A Wonderful New Tool

New baby lock BLCS-2

I have a new cover stitch machine and am very very happy with it.

My old cover stitch machine (a Bernette 009DCC) has been difficult more often than not, at times leading me to believe I had figured out how to operate around it’s quirks.  Evidently I was wrong and those quirks returned no matter what I did.

Over the years I have tried different needles, different thread of various quality, spool nets, spool disks, seam jumpers, multiple tension and presser foot pressure combinations (whilst swapping needles and thread in and out), hand cranking and holding my breath.  And combinations of the above.

I have kept lists of setting combinations, notions + setting combinations, fabric + setting + notions combinations and more.  I have read and re-read every tip and trick and review that I could find and all this did very little to help.  The lack of consistency of results and performance has been and still is utterly frustrating and I remain unable to sew a line of stitching on that damned machine without skipped stitches, most of the time.

I even had it looked at by the shop but they said everything was as it should be.

Frankly, the Bernette 009DCC is an expensive lemon.

So a few weeks ago I made my way to the very helpful Wellington Sewing Centre, road tested the babylock and bought it.  Done.

Oops didn’t remember to match the stripes!

Now, if you are in the market for a stand alone cover stitch machine, the baby lock is a pricey individual but if you can afford it, I highly highly recommend it.  Out of the box, I ran up three cotton lycra and three merino long sleeve Ts without a hitch and in no time at all.  I only modified thread and looper tensions once or twice.

Then and since, I have sewn over seam intersections without a seam jumper or any other tools and have had no skipped stitches.  Not one.

I have used up to three different quality and types of serger thread (sometimes at the same time) while top stitching necklines, and have had no skipped stitches.  Not one.

I have stopped and started mid-way through stitching and sewn around fiddly small circumference sleeve hems on the round.  Again no skipped stitches.  Not one.

Oh the joy of a machine that does it’s job without a hitch.  Happy days indeed.

Posted in Coverstitch, not sewing, Sewing Machines | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Winter layers for the kids

BB’s best friend Miss I is a pearl, one of three in a lovely family.  Her mum chose merino colours for all three – Miss I has the blue and teal on the right, pink and pink for Miss A and blue and pea green for wee Mr J.

There’s a black and white cotton lycra long sleeve raglan for my girls too but it’s in the wash already.

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Flowers for the Young Ladies


I wanted to make the girls some summery trousers to take on holiday, for when it isn’t quite warm enough for shorts, or for when bitey bugs are on the prowl.  These were the result.


The fabric is a soft cotton viscose mum gave me ages ago.  It feels lovely against the skin but the print is so busy I hadn’t found a use for it, until now.

Perhaps I’ll add pockets to the next pair?  Dunno.  Will ask kid A or kid B what they’d like.

Perhaps I’ll sew something a little more complicated next time?  Dunno – I need some summer pants too and the ones I have in mind are definitely not complicated.

Perhaps ’tis the season for simplicity then.  Ahem.

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Summer holiday


We’ve been away.

The kids and JJ swam every day, even when it rained.  I swam too but mostly sat and watched them splash and paddle or joined in the search for beach treasures, walking up and down in the tide line, skipping the waves.

Dreadful, no?  Gloriously so.


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Something for the girls

My girls were in need of T-shirts so I made a few.  Here are two – the rest are in the wash somewhere.  I managed to use fabric from my existing collection, successfully resisting the allure of a newly opened local Spotlight store.

Complicated they most certainly are not but it was a gentle sewing job to get more firmly back into the stitchery saddle.

I couldn’t be bothered doing a separate sleeve and wanted a breezy style so took out one a T shirt pattern drew around it, added a sleeve and widened the whole thing.  The front and back are the same and the neckline is nicely slouchy so t’is good.

Can you see that the stripes are a little off grain?  I had forgotten until I laid out the fabric and was pleased I didn’t have to do any stripe matching…… How lazy.  Hah!  AB loves stripes and the gentle crookedness of this so she and her sister have worn and worn the shirt since it arrived.

I had brain fade doing the neckband so it doesn’t lie flat, but that’s OK.  I might fix it, or I might not as  we go away next week.  Besides I wanna sew some more pants ….

And before I go.  Happy New Year and Merry Festive Season to everyone.  May you’re 2018 be interesting and challenging (in the best possible way) with stitchery galore x.


