New friend

What’s this in the box?

Oh dear… it seems that someone followed me home from the store…

I suppose I will have to keep her!  Yes… I ended up buying a Bernina.  The Aurora 430, to be exact.  I tried Janomes, Vikings, and Brothers also, as those are the other lines I have easy access to, but this is the model I fell in love with!  It helps that it was on sale for St. Nicholas day (seriously, who has a sale for that? Bernina apparently. )  I got it for a price that was identical to what I was offered on the Janome I was looking at.  The Janome didn’t have a free arm (for sewing sleeves etc) and looking online I found some amount of complaints about them, but almost none about the Auroras.   I did not get the Bernina Stitch Regulator, because I already know how to free motion without one, and I think it’s a crazy expensive add-on.  This isn’t the quilting edition (the 440) but all it lacks is the BSR and a few stitches I will never use.  Otherwise it’s nearly identical (and 900 dollars cheaper.)  Technically, this is my Christmas present from my husband, who showed a remarkable lack of sticker shock at the price of sewing machines, merely pointing out “You would spend more on a new computer, and since I build them that will never happen, so why not get one?”  How lucky was I to end up with someone who understands my need to craft so very well?  Well… I guess it helps that I let him construct a lego train track running around the top of my new (shared) craft room in the attic.

Sewing with the Aurora (who needs a new name… any ideas?) is a completely different experience.  On my old machine you had absolutely no real ability to control the speed.  It sewed fast, sure, but that was it.  You couldn’t set the needle to finish up or down.  It had only 2 needle positions.  The fabric tended to veer off to the left, lord knows why.  On this machine you barely have to touch the fabric to get a nice straight line every time, which is nice because it lets me know it really wasn’t my fault on the old machine.   It’s so quiet that even with laryngitis (still going on)  I can hold a conversation while sewing (not a good idea, but I can do it!)  The buttonholes are beautiful, and it has an extension table (not shown above) that gives you a nice big area to sew on, nice because I am not getting a table that the machine recesses into – it has a front loading bobbin, and seems like that would get old pretty quick.  The front bobbin is easier to load than I thought, and definitely seems to have less issues than my old top loader.  It has a knee lift, which means you lift the presser foot without using your hands – much appreciated for quilt piecing.  I love it, and I’m already dreaming of the wonderful things I will be able to sew!

I finished up the “Built by Wendy” dress as soon as I took it out of the box, then redid half the seams with the new machine because it sews so much straighter.  I made some other alterations, but I will have the FO post on Friday – I have no photographer until then, as Marc works until after dark!

I already have planned my next sewing project:

Vintage McCalls 9071, this is one of the patterns my Grandma left me.  I love that her notes are on the front!  I actually have photos of her wearing this dress (the middle version, the one I am making) and I will try to find them for comparison purposes.  The fabric (seen underneath) is a beautiful emerald green wool crepe, nothing like the color it looks in the photo.  I have already pre-shrunk the fabric, and I am planning to add the optional lining (though I will need to buy some lining fabric.)

I’m going to be using my simplicity guide with this, as it is my first vintage pattern (albeit one that seems pretty straightforward, reading through the directions.)  I am making a muslin first.  The Simplicity guide has chapters on making different items:

I’m pretty sure I will need to shorten the dress, but otherwise the size looks ok.  I measured the pieces against a dress I own, and it is close.

I’m off to enjoy my new machine – maybe I will finally finish that quilt binding!