat?
Now onto a second hat for Aliya, this time in black and white.
Then tomorrow, I’ll pull myself away from these pretties, and get back onto the flannel wipes for Devorah. Definitely. No, really. Definitely.