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I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT

30 Sep

No finished outfit post today, I’m afraid- spending a weekend in Chicago means I didn’t exactly get any sewing done ;) But what I DO have to share today is some REALLY FUCKING EXCITING NEWS. And before you ask – no preggers, no engagement. Just so that’s out of the way ;)

LOVE this sign @kaelahbee made for me with my ~sewing motto~ haha!!

Actually, I have no idea how to bring this up so I’ll just go out and say it – I got a new job! Ok, that doesn’t sound terribly exciting, it’s what I’m doing that is exciting. Ladies (and… gentlemen?)- I will be working part-time for Muna Couture, a local dressmaker here in Nashville. Muna specializes in custom formal wear – wedding dresses and ball gowns and the like – but she also does beautiful made-to-order clothing on a less fancy scale, as well as bridal alterations. To say I’m grateful for this opportunity and excited to start a career that actually encompasses my passion is a complete understatement – I am OVER THE MOON. I have so so so much to learn, and I can’t wait to share all the dirty details with y’all!

boss

But wait, there’s more – I will also be working for Papercut Patterns as the official blogger for The Papercut Collective! Obviously, y’all know how much I love sewing and blogging about it – so this is basically going to be the best of both worlds as far as I’m concerned. Katie and I have been emailing and Skyping back and forth for a hot minute, and we’ve been cooking up some fun plans. I can’t wait to start up some pattern hacks and sew-alongs!

conan

My previous job was working for an advertising agency, sitting at the front desk and doing media-related stuff. It was a good gig- I loved the people I worked for and with, and enjoyed most of the work (lots of math and data entry, yay!), but I was bored for the most part as there was never enough work for me to do (meaning, I spent a lot of time on my blog. Dudes, you have no idea…). I’d been at that job for over 6 years, and a few months ago, I realized it was time for a change. I wanted to do something that I felt like I was actually good at, something I enjoyed doing – and not just passing time until the weekend came. I was bored, I was restless, and I started exploring my options. I had met with Muna through a mutual friend, and while I visited with her every week after work, I didn't think that working for her would be a viable option until very recently.

shit

Obviously, it's been REALLY hard keeping this under wraps – I've been in cahoots about this for months! But, I finished my last day of work at the office on Wednesday, so I figure now is as good a time as any to get y'all in the loop ;)

You might be asking – what does this mean for the future of the LLADYBIRD blog? Well – hopefully, not too big of a change from a reader's perspective! I am not quitting my job to be a full-time blogger, or littering posts with sneaky affiliate links, or just giving up on the blog entirely. My relationship with Mood Fabrics still stands. There may actually be more sewing, since I'll have more time on my hands. You can always follow the Papercut Collective if you want an extra dose of Lauren ;) (actually, PLEASE follow it! We can hang out with each other twice as much! :D)

Really, I just wanted to get this post out because I feel like it’s important to share this part of my life with y’all – and to thank you for reading/following/just being generally awesome. I never thought I would say that my stupid blog would get me a job… but it kind of did. I am so thankful to have this opportunity, and so excited to start this new chapter in my life! Sorry for all the gushing, I just love you guys ok.

**(In regards to the picture at the top of this post… hopefully that motto will remain only a sewing motto ;) Sign painted by Kaelah btw!)

Further, what would a happy news post be without some PARTY GIFS?

Andrew WK Party Hard

Andrew WK Time To Party

dancin

deal with it

EDIT lol just noticed the typo in the title of this post. DAMMIT. Fixed now!
Thank you thank you thank you for all your support – and for not pointing that out ;) ha!

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“How Do You Find The Time To Sew So Much?”

14 Aug

One question I get asked a LOT – in comments, emails, tweets, real-life conversations, you name it – is how I manage to churn out all these garments at a seemingly rapid rate. Apparently, “Uhhh, idk I guess I sew fast lol” isn’t a satisfactory answer, and after one too many gentle nudges from various people, I think it’s time to unleash a discussion post!

happy dayz

Contrary to popular belief, I do not have any of the following:
– A Vampire’s need for sleep, or lack thereof
– A collection of enslaved sewing elves tucked away in my sewing room
– A machine that stops time
– A job that lets me sew all day (but, I mean, if you want to offer me one…)

Guys, I work a full-time, non-sewing related job. I go to bed at like 10pm. I don’t have kids or a particularly needy boyfriend, but I do hang out with my friends, I ride my bike, and sometimes my after-work schedule means I don’t sew at all for an entire week. So where does the time come from?

Well, for one, I do sew fast. I’m sorry, but I just do! I’m very comfortable with my machines and most techniques I use, which means a lot more sewing and a lot less unpicking. I also just tend to do everything fast (people are very amazed when I join them for lunch and inhale my sandwich in less than thirty seconds), so don’t be discouraged if you’re not ol’ Speedy at the machine.

queue

Another big one is that I always have something in the works – once I finish a project, I immediately start the next one in my queue. The queue changes around based on current needs/wants or if I get a shiny new pattern that week… but the point is, I have a queue. Speaking of which, I found the easiest way to keep the queue in check is to pull out the patterns I plan on sewing and store them separately from the rest of my stash. On the front of each envelope, I pin a little swatch of the fabric I plan on using (see above photo). Much easier than yanking off the whole yardage and piling it on the table with the patterns… which was what I was previously doing. Anywaaaay, back to what I was saying – I literally work projects back to back to back. This means that during weekends where I have a couple marathon seshs in a row, I could easily end up finishing 2 or 3 projects – or even more, depending on how simple they are (knit tshirts, I’m looking at you). Obviously, I don’t want to post them all in a row – I think you guys would get real bored of my face real fast – so I try to spread them out a little. This is not always the case when I’m posting like I’ve got a fire under my butt, but a lot of times it is. Sometimes those Finished Objects are kind of old!

I know this is a sewing blog, but I want to point out that I also do this with knitting. What can I say – I really love knitting, I don’t want to *not* have a project in the works (same with sewing)! Not having any creative downtime may make me sound like I’m working some kind of bizarre sweatshop with horrible self-imposed deadlines, but honestly… I just really love making things, and I feel lost if I don’t have a WIP that I can tinker around with at any given time.

