next up: the peony!

11 Nov

first, a sad story.

this is my sewing machine. it is a pfaff 7570 and it is my lifeblood. i paid more for it than some of my friends paid for their first car. i bought this machine – used – at the tail end of 2007, so we are approaching our 4 year anniversary (aw!). to say i love this machine is a serious understatement.

so you can imagine how upset i was when, during galaxy dress construction, the tension started messing up really bad & nothing i did would fix it. i had it cranked up to a 7, which is pretty unheard of for this machine. and on top of that, it was… squeaking whenever i sewed. UHM. MY MACHINE DON’T SQUEAK.

i had a minor panic attack and spent the next 2 days researching where to take it – the place i originally bought it from is sadly no longer in business, and the woman who serviced it last year (yep, i take my machines in to be serviced every year! you should too!) was nowhere to be found. i was starting to think i was going to have to drive to lousiville or atlanta to have the thing checked out – you can’t get a pfaff serviced by any ol’ dude with a tool set. then i convinced myself that i was going to need to actually replace the machine. cue more tears.

i did end up finding an authorized pfaff repair shop within 20 miles of my house (yay!). the guy looked at it and said that, while it doesn’t sound good, it doesn’t sound like i need to junk my machine or anything (double yay!). so right now it’s in the safe hands of the repair shop, and i anxiously await their call. there is some discussion that the woman who fixed it last time may have messed it up, which sucks since i paid her $89 and now i have to pay another $89+ to undo the damage she caused. ugh. anyway, fingers crossed!

in the meantime, i’m using my back-up machine:
back-up sewing machine
it’s a janome memory craft 4000 and i hate it. it is actually a decent machine, it just isn’t my pfaff. and i’m spoiled as shit and all i can think about are it’s shortcomings – like, i have to adjust the tension? ew, my pfaff does that automatically. and why isn’t there a light to show me the bobbin is running out? my pfaff could tell me when the bobbin is running out. i miss my dual-feed. this machine is ugly. i need a needle-threader. etc etc.

anyway, enough whining. let’s talk peony!

oooh u guise, this dress is EASY. easy easy! i started sewing on it last night & it’s practically finished! and it looks GOOD. i can already tell i’ll be making a few more of these πŸ˜‰

i did start out with a muslin, as suggested by a few people. i’ll mimic them: make a muslin! i decided to try a different approach with this pattern – i usually cut a straight 4 for the bust, this time i cut a 2 and added a 1/2″ FBA. i also found out that i needed to move the darts around a little, as they were placed kind of weird according to my body shape. here is my altered bodice front:
peony alterations
see the ruled paper sections? that’s how far i had to move the darts. again: make a muslin! πŸ™‚

for the 3 of you who live under a rock & don’t read good sewing blogs, jane hosted a giveaway recently for the colette sewing handbook. and i just wanted to rub in everyone’s face that i won! hehe πŸ™‚ seriously, though, if you haven’t picked up this book – do check it out! it is full of great information & beautiful pictures. and PATTERNS. anyway, i mention the book because i used a few of the tips with working on the peony – the diagram for a FBA (a little more concise than fit for real people) and gathering stitches with 3 rows of basting. it is kind of tedious to sew three rows of basting stitches (especially on this stupid machine! ok ok, i’ll stop.), but the results are worth it. setting in the sleeves was SO easy. mine still have a few puckers, but it is mostly from my fabric choice – a thickish velveteen that i didn’t realize was stretch until it was too late. oops.

the pockets are some cheapie red lining i found in my stash… apparently they grew when i serged them, wtf.

peony progress!
and so far! there is piping at the neck & waistline, which was also found in the stash – a match made in heaven, i must say! i am headed to the fabric store to pick up cummberbund fabric – i’m thinking olive green. and a fancy button, of course. oooh buttons.

what are y’all working on this weekend?

22 Responses to “next up: the peony!”

  1. Joanne November 11, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Love that fabric and piping – so vintage and cute. Grr am waiting for amazon in the uk to dispatch my colette book – according to the site it won’t be until early december. Bah. I think I may invest in that fitting book for real people. I’m hoping it tells you how to adapt the pattern etc as that’s where there’s a great big gap in my already limited sewing expertise. Well done on getting the bodice just right.

    • lladybird November 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      fit for real people is a GREAT resource – it covers pretty much everything you can think of for skirts/tops. they don’t cover pants, which kinda sucks, but they have a ~pants edition~ of their book that i’ve been eyeballing for a couple of months now. if you’re into pants, anyway. but yeah, get you a copy of that book! definitely worth it!

  2. Emilie November 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Can’t wait to see it on you… you always have the nicest finished projects! (did you ever finish the Clovers? I’d love to see them too)
    I’m hoping to finish the Pussy Bow blouse by Pattern Runway this weekend and wear it to an interview on Monday if it looks decent. I just hope I’ll have time to finish it up, even though it looks fairly easy, I don’t want to rush and mess it up!
    Sorry to hear about your machine… hope it comes back good as new!

    • lladybird November 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

      i haven’t finished the clovers yet! i got burned out on pants fitting & stuffed them in a basket πŸ™‚ i am going to try another muslin this weekend, as long as my sewing machine cooperates. it doesn’t like stretch fabrics!

      ooh i want to see your finished blouse! i need more blouses in my life, separates are always something i neglect to make.

