Monday, 11 January 2010

My machines!

Well, I've finally gotten my new baby-toy, the Baby Lock Evolve overlock-machine that I made a decision before christmas to buy when I came home from the holidays. I had asked the shop to have it ready for me on the 4th (this monday) but when I went there to pick it up, they had forgotten to order it.
They ordered it for me (in a panic) to be shipped from Norway immediately and it was supposed to arrive this thursay, but a snow-storm got in the way and it arrived just before closing-time on friday. Fortunately I work just a couple of blocks from the shop, so when they called to let me know it had arrived I went straight there and bought it.
I spent all day saturday ice-skating in the archipelago, and half the day today organising my room (I live in a one-room flat, one room + a kitchen, a bathroom, a very small walk-in closet and a big balcony that is), it somehow seemed unwrthy to pick up such a precious machine in the middle of a mess!
You can't spend all the rest of the weekend cleaning when you have a new sewing machine though, so here it is:

Oh, beauty! I love how small it is (though heavy! I had to carry it home, passing by a sportwear shop toget a backpack and skating-poles for the ice-skating on saturday, and boy, did I have to bring out the most stubborn me to get it all the way home without loosing my temper!), and the rounded corners. You can see the remains of the mess I was trying to clear on the bed behind it...

As pretty as it is it's still kind of useless since they sent the wrong pedal with it...

That plug does not fit the kind of sockets we have here (on the left). Square plugs + round holes = no no!

Kind of strange since the manual is in Swedish. I don't get it. Well. Once again I'm glad the shop is close to work, fingers crossed they keep spare baby-lock pedals in stock or I'll have to wait until thursday to use it...

So, I thought I'd grab the chance to show you my other sewing machines, the rest of my babies!

The first one, a Husqvarna Selectronic 6570 (or Viking 6570 as it was called abroad) was a gift from my parents when I graduated from high school. It was used but restored at the shop to a condition as new, and I've used it loads and loads. I've now had it for nearly 16 years...

It has this very inventive system with colour-coded wheels that you change to access new seams. It has a whole number of decorative seams that I haven't used much at all but who knows, I might want to make a peasant-blouse one day? I'll sure pick it out and use them then.

I also really like how all the parts are made to fit togehter so that you can pack them all away really neatly. Even the instruction manual that I was stupid enough not to pack with the machine a couple of years ago, so it got lost among my books when I moved. I'm sure I still have it, I just have no idea where it is...
Here's from above with everything in its place before the cover is on it (it has a hard plastic cover that fits neatly around it all):

It still works really well but I began to think it was a bit slow, and when I used my mum's new top-fed Pfaff
and realised the difference when sewing delicate fabrics and jersey is huge I got the urge to get a Pfaff myself... so about a year ago I did:

The first sewing machine I bought myself! A Pfaff Select 3.0 (I find it a bit amusing that I have one "selectronic" and one "select"!). I'm so glad I wanted the 3.0 and not the 2.0 or 4.0 since this deep pink is one of my favourite colours, and defenitely my favourite among those of the :-)!

It's just back from service, it hasn't run as smoothly as it should for quite a while so I took it back to the shop where I got it to make sure it got a good service before the guarantee-period ran out... I hope it's alrigth now, I haven't had the time to try it since I got it back (been busy organising my drawers).

It has fewer seams than the Husqvarna, but it has all that you need along with straight stitch and zig-zag; a few stretch seams, invisible hemming-seams, button-holes (that are so easy to use!) and a few decorative seams.

I really like the top-feed-function and that it bareley ever pulls the fabric into the machinery (that happens a lot more with the Husqvarna).

I think that with the Baby-lock-addition I will live happily ever after with these machines and no more, but then I was totally convinced only a year ago that I would not need an overlock-machine, so I guess you never know...

Stangely, I feel quite alright about the fact that I still haven't been able to use the Baby Lock that I had planned to use a lot this week (I had monday, tuesday and wednesday off work thanks to a holiday here in Sweden!), I think it must be because skating on saturday was so very nice. It's been really really cold this winter, and despite loads of snow there is new but thick ice with no snow on it, all skater's dream.

The ice looks like a mirror, doesn't it? There's open water to the left, but the ice was really thick right up to it (we use ice-picks to see how thick it is to be sure).

You could skate this close to the edge, closer even, without any risk of the ice breaking. But you have to be careful with ice, it's not always like this. And there were loads of open spots, so you had to be careful not to accidently fall into one. My brother's friend did earlier this week, when he was skating alone (I would never skate alone!) and he was convinced he was going to die. Fortunately, he didn't! It's a good thing there's a load of safety equipment that you just do carry with you in case you would fall in the water, or the ice would break)

Lunch break. Hot chocolate, sandwiches and oranges are a classic out-of door-winter-lunch here.