So anyway, here are some tips that will [hopefully]help you accelerate your sewing progress.

sewing room

#1: Have a Dedicated Sewing Space

I realize this leaves out a lot of people as not everyone can afford to set aside an entire room – or even an unused corner – dedicated only for sewing. That sucks! I’m lucky that I have the space (and I make enough money/live in an inexpensive enough area where the second bedroom is totally a dealbreaker when looking for places to rent), but I know not all of y’all have that kind of luxury. However, this is single-handedly the #1 reason why I can get so much done – I don’t have to spend half my time setting everything up and then later taking it down. My machines have their own tables and they are always plugged in, my ironing board never gets folded and stored, and my cutting table does not work part-time as a dining room table.

stash

Having a dedicated sewing space means that I can indulge in my favorite part of sewing (other than the sewing itself): STASHING. Wooohooo I love my stash!! Actually, my stash has shrunk considerably this year (this happens when you stop adding to it and start sewing from it!), but, it’s still a stash. My pride and joy when it comes to stashing isn’t actually my fabrics, though – it’s my stash of notions, trims, interfacings, linings, and all those other little sewing goodies that make you stop in the middle of a project because you don’t have one on hand. I won’t say I have enough stuff on hand to open a store, but I do have a lot. You don’t have to break the bank to build up a supply – just buy a little extra something or two when you go to the fabric store. For a few months, I concentrated on serger thread – I bought 4 spools of whatever color every time I stocked up on fabric. Eventually, I had every color of the rainbow – without having to drop mad $$ on it all at once. Most of my trims and zippers come from ~vintage~ stashes – the flea market, thrift stores, yard sales (I have friends and parents of friends who keep an eye out for me, too!) – which, if you’re not shopping on Etsy, old sewing supplies are practically given away. I have so much shit in my stash, I can make entire outfits without leaving the sewing room to stock up on something.

Obviously, pointing this out is not going to magically grant everyone access to their own sewing room (I wish!), but I do want to point out that this does give me quite a sexy leg up on the competition.

happy dayz
#2: UFOs Don’t Exist in My World

Ah, UFO – or, Unfinished Objects (altho if you want to talk about aliens, I’m down for that too), the bane of most sewer’s experiences. How many times have we started something, only to shove it in a box when something with a little more sparkle catches our eye? Guys, I know it is tempting to embrace your magpie tendencies – but it is murder on your productivity! Starting up a project takes precious time – from determining your chosen pattern and fabric, to cutting and marking the pieces, to all the boring pre-work like staystitching and fusing interfacing… and we haven’t even gotten to the actual construction! What is the point of wallowing through all that, just to set it aside and start the process over again? Not to mention, I’ve noticed a lot of people who tend to pile up UFOs rarely stop at just one.

To me, UFOs just contribute to wasting time. It’s one thing to set something aside if it’s frustrating you, but you shouldn’t make a habit of picking up a new project and starting over, because it can quickly get out of control. I made peace with myself a long time ago and decided to eliminate the UFOs in my sewing room and finish every.single.project, even if it killed me. Sometimes it does make me want to destroy things – but I soldier on and finish that fucking garment. Occasionally, it actually speeds me up because I’m so desperate to finish and move on to the next shiny object. So maybe in a way, it’s kind of bad for my productivity since I occasionally will find myself cutting corners in a desperate attempt to just be done. But on the flip side – I don’t have those half-sewn pieces creeping around my sewing room (is it just me, or do they nag at you and make you feel all stressed and sad? Say it’s not just me!), and I have a finished object to show for it! Yay!

muslin
#3: Make a Muslin

I know, it’s like toootally contradictory. When you’re short on time, ain’t nobody got time for a fuckin muslin. This is NOT even true and all of us need to collectively reprogram our brains, like, now.

Besides obviously avoiding the trauma of spending your time on something, only to discover it doesn’t fit – muslin-makin’ is also good for increasing your speed, as it will give you a chance to practice a little on the garment before you start hacking into the good stuff. This means you will spend less time pulling your hair out over the instructions – because, dude, you already did this! – and less time ripping out your seams when you inevitably made a mistake due to sucky instructions. I also feel pretty confident, post-muslin, in that I know the garment will fit (since I basically already tried it on), which means less futzing with the fit during construction-time. Of course, I do fit-check throughout my sewing process (and you should too!), but it’s one thing to put half a bodice up against your chest to ensure things are coming along smoothly, and quite another to suddenly discover you cut the wrong size… halfway through.

One point I do want to make is that muslins do NOT take a lot of time to put together, especially if you speed up the process. Unless the skirt is something that needs to be fitted, I generally only sew the bodice. I do include a sleeve, but only one. I sew all my seams with a long stitch so I can quickly rip them out if I need to (and it pushes through the machine faster). I don’t bother with facings, collars, or buttons, although I do baste in a zipper. Also, this should go without saying, but once you make a muslin and get your fit down, that’s it! You can churn out multiples of the same pattern and skip the muslin.

happy dayz
#4: Sew Whenever You Have A Chance

I’ll admit, this is probably gonna be real rough for those of you who don’t have a dedicated sewing space :( But I do think it’s important to maximize your time – so what if you only have 20 minutes to spend cuddling your sewing machine? You could use that 20 minutes to stay stitch some curved seams! Mark your pattern pieces! Thread your machine and decide what buttons you want to use this time! Skip ahead of your pattern and assemble the collar! The point is, there is SO MUCH that you can do in small chunks of time, so don’t waste it by subscribing to the thought that you *only* have x amount of time to do anything – think of it instead like you have enough time to sew your bodice darts, or prepare your sleeves to get set in, or whatever.

This is pretty dorky – and y’all are totally going to make fun of me for this – but I actually get a lot of my little sewing bursts done in the morning, before I go to work. I don’t necessarily get up any earlier than I need to (although sometimes I do, ok, sorry I’m a dork!), but sometimes getting ready doesn’t take as long as I need, so I try to utilize that time in my sewing room instead of just chasing Amelia around the house for 20 minutes. I set a timer on my phone so I KNOW when I have to drop everything (the timer is important, you don’t want to get carried away and make yourself super late!), and I actually listen to it when it goes off. I don’t try to rush myself – if I only have 10 minutes and I only get some stay stitching done, who cares? That’s one less seam I have to stay stitch when I get home, awesomeee!! Which brings me to my last point…

cat
#5: Enjoy It!

I treat sewing the same way I treat a bicycle ride – I’m doing this because I enjoy it, not because I’m in a hurry (if I was in a hurry, I’d take my car. Or shop at H&M. Whatever!). When I catch myself trying to rush through the process, I force myself to stop and slow down. Sometimes this can be hard because I’ve basically ingrained it in my head that I HAVE to post new stuff every week, and oh god people are going to stop reading my blog and the world will end and ughhh… but, you know. That’s not true. I’m sewing because I love the entire process, not just the finished piece (although that’s a nice bonus, let’s be real). In my experience, rushing only leads to stress, tears, and a lot of fuck-ups. Stop, take a breather, and just slow it down. It’s fine. I promise.