Posted in Patterns, Sewing | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Ugh! How could I not notice?

knit tops Feb2016I usually don’t blog pictures of fails mostly because they don’t get to a wearable stage.  And if they do I’m too annoyed or lazy to go through the process of getting ready for a photo shoot for something I’ll never wear, can’t wear or am embarrassed about.

The worst part is that I wore these oblivious to how badly they fit.  It wasn’t until I decided I should blog them and needed some photos that I noticed all the drag lines and tightness and and.  Urgh.

I mean I like a snug fit but not like this.

I shall drag out the patterns, trace them up a size and get my scissors and tape out.

I guess I am somewhat comforted that both patterns have the same main problems – BurdaStyle 10/2014/105 on the left and Kwik Sew 3338 on the right.  Of course there are probably more issues lurking but we’ve already established my observation skills are lacking.

Mutter mutter mutter.


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Black and white

BurdaStyle 4/2011/123

I do so love my new skirt.  Swirly, swishy, floral delighfulness that took me ages to finish for all sorts of reasons.  Never mind, it is done now and it makes me happy.

Perhaps next time I will make a longer version, though this is so much more versatile.  Hems swirling around ankles feels so fabulous, don’t you think?


I used BurdaStyle 04/2011 #123 but made it a little shorter, without pockets and replaced the waistband with a waist facing.  Fantastically I am a tall size 76 so no width alterations were needed though I’m not tall enough for BurdasStyle so lopped off a good 3″ or so at the hem.  This skirt is supposed to be looong.

One of my lovely books walked me through constructing the waist facing and lining and while tidy, mostly, I got my panels and ‘which-way-rounds’ utterly confused so the vertical seams don’t match at all.  See.


Oh well, who’ll know but you and me, and I don’t really care too much.

The fabric is white mesh’ish cotton gorgeousness with white embroidered appliqued flowers as well as the printed black floral design.  It really is fairly transparent in places …


The lining I chose is a slightly heavier drapier cotton – a happy choice because there is no chance of the lining pulling to the outside at the waistline, and it lends a little more resistance to wind, sparing my dignity and enabling swirling when required.  Happy days.


The top I made a while back and blogged about here … I wear it a lot and it is still going strong.  Wonderful New Zealand merino/nylon mix.

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I should …

I should be making something for someone with this …


But instead I am making something for me with this …


I’ve got a couple of days left ’till Christmas, right?

Posted in Sewing | 12 Comments



IMG_3148Do you like the bees?  They were all over the flowers on a beautiful stand of flax bushes outside some local shops and I just had to take a picture.  Besides, the bees are much more interesting than the thing I finished sewing last night.

Hmph.  Right, so I’ve had this amazing light modal/cotton single knit in my collection for a month or so and had cut out a simple Ottobre T for me.  I’ve never sewed any light as air knits before but how hard could it be?


As it turns out, harder than expected and I didn’t think it through so the shirt is awful.  Puckering seams, pulling everywhere, unsalvageable kind of awful.  I threw it away in disgust.

Perhaps four thread serged seams weren’t a good idea after all.

Posted in fabric, Serger, Sewing | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Spring Blue

P1050601I have made this New Look 6976 peasant blouse before and wanted a non-white, non-black floaty crinkly cotton for another one.  I love blue so this is perfect.

The pattern is very straight forward and has plenty of room so no fitting alterations were needed.  Even so, the small changes I made must have been too much for my pea sized  brain because I think I unpicked every seam at least once!

P1050604The sleeves are full length this time plus I swapped the gather ties for elastic which are set slightly back from the wrists and enclosed in a bias strip.  A rolled hem gives a softer rather summery look I think.  The other change was at the neckline where I made my ribbon tie functional, again enclosed in a bias strip sewn on the inside.

I like how the bias tape peeks out at the neckline and you can see a wee shadow of it through the fabric.  A happy accident really as I couldn’t find any tape to match either colour or lightness nor did I have anything in my stash to make some.  Oh and I had run out of black elastic too so the little blue and white checks camouflage the white elastic at the wrists.  Perfectly lazy lucky solution all around don’t you think?

P1050592Yes the sleeves are a bit too long, perhaps I’ll lop an inch or two off.


Posted in Serger, Sewing, sewing machine | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments