a pressing matter.....

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I have a habit of checking craigslist a few times a day.  Mostly between classes, morning and evening.  Soothing somehow I suppose I use it as a quick break from my day.  I do multiple searches: sewing, pfaff, bernina, necchi, elna, and serger.  Every so often I might throw in embroidery but usually not.  Craigslist will automatically expand your search area if there are only a few results and I've picked up some good stuff from outside my regular search area.
In my search for Elna I came across a listing for an elnapress for only $25!  I've wanted one of these since Nancy2001 in Alabama got one.  She used it for fusing interfacing and I was always very impressed and envious knowing I could find tons of uses for an ironing press as well.  I'm especially looking forward to using it to press flat fell seams in jeans.  In my quick tests I have discovered that it sounds a very alarming buzzer and automatically shuts off if you leave it closed for too long.  I have yet to discover if this is based on temperature or just a simple timing circuit.  I also appreciate that it's vintage enough to simply have synthetics listed as Nylon.  I'll report more as I learn it's limitations and abilities.  If anyone has any great used for a clamshell press like this please do email me or leave a comment!

Another purchase (from over six months ago) I've been very tight lipped about publicly is my Pfaff 2030.  I feel a little embarrassed about this purchase although I know that's ridiculous.  I've been a vintage machine advocate since the beginning and to suddenly switch to computerized machines, well, I just don't want anyone to feel let down.  Anyway, when I saw the Pfaff 2030 I knew immediately I had to own it.  It's so masculine and cold looking, strictly functional and beautiful, for plastic that is.  Other Pfaff models like the 2027 use some lady like colors that I find very unpleasing.

The machine is from 2002 and still made in Germany.  The seller had used it a bit but not much and ended up getting a Janome shortly after she said she liked better.  I paid $375 which was a good price although 4 times more than any other machine I've ever owned.  It has IDT or duel feed which is nice to have but still no substitute for proper seaming techniques and often I find it gets in the way and I have to deactivate it.
The machine uses the same M class bobbin my industrial Pfaff 138 uses which is very handy.  I have a few issues with the machine:  I wish it sewed faster, buttonholes are problematic on thick fabric, and it doesn't remember your stitch settings when switching from one stitch back to another.  As a side note the cheap ($110) computerized Brother machines we use at the school have a more sophisticated computer than this Pfaff.  The Pfaff will most certainly outlive the Brother machines but it's interesting to see how technology has become so much cheaper than just 10 years ago.  It's using the computerized machines at the school that changed my opinion.  Vintage machines are really awesome and strong, but there is something to be said for easily changing from stitch to stitch with ease.  Having the needle stop up or down, multiple needle positions that are easy to duplicate, and the same needle punching power no matter what sewing speed is awesome.  I wouldn't sew jeans on this machine, it's just not cut out for that type of work, but what it does do it does very well.

So there you have it!  I'm now searching for a computerized Bernina and Elna.  I wouldn't mind trying a Babylock serger as well but I highly doubt I'd spend the money those can fetch.  I'm most interested in high end computerized machines that have already depreciated at the first owner's expense.  Any suggestions?




a narrow fall.....

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The other day while cruising for ideas I came across these pants on ETSY...

 Produced by TheHouseofCanney they have a historical flair without wandering too far into the reenactment side of fashion.  What caught my eye is the front "fall" or "fell" depending on what reference you're reading.  I like this detail quite a lot and have seen it years ago in designer jeans although it's difficult to find much reference to it online.  This similar idea is decidedly not what I'm looking for....
I quite appreciate the outside details on this pictured sample.  The front pockets, buttons, and rivets are really nice with the green corduroy.  Something I'm not super fond of is the serged seam finishing....  While I've been using my serger more these days it's mostly for constructing muslins or finishing off seams that will be completely hidden.  I have really grown to detest serged finishes in my clothing...  Of course now that I've said that I'll likely start using the serger for finishing all my seams just to spite myself.
I like how the back pockets are built into what could be a yoke but I'm not sure?  The adjustments on the back waist are a nice detail but I doubt I'd want them on my pants.

So how does one go about making a pair of narrow fall pants?  The ETSY listing was for "drop front" pants which makes more sense to a modern buyer but does not accurately describe this style if one is to search for a pattern.  It wasn't until I found this reference that things finally started moving.  The author mentions using a commercial pattern but doesn't say which one.  However armed with the proper name for this style I was easily able to locate this pattern from Rocking Horse Farm.

My thought was I'd apply the fall to my regular jeans sloper and use the instructions with the pattern to help me with construction.  This way changes would be much easier to apply after making a series of test muslins.

The pattern I came up with uses a much narrower fall than what the pattern calls for.  As a side note, there is also a "Wide Fall" style of pants in which the fall extends all the way to the side seams.  This wider style has certain advantages I'll go into later.  I chose to included a yoke and greatly reduced the height of the waistband.  At this point, seven muslins later, I'm on my final draft and have cut out what could be a wearable pair of pants.  The Rocking Horse Pattern includes no pockets so I'll be figuring out what I'd like to do when I get working on a final draft.

There are a number of things I've learned that I'll give some insight on as soon as I get a wearable garment.


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