Anyone else have protips to share for increasing your sewing output? I’m still stuck on the couch and I’m bored as hell… let’s have a discussion!!

Vogue Patterns 2013 Fall Collection

30 Jul

Yaaaaay, new Vogue Patterns are in!

This batch wasn’t too bad – the patterns themselves aren’t necessarily terrible (for the most part), but the fabric choices still give us something to giggle over. Which brings me to to my next question – do you think Vogue is onto me? Are they purposefully giving us lols at this point?

Whatever, don’t stop! We like the entertainment!

V1366
Vogue 1366
I don’t have anything to snark about this one, really. Questionable fabric choices aside, I would wear the shit out of those pants.

V1361
Vogue 1361
I like this IN THEORY, but I also keep noticing that the tucks are not evenly spaced and that back seam looks less bias and more crooked and it’s making my eye twitch.
Oh god, I just realized the collar is totally lopsided too. I take back every positive thought I had about this dress.

V1358
Vogue 1358
The style lines on this dress are not half bad (although the drapey poof sleeves need to go), but whyyyy would you sew this up in shiny purple? She looks like she’s melting.

V1362
Vogue 1362
I love the waist pleating on this dress, just not that bullshit going on at the neckline. Wtf is the deal with that, anyway? It looks like Vogue 1340, except deflated.

V8930
Vogue 8930
Vagina coat, take two.

V8934
Vogue 8934
Ok, I know this is a ~Marcy Tilton~ and crazy fabrics are the whole point, but I’m hoping we can all agree that whatever that shiny reflective shit they have going on is a tragedy, and needs to be stopped.

V8919
Vogue 8919
Dolman sleeves with a faux boob-minimizing overalls. Ooook.

V8919a
Oooh, bonus shiny fabric! Gah, where do they find this stuff?

V8918
Vogue 8918
Vogue: Featuring necklines that only a mother could love.

V8921
Vogue 8921
I’m guessing this is supposed to be a replica of Princecess Kate’s Engagement dress, but the fit and shape here are all wrong. They could not have made this look more unflattering if they tried.
On a side note, one of the fabric requirements is Silk Spun Knit!? Whatever that is, I want me some!

V8922
Vogue 8922
This is a really cute dress, but woof at those fabric combinations.

V8927
Vogue 8927
PROTIP: If you’re going to put your model in a shirt that’s too big, don’t make the sleeves sheer lace that we can see through.

V8924
Vogue 8924
The best part of this picture is the shit in the bottom right corner. What is going on over there? Is the building falling down around her? Should we send for help?

V8926
Vogue 8926
I think we need to have a shiny fabric intervention.

V8936
Vogue 8936
This is… ok. It looks striking in the pictures (or is that just the model?), but I don’t know any woman who would wear such an exaggerated and long peplum. The back must be pushing a good 10″ away from her ass.

V8936a
Vogue must have gotten a discount on shitty pleather this season.

V8935
Vogue 8935
Boring.

V8939
Vogue 8939
Sister Wives: The Business Edition.

V8941
Vogue 8941
No Vogue release would be complete without the addition of an Ugly Hat.

Oh, look, I saved the best for last…

V8942c
V8942d
Vogue 8942
I don’t know about you, but it’s high time we had frog and owl purses in our respective wardrobes.

V8942b
That frog is just like, “… nope.”

V8942a
Oh god, I just noticed that there is a nest with eggs in the background of the owl picture. I’M DYING.

Review: eShakti, revisited

8 May

Here be another product review for eShakti.com. I wasn’t 100% thrilled with the first dress they sent me (honestly, it ended up getting donated because I just COULD NOT deal with those arm holes), so after they contacted me, I decided to give them a second chance.

For those of you who don’t know, eShakti is an online shop that sells a variety of cute lady clothes (not just dresses, there are skirts and blouses floating around there as well) in sizes 0-36, as well as offers inexpensive customizations for your size and certain style options (such as adding sleeves, shortening the hemline, etc). The prices are reasonable, and it’s definitely a good option if you normally have problems fitting into straight sizes, since you can adjust the measurements to correspond with *your* body.

Eshakti dress

This is the contrast poplin trim dress (unavailable now, sorry!). After the deal with the last dress, I was careful to choose something that-
1. Could easily be adjusted at the shoulders;
2. Was 100% cotton
This one fit the bill, and it was pretty cute, so I requested it and it was promptly shipped to me. I’m just going to say this now – I’ve been waiting to photograph this dress for a couple of months now. Why hasn’t it made it to the blog sooner?

Eshakti dress

UM. DO YOU SEE HOW SHORT IT IS?

I KNOW I just made like short short short BUTTCHEEK shorts, but shorts and a full-skirted dress are two entirely different beasts, if you will. I just can’t feel comfortable in a big skirt that only needs the slightest gust of wind to expose even more leg, you know? So I had to wait, and figure out my undergarment situation. And also buy a new bra – you can’t tell too much in these pictures because I’m wearing a strapless, but the straps are pushed way more toward the center than a standard bra. This means you cannot wear a bra with straps with this dress – the straps end up side-by-side. I needed a new strapless bra anyway, but man.

Eshakti dress

Anyway, back to the dress! It IS pretty cute – I love the nauticalness, and it looks equally good with bright yellow (or even brown!). It has pockets, as evidenced by me not taking my hands out of them at all. The quality is acceptable – nothing terrible, but nothing groundbreaking either. The back has elastic to accommodate more sizes (which honestly, kind of drives me crazy. If this is made-to-size, then why do you need elastic?). You can’t really see in these pictures, but there are some sweet tucks and covered buttons at the bodice. CUTE.

Eshakti dress

Eshakti dress

I do NOT understand how this dress came out so short, to be honest. I’m 5’2″ – I don’t think I’ve ever had an issue with a dress being too short on me. On my last dress, I requested that the hemline hit above the knee – and it’s knee-length on me (figures). So for this round, I chose “short dress.” And woohoooeeeooo is this dude short!

Eshakti dress

So what do you do with a too-short dress that can’t be let out at the hemline and cannot have length added (thank, stripes!)?

Eshakti dress

You make matching bloomers and pretend like it’s a playsuit set!

