Monday, 27 February 2012

Bribery and corruption

So my first proper project on my new sewing machine involved a little bribery. I promised our son some curtains for underneath his bed but have been too busy to make them if I am honest. However with a return to swimming lessons for him, these curtains became part of a long list of bribes to get him into the water, having refused point blank the last time I tried. It was a bit of a risk, curtains are not that exciting and I do find him rather hard to bribe.

Still, it was a bit of simple hemming and a chance to get stuck into figuring out this baby. See how she has a heavenly glow about her?

I normally shy away from user manuals, but I felt I owed it to myself to read this one, and it was surprisingly straight forward and simple. The machine is not that complicated, even though compared to my old one it looks like something from the future.

I had been telling myself for years that my basic machine was all I needed, thinking that a more complex one would be wasted on me. But it's the simple functions on the machine that have been a revelation; a button to cut the threads, a see-through bobbin cover so that I know when I am going to run out. Seam allowance guide lines that are metric and imperial and are even marked on the bobbin cover.

And it's so quiet, you can hold a conversation whilst sewing and not have to shout. I spend most of the day shouting at the kids, so this is a nice break for me. I also love that it has a sliding speed control which means that however hard you press the pedal, there is one maximum speed, but you can ease off to sew slowly. It's a bit like cruise control. My old machine used to go fast or even faster meaning that it could suddenly fly off at high speed if I pressed the pedal too hard. For example during a lapse of concentration while trying to shoo off a dog who was chewing on the power lead. I think the slow speed will be great when sewing with the kids - this used to be a bit of a white knuckle ride.

I love this Cityscape fabric by Echino, note how jarring it is that the pattern does not match at the join. That minor detail didn't even cross my mind. It is held on by tabs secured by velcro. This linen mix is the perfect weight and hangs really well. It has lead to a number of discussions about when I will take him to see Big Ben.

The best thing about these curtains is that they hide all manner of clutter behind them.

And even though when I picked him up from school before the lesson, he mouthed the words 'I don't like swimming' through the window at me. My beautiful boy did enter the water and swam with a smile on his face. He never fails to surprise me. And he loved the curtains, which I put up while he was at school in anticipation of that surprise. He didn't even comment on that badly matched join.

My machine comes with several different clever feet and all manner of different stitches and patterns. I need to try something a little more complex next, it really should be something to wear. Anyone else sewing for Spring?


  1. Lucky boy!!
    I'd be swiping those to make stuff for me and leaving him with the blue nylon - oh that's just me and my son then!

  2. Great curtains :-) I love the speed setting thingy on my Janome, sometimes it helps to limit my speed as I'm so impatient I often put my foot down when I know I should be going slow... Just as well I'm not allowed to drive eh?!

  3. They are sooo cute!
    Reading manuals is always I wise Idea...I had to learn that the hard way =D

  4. Love the curtains and your new groovy machine.

  5. The curtains look wonderful! I'm very jealous of the lovely machine. have fun sewing!


    I did it Kate!!

  7. I have a Janome and love exactly the features you described - the thread cutter still puts a smile on my face - no yanking the thread at the back! The curtains look great and I`m sure your son isn`t the slightest bit bothered by the design not matching up!

  8. Thats the beauty of sewing for children - they don't seem to care about or even notice little mistakes that would really annoy me!
    Good job on the curtains - figuring out new equipment can be a bit scary!

    I'm planning an entire wardrobe of spring/summer outfits - time will tell how much of my plans come to fruition:)