I took the day off today. I haven't had many extra days off over the past year so I wanted to make it worthwhile. So I slept in (slightly. woke up at 7:30 for no particular reason), cleaned out the closet of doom, cleaned up my patio area, went to vote and then did what I was really really excited about.
I went to the sewing machine store where I ended up talking to a really great salesperson who explained the machines (and didn't talk down to me! Refreshing! It's kind of sad that I've gotten so used to bad service, lack of interest, or condescension from sales people that I almost expect it. Is that just me?) It was so nice to talk to someone who knew what she was talking about and helped me figure out what I needed that fit my budget. Yay!
Meet my new baby:
I brought her home, set her up (by which I mean I took her out of the box and plugged her in. She was pre-threaded!) and started to serge a big pile of scraps - so much fun!
After about a half hour of scrap-serging I started thinking that I would like to try making a t-shirt. I pulled out Wendy Mullin's Sew U Home Stretch and started flipping through it. I thought maybe I should wait a bit until I feel more comfortable with the machine, but then I realized: I feel more comfortable than I expected already and what better way to learn to do something than by just doing it? (well, other than brain surgery or something like that).
So I dug out a t-shirt sheet I had in my stash (I've bought a few sets of t-shirt sheets when I find them on sale. The fabric is probably not the finest quality but it's a LOT of yardage for not a lot of cash). An hour and a half later (with pauses to get supper started) I had a very simple roll-edged t-shirt.
I'm not going to model it for you, it's not super flattering. But it does fit and it was excellent practice. I think I'll dye it and probably end up just wearing it around home or maybe as a sleep shirt.
The seams are so fascinating to me. I just cant get over how well this machine works. I kept thinking "is this really how easy it is? Am I really almost done making this?" Next time I'm going to attempt a more complicated construction with a hem & neck band.
Thank you ALL for your advice on the machine. I wrote a list of features based on your comments and brought it with me to the store. It made me feel just a little bit more prepared and I think helped make this such a positive buying experience for me. I chose the Janome for several reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it was about half the price of the cheapest Babylock (which was my original first choice).
Now I need to find good sources for knits. I can see myself making a lot of t-shirts in the future. I wear them a lot (every day) and would love to fine-tune and tweak the pattern I used. I don't know if there are any places locally where I could find good knits for not a lot of cash. Fabricland has some stock but it's never very appealing. Anyone local have any ideas? Or online (preferably Canadian so I don't have to deal with customs fees)?