crafts · Sewing

New friend

What’s this in the box?

Oh dear… it seems that someone followed me home from the store…

I suppose I will have to keep her!  Yes… I ended up buying a Bernina.  The Aurora 430, to be exact.  I tried Janomes, Vikings, and Brothers also, as those are the other lines I have easy access to, but this is the model I fell in love with!  It helps that it was on sale for St. Nicholas day (seriously, who has a sale for that? Bernina apparently. )  I got it for a price that was identical to what I was offered on the Janome I was looking at.  The Janome didn’t have a free arm (for sewing sleeves etc) and looking online I found some amount of complaints about them, but almost none about the Auroras.   I did not get the Bernina Stitch Regulator, because I already know how to free motion without one, and I think it’s a crazy expensive add-on.  This isn’t the quilting edition (the 440) but all it lacks is the BSR and a few stitches I will never use.  Otherwise it’s nearly identical (and 900 dollars cheaper.)  Technically, this is my Christmas present from my husband, who showed a remarkable lack of sticker shock at the price of sewing machines, merely pointing out “You would spend more on a new computer, and since I build them that will never happen, so why not get one?”  How lucky was I to end up with someone who understands my need to craft so very well?  Well… I guess it helps that I let him construct a lego train track running around the top of my new (shared) craft room in the attic.

Sewing with the Aurora (who needs a new name… any ideas?) is a completely different experience.  On my old machine you had absolutely no real ability to control the speed.  It sewed fast, sure, but that was it.  You couldn’t set the needle to finish up or down.  It had only 2 needle positions.  The fabric tended to veer off to the left, lord knows why.  On this machine you barely have to touch the fabric to get a nice straight line every time, which is nice because it lets me know it really wasn’t my fault on the old machine.   It’s so quiet that even with laryngitis (still going on)  I can hold a conversation while sewing (not a good idea, but I can do it!)  The buttonholes are beautiful, and it has an extension table (not shown above) that gives you a nice big area to sew on, nice because I am not getting a table that the machine recesses into – it has a front loading bobbin, and seems like that would get old pretty quick.  The front bobbin is easier to load than I thought, and definitely seems to have less issues than my old top loader.  It has a knee lift, which means you lift the presser foot without using your hands – much appreciated for quilt piecing.  I love it, and I’m already dreaming of the wonderful things I will be able to sew!

I finished up the “Built by Wendy” dress as soon as I took it out of the box, then redid half the seams with the new machine because it sews so much straighter.  I made some other alterations, but I will have the FO post on Friday – I have no photographer until then, as Marc works until after dark!

I already have planned my next sewing project:

Vintage McCalls 9071, this is one of the patterns my Grandma left me.  I love that her notes are on the front!  I actually have photos of her wearing this dress (the middle version, the one I am making) and I will try to find them for comparison purposes.  The fabric (seen underneath) is a beautiful emerald green wool crepe, nothing like the color it looks in the photo.  I have already pre-shrunk the fabric, and I am planning to add the optional lining (though I will need to buy some lining fabric.)

I’m going to be using my simplicity guide with this, as it is my first vintage pattern (albeit one that seems pretty straightforward, reading through the directions.)  I am making a muslin first.  The Simplicity guide has chapters on making different items:

I’m pretty sure I will need to shorten the dress, but otherwise the size looks ok.  I measured the pieces against a dress I own, and it is close.

I’m off to enjoy my new machine – maybe I will finally finish that quilt binding!

27 thoughts on “New friend

  1. Congratulations!!! I bought one last summer and have been enjoying it every single day. It’s worth every penny!

  2. Congratulations on your new purchase. Hmmm perhaps Audrey is a fitting name for your new machine, classy and very stylish! It seems as though your new sewing machine will be very handy and perhaps you will have to call your blog knitting and sewing one day, lol!

  3. Congratulations on the purchase. The pattern that you just picked out is so lovely and so Betty Draper 🙂 how did you preshrink your wool crepe? did you hand wash it?

  4. Congratulations!!! A sewing/embroidery machine and serger followed me home a few months ago. I have always wanted to try a Bernina because I have always heard they are the best.

  5. I’m pretty sure Bernina is a Dutch company (or was, originally), and here in the Netherlands, we celebrate St. Nicholas’ Eve, giving each other presents the way most Western people do for Christmas (which we don’t usually do). Perhaps that was the reason for the sale?

  6. So I’m letting my inner nerd peek around the corner….my entire family is completely engrossed in the “Gregor the Overlander” series on audiobooks right now. To the extent that my husband and I get a little touchy when the other doesn’t do enough driving to “keep up and move to the next disc!” But Aurora is the name of an enormous bat (if you haven’t read it — the explanation would seem crazy). Aurora’s “bond” or “rider” is Luxa. So, how about “Luxa” for your new Aurora?

    PS Ask your students about Gregor…it’s an awesome series!

  7. Congrats on the new machine! Also, what about naming her “Beauty,” after Sleeping Beauty (aka Princess Aurora)?

  8. Good for you! I truly think sewing ones own garments is becoming a lost art. My mom used to sew a lot for me. Now she just does alterations for people which is just as important. I used to sew, but wasn’t very good at it. I can’t wait to see how your dress turns out. That’s a very nice sewing machine!

  9. Looks like a great machine! It is really wonderful to have a life partner who gets you and your interests. That vintage pattern is going to work well on you – can’t wait to see it and the Simplicity one you just made!

  10. I have the same machine and I absolutely LOVE it! Excellent choice! You can’t go wrong with a Bernina! Have fun with it!

  11. Wow, I’m jealous! 🙂 Berninas are like the Porches of sewing machines. You’ll have a ton of fun with this one, and I’m looking forwarding to seeing what you make.

  12. Hmmm, I tend to like nice short names for things, so my suggestion is Bora (as in Aurora Borealis). Enjoy all your sewing!

  13. Hooray! I adore my Bernina, and I know you will too. It was also my husband that talked me into paying a little more for a decent sewing machine. My mom has had her Bernina for… 30 years? And still loves it. Congratulations on your new friend – I know you’ll make plenty of beautiful things together 🙂

  14. I love your blog! I wish I could make the beautiful things that you do. You have inspired me to pick up knitting again and to try more challenging patterns. Have fun with your new machine, I know you will create wonderful things.

  15. Excellent choice on the machine. My Mom bought a Bernina in the early 70’s and is still using it! Congratulations on the beautiful sewing projects!

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