The sun actually felt a bit warm, that's a big sign of spring here. But we'll still have to wait for a couple of moths before we get any spring flowers or anything like that (I love that time of the year!)... until then I plan to make the best of this winter, it's the best one we've had for years in this region, splendid!

Happy after a full day out in the sun, very rare this time of the year!

Update: here's a video that a friend of mine shot... I flash by a second or so, with a black + orange back-pack (that's actually a floating-device, full of dry clothes and air). And I've now borrowed a "new" (used) pedal from the shop, so tonight I'll get sewing, yey!


  1. Oh, the overlock looks wonderful. (My mouth waters everytime I see a good sewing machine, just like when I see chocolate. lol) I hope you'll have lots of fun using it.

    Does the Pfaff machine have a straight stretch seam? I have to buy a new one and I was thinking about Pfaffs too.

    I haven't skated in ages but I used to love it. Of course you don't get natural ice on lakes here, we can only skate in hockey halls but it's still fun. Looks like you had a wonderful time on Saturday.

  2. What beauties! The overlock looks great...I hope they send the replacement plug in time. And how lovely to skate on the ice!!! We've just got loads of snow here in Scotland but no skating on ice (at least not in the Lowlands) yet!

  3. Hi again, Karin! Awww Sweden looks so beautiful! I'd love to go there one day. My boyfriend got to go to Finland last year and is constantly going on about how fab that part of the world is. :( Jealous.

    You poor thing, having to sew in such a small flat! Sewing is sooooooooooooooooo messy and I HATE having to pack away my stuff when I'm in the middle of making something. We have a small flat too, (although at least we have 2 bedrooms!) and my boyfriend won't let me have any sewing here whatsoever. So every time I want to sew I have to go to my mum's house! It's very annoying, I'd be so much more productive if I could sew at home.

    Your Husqvarna is adorable. I so want an industrial sewing machine. Going to get one as soon as I can afford it. And one of those fancy irons with the ironing boards that suck the air out...

  4. The overlock looks good, but it's a bit annoying they gave you the wrong plug. And iceskating! I LOVE iceskating, but it's rarely cold enough here to go on natural ice, only a few weeks, or even only days each year. And that you can stand so close to the edge of the water! I'm fascinated by this. I wanna go iceskating too!

  5. Brigita: Thank you :-)! Straight stitch, yes it does! I probably use the straight stitch and zig-zag more than 70% of the time (the rest of it the overlock-seam so it'll be even more now). I really like my Pfaff, it's very reliable even with the problems I've had.
    If I were to buy a new machine now I'd also look into the Janomes, since they have more lower feed-dogs and you can buy a top-feeding attachment at quite a low cost. I haven't tried them, but they seem good too. Not sure which is better!
    Btw, where do you live? I just realised I have no idea, and I couldn't find it in your blog or Etsy-shop...

    Debi: Thank you too! Yeah... I'm really hoping they have a spare one in the shop. I'll go there in an hour or so to check..!

    Regarding the ice, I heard that they skate on natural ice in Holland now, so I'd have guessed there would be ice in big parts of Europe, but I guess it's really local. My dad often skates in november, far before there's ice close to where he lives, they go by car to the mountains where it's a lot colder, and the lakes are smaller and more shallow... not THAT far away but very different in climate.
    We actually skated on the sea! But it's less salty this far north in the Baltic sea, so it freezes up more easily than in most parts of the world...

  6. Lily: Aaah, you have two bedrooms and one is NOT your sewing-room? Sounds like we're kind of in the same situation but the other way around... I DREAM of a sewing room and I guess you probably do too. The good thing for us both is that you don't get the mess at your place and I actually get to sew at home ;-).
    Ah, Finland, I loved Finland too... I went there for a study-trip (architecture, in Alvar Aalto's footsteps) and it was quite a surprise to me that I would like it so much, I didn't really expect anything. With Norway you KNOW you will be stunned with beautiful (breathtaking actually) scenery but Finland is... I guess more anonymous. But I loved it.
    The bad thing about living up here is that we get SO little daylight in winter, it's quite depressing (I get really low, for real, every winter and then feel all in love with life again in spring). I do recommend visiting scandinavia in late june/early july, when it's dayligt almost 24/7, the weather is nice (if you're lucky!) and nature is so lush you almost think it's impossible!

    Stephanie: Yeah, I know! The strangest thing is that they must have packed the wrong pedal already in Japan. I am quite convinced that that kind of mistakes are very rare there! It must have been a new employee who packed the box, the plug was for somewhere in the European union (there was a "European Union Only"-sticker on it), so I guess it was an understandable mistake. But very surprising!