(Oh god, this picture is probably going to end up in sooo many Flickr spank-banks, ughh, the things I do for you guys haha)

Colette Madeline bloomers

Remember these? These are the Madeleine mini-bloomers, a free download from Colette patterns. Yep, free! I love these things and I knew they would go perfectly under this dress – the skirt is full enough where the bloomers don’t add bulk, and they’re cute enough where I don’t mind a wind situation now.

I used a remnant from my local fabric store, and pretty navy/red ribbon to tie it in with the dress.

Colette Madeline bloomers

I love the way the elastic looks at the waistline – and it’s sooo comfortable. Like wearing pajamas. I totally wear these are pajamas, btw.

Colette Madeline bloomers

Pretty sweet, huh?

Eshakti dress

I’m still not totally sure on my feels for eShakti at this time. They definitely need to add a skirt length measurement in the dress descriptions, because that would help when determining how much to shorten or lengthen if you are customizing. At least the sizing is much better this time – which I consider a personal victory with the size of my bust vs ribcage. So yay for that, I guess!

~*~Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post, although I did receive a sample to review & keep. All opinions on this product are my own.

My Trip To NYC!

14 Mar

I’m baaaack!! Hope y’all have a big ol’ Lauren-shaped hole in your hearts that needs filling, because this is about to be a super long post, filled with lots of pictures that I mostly stole from other people’s blogs. What can I say – I was too busy ~enjoying the moment~ to be bothered to take pictures. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself ;) Rather than break this up into a bunch of posts, I’m just going to do one megapost so it’ll be easy to skip if you’re not interested!

Sonja kindly offered to let me crash on her couch while I was in town, so that’s where I stayed the majority of the week (a couple days were spent visiting some old Nashville friends up in Ossining. I took the train by myself and everything – so proud, you have no idea ha). Sonja was a GREAT hostess – with some of the cutest, no, THE cutest pugs ever! I would now like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my new girlfriend, her name is Peggy and she’s the cuddliest darling in the world:
Peg the Pug
LOOK AT THAT FACE. LOOK AT IT.

After an afternoon of eating cookies and lurking dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, we met up with some of the in-town Mood Sewing Network bloggers for dinner and drinks. I had a few people ask me this, so I just want to clarify – Mood didn’t have anything to do with my NYC trip. I mean, duh, fabric shopping was a big huge giant to-do at the top of the list… but I planned and paid for the trip on my own accord. Once that was set in action, Oona actually handled most of the meeting up deetz, including the Mood dinner. Honestly, I would have been totally lost and probably flailing in the dark somewhere if it hadn’t been for her and Sonja taking control of the plans. Thanks, ladiez!

Mood Dinner
Meeting Sonja and Oona made me feel like I was part an epic trio. I feel like I talked about this nonstop during my trip, but it’s so cool to meet people ~in person~ and realize that they are even more awesome than you guessed from reading their blogs. That’s how I felt about everyone I met. I don’t think I stopped the smiling the whole time I was there (and still smiling now, fyi!)

Mood Dinner
Meg from Mood joined us, as well as Carolyn (who I was super excited to meet!)

Mood Dinner
Peter showed up too!

Friday morning, I woke up bright and early to…
Snowwww!!
SNOOOWWWWWW!!!
Southerners will understand my delight. Snow! That sticks! And the whole city didn’t shut down! Such novelty!

Friday was the first day I spent fabric shopping – what started out as a pizza and spandex date ended up a 7 hour shopping spree, no lie! We started out just me, Sonja and Oona, then after lunch we added Peter and Carolyn for my first foray into Mood.

What can I say about the garment district? In one word, it is OVERWHELMING. The stores go on forever, all selling completely different stuff, and the prices vary wildly. There are specialized notion stores, stores for different types of fabric, stores that seem like they should be the same thing but aren’t (Spandex House, Spandex World). Some of the places I went in were cheeeeeap. Although, to be fair, Mood is pretty cheap compared to the prices I pay here in Nashville. Most of what I bought cost at least half of what I’m used to… some were even cheaper. I’m just going to say this right now: I bought a lot of fabric. Like… well, we’ll get to that in a minute. Anyway, the employees in Mood were so so great – every time I pulled out a bolt that I wanted, someone was standing behind me ready to drag it to my pile. The customer service in that place is great, I never felt like I had to track down someone for swatches or help finding something. Especially George. I loved George, he was my favorite!

First experience at Mood
Here is my first ~Mood Experience~. See? Overwhelmed in the best way possible. So glad I brought a detailed shopping list!

Saturday was meet-up day! I was SO EXCITED for this shit, I barely slept and actually woke up at 6:50A (woof… I don’t even get up that early to go to work!). But first, before meeting up at Mood for round #2, a boozy brunch was in order. Devra hosted at her seriously gorgeous/fancypants pad, where the champagne and coffee flowed freely (although not together, ew) and her badass cat kept jumping into my lap and we were BFFs within 5 minutes. Also brunchin’ with us was Wanett, Christine, and again Sonja/Oona/Peter.

Brunch meet-up

Brunch- Oona
Also within 5 minutes was Oona breaking a plate. She was smiling at me right before it happened, which means this is also partially my fault. SORRY DEVRA.

Brunch- swap+awesome cat
We also had a mini-swap, in which the cat showed us just how much of a badass he was by making himself at home right in the middle of the pile while everyone was digging.

Indiana Jones, the most awesome cat ever
GOD, I love that cat ♥♥♥

After we finished, I realized I was running late TO MY OWN FUCKING MEET-UP and hightailed it to Mood.

Big meet-up at Mood
And look at how many people showed up!! Awww!! You guys!!!!!
We took names and blogs and Oona shared the list with me when I got home (see what I mean about getting nothing done without her?!) – of course, this was after we spent about an hour in Mood, so I may have missed someone who slipped out early. Speak up if you don’t see your name here; I want to lurk aaaaall of you guys!
Gaby, Carly, Lee, Charlotte, Devra, Cindy, Janice, Allie, Lisette, Kim, Meredith, Kayleigh, Sonja, Oona, Rosie, Wanett, Shelley and Christine. Whew!!

We spent a good chunk of time in Mood, split into cackling packs and talking each other into buying fabrics (I like to think I’m very good at peer pressure but Carolyn proved on Friday that she has that shit down to an ART). Post-Mood, we ventured further into the Garment District to check out a few stores… specifically, Pacific Trimming, Chic Fabrics, and Fabrics for Less. Guys, if you have not shopped these stores… I have three words for you: $10 Wool Coating. ACK OMG.

