Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Machine!

Whoo!  And a BIG BREATH IN please!  And let it out slowly (but not too slowly because I have TONS MORE WORK!!)   I have been working like a crazy woman!  My biggest client went to a trade show the last week in January and I have been sewing madly since just before that. I LOVE the work but it doesn't leave me any time to do personal work or share my thoughts with you!  All this said, I have a new addition in my life that I just HAD to share!

SO 2 nights before my last deadline at 1:30am I snapped a needle in my machine.  Now I have been SO LUCKY with my machine...  I bought it in 1993 - top of the line sewing/embroidery machine - and have not had it serviced EVER!  When I learned how to sew, I was in the Navy and we serviced out own machines for the most part so I have  basic knowledge on how to keep it clean and running.  However, since it is digital, there are a lot of places I can't get into and clean.  So when I snapped my needle and it stuck, I wasn't so much concerned that I couldn't get it out.  I was concerned that if I damage a part that I wouldn't be able to replace the part.  It is a New Home - a company that doesn't exist anymore.  Even if they CAN get a part, I am down for a week waiting.  SO 1:30am and I am having heart palpitations trying to get my machine back up and running.

Now, this is not the first incidence of heart palpitations in this type of situation.  The machine is slowly warning me of its impending doom.  The bobbin winder hasn't worked in a long time - I am almost positive this is a dust and gunk issue but it is so far in I can't do anything about it.  I can barely be read the LCD touchscreen  - fortunately I use the same stitches over and over so I just don't wash the fingerprints off the screen so I know where to press.

With my work schedule, not only have I not been able to part with my machine for a week+ but I haven't had the time to machine shop for a back up machine.  The other night prompted me to find my dealer and get my butt in gear.  Janome has taken over New Home and not only are they my authorized repair dealers but the Janome machines use the same accessories (feet, bobbins, etc) - a MAJOR plus in my book with how many I have and use regularly.

After a bit, the saleswoman had kaboshed my putting a lot of money into my old machine (a lot of parts can only be reworked as they don't make them any more and for them money of the reworked ones, I could buy half a new equivalent one) she had sold me on a Janome that would be a great back up machine.  It does everything I need for work and not much else and was half of what I thought I would need to spend.  The reviews on this machine were through the roof - everyone LOVES this machine - beginners and weathered sewers alike.

SO bought the machine - it is still in the box - and will write a review and show pictures in a few days.  That said - I am back to working.  I dropped off an big order yesterday after pulling an all-nighter and brought home a double order.  The orders are backed up so I need to get them done ASAP - if I keep this up, I will be able to get a new computer too!  (yes, it has been on my list longer than a back up sewing machine - half the keys and the mouse don't work at all!!)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Frogging because I can't read directions

Last night I ripped out 4 hours of knitting on the Striped Guernsey because when I started the front I forgot to change back to the CO needles size and didn't catch it until I needed to switch to the larger size I will had on the needles from the back piece.  UGH!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Zero Waste Fashion Stop Video

Well, I have been completely inundated with production work over the past few weeks and I have little boys' tie parts all over my sewing room.  I must admit that I love the repetitive process of production work because I don't have to think about it - muscle memory kicks in and I am left to think while still being productive.

Sometimes while I am doing this I will put a movie or watch informative videos in the background.  I have been very interested lately in zero waste patterning.  I, personally, throw very little away.  When I make things, any pieces an inch or larger get used or go into a scrap bin to be used later and it is amazing how little fabric I actually buy.  I also have bins of scrap fabric from clothing that was ripped or worn out and could not otherwise be donated.  I have 2 bins just for jeans and denim.

Today, I pulled up this video*: 

*Folks, please don't repeat any of the fashions you have just seen on an adult.
Now, I have to admit, I was more impressed with this person's stop video ability that their fashion designing abilities but nonetheless, it got me thinking.  I know that about half of my 1st draft designs don't come out - okay, they are probably fine, I am just a perfectionist.  These duds always end up in a pile of "Now what do I do with THIS" stuff and I never get back to it.  Many times, despite all of my recycling efforts, yes, I will throw them out.  Now being a big girl, I end up with garments much like this video - much bigger than most of my friends (or in the video's case, the dress form).   I am resolving to do more deconstruction when I have these offhand designs - I am sure my friends would be happy to have a custom made garment and I will be much happier to not waste the fabric.