Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Cheap Sewing Pattern Haul & New Sewing Machine!

I've mentioned on twitter and instagram a few times that I recently bought a sewing machine! (Well, two sewing machines, but one is just for decorative purposes) I'll also be sharing photos of what I've made, once I've actually made something worth showing! At the moment I'm just practicing with some cheap £1.50 per metre fabric so I can improve my dressmaking abilities, which are definitely classed as 'beginner' at the moment.

I went for the Janome Decor Excel 20 (as seen in my lovely instagram picture) and I am very happy with my choice. I think it's an excellent first machine, as I feel like I can grow with it. I used to own the John Lewis Mini Sewing Machine and I broke it. Ha ha ha. It was ok to learn on, but it was so flimsy and useless at sewing more than two layers of lightweight cotton together that I had to upgrade to something a bit sturdier. I used to use it for making cushion covers and bunting and the like, but since I want to get into dressmaking, I needed something a bit, well, better.

Janome Decor Excel 20 Sewing Machine
My new baby

This is where the Janome comes in. I did a lot of reading online before buying this machine, since it's a big investment and I wanted it to last me for years, not months. I decided that I didn't want a computerised machine, since I don't need about 200 decorative stitches right now. The Excel 20 has 14 stitches and comes with lots of attachments, including a zipper foot and buttonhole foot. That's excellent for a beginner's machine and will save me money in the long run, since I've got everything I need already!

Obviously, there's a lot for me to learn and I think that I probably need to go to an actual class so I can learn how to make everything, but I'm really enjoying being able to sew again and I find a lot of satisfaction in making something myself. I often have problems with high street clothing, it's too tight here, too loose there, the wrong colour, the wrong material, too expensive, so I think that making my own clothes is the perfect solution to these gripes because I can make exactly what I want, in the style, colours and materials that suit me. 

In the spirit of this, I picked up 5 patterns from my local charity shop for the bargain price of 99p each! Some of them haven't been opened, which is great. I made sure that they were actually in my size as well, which obviously helps. 

Sewing Pattern Haul
All for the bargain price of £4.95

I'm working on the top left- the easy Vogue top at the moment. I'm making the one on the bottom left, with the sleeves of the one on the right. I've made it out of my cheap £1.50 material (is this a toile?) and have decided for the real thing that I'm going to lower the neckline, take in the waist, size down the sleeves and size up the hips. I found practicing on cheap material very helpful! I also learnt that I'm rubbish at bias binding. So that needs some more practice before the real thing. 

Now to daydream about the perfect fabric... Hopefully I'll be able to update you soon on my finished project, but for now, I'll keep the pictures of the ill fitting toile away from the internet...

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  1. enjoy your adventures on dressmaking xx

    1. Thank you! I'm working on a skirt at the moment! xx


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