We ended the meet-up at Houndstooth Pub, which we discovered when we tried to go to Stitch and realized they were closed. Houndstooth pub seemed like a good substitution – I mean, it being named after a fabric and all :) Although I feel kind of bad for the bar having to accommodate our enormous group on a moment’s notice – they were good sports about it! Also, the food was amazing.

Thanks again to everyone who was able to make it out to the meet-up – I’m so bummed that I didn’t have time to talk to everyone one-on-one, which means obviously there will need to be a round 2 in the future :) I really enjoyed getting to meet other sewists and I just love fabric shopping with people who actually get excited about that shit, ha! Y’all are the best!!

HOLD UP THOUGH because my trip is not over yet!!

Flea market
I woke up bright and early (too early… damn Daylight Savings Time. Wait, no, I actually love you) Sunday morning and took the train solo to meet with Devra, Wanett and Peter at the Chelsea flea market. I’m actually super proud of myself for getting there – considering I don’t understand how that public transportation shit works at all. I didn’t buy anything at the flea, but I had a lot of fun looking at all the stuff and gawking over some of the prices (guys… come to Nashville. I’ll show you my flea and you shall weep.).

Flea market - with Kenneth King (!!!)
We did run into Kenneth King, though! Holy shit, I was so starstruck!! He’s so funny and a great storyteller – and that jacket is way way way more amazing than any picture could convey. Trust me.

Ok, one more surprise star-studded meet-up…
Sunday night meet-up
Yep, that would be Karen, just dropping into NY the same weekend I was there! What are the odds!?!?

I don’t even remember where we ate, except that I had a lamb burger and the dessert was amazing and the girl sitting at the table next to us kept giving us the stink-eye. She was clearly on an awkward date, sux 2 b her. Karen is just as sweet as you would expect from her blog – and that accent! GOD why don’t I have an accent like that!?

My trip actually wrapped up on Tuesday, and I rolled back into Nashville late Tuesday night (my flights kept getting delayed waaah and LaGuardia airport sorta sucks, there I said it). I actually left the city on Sunday night, stayed with friends Monday & Tuesday in Ossining. I did go back into the city on Monday, to check out Soho and Chinatown… and also make a third trip back to the Garment District. Whoops.

Oh, I guess you wanna see the spoils, huh?

Fabric spoils, the whole lot
Here it is in a big giant pile on my sewing room floor. SO MUCH FABRIC, it barely fit in my suitcase (and spare duffel bag) haha. I actually spent most of the day yesterday prewashing it all and reorganizing my sewing room. I have plans for every single piece I bought.

Here are some individual pictures, collaged as not to overwhelm this already huge post! Almost everything is from Mood, anything that isn’t is indicated in parenthesis.
Fabric spoils, 1
Starting at top left: chambray, lightweight non-stretch denim, medium-weight linen from Marc Jacobs (confession: I chased this bolt around Mood on Saturday, as it switched dozens of hands. I have really exciting plans for it too, although I can’t tell you right this second!), striped ponte knit, striped cotton sateen (the colors look black, but they are navy and white), french terry, lightweight red wool crepe, yellow wool crepe (Carolyn talked me into both of these wool crepes… I was resistant because I live in such a warm climate – it’ll be 70* this weekend, ugh – but that woman could talk me into anything. Also, I’m really glad I bought them and I can’t stop touching them and admiring how lovely the colors are), swimsuit fabrics (Spandex House- the stripes are navy and white, and that weird underwear-looking shit in the background is the lining).

Fabric spoils, 2
Starting at top left: red seersucker (this was intended for my 2013 Sewlution, but upon further inspection I have realized the fabric is quite stretchy, so it might not work for it’s intended purpose. I will, however, find a use for it!!), red floral voile (Chic Fabrics), floral print swiss dot, leopard ponte knit, mint and red cotton jersey (Fabrics for Less), tiny bows Betsy Johnson silk (also from Fabrics for Less – I looove that guy, go buy his fabrics!), hot pink wool coating (Chic Fabrics), polka dot cotton batiste, gingham.

Fabric spoils, 3
Starting at top left: plaid seersucker (Oh god, I don’t remember where this is from… help? Was it Fabrics for Less??), assorted chiffons (from the swap), white cotton twill/brown lightweight corduroy (from the swap), bemberg linings and cotton batiste.

YEP.

Yarn
A big chunk of Sonja’s yarn destashing also went straight into my suitcase… check it out!

So that’s my trip to New York! Thanks again to everyone who made this trip so fucking amazing – Sonja, Oona, Meg, Carolyn, Peter, Devra, Wanett & Karen for taking me out/showing me around, and every single one of y’all who came out for the meet-up. It really means a lot to me and I look forward to more meet-ups in the future. Hopefully some more in New York (must go back!!), but hey, if you’re ever in Nashville… holler at me :)

Before I dump out of here, I have a few more things I wanted to mention!
– I am thrilled to announce that I will be joining a slew of talented ladies for Miss P‘s Refashioner’s Challenge. I remember watching the challenge unfold last year and loving all the makes that came out… and now it’s my turn!! Yay!!
– My girl Mari just started a new pattern line and is currently trying to raise funds for it! You can donate to the Kickstarter Campaign here. The first pattern up is a pullover hoodie – with pockets in the back so you can keep your hands warm while wrapping your arm around someone. GENIUS. The new goal is $1640, which will enable her to produce actual printed patterns. And she’s SO CLOSE. Please, donate if you can!
– I just found out yesterday that on July 1, my beloved Google Reader will be no more. First of all: Fuck you, Google. Second of all: Does anyone have reader suggestions that are similar to the look/feel of the gReader (I mean, other than Bloglovin)? Ughhh I’m so lost. Third of all: Now I guess is the time to claim my blog on Bloglovin, so following me there is an option!
– Speaking of RSS feeds, I had a few people tell me over the weekend that they were having trouble getting the Mood Sewing Network to show up in feeds. I had the same problem in the beginning – which meant I didn’t read the blog, since I’m not about to click back to something every and and see if maaaybe there is an update, you know? Anyway, I talked to the Mood staff about it and they helpfully pointed out that you need to click on the RSS button near the top-right corner, and copy that address into your subscription bar. I tested it in my reader and it worked like a charm, so I thought there might be other people who would want to know the solution too!
– And one last little Mood tidbit – I got a small shout-out in this month’s issue of Threads. AMAZING. Check it out – that’s my name in print, omgomgomg!!
Look! That's my name!!

Ok, I think that’s it! Thanks for hanging in there and letting me gush about my trip :)

Let’s Talk Sewing Machine Maintenance!

