Sunday, April 13, 2008

oh janome, i adore thee

Yesterday the Deranged Squirrel, Ru and I hit Evelyn's Sewing Centre in Newmarket to purchase a sewing machine. We decided that by pooling our money, we'd be able to afford a better machine than if we tried to purchase individually. We did a bit of preliminary research (we are librarians, after all) and figured out what brand we wanted, and then found out that Evelyn's was an authorized dealer. So up we went to Newmarket with ideas and money in hand, hoping to find a machine in our price range.

When we got there, we found out that our decision was going to be a lot easier than we had originally thought. They only carried one sewing machine that fell into our price range. Luckily for us, it also happened to be the brand that we wanted to buy. Hooray! We took a few moments to browse the great selection of fabrics and kits they have at Evelyn's, and I chose a great sock monkey fat quarter, along with thread to coordinate with a few fabrics I had purchased in anticipation of our sewing machine. Squirrel then asked for some assistance in getting the machine, we paid, and we left the store feeling rather giddy with excitement.

The sewing machine we bought is a Janome S-Series 307. It has 8 different stitch options, and we can also adjust the length of the straight stitch from quite small to very wide. It's very easy to wind bobbins with it, and it's also deceptively simple to thread (woo hoo!) Squirrel and I spent yesterday evening practicing various stitches on some scrap fabric we had, fiddling with the tension and trying out the different features. I also took a moment to repair a pair of Signal's pants that had come apart at the seam. It was so easy to fix them on the machine!

Since the Deranged Squirrel is soon going on vacation, she told me that it would be okay to hang on to the machine for the next two weeks. This afternoon I decided to try my hand at embellishing a few of the prefolds I had dyed. The first prefold I embellished proved to be a rather frustrating experience, but it also allowed me to learn a little more about the machine and how I needed to work it in order to be able to sew through the thicker layers of the prefold. In the end, I'm very pleased with how my first project turned out. I mean, the seams aren't really straight, but it's going on the child's bum. So who cares! Here's Signal modeling the prefold soon after I finished with it.

When Ru put Signal to bed, I embellished a second prefold. Since this one was done using fabric that has a direction, I split the piece in the middle and sewed it in two sections so that the pattern would always be right side up when he's wearing it. In the centre I used a zig-zag stitch to reinforce the seam. I think it turned out really well. My seams are a lot more even on this prefold; just goes to show that a little practice goes a long way!

I know that this machine is going to see a lot of use in the upcoming months. I have more fabric waiting to go on to prefolds. I am going to try my hand at making flatfold diapers out of old t-shirts. I have a pattern and some fabric coming my way to make baby pants for Signal and some friends' babies due this summer and fall. And Squirrel has quite a few quilting projects up her sleeve. Be sure to keep and eye on the blog for more crafty updates in the future.


ru said...

and i am knitting my first cabled scarf! go us!

MadJenny said...

Very flash looking diapers!