I know I said my next post would be a finished garment but I wanted to write about my experiences sewing in the Sewing Loft.
See everything is new. New sewing machine, new sewing tables, new sewing arrangement...new, new, new! And my sewing muscle memory is for another place and time. So everything is moving slowly as I'm adjusting to all the newness!
First, as a Janome Maker, I am sewing on my new Janome 9450QCP. While I've been a loyal Janome sewing machine owner for decades, this one is significantly different than all of the other machines I've worked on. Every process, every consideration, even every foot, has been examined to make the sewing as simple and easy as possible. Now I know it's a quilting machine and even most of the YouTube videos are based on the machine's quilting capabilities. However, I've been using a "quilting" machine for garment sewing for decades - starting with a 6600P, moving onto the 8900QCP and now the 9450QCP.
Another reason I like this machine is because no eyestrain. The lighting is AMAZING. I had an Ottlite behind it and moved it because I just didn't need the additional light. It's all supplied by the machine and the extra overhead needle lighting.
My eyes are older now. It's a fact...so good lighting is a requirement. Just like the automatic needle threader which took me a minute to learn but is one of the main reasons for desiring this machine - ease of use. I have the feature on my 8900 and never quite got the hang of it. I am having to rethink ingrained sewing processes because they're incorporated in the machine.
For my new make, there is some gathering in the body of the dress/jacket. I did it the way I've done it for years. Lengthen your stitch, sew two rows of stitching, leave long tails and then pull the bobbin stitches to gather the stitches evenly. As I was reviewing my new Janome Workbook, I realized that there is a button for that. I want to use my sewing machine to its full potential...so I'm going to have to "unlearn" a few things!
Then there is my sewing machine table arrangement. I sew barefooted. While my sewing machine has a knee lift and a start/stop button for sewing, I still like using my foot pedal. The new table has so many pieces to stabilize it that I don't have the open space under it I had using a folding table. Learning that I can't kick my sewing pedal far out from my machine has been interesting.
Presently - my iron and ironing board are still at the bottom of the loft stairs. I'm making the trip up and down the stairs for now. I'm sure this will get tiring at some point. I do have some other options for ironing on the cutting table upstairs. As I try them out, I will share them.
More space ~
I have more space to lay or hang pieces of my garments in progress including on Daphne my dressform. This is new. I had run out of space in the sewing cave and operated in very tight quarters with few clean surfaces. Not having my computer in the space definitely helps but the new layout is the real winner. The space astounded me as I worked in it last weekend.
This refers to the room lighting. Even as I worked in the sewing loft with natural light (astounding), dimmer light because of cloudy and rainy days, and darkness at night, the light is fantastic. I still haven't figured out how to photograph things at night but during the day nothing beats the natural light.
I'm presently finishing up a Dover maxidress/jacket and that will be up on the blog next. However, I really wanted to document this feeling of newness. So I can look back on it in several years, when I've acclimated to the loft and remember when!
...as always more later!