13 Feb

In the spirit of Karen’s series of True Confessions, I think most of us tend to plead guilty when it comes to maintaining our machines and keeping them in tip top sewing shape. Fess up, guys! Are you guilty of:
– Using the same needle for months at a time?
– Sewing over pins?
– Going far too long between regular tune-ups?
– Letting the lint build up to epic proportions?
– Forgetting to oil your machine?

Let me be the first to say that I definitely hit some of those categories myself. Oops! I’m very vigilant about keeping the lint to a minimum (I clean my machine with that tiny brush every time I wind my bobbin; yes, I get freaky like that), but I regularly forget to change my needle until it breaks from the sheer pressure of existing. I also didn’t realize you were supposed to oil a computerized machine. I thought that was only something you did with the manual ones. No wonder my stitches were looking like shit! Hello!!

Part of my problem is that I just never had anyone tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Yes, you should refer to your owner’s manual for upkeep on your machine – but how many of us actually read that? (if you have a Featherweight and you’ve read it like a book, you’re exempt from this question. We all read our Featherweight manuals like a book, because it’s fucking fascinating and the pictures are amazing). So today, let’s talk about those little basics that should be second nature but totally are not. It’s ok, we’re all in this together, y’all.

Changing your needle
We all know to change the needle when it’s broken – you can’t sew anything otherwise :) But did you know that you actually should be changing the needle far more frequently than that? Not just when there’s an issue. It is recommended that the needle is changed after 8 hours of sewing, which comes out to every 1-2 projects (depending on the project, of course). Waiting longer to change your needle causes it to get dull and loose the sharp point, which can result in wonky or skipped stitches (and hours of hair-pulling frustration, because ARGH!). I know it can be hard to remember to change your needle out that often – hell, I forget all the time, although I’m trying to be better about it. It helps to keep a stash of needles on hand (I buy a pack every time I go to the fabric store!), so you’re not tempted to try and plow through if the needle is super old but seems “good enough” -it’s probably not. You should also be proactive and change your needle if you ever manage to sew over a pin – it may look fine at a glance, but the tip is likely bent and this can also cause stitch problems. Which brings me to my next point…

Don’t sew over pins
I really hope I’m just preaching to the choir here, but just in case someone doesn’t know any better… DON’T SEW OVER YOUR PINS. Don’t don’t don’t! I cannot stress this enough! Sewing over pins causes all kinds of problems, from bending/breaking the needle (ever thought about where that broken tip might land? How about IN YOUR EYEBALL), to completely fucking up the timing of your machine so that you have to take it to the repair center and pay $ to have it fixed. Lame! Do yourself a big huge favor and pull those pins out before the needle gets anywhere near them. Do it for the sewing machines.

Regular Tune-ups
At the risk of sounding like a big fat sewing machine snob, it makes me cringe when I hear people brag about how their machine works so well and it hasn’t had a tune-up in decades. I understand that it may not be common knowledge that sewing machines need regular maintenance, but hey – that’s not something to brag about! Think about your car (if you don’t have a car, you can think about someone else’s car ;)) – would you let that thing go so long between tune-ups? Hell no! A sewing machine must have very precise timing to function correctly; if one little beat is off, it can wreck the whole output. Getting a tune-up can be a bit of a hassle – here it costs between $50-$90 (computerized machines are on the higher end of the price spectrum), and they hold your machine hostage for 1-2 weeks, depending on how quickly they can get to it. However, it is very important to have this done at regular intervals, as the machine needs benefits from having the timing and tension adjusted back to the factory settings, as well as getting a nice deep clean in all those little nooks & crannies that you can’t get to without actually opening the thing up and taking it apart. What constitutes as a “regular interval” is really a matter of how much you use your machine – I take mine in every year, but I also sew a LOT. You may be able to get away with getting a service every 2 or even 3 years, depending on how much you use the machine.

Taking care of lint build-up
Here’s my confession: I’m a big freak about cleaning my machine. I pull the whole bobbin apart and go to town with the lint brush before every sewing project, usually while the bobbin is winding. I also do this on my serger – I mean, have you seen how linty those things get? Nothing delights me more than getting a good sized ball of lint to marvel at (I also like cleaning the lint screen on my dryer. I’m sorry, is this TMI?). So keeping the lint build-up to a minimum has never been a problem with me. I’m not saying that you need to start digging for gold every single time you have a project – but please, make it a habit to at least keep a regular cleaning schedule. You’ll be amazed at how much better you machine functions when there’s not a big build-up of lint and broken thread lurking under the throatplate.

Oiling your machine
OMG. Until I bought my new Bernina, I never realized you were supposed to oil those things! For some reason, I was under the impression that computerized machines were exempt from regular oiling. My mechanic assures me that neglecting the oil does not necessarily hurt the machine, but it can do some wonky shit to those bobbin stitches since there is too much friction going on down there. If you’re not oiling your machine, take a quick peek at the owner’s manual (or call your local sewing repair place and ask them) and see if it’s necessary to keep things running smoothly. I now oil my machine once a month – and it doesn’t take much! A little dab will do ya.

If the idea of poking around in your machine just sounds too overwhelming and terrifying – well, there’s an app for that! :)
diy
DIY Household Sewing Machine is an app for iPhone and iPad (sorry Droid users :( Maybe soon?) that guides you through three basic steps of maintaining your sewing machine – removing the bobbin case to clean and oil the bobbin area (there are instructions for both top and front-loading bobbins – yeah!), changing the needle, and cleaning the tension units (which is not something I was aware of until, uhm, last night. Eep! Don’t worry, I’ll get a-cleaning as soon as I get home :)). While you shouldn’t necessarily consider this a total replacement for a regular session with an actual sewing machine mechanic, it is a great assistant in keeping things clean and running smoothly in between tune-ups.

screenshot2

screenshot3
What’s interesting about this app is that there are three ways the information is shared – a short animation (which totally reminds me of Money For Nothing and I TOTALLY LOVE IT OMG), a text document, and live-action video. The animation is great if you just need a little refresher on how to do something (you know, for those brainfart moments. I’m not the only one who gets them all the time…?), and I love that everything is spelled out for those of us who are just too impatient to sit through a 2 minute video.

screenshot5
Speaking of the vidoes… they are actually really great. I just mentioned that I’m too impatient to watch videos (it’s true! They are always just too damn slow-moving for my fast paced brain, I guess), but the longest one is only 2.5 minutes long, so it’s not too bad. Everything presented is very easy to see and understand, and there are some good tips about what tools are best for cleaning what parts of the machine. Bonus that dude has a delightful accent. God, I love accents.

