New Decade, Time for Some Sewing!

New Decade, Time for Some Sewing!

I’m finally back and adding a new entry to this blog. In the past year and a half I started a new business so my sewing took a back seat, unfortunately. I have done some projects but never found the time to post them up. I know that a lot of people refer to this blog for sewing ballroom dresses. I am not sure if sewing more of those is in my future, but I am excited to work on some regular sewing.

Early last year I got a new sewing machine, a Project Runway Brother LB6770PRW:

Brother LB6770PRW Limited Edition Project Runway Sewing Machine

It definitely has a lot more stitch choices than my 25 stitch Kenmore plus it does embroidery which I have just started playing around with. Getting  new sewing machine takes some getting used to. I felt like I was driving someone else’s car for the first couple of months. I was used to old reliable (Bessie), the feel of it, I knew the exact way to hold things, loop things and there were no computerized thingies. I must admit I was frustrated at first and a few times I went back to trusty Bessie. But over time, I began to get more comfortable and now I think it is a good machine. I have named my new machine Scarlett, after Austin Scarlett on PR. I have only come across one issue just now. I have been sewing some riding breeches for myself. They have a full seat of microsuede. I was excited to see Scarlett has a blanket stitch, several variations of it. I wanted my breeches to look like the expensive ones  and I especially liked the look of the stitching on this retail pair:

Knowing that I might have trouble on a home sewing machine with thicker thread AND thicker fabric I experimented on scraps of microsuede. I determined that the topstitching thread they sell in  the fabric stores is impossible to use on Scarlett. It jams. Upholstery thread is a safer bet or in my case I could not use the color I wanted so I went with quilting thread. A regular sewing needle will not work on the microsuede so I went and bought jeans and leather needles to try. My dilemma: they would not fit in my sewing machine! The shank seems to be too large, for some reason. I have never had this happen before on Bessie, they are just Schmetz needles. All the other Schmetz needles I have fit fine.

I took a closer look at the jeans needle package. I went to the Schmetz website to investigate further. The Jean needle package says 130/705H-J and the size is 100/16. Apparently 130/705H is a household sewing needle. I’m assuming the ‘J’ is for jeans. I’ve looked in my sewing machine manual and nowhere does it list restrictions on needle size. It references 100/16 needle size a few times. Right now I am at a loss. In comparing the shank size to my other Schmetz needles, they look the same. What gives?

Update: I have determined there was one bad needle in the packet as the others fit. Go figure. However, the leather needles – 110/18 – do not fit in my machine.

2 thoughts on “New Decade, Time for Some Sewing!

  1. Thanks for the kind words, JD. How great that you have found your way back to sewing after 7 years!
    I can relate to the lack of good quality fabrics. The only store close by to me is Joanns and the quality and selection has gone completely downhill in the last year since they converted half of the store to crafts.
    I do buy a lot of fabrics online but obviously that can be a hit and miss. Which is why I have a closetful of fabrics!
    Good luck with your sewing!

  2. I just happened upon your blog this morning and have fallen for your writings. They are truly inspiring! I just started sewing again after a 7+ year hiatus to work overseas. Boy how I've missed the joy of fabric shopping and finding just the right pattern for just the right occasion. Sewing was/is my life. I cannot believe I was away for so very long. I made a few beginner's mistake on my first project a few months back, but even that was exhilarating!

    Unfortunately, I am a bit dismayed at the rise in cost of sewing for oneself these days. The high cost of patterns, basic supplies and the awful array of cheap fabrics in my area are demotivating at best. However, like a good fabric-aholic, I have acquired a wonderful fabric supply from purchases over the years and from the many countries where I have worked. I should be in good shape until I can find that "awesome" fabric store from my sewing years gone by.

    Keep up the writings. I am a true avid new fan!

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