Saturday, September 17, 2011

My mind wanders whilst sewing...

A few thoughts that came to me during my week of sewing.  These are in no particular order...just as I thought about them...

1.  I love the feel of a lined garment in my hands...especially one lined with bemberg lining fabric.  The heft of the garment is comforting and the cool sleekness of the lining is refreshing.

2.  I'm one of those people that not only change my sewing machine needles when using different fabrics...but I also change it after every 3 or 4 garments sewn.  Does anyone else do this?

3.  My serger can still intimidate me.  Using it still hasn't become intuitive yet.  On the Mixed Fabrications dress I changed the serger thread three times, and I found myself warily approaching my serger always hoping for the best.  I can't wait until I'm as familiar with it as I am with my sewing machine...on the other hand...I love that I don't have to mess with the tension anymore and get a perfectly balanced stitch no matter what fabric I'm serging.

4.  Speaking of sewing machines, have you seen the new Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000?  Oh my is that a pretty sewing machine!  I'm like a myrna bird always attracted to new and shiny things...sigh...  That machine is awesome, as well it should be for a starting price of $10,000.

5.  Now that I've overstuffed the fabric closet, I'm finding that I'm turning to it more and more when I'm thinking of a new project.  No more heading to the internet to look for fabric or the bricks 'n mortar store for I just reflect on what's living with me!  All of the fabrics for the dresses from the sewing vacay came from The Collection.  The only thing purchased was the lace for the Lace Inspired Dress.

6.  Can someone please tell me why floppy ties or bowties on women's blouses are called pussy bows?  That comment was left more than once on the Pinstripe Inspired Dress so I just wondered why and when it originated?

7.  Another comment on that post asked what the cost of the Pinstripe Inspired Dress was?  The cost for that dress was $28.85.  The most expensive part of the dress was the bemberg lining (which I've become addicted to!) at $20.85.  So the fabric and notions came to a grand total of $7.50 - besides a great fabric bargain - there is something to be said for buying notions in bulk!

...a few of the things that ran through my mind while I was sewing... always, more later!


  1. Bemberg - love it, my go-to lining of choice.
    I'm a needle changer, I find it makes a difference in stitch quality and so forth.
    I'm wondering who buys $10K sewing machines. That's a lotta dough. I'm sure it's a sweet machine, but wow. Pricey.

  2. Yep, I'm a fanatic about changing my needles. Wow what a difference it makes to use the right needle and to not over use one.

  3. I just finished putting in the lining to my corduroy jacket, and I understand what you mean about the feel of a lined garment. Never noticed it before, but it's totally changed the feel of my jacket!

    Plus I think I used a Bemberg lining. I'm not sure because I bought it ages ago from the clearance area of my local fabric store. It was originally marked over $20/m, but I got it for about $3/m, and despite never having lined a garment before, I thought that it'd be handy someday. And so it was! It's lovely and silky, but stronger than I first through. :)

    Ta for sharing your thoughts.

  4. great post, I change my needle when it occurs to me that I've been usuing the same one for a while or if I'm changing between jersey or woven.
    Pussy bows, No idea, that's interesting, it soons very sexist to me, when a man wears one its a bow tie, but when a woman wears it, it has to be named another one for her VJJ, thats horrible.

  5. I think pussy bow comes from a reference to bows tied around kittens' or cats' necks.....makes them look cute.

    In Australia, there's a saying, "I'm full up to pussy's bow"...which means you've eaten all you can.

    I realize the term has cruder connotations in the US...

  6. I change needles after two or three garments. ANd I brush out lint at the same time.

    I love that lined garments have more "heft". It makes them more luxurious, I think.

  7. Like Toya I remember to change my needle when its occurs that I have used it too many times. I use Klasse universal needles by Nancy Zieman and get several garments from it... possibly a dozen sewn projects.

  8. I am a huge bemberg fan too - I love the feel and drape of it - it's definitely my lining of choice. A sewing machine that costs $10,000 - I've got to take a look at that! Not to buy, of course (I'd have to make an awful lot of garments to justify that kind of investment!) but just to admire. My machine is a Janome and it's lovely but not quite in that league.

  9. I definitely change and chuck needles all the time. I think it has helped eliminate a lot of frustration I see other stitchers having. Whenever there is a 50% sale I stock up on needles. I am always needing Microtex 12s, my go to.

  10. Another needle-changer here too, especially when changing fabric types to be sewn. If the needle hasn't been used more for more than 2 or 3 garments, I use a Sharpie to make a line on the flat side which tells me it's OK, but used.

  11. I too indulge in the changing of sewing needles as often as possible. You really can feel a difference and yep, I am a bemberg lover....

  12. If I've used a needle very little, and it still looks good (I use a magnifier to check the tip), I will put it back in the needle case but with the flat side up. After a couple of garments I will change needles, vacuum out lint, and oil both the sewing machine and serger.

  13. Bemberg- I am not familiar with it. I prefer a soft silky cotton (batiste), china silk for garments that I don't wear often.
    Needles- I change my sewing machine needles every 8-hours of sewing, that equals 3-4 garments.
    I sew on a Janome that I bought 10-years ago and I love it. I have my heart set on the Janome Horizon, its about $3000.00, I love the machine, but I don't need it, I own several vintage singers, OHHHH but I reallyyy like the Janome Horizonn.
    Fabric- I am on a self impose fabric diet. I organize all my fabrics recently and I am truly overwhelm by the amount of fabric I own it is now to the point of making me depress because it has gotten out of hand.
    The cost of sewing a dress that is tailored specifically to your body-pricelessssss.