The app is not free, but it only costs 99¢ – which is pretty much pocket change as far as I’m concerned. It’s nice to have a go-to reference of the text and videos when you need a little hand-holding but don’t want to put your machine’s life in the hands of Google… and bonus, those little animations are fun to watch :) I’m so easily amused, ha!

What about you? Do you have any confessions about maintaining your machine that you’d like to get off your chest? C’mon, fess up – we’re all friends here ;)

As a side note, I know I’m a few days late to the party but LADIES HAVE YOU SEEN MADALYNNE’S NEW UNDIE PATTERN? From the technical sketch to the gorgeous finished piece – I’m in love!! Must make me some undies, stat!

~*~Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for which I received financial compensation. All opinions on this product are my own, however!

Revisiting the Fabiani Coat – and I Hit The Holy Grail

30 Jan

Guys. Remember when I made this coat last year?
Coat front
This is Vogue 2925, which is one of them special designer patterns from the 70s. The pattern is really wonderful – the instructions include light tailoring, with the pad stitching and the fancy interfacing and back stay and all that good stuff. I spent about a month working on the coat, from the muslin to the finishing touches – truly a labor of love. Sadly, I haven’t worn it much this year because I’ve lost weight and it doesn’t fit me as well as it did. But, ugh, whatever about that, that’s not the point of this post.

The point of this post is that I got an email a couple of weeks ago from someone who actually made the coat when the pattern was originally released in the 70s. AND she lives in Nashville. AND she wanted to meet up.

!!!

WOULD I???

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!

How many times have we looked at vintage patterns and thought, “I’d love to know who made that, for what purpose, and what fabric they used.” How excited do we get when we find little scraps of fabric or newspaper clippings in the pattern envelopes, offering a little hint to the pattern’s previous life? I don’t know about y’all, but my favorite part about vintage stuff is learning the history behind the people who previously owned them. So to say that I was excited to get to hash this stuff out in real time is a bit of an understatement.

Karen, the original owner/maker of the pattern, agreed to let me take some pictures of the coat and share some information about making it. We met up at Bread & Company on Sunday afternoon and ended up chatting for over 2 hours – about all kinds of stuff, not just sewing! Although sewing stuff came up too :) We brought our coats and showed them off, compared sewing notes and talked about our fabric and finishing choices. You know, basically sewer’s heaven :) The pictures of Karen above were taken in 1973 – she made the entire outfit (pants and top included) for a sewing contest. Although she didn’t win (which surprised me – but hold up, bc I got pictures of the winners too ahaha), she did win the regionals and got a Singer Genie sewing machine out of it.

Fabiani coat - the original!
The coat really is a thing of beauty – I think it’s waaaay better than mine, for sure! Karen said she spent an entire summer working on it for her tailoring class, and the workmanship is just amazing. So much detail and care went into everything – all the way down to how the buttons are sewn on.

Fabiani coat - the original!
Look at that beautiful top stitching!

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!
I love how she added piping between the lining and the coating – as well as the fabric covered snaps.

Fabiani coat - the original!

Fabiani coat - the original!

Karen also brought the pattern envelopes, as well as swatches for all the garments she made. Sadly, the coat is the only piece that still exists, but between the pattern envelopes, swatches, and those 8×10 photos, you can get a pretty good idea of how the entire outfit turned out.

Fabiani coat - the original!
Here’s the coat – with swatches for coating (which cost $25/yard in 1973! Ouch!), lining, interlining, and the horsehair interfacing.

Fabiani coat - the original!
The turtleneck, and the knit fabric.

Fabiani coat - the original!
And the pantssss!! MAN, I wish these pants still existed!!!

After seeing all this stuff (and rubbing my hands all over the coat, bc SHIT), I was really curious to see who won the contest! It would have to be something amazing to win out over a hand-tailored, wool designer coat, you know?

The winners were separated by age groups – Karen was 17 at the time, so here are the people who beat her out:
Fabiani coat - the original!
WHY OH WHY did they not include the pattern numbers?! I need that Heidi-esque Vogue coat!!

Fabiani coat - the original!
Look at the age bracket for these winners – 13-15??? How…?

CFabiani coat - the original!IMG0021
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, THERE WAS A 10-12 BRACKET.
How many 10 year olds do you know who can make a suit set? Or a hooded coat?? Mind blown over here.

And here’s the best part-
Fabiani coat - the original!
Karen let me try on the coat!! Ahhhahahaha, so awesome! It actually fits better than mine does, yeah?

Fabiani coat - the original!
Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of us both wearing our coats :)

So yeah, that was a pretty cool way to spend a Sunday! I just love how sewing and blogging can bring people together like that. I had a wonderful time meeting with Karen and talking shop – and trying on that coat! Oh oh, she even gave me a copy of Seventeen magazine from 1976… I’ve been flipping through it over the past few days, and the advertisements alone are just amazing. I may have some post some pictures of that, too, there are even ones for sewing patterns :) Big thanks to Karen – for emailing me, for meeting up with me, and for letting me post these pictures on my blog so we could all enjoy them!

In other news, I just wanted to give y’all a heads up about a Kickstarter that my best friend, Morgan, is raising money for right now. You may or may not remember my talking about when she joined the Peace Corps and moved to Macedonia – which was hard on all of us (but duh, especially me because I need my bestie ;) ). She accomplished a lot in the year that she was there – in addition to teaching English, she opened a dance studio and taught dance camp. She is back in the US now, but she wants to return to the ‘donia and teach another dance camp this summer, hence the purpose of raising the funds. You can read more about the cause here, and contribute to the Kickstarter here – backing starts at $1. ONE DOLLAR, PEOPLE.

And in case you were wondering how the hell this relates to this here sewing blog (other than the fact that Morgan is my Life Partner and such as), I have been promised Macedonian fabrics. Here is the piece she bought me last year (it’s still waiting to be sewn; haven’t found the perfect pattern yet!), the softest, most beautiful cotton dream fabric. And obviously I need more. So let’s pull those dollars out and help me get more of that fabric. I mean, shucks. I might even get her to buy two pieces an host an awesome giveaway!

Oh, and Morgan also promised a video teaching us how to curse in Macedonian. So there’s that, too ;)

Oh, Vogue.

24 Jan

Nothing like some Vogue-hate to cheer me up when I’m having a shitty week, amirite. Thanks, Vogue!

