Friday, January 31, 2014

A Sewist's Nightmare

Last week I was chugging along on some Colette Iris shorts in silk matka - a beautiful but medium weight silk that I'm pretty sure dulled my rotary cutter - when I hear the most awful sound from my machine. It then seizes and stops working. I bought the Brother CS-6000i two years ago when I was first starting out and I really love it. It was $150 - which comes to $.03 per sewing session given how much I sew. I took it to a repair guy in Florida and for $130 he can repair what he thinks is wrong - but that's no guarantee that it will fix it. 

After doing a LOT of research, I bought another CS-6000i from Amazon from $140 and I've decided I'm going to save this year for a Janome MC6300. I think it's about time I upgraded to a better machine anyway. This little purchase of $1200 should take me most of 2014 to save for, but I feel good knowing my new machine is on its way. All it has to do is last for one year. 

What I didn't anticipate, though, was how empty and out of sorts I would feel not being able to sew. I have a friend who lent me her 20-year old Janome Jem Gold but I was machine-less for about 5 days. I didn't realize how much sewing had become by stress relieving activity. I felt stressed out just knowing I couldn't come home and sew. I spent that time cutting out future projects and putting them in giant zip-loc bags.

This also gave me time to think resourcefully - I narrowed down my patterns to 15:
1. Colette Laurel
2. Christine Haynes Emery
3. Colette Hawthorn
4. New Look 0165
5. McCall's 5927
6. Deer & Doe Sureau
7. Colette Iris
8. Colette Violet
9. Burda 7123
10. Deer & Doe Chardon
11. Colette Zinnia
12. Megan Nielsen Tania
13. Papercut Patterns Saiph 
14. Burda 7739
15. Deer & Doe Plantain

(I would link all of these but I'm pretty sure most people in the sewing world know how to find these.) I also sold 11 independent patterns for $20/each so that helped jump-start my new machine fund. 

In other news, the weather was in the 30s this week in Coastal Georgia. The schools were out on Wednesday in anticipation for icy rain. Back in TN, where we're from, they've been out all week due to snow - something I would have liked to have experienced in my 28 years there. Oh well. 

I've also been working on my Wardrobe Architect assignments from the Colette Patterns blog. This has been such an interesting experience and I would highly recommend it to any seamstress. Ironically I did a ton of sewing "planning" in December and then when I sat down to sew my machine broke. I've concluded a few things about my personal style goals:
1. Now that I'm working several PT jobs rather than one FT job, I have no imposed dress code and can therefore dress however I please - which is both good and bad - I now have unlimited options which adds to my procrastination on what to sew next. 
2. I really admire older women's style - they usually can afford quality items, have figured out what works for them, and don't seem to care too much about what other people think of them. I admire all of these things and hope to incorporate this more.
3. I should stick to patterns that are tried-and-true, stop buying new patterns out of "blogging envy" of seeing every other seamstress making them, and I should make multiples of things I love. I easily got rid of 11 patterns this week and have a few more lying around that I bought and have never used. 
4. I need to buy blue, purple, green and fuschia fabric only. Yellow, orange and red are just not my colors, so I need to stop. Fantastical prints on cheap fabric also have to go. Enough is enough. 

I've decided that my dresses and other garments can be solids and essentially "basics" and my shoes can be the interesting colorful touch. (Can you tell I bought new shoes this month? Yay!)

Back to my machine dilemma...
What machine do you use? Which would you recommend?