Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Finally Fixed Sewing Machine! And a Deptford Adventure

Hello people!

It's been a monstrously long time since my last post, AGAIN.

And I still have no new projects to share with you! I actually feel a bit guilty as I still haven't quite been able to finish the Sew Over It Ultimate (Short) Trousers from the pattern that I won from Dolly Clackett. This feels like bad blogging karma, and I did want to get going with them straightaway- I traced them off the very day I got my hands on the pattern, but machine woes (expanded upon in my last post) got in the way. They're now *almost done*, I just need to attach the waistband and hem them (hopefully it will still be warm enough to sport them outside by the time they're done) but another new project has got in the way- a spot of unselfish sewing for a friend's bday! This is unfinished at the moment too, but as soon as it's done and has been gifted I hope to share it with you. It's coming along pretty well so far, fingers crossed it will be well-received.

A few kind people offered me some advice on potential issues with my new-old machine, but unfortunately it wasn't a dusting and fuse-change issue as I'd hoped- there were some serious electrical faults going on so off to the repair shop it went for a new motor and service. I managed to get my old Toyota back to get a little bit of sewing done in the meantime, but sunny evenings and lots of birthdays have been a bit of a distraction!

I took the faulty Bernina to a repair shop on Deptford High Street. They were very friendly there and seemed to know their stuff, so I left it with them for a week while they worked out the issues then called me with a quote for the repair which seemed reasonable, so I was pretty happy with them. The machine was running like a dream until I got a bit of a fright- after testing through the stitches a few times to get the hang of the machine and run out the excess oil the machine suddenly starting running at full pelt by itself! I couldn't stop it without unplugging it, so unfortunately back to the repair shop it went. Luckily this time it was just a while-you-wait jobbie- a part to control the current flow through the presser foot had gone through sheer age, but as modern electricity supply is more regular than in the past they were able to just take the faulty part out and discard it. They kindly offered to replace the presser foot for free if I have any more issues too!

So I've had three trips walking sewing machines around town lately- two bus rides with the Bernina to Deptford and taking the old Toyota on a 40 min stroll in a suitcase from my parents' house to my flat! Walking a massive sewing machine balanced precariously on a little trolley through the bustling crowds of Deptford market was quite an adventure! I trailed around blind and woeful-looking teddy bears, cracked vinyl records, ancient hoovers and other bric-a-brac then on through the delicious smells of the food stalls (Caribbean, curries, fancy breads etc) and then into the High Street through loom bands, rat traps, and yes a bit of fabric too!

Deptford is not a fabric mecca from what I could tell, but there's a decent fabric stall and a separate notions stall on market days and quite a few shops selling African fabrics on the high street. I resisted buying anything this time but kind of regret it, as one of the shops was selling 6 yards for a tenner of the horse print fabric I used to make my Horse-Anna (also worn in the photos below) in different colourways, plus a few bolts of the star print fabric that Dolly Clackett uses in this dress for the same price. But I already have some languishing African wax print to use, my fabric stash is overflowing and the weather is turning. So am being sensible! Plus I had a heavy sewing machine to lug around!

But the real treat in my Deptford Trip (other than that my long-awaited Bernina is finally fixed!) was the pizza bus- the Big Red. If you ever have a trip to that part of town do pop in, the pizzas are delicious, the beers are good, there's foosball and the occasional band playing, and the staff are friendly. Apparently there are awesome fabric shops in nearby Lewisham too to check out (when I'm not too burdened down) so hopefully will have another excuse to check out the Big Red again soon. Right, off to finish things off, and hopefully to make room in my fabric stash for exciting new things!

A well-deserved pizza I think!
PS I love my Anna dress but I do think it's a little too roomy in the upper chest and the sleeves tend to wrinkle. Any fitting suggestions? I'm planning on making another soon! 

I hope everyone else has had a more productive summer than I have! Are you still making summer dresses, or are you looking forward to Autumn with your sewing plans?

NorseOtter xxx

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