  3. Laura November 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    I love seeing Peony in a print! It looks just sublime, and I bet it looks fabulous on you.

  4. Mary November 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    You ARE spoiled! Look what my machine of choice is!
    The peony looks great, can’t wait to see it finished.
    This weekend I am working on dog sweaters and (speaking of peonies!) planting a peony on my mom’s grave. Not my idea of a party. But, ya gotta do what you gotta do. I’ll finish off on a high note by attending a once-a-month quilting session with some ladies I am getting to know.

    • lladybird November 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      hey, i would use that singer machine if i had one! it’s a beaut! i just can’t handle these cheapie plastic machines πŸ˜› i feel like they are going to bounce right off the table while i’m using them haha

      so sorry about your mom 😦 a peony is a lovely flower to plant, though.

  5. Louise November 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Love the dress, first time I saw the Peony on the Collete Blog I literally gasped and you version did the same thing to me, gotta get me this pattern……

  6. CGCouture November 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your sewing machine. I have a love/hate relationship with mine, though it’s mostly love….I think. πŸ˜• The dress looks nice, can’t wait to see it completed and modeled.

  7. leahfranqui November 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Wow this is cute as hell. I’m sorry about your machine, that’s rough. I have a brother, which was cheap, but I love it to death. I’m a cheap thrills kind of girl, so I roll with it. But this is so adorable! I love the Peony but I have a generous bosom so I don’t know if it’s going to work out for me. This weekend I’m starting (and hopefully doing serious work upon) a dress from a vintage pattern in a bright blue wool. I need it to be ready in time for a play opening, sigh. I will probably be railing at myself (and the dress) tomorrow night as I reach my third (fifth) glass of wine and give up for the evening. Fun times.

  8. zilredloh November 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Oh dear! I’m so sorry to hear about your Pfaff. I also had to take mine into the shop for it’s 6 month tune up since it was making a loud noise (sounded like a jackhammer instead of a sewing machine).

    Your peony so pretty! I’m quite jealous how quick you were able to sew it together. πŸ™‚

    • lladybird November 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

      aw your poor machine! i hope it’s feeling better now! aren’t pfaffs the best? ahh i love being a sewing machine snob hehe

      i bet you could churn one of these out just as fast! it’s a super easy pattern, once you get the muslin tweaked.

  9. Brumby November 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    I concur re the pfaff, mine is an older model (1471) but is like a tank, I love her. I contemplating upgrading her to a newer model pfaff recently, but by the time I’d got close to the $3000 price tag, they’d sold out so I took it as a sign. If it ain’t broke and all that….

    • lladybird November 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

      i’ve never seen a 1471 – wow!! what a pretty machine!! definitely going on my lust-list.

      my pfaff is an older model too, she’s from the early 90s – one of the last machines to actually be made in germany. i LOVE the older pfaffs, they can do no wrong as far as i’m concerned πŸ™‚

  10. Jane November 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Stop tempting me with that Colette book! I’ll be interested to read about their FBA technique as it’s one thing I’ve not dared do yet. Gah, the Peony…. I decided this pattern wasn’t for me, then I saw two gorgeous versions in the past week…. and now yours….. can’t hold out any longer…. just ordered it!
    I’ll be cutting out a cord Ginger skirt this weekend, hope your machine gets better soon. x

    • lladybird November 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

      omg yes! i can’t wait to see your version – you have the best taste in fabric!

      ooh, a cord ginger skirt… that sounds fantastic, i may have to steal your idea πŸ˜‰ like i said – best taste in fabric lol

  11. giecam November 12, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    I have a Pfaff, too. My aunt gave it to me, and I love it so much that I have shipped it across the country twice. (I could have bought two cheap sewing machines for the price of shipping that hunk metal, but I couldn’t stand the thought.) Part of the reason I love it is that I know it is too good for me, as a beginning seamstress, but it never makes me feel bad that I’m not tailoring suits. What a machine.

  12. prttynpnk November 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    I love your peony! I hope pfaff is back soon, I know how hard it is to use the back up beast instead of the favored one!

  13. gingermakes November 13, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Love the crazy flower Peony! I just finished one up in a solid color, but I’m really digging this spin! Good luck with the machine– hope you are able to get her up and running smoothly again soon!

  14. Scruffybadger November 14, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    I’m sorry about your pfaff but am enjoying the pfaff snobbery! Mine’s a 1472 from the early 90s and I love getting it serviced and being told what a quality “all metal component” machine it is. That’s how he sold me the babylock- appealed to my machine ego! The peony is shockingly awesome. Can’t wait to see it modelled. Good luck with your machine repairs.

    • lladybird November 14, 2011 at 9:24 am #

      oooh your 1472 looks a lot like mine, with all it’s totally rad 90s colors :B don’t you love compliments on your machine? when i took mine in to the shop, a woman was picking hers up – and it was a 7570 too! we both squealed & complimented each other’s fine tastes lol.

      hopefully getting peony pictures up today, god-willing!


  1. My new partner in crime « The Two Windmills - November 12, 2011

    […] be back next week because I have big plans for my Colette Peony dress,Β especiallyΒ after seeing Lladybird’s lovely […]

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