It’s been a while since I dedicated an entire weekend to crafting, especially sewing. For starters, Gemma, my usual machine has been in storage since we moved. For another, there just hasn’t been time, and all of my fabric is currently in the pod with the machine.
But then…I saw an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I’ve been thinking about upgrading my sewing machine for a while. Much as I love Gemma (Janome Gem Gold), I have outgrown her a little. She does most of what I need her to do, but I’ve been wanting a faster machine that can handle heavier fabrics, with a bit more flexibility in the stitch styles and the ability to drop the feed dogs when working of specific fabrics. The kind of machine I wanted, though, usually runs between $700-$1000, so I didn’t think it was in the cards for a few years.
And then, I saw Raven.
As though I was suddenly in a Taylor Swift song, I spotted her from across the JoAnns, and was drawn magnetically to her side. Also a Janome, this black heavy-duty machine had all metal parts and did everything I wanted my new machine to do. Alas, she was outside my price range.
And then Black Friday happened, and I lost all control.
Suffice to say I was once again reunited with my love, and that money was no obstacle for us, as she was deeply discounted when I found her online.
Alas, due to time, travel, illness, and a general lack of fabric, Raven has been sitting idle in our dinning room for a couple of months now. But this weekend time and money finally came together as I had several projects that needed completing.
For our warm up, we hemmed some gorgeous fabric I found while looking for something else at the craft store. I bought it in 2 colors to make throw blankets (grey for Ash, blue for me). Despite not having a ball point needle (I knew I forgot to pick something up!) she handled the knit velour with aplomb, and the ability to adjust the stitch length was a blessing. She’s also nice and speedy and had no real issues with the thicker corners. If I can fit it under the presser foot, she’ll sew it without a problem.
I love the blue version of this so much. It’s very Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I keep wanting to throw it around my shoulders and wear it like a cape because it makes me fell like a wizard.
The next project we worked on was a duvet cover. This is nothing fancy–since JoAnns doesn’t really carry cotton in the width I’d need to make a full/queen blanket, I stopped by Target and picked up 2 flat sheets in the right size and sewed them together. I did discover that Target sheets are not uniform, and the blue sheet was slightly larger in both directions than the black one. Still, not a big deal. I was able to trim off the excess, and I had to cut down the bottom anyway since the sheets were longer than my Ikea duvet. Bonus: Hermes doesn’t have any desire to knead this duvet, which is how my old one got destroyed.
Raven also helped out with some mending, but it was mostly just stitching a couple of small seams and some hand sewing, so no pictures there. I did add some elastic to the inner brim of the Blackcurrant hat. I cheated and used the hem I trimmed off the blue sheet–it made a perfect casing for 1/4″ elastic and saved me about an hour of sewing. Plus, since it’s on the inside of the hat, the contrasting fabric and the stitches are completely invisible.
My last project this weekend was a pair of boot cuffs. Originally I pictured these as being cabled, but then I remembered I hate cabling. So, I ripped out a couple of rows and turned it into color work instead. I’m much happier with the results. I think these are pretty basic, but if anyone wants a pattern I’m up for writing it down and making it available in my shop. Full details on the boot cuffs will be up on Friday.
I still have quite a few other projects I need to get done, but for just a couple of days work I think this is a pretty decent showing!
I still have 2 overdue Christmas presents to work on, and a swap item to start knitting. I also picked up materials for a bag I want to make, seat cushion covers for our kitchen, and supplies to make some flu/dust masks, because I have come to the conclusion that they are necessary for me between my weakened immune system (thank you, thyroid) and my regular allergies. I bought materials to make at least 4. If I have extras, those will also go into the shop.
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