I’m using a relatively new machine.  It’s a Brother.  I bought it on sale at Spotlight, when it was roughly what it would cost to have my Elna serviced.

I love my Elna.  However I have worked the poor wee thing to death in the last 16 years.  As a domestic machine used by a rabid home sewer, it has aged beyond its years.  The upper thread tension has been a bit off for the last few years, coming to a head with some top-stitching where it totally failed to maintain any kind of tension at all, with only the minor challenge of fake suede and top-stitching thread.

So currently she’s sitting on the shelves, and I’m getting used to a Japanese machine.

It’s a good little work-horse.  It apparently has 50 stitches or something insane like that.  I really only use the straight, the zig-zag and the button hole (yeah i am a slacker because i have always had automatic buttonholers).  It even has a needle threading widget.  I love that because i am long-sighted and only going to get worse.  It’s a bit weird because the needle is offset to the left.  If, like me, you use the 1.5 cm guide (yeah, once again, force of habit and commercial patterns) then you have keep it to the left or eyeball about 2.5 mm to the right.

The thing i immediately liked though was the excellent tension.

Except tonight.  For some reason it wasn’t playing fair.  The top thread was so loose i had to check that i hadn’t put up the Elna instead.  (nope.  I would have noticed the 5 kg difference in weight).  I re-seated the bobbin a million times, because i am a bit tired and slow and it was the TOP thread that was loose.

Finally I remembered that the bobbin winding had seemed a bit hinky for the first little stretch.  So what the hey…  I wound a new bobbin.

Presto.  Back to perfect tension.

In other news, I have taken the “no pins” philosophy to heart and am attempting to reduce my dependence on the little pointy bugger.  Even with slippery, slinky silk crepe satin I sewed some gorgeous curves around the princess seams at the front, using just a couple here and there .  It did make a big difference to the amount of time it took to sew the bodice lining, as in reduced it considerably.

Project progress continues apace.  I completed the lining today (6 bodice pieces and 2 skirt pieces), attached the foundation to the skirt lining (the skirt lining is actually inserted with the right side against the wrong side of the outside of the garment) and inserted the foundation zipper.

Tomorrow I will finish assembling the garment.  I think there is little chance of Gill taking it with her – she flies back into Melbourne tomorrow, then out again tomorrow night to the UK, but it will definitely be done for my father to take it next Saturday.

One bonus is that it does iron well and doesn’t mind a bit of steam.  So if it does get a little tired in the travelling, it will at least be recoverable.