  14. Hand up as a needle changer, cause, gasp, I sew over pins! Bemberg is the lining of choice. I tried china silk but the colours never stop running. But why is Bemberg sooooo pricey? And how do you line a stretch fabric garment?
    Love all your sewcation garments.

  15. I change my needle with every single project and sometimes in the process. I'm not as good at changing the serger needles, but they don't get as much use.


  16. You changed the thread in your serger how many time? Hmmm. I don't know about you! I have two sergers and keep one threaded black, the white and that's it. I don't change it. Could be I'm just lazy. I do change my needles often. I can tell by the sound of my machine if I am using the wrong side needle or if the needle has lost it's sharpness.

  17. I'm also a frequent needle changer. Sometimes after one or two garments if I've been sewing something requiring lots of stitching. Also, if I've been sewing with synthetics or applying stitch-through elastic.
    I absolutely love my serger and it is very easy to thread. It is a Babylock Evolve and sometimes it can be a bit of a pain to find the needle holes while changing from cover stitch to overlock. What helps me is planing order of garment sewing i.e. over edge everything first then set up cover stitch.
    I admit I do have an expensive a machine. I adore it though and it makes sewing a pleasure. I do get angry though, when it doesn't behave (like right now the needle-threader isn't working and it makes me furious) You have it right though. A sewing machine should be intuitive. What model/make are you using now? I love your idea of using up stash. That is what I'm working on doing now. It's hard though when I see all of these luscious wools and other fabrics.

  18. 1. Can't do without linings, esp as I hate wearing a slip as much as I hate seethrough. Bemberg, yum!
    2. Needles: me too. I clean, oil and put in a new needle often and always after I've finished sewing and know I'm done for a while. I usually sew the same weight of fabric, so can do this for most and change as I need to.
    3. Pussycat bows: Perhaps because Victorian pussycats are usually pictured wearing bows? Haven't seen these since the 70s!
    4. Yup, I'm up to here in stash, so it's stash shopping/inspiration time here, too, with shopping only for the odd bit of interfacing or whatever I run out of.
    5. I wouldn't look at the Janome having bought and sold a new one the same year. Not only was it slower than my Pfaffs, but it took one more stitch after I took my foot off the control which just drove me nuts. Of course, it wasn't the ultradelux $10,000 model. But I do prefer an obedient machine, esp when I'm topstitching and want to end where I want to end, if you know what I mean.

    I'm really looking forward to see what else you pull from your stash!

  19. I've always heard it called a "pussy cat blouse" and yes, I think because it's supposed to look like a cat's bow. My grandmother was very partial to them in the 60's (I even had a little children's blouse with one on it... argh). I'm assuming the connotation wasn't as offensive in the 60's but who knows?

  20. actually, I think it was the 70's because I wasn't even born until 1968. duh. (I'm not the sharpest tack in the box all the time.)

  21. Hey - I change my needle *every* garment!!!! I REALLY HATE needles that pull my fabric.

    And I totally agree with you about the lined garments. I line pretty much everything - even the skirts on some knit dresses - I just feel a little more covered with the lining. And a lined garment feels luxurious. I, too, am addicted to bemberg, although I'm starting to like china silk (habotai) for some things.

    I'm starting to shop my stash, too. I don't have a lovely closet like you - it's all away in plastic totes - but economics are driving me to shop at home!

  22. I also change my needle after just a few garments.
    I didn't know the phrase "pussy bow" - I swear, my English still improves thanks to sewing blogs! LOL!

    Thank you so much Carolyn for being the *first* to congratulate me on my pregnancy! These are indeed special times - the most special of all!

  23. I have really enjoyed your last few points sharing your sewing thoughts. I can't use anything but Bemberg anymore- it really ruins you for other linings. And I too am eying that new machine with envy. However if you translate that price into yardage it sure brings you back to reality.

  24. Ahh, Bemberg. For years I thought I hated linings. Turns out I just hated the polyester that came in my RTW.

    I got one of those needle holders with the hours on the side so I can keep some sort of track of how long I've used a needle. Very helpful. Otherwise, I'd probably either change them way too often or not nearly often enough.

    I second the question about what lining to use for knits.

  25. Interesting ruminations, Carolyn. I'm another frequent needle-changer--it's simply not worth the problems (with the garment or with my machines) to not take that simple step often. I like bemberg too, but oh, I do love silk charmeuse for lining!

  26. Have to share with you.....I made my first Vogue top today. Took maybe 5 hours total. This is a great feat accomplished for I haven't sewn a complete anything in about 3 years!
    Thanks so much for the inspiration you give!
    As my husband said tonight as he looked at my reveal of a new top..."Ame, you've got your Sewing MoJo back!
    I know a big part of this is due to you!!!
    Thanks so much!!!

  27. Bemberg is the best and I've made many garments where the fashion fabric costs less than the lining. Also change needles with each fabric ad I detest snags!

  28. You might try your local JoAnne's for bemberg. I've found it twice for $2/yard. One in a taupe and once in a "greige." Both really nice neutrals for dirt cheap. I didn't even know what it was the first time- I'm a very new sewer.

  29. I have been thinking about this for days: you don't have to change needles with each project??! I feel duped. I work in advertising, so I should know better.


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated!


Related Posts with Thumbnails