Monday, February 11, 2013

Can You Really Wear Out a Sewing Machine?

The short answer is... YES!  In the middle of making superhero capes for my nephew, Timothy, and his cousin, Owen, my 2-year-old Brother locked up and refused to budge.  We tried replacing the belt.  My husband and I took the machine apart and gave it a good cleaning.  Nothing worked.  We decided to cut our losses and buy a new machine, since you can get a good basic model for less than $150.  I have not even asked what it would cost for someone to look at the Brother, but I may ... just for backup purposes. 

Meanwhile, I ordered a Singer (better warranty - more metal parts) and by January 1, 2013, I was back in business!  So far... things are running along pretty smoothly, and the creative juices are flowing.  This machine lacks a couple of fine features the Brother possessed... leaving the needle IN the fabric when sewing stopped, and three speed choices in addition to the foot pedal... but overall, the stitches seem nicer and more consistent, and the satin stitch for monogramming is dreamy!

I finished the capes and matching masks (Thanks, Pinterest!)... and moved on to sewing for my niece, Zola.  I was searching for something in my scrap basket one day, and one thing led to another, and soon Zola had new pants and tops, appliqued tees and more!

Before... a pink ladies sweatshirt and snakeskin print knit turtleneck...

After... a pink jumper, pants, (and striped pants from a scrap);
and a red print jumper and leggings!

My mother-in-law gave me a book from the Singer Sewing Library called Sewing for Children. It has lots of tips and ideas that I can incorporate into making children's clothing.  I have already utilized several ideas... and these four bibs were part of the results!

Finally, I utilized several scraps to create a "Toy Story" outfit that is suitable for my niece, Zola... and Nathan can wear the pants later.  I also made Zola this adorable T-shirt.  Thanks again, Pinterest!

Pinterest also was the source of a darling set of fabric scrap "quilted" ABC's.  Timothy is loving his "letters!"  I still have lower case and numbers to do, but they are super easy - and a great way to utilize smaller fabric pieces.

I don't have a photo, but I have also turned a red fleece scarf I purchased at the thrift store for $1 into more than a half dozen "Valentine Owie bags" - rice bags that can be heated in the microwave or frozen for those "owies" that happen to all little kids!  These are heart shaped, super soft and cuddly - and sure to please all my little kiddos!

Next projects?  A coat for Zola, Easter outfits, more scrap projects... and yes, more applique.  When I look at all I did in the last two years, it's no wonder the Brother quit working.  Let's hope the new Singer is up to the challenge of all these projects!  Stay tuned!