A year with Juki

I just took my Juki in for her first service, she was running fine, but when I bought her the salesperson recommended I get her serviced after a year, well low and behold it has already been a year since I bought her. I figured it would be a good idea to reflect on my last year with Juki. I can already say offhand that I sewed so much more frequently than I did before purchasing Juki. I figured I spent so much money on my new machine that I had better get to using it, Juki is also a lot easier to use/less stress inducing than my old Brother, and I also began taking sewing classes this year, which I think helped.

So, this year Juki and I sewed:

  • 4 pillow covers;
  • 2 children’s skirts;
  • 2 pajamas;
  • 1 cape;
  • 1 not so successful bikini;
  • 6 sweaters;
  • 4 pairs of leggings (still haven’t found a perfect pattern);
  • 3 pairs of lounge pants;
  • 7 knit tops;
  • 9 skirts;
  • 14 dresses; and
  • a whole bunch of baby bibs, burp cloths and blankets.

I feel like I have learned a lot in the last year, going to class certainly helped with that, but I still have so far to go. Right now I am really struggling with garment fit. It’s really hard to want to complete a project when you just know it isn’t going to fit correctly. So this next year I think my focus is going to be on learning to alter patterns to fit better.

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Sewing T-Shirts?

When I first started sewing I couldn’t have imagined sewing a t-shirt, I mean why bother, they are so cheap and unexciting? Well I guess I will have to eat those words as I have now sewn a couple of t-shirts, the Deer and Doe Plantain, Sewaholic’s Renfrew, and now the Tonic Tee by Skinny Bitch, Curvy Chick (SBCC). The Tonic Tee is a free download, it’s hard to argue with free right.

The fabric I used is some Fuchsia Pink Solid Jersey Rayon Spandex Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee that I originally made into a maxi skirt, but it came out too tight (whoops! I’ll have to try that one again). I bought the fabric hoping to make it into leggings, but it was far too thin and see through (even though the website said it was a good bottom weight, buying fabric on-line can be so hard). I added a collar to the t-shirt using a tutorial by Christine Haynes that was posted on the SBCC blog during Sew Indie month. I have to say that my collar drafting could use some work as it didn’t come out quite right….hmmm…Anyways, I used my serger and the t-shirt came together pretty quickly, I sewed in on Friday night, and doesn’t look too bad. I finished the sleeves with a decorative stitch on my sewing machine and it looks okay. The side where I used the Wonder Tape looks much better than the side where I didn’t use it. I ended up not hemming the shirt because it was already pretty short, but it will look fine tucked into a skirt.

Put a collar on it!

Put a collar on it!

This is actually my second Tonic Tee. I made the first one out of a bright green cotton jersey that I got at the Fabric Store. For that version I used the neckband piece from the pattern and the neckband seam has a tendency to roll forwards. I guess when I top-stitched I should have stitched closer to the seam line, but then the top-stitching won’t be right outside the band, so I don’t know… I also lengthened the pattern by 6 inches to try to get a longer tee, but didn’t take into account the fact that I would have to widen for my hips (another whoops), but it looks fine tucked in.  I guess if I make this t-shirt again I will definitely lengthen it, but maybe not quite so much.

Bright Green!

Bright Green!

My overall thoughts is that this is a pretty good free pattern if you are looking to try your hand at sewing t-shirts.

My new Juki F-600

Since purchasing my new Juki F-600 I have been really making an effort to make time to sew, which can be difficult when you have a full time job, try to make an effort to exercise regularly, have a house that needs to be cleaned, and have a boyfriend who doesn’t like to leave you alone when you try to craft. But since getting my Juki I have managed a few small projects that I could work on during the week. I am also attempting to make use of some of my smaller amounts of fabric (when I first decided I wanted to sew I started purchasing cute fabric in 1/4 to 1 yard increments with no idea of what I wanted to make with it).

I made a cute retro apron using Butterick B5579;

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envelope pillow covers out of a canvas with cats on it that look like my russian blue Wyatt;

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a fabric bin out of blue crab fabric;

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a bow pouch out of Kokka cat fabric (this project wasn’t quite successful as the bow is puckering the sides of the pouch, but I think I will give it another try);

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a zippered bow clutch;

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and I sewed two tshirts together to make a ruffled beach cover-up (my Juki handled the knit like a dream, I however, was too eager to sew quickly and it didn’t turn out as neat as it could).

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But overall I am pretty happy with the amount of sewing I have gotten done so far.  Also, I have to say that I love my Juki!