Wednesday, February 13, 2013

But the Weather's Divine

Isn't it just like February to be so contrary! You expect something awful and instead, you get some incredibly beautiful days. Our January thaw has continued, much to every one's delight. Sadly, I cannot make real use of it. There is still two feet of snow in the unplowed places. Hard, granular and crusty, a product of daily melting and nightly refreezing. The plowed areas ( pitiful few too) are ice packed and treacherous unless you are careful. No riding for this girl for a while yet, but I did get to sit on the back of my handsome red steed and got that same excitement that a typical 4 year old gets at their first pony ride. Nothing like it. Tolerant Dandy, with no halter or bridle or saddle was content to let me sit up there and why wouldn't he? He had a whopping pile of dinner time hay he had tucked into.  Such is my Feb. thus far, horses, horses everywhere and not a place to ride.

 I'll take my pity party inside and sew instead! The set of 4 napkins is now complete.
The much favored little red down throw, which had multiple little teeth and chew frays (causing it to leak down EVERYWHERE), has had a simple cotton duvet cover made.

 I basically sewed the throw in there. I made a big pillow case, arranged the throw inside. Closed it up catching the edge and then stitched all four corners so it wouldn't ball up inside. A few more heavy tacks midway along each side and Viola!, a fresh throw ready to warm laps and dogs alike.

 Oh and it's bright orange!

I finally dragged out the little mechanical Pfaff 6091 which does the best buttons holes and finished the little blue top.

 Laura had asked after the pattern number, it is Vogue 8585

 an out-of-print (OOP), pattern. For those that like it and want to find it, try Etsy or eBay. Etsy is where I found my copy of it. I had also forgotten how much I loved my 6091. It doesn't have any of the whistles and bells of the electronic or computerized machines, but it does have such a smooth way of going and the 5 step button hole is easy and good. It's still out and handled my third project. The Indygo Junction Mock Smock. I made mine as a vest in a classic muted wool plaid.

 No pockets. This pattern is generous in sizing, I stepped down from my usual size pick for this company when I did the tissue fitting and will go down one more size for a summer top version. Warning, the bindings can be fussy. They aren't hard, they just require some concentration and patience. My tip, iron the turned hem edge up before you attach the reverse facing. It will make life so much easier. Square necklines and arm holes are a bugger to iron. I also added a pair of darts to the back and didn't bother with the side vents.

 Other than that, it's exactly like the ones shown! ;)

I'm ready to do an iron review too. The T Fal iron gets a solid B+.

 The steam is good, the iron gets hot enough, the "stay out of the way" cord, convenient and the front of it, good and pointy for getting in and ironing some of the harder bits in tighter places while you are sewing something together. I like the ceramic sole plate. It is smooth and glides well over both cotton and wool so far. The wool was a looser plain weave, rough and grabby and it steamed and ironed it quite well. Easy to fill and only drippy if you don't wait until it is completely warmed up to the temperature you've picked. The burst is good and consistent. But it's not an A and here is why. The iron is light, I like an iron with more heft. This has none. The temperature knob is on the body under the handle. My fingers are not long enough, nor is it free enough to turn from an iron holding position. I must put the iron down and adjust by putting a finger on each side under the handle. Plus it is just too slimline to the iron body. If the whole knob stuck up a bit more, I could get a better gripe on it overall and use one hand. Ergonomics are important with something hand held, especially when that something gets burning hot. The setting markings are sparse. Really they could have given you a few more fabrics on there. Small complaints yes, but enough to keep it from a better grade. We have yet to see how durable it is.

In other news, my parents rode out storm Nemo well. The wind howled, the snow fell, the plow guy came, cleaned them up and shoveled the walks. They were rarin' to go before the driving ban was lifted. With no loss of power they had hot meals, warm house, TV to keep updated and a worried daughter checking in more often than needed. Piece of cake! And lucky. Many people are still struggling with the aftermath, be it flood damage, downed trees, no power or one of a hundred things that get harder with bad weather.

Parting shots: Miss Bea, obviously giving me and my camera the raspberry!

Trying to think of something else to make me take it away...far away.


  1. How many sewing machines do you have? Are you like me and looms?

  2. Hilary asked about sewing machines...I'm wondering about irons? I got the impression from the review that there are more?

    Love the colors in the photo of Miss Bea...esp. the one with the tongue. It adds to the color.

  3. I see that Stella and Sweet Robin are enjoying the new bright orange blankie. Miss Bea is a cutie pie, her little tuft of hair on top of her head reminds me of Yoda. Your new vest is charming, love the wool you used for it. As for the iron, I agree it is way too light....I had one and unfortunately it only last about 6 months - hope yours lasts longer.

  4. I need year-round riding weather because I don't like to sew. ;-)

  5. Bright orange, always good for when we need to find it! Love the contrast with the deep red chair. Moreso that peekaboo.
    Seems your weather is like ours. It's winter but not so intense as could be. One more month of it though and I'll be itching to get on with the next...

  6. Miss Bea is hilarious! That second photo is a classic "who me?" So glad your folks are okay. And I have to say I really like the mock smock. Good color pairing with the turtle neck.

  7. Good review on the iron and I have to agree, ergonomics are important. I would love to find a good old solid Pfaff. I will have to look for one. I have the first computerized model which has a metal body. I got it 28 years ago. I have had to replace the motherboard but it was worth it as it is a good machine. I just don't need all the electronic bells and whistles so the 6091 looks appealing. Mine is the only computerized one without the built-in walking foot much to my frustration! I keep saying it but I so need to sew! You are always inspiring!

  8. Renee, You must have one of the 1100 series. I have an 1171 which does have the IDT. LOVE IT! This 6091 is not a metal body machine, but plastic but it does have the IDT. If you look used, the 1171's are electronic ( not computerized) and they have a metal bed and the IDT.

    Leigh, Miss Bea is such a on old unassuming little sweetie. The shyest of my crew. The MS is quite comfortable too.

    Nancy, With all these nice days almost wish spring would get here now. But we need to bank the water in any form before our long dry summer begins.

    Michelle, How true, so I guess it's all fair!

    Martha, I hope the iron lasts more than 6 months. Bea and Charlotte both share some interesting top knots. Yoda certainly would have fit!

    Valerie, I only have one iron. Now sewing machines, that's a whole different story. Sewing is much more fun than ironing! ;) Bea is our only strawberry blonde and the self colored nose has always been a source of speculation as to her breed origins. My vote, poodle somewhere in the mix.

    Hilary, Yes, I love to collect sewing machines. They are at least smaller than looms. As to actual numbers ..under 10 and that is counting sergers too. ;)