V1341
Vogue 1341
I don’t get this. It looks someone tried draping for the first time and failed as hard as they could possibly fail.

V1342
Vogue 1342
True story: I check my Google search terms every day (because they are hilarious and awesome) and my very favorite one was when someone found my blog by searching “buttcrack sundress.” I always wondered what a buttcrack sundress was. Now I will wonder no more.

V1340
V1340 (1)
Vogue 1340
From the puffy darts to the shitty fit to the sad attempt at whatever is going on there with the neckline, this dress makes my heart hurt.

V1337
Vogue 1337
No comment on the dress, I just think the pose is really really funny.
COME AT ME, BRO.

V1338
Vogue 1338
Y U mad, tho?

V1347
Vogue 1347
Vogue, stop trying to make the danglies happen.

V8873
Vogue 8873
The pattern describes this as a “fitted bodice.” I don’t know about you, but nothing about that bodice looked fitted to me.

V8870
Vogue 8870
Well, that pattern placement is just tragic.

V1345
Vogue 1345
NOPE.

V8887
Vogue 8887
I actually don’t mind this get-up too much (except for that pants length… yikes). I just wanted to make fun of her shoes.

V8879
Vogue 8879
The fuck is going on here.

V8883
Vogue 8883
Vogue, what did we just talk about regarding those danglies.

V8891
Vogue 8891
The prettiest beekeeper you ever did see.

I’m noticing a new trend here, in that NOTHING FUCKING FITS ANY OF THESE MODELS. What the hell! I know that most fashion magazines pin back the clothing to make it tight on the models, but ffs Vogue you had these things sewn for you. Could you not size down?? Compare the actual pants to the line drawing here. Those are not supposed to be Hammer pants, contrary to what the photo would have you believe. I’m just… I have no words. No words at all.

Vogue, go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done.

I’M GOING TO NEW YORK

19 Jan

Pardon the all-caps explosion here, but I’m freaking EXCITED AS FUCK right now!

I’m going to New York City in March!! YAAAAY!!

I am SO EXCITED to finally get to meet up with my favorite sewing-land babes, Sonja and Oona, as well as *finally* lurk the shit out of Mood… as well as the entire garment district, just, in general. Omg. Omg I can’t wait !!!

I know there are at least a good solid handful of y’all who also reside in and/or travel to New York on a regular basis so here’s my relevant question… anyone interested in a lil meet-up? I’m thinking Saturday March 9th (or we could do Friday the 8th! I just figured more people would be able to do a Saturday ;) ), meeting up for drinks or food and then checking out some fabric stores! So yeah, let me know if you’re interested – either in the comments, or shoot me an email! I had so much fun at the Chicago meet-up, I want to recreate that day with some New Yorkers! Pleaseeee!! ;)


Here is a hideously bad picture of me the last time I was in New York, in 2008. As you can see, I was very excited about Grand Central Station.

And while I have your attention, I’d like to introduce y’all to my very first sponsor:
sweetlittlechickadee_shopad
Hellooooo, Sweet Little Chickadee! Juli’s shop is full of patterns – both sewing and embroidery – as well as some of the cutest handmade jewelry I’ve ever seen. She just added some new patterns from The Maker’s Journal – a new-to-me company who is based out of Australia and has a LOT of cute undie patterns, omg.

And check this out – she had graciously agreed to give my US readers some free shipping love! Use the code “LLADYBIRDROCKS!” to get free US shipping – US orders under $35 get free first-class mail shipping, and US orders over $35 get free priority mail shipping. Combine that with the amazing pattern sale running right now, and yeah…. you really can’t beat that with a stick. The code is good now until 1/31/13, so hurry and get yo’ shop on :)

If you are interested in some sweet sponsor ad love (sewing and vintage related only, pls) of your very own, holler at me via email and we’ll see if we can work something out ;)


Since we love Andrew WK here, I feel like this song is quite appropriate.

Merry Christmas To Meeeeee :)

28 Dec

Just dropping in to show off the Christmas present I bought myself yesterday!

Merry Christmas to me!!
Wait for it…

New sewing machine
Wait for it…

New sewing machine :)
Yay! My first Bernina – a 350 PE :)
I guess you could say I was real good this year haha :)

We’ve been bonding since yesterday afternoon, and I must say – she’s a sexy beast of a machine. The mechanics are incredibly smooth and quiet, and the stitches are freakin perfect. Just a gorgeous piece of machinery, and super fun to sew with. It came stocked with a knee lever for the presser foot and a free walking foot (which is golden, since my #1 sewing machine deal breaker is that I need a walking foot, no lie). There are two thread cutters – one by the bobbin winder. GENIUS. Why didn’t I think of that?! The bobbin winder is cool as hell, btw – it’s automatic, as in you don’t have to press the pedal to get it to wind. Again – GENIUS.

Since I’m awesome and live in Nashville, my local Bernina dealer is only about a 20 minute drive away. YUSSS! I’ve actually been plotting/saving for this purchase since October or so, but I wanted to make sure I could pay for the whole thing without financing (or any other debt, for that matter – had to pay off the credit card first!). And lucky me, they were offering $100 off during Christmas. So I was able to splurge a little and buy some bobbins and an invisible zipper foot as well :)

I know you can buy machines online these days, and in some ways they may be cheaper (especially if you don’t have to pay taxes – our rate here is 9.25% and, ouch), but I really recommend buying your machine from an actual local dealer if you have the option. There are so many perks, aside from the whole fact that you don’t have to worry about the machine getting thrown around during shipment (and waiting for it to ship in the first place! Argh!). This store offers free getting-to-know-your-new-machine classes, which I will be taking advantage of – I barely know a quarter of the features on my Pfaff, and I sewed with her for 5 years! I also get free maintenance, cleaning and repairs for 2 years on the Bernina… and a free clean-up/repair on the Pfaff, so I can sell it :) Not to mention the small discount I get on Bernina feet and accessories since I bought a machine from them.

And look – I even got a Bernina seam ripper lol:
lol Bernina seam ripper
I’ve never bought a *new* machine, so I didn’t know they came with branded seam rippers. Ahh, I am tickled.

I just realized this sounds way too much like a sponsered post – it’s not :) I paid for this machine with my own money and the discount I got was offered to anyone who buys a Bernina from that store :) I’m just super excited about my new baby and I wanted to share the love!

As a side note… assuming my Pfaff comes back in good working condition (the repair guy said it probably just needs a new pedal, no motherboard problems like I originally feared), anyone looking to buy a 7570? Holler at me! Haha! :)

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