    I got to borrow a used pedal from the show (I will swap it for a new one when they get it) today so now I'm off with the Baby Lock, and i LOVE it! It's just as good, and just as easy to use as I had imagined, yippie! I've tried the overlock-seam, rolled hem and played around with the differential feed-option (to make ruffles and wawy edges automatically) and learned how to make the rolled hem look nice on a very stretchy (difficult!) jersey that I've struggled with before. A piece of cake on the Evolve... Tomorrow I'll try the flat-lock (can't wait!).

    So, verdict: I'll have to pay for it with blood, sweat and tears, it was so expensive, but I expect none of them while sewing :-)!

  7. Thanks for all the info.

    I live in Slovenia. ;)

  8. Congratulations on your new machine! What a feeling when they arrive but what a shame it came with the wrong plug! I recently found your blog and it's great; your paper tape dress form tutorial is excellent. Lovely skating pics too!

  9. Wow - I can only dream of that kind of ice and snow. I have family in Finland and will probably have to visit them in winter one year! It looks like a magical dream. Karin - I was in Finland for mid-summer and it was indeed strange to be reading the newspaper at 1 am!

    Your sewing machines are really pretty; the vintage ones just look so much more characterful than the new shiny white contraptions. I had a beautiful 50's green Husqvarna for a while and it was my favourite machine (until the motor broke and it cost too much to fix :( )

  10. Those photos of skating on ice - fantastic, you lucky duck! it's a world away from what we have in Australia, 37C tomorrow! I hope you enjoy your overlocker, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with mine. How annoying that they packed the wrong foot, hopefully you've got it now and are happily sewing away and producing more gorgeous fashions. I've read much of your blog and I love your sewing work, especially the blue vintage blouse which I think the details are lovely! I'm so impressed that you are making these things in a one room flat!!

  11. Oh, that Husqvarna is just like my mom's! The color is a little lighter perhaps, but it still has difficulty with jersey and thinner fabrics! Though my Bernina isn't quite as bad, I found I could avoid a lot of those bunched up seams that happens when I backstitch, if I avoid actually sewing off the edge of the fabric.

    Anyways, you've got yourself a sewing machine-park! (symaskin-park?) Appearently this makes no sense in English (or so the boyfriend tells me), but perhaps it does in Swedish as well as in Norwegian!

  12. hhi im from australia and i was given the same machine that you have the husqvarna 6570 but its white didnt come with a manual and no idea how to use it could you tell me how to change the seams using the dials please

  13. Brigita: Aha... Slovenia... no wonder I was a bit lost, Slovenia is one of the countries I need to learn more about!

    Clare: Thank you so much x 4!

    Enken: Ah, you must! I think "real" winters are quite a sure thing in Finland (unlike here), since they´re quite close to Siberia (and we are closer to the Atlantic Ocean). Midsummer in Finland must have been great! I love that time of year... and talking about love, the green old Husquarnas are probably the prettiest of all sewing machines. A shame it broke. And thanks so much for the blog-award, my first, heart-warming :-)!

    Carolyn: Ah, 37... that's hot! I lived in Melbourne for a year ages ago and I remember thinking that 35 was alright, quite nice, but that more than that was... well... I suffered! I hope it's cooled down a bit now! Mhm, you should see my flat... I've put the priority in the order sewing first, neatness second. They seem to be an impossible combination (I will cherish more space if I ever get it)!

    indigorchid: I must try your remedy the next time my Pfaff is at service, or when I want to use the Husquarna fancy seams (the little flowers perhaps...)!
    Yes - it's quite a machine-park! Or maskinpark in swedish. Makes perfect sense :-). Are you norwegian? I love Norway!

    Anonymous: Ah, I found a site where you can buy copies of the english manuals, I'll post the link if I find it again. But try to google it! Otherwise, it's quite easy: there's a space on the back of the machine where you change the dials. Say you want to use the wavy seam on the B-dial (that is found in the chart above the dials on the front of the machine). First change to the B-dial. Then set all three wheels on front of the machine to the green spaces (there are little colour-blocks as well as symbols and numbers around the wheels).
    Not the perfect machine for the colour-blind I guess, but quite much so for the rest of us. Good luck and congratulations on a great gift!

  14. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  15. I have a similar Viking Husqvarna machine, and have used it for years. I sometimes used the decorative stitches (particularly the one with little hearts strung E Blue) to edge baby clothes, sewing over the folded hem edge to give a clean embroidered finish.
    Another use of the dials/cams would be to decorate a scrap or patchwork quilt, working along the seam lines of the finished quilt (stitching over the 'ditch') with a variety of coloured or shiny embroidery threads.
    I want to experiment with this myself, but my cams are getting stuck! Cynthia


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