New Look 6354 – Daisy skirt

This is a skirt version of the seersucker shorts I posted about a while back from New Look 6354. I made view E, partly because I didn’t have very much fabric, and partly because the fabric I used is a medium-weight cotton and is therefore a bit too thick to work well in view F’s wider skirt.

Alas, that fabulous view is not from my house. We spent the last week in a cabin in Marble, Colorado – the white blob in the background on the left side of the picture is the marble quarry. It was a lovely vacation, made even lovelier by the fact that the nearest cell signal is 30 miles away. Of course, the nearest gas station is also 30 miles away, which was a bit less fun.

I adore this fabric, and even though there wasn’t much left on the bolt (maybe a little over a yard) I knew I’d come up with something to do with it. I didn’t put much (okay, any) thought into the weight of the fabric, but after I’d finished the skirt and started reading up about cotton I ran across a Tilly and the Buttons post about sewing clothing with quilting cotton. I would happily make this skirt again from the same fabric, but I have learned that there is one thing you run the risk of when using a cotton like this one…wrinkles!!! I made the mistake of wearing the skirt for a few hours before the first round of pictures, and I now have a nice collection of wrinkled skirt photos. (For the record, it took three sessions – partly because I neglected to bring my iron on vacation.)

As long as I’m not being photographed, I don’t seem to mind the wrinkles. The daisies are so happy there’s no way you can look at them and be upset! And if I have to avoid sitting down when I wear this skirt, I’ll just wear it to events where there aren’t any chairs.

This skirt was the inspiration for sewing machine #2 – that was before I discovered the Rocketeers and brought my total to the current somewhat ridiculous four. While the daisy skirt is held up by elastic, the pattern calls for a decorative ribbon as well. It had been probably ten years since I’d made a buttonhole, and it turned out that my 25-year-old Kenmore is no longer willing to make one-step buttonholes. I didn’t even know there was a way to do them in more than one step! The very nice technician at the sewing shop offered to show me how, but I was thinking about everything I had in the queue at the time that needed buttonholes (four patterns, for a total of 14 buttonholes), and the three extra steps per hole! felt insurmountable. I mean, really – that would have been an extra 42 steps! I struggled with the concept of practicality for a minute or so, then came home with a spiffy new Janome:

It sews lovely buttonholes, and I don’t even have to be sitting at the sewing machine while it does all the work! How awesome is that?

The Mister was a bit alarmed when he walked into the room to find me ten feet away from the Janome while it was industriously making a buttonhole, so I promised to stay closer to it “just to be safe.” But – wow! And look at those buttonholes!

Singer Slant-O-Matic 500 ‘Rocketeer’

A few weeks ago I was wandering around in sewing blog land, and ran across a post about a beautiful sewing machine, the Singer Slant-O-Matic 500 ‘Rocketeer’, by Jessica of Green Apples. It was love at first sight. I immediately started trolling through eBay and Craigslist listings and a few days later, after an eBay panic, I became the proud owner of two beautiful Slant-O-Matics.

Yes, I said two.

Oops.

But aren’t they lovely???

You might have thought that one, or perhaps even two, sewing machines might be sufficient, but apparently I’m happier with four. In addition to these beauties I have a brand new Janome but have been unable to part with my Kenmore, which has apparently become my ‘beloved Kenmore’ in spite of the fact that it’s 25 years old and can no longer make one-step buttonholes. More on that another time…

The question, of course, is: do the Slant-O-Matics work? I have no idea! But who cares? They’re so darn pretty!

Sooner or later I’m going to have to try them out, but I’d prefer to do that when I have enough time to be thorough – which will take even more time since I want to test them together so I can compare their performance.

For now I can report that they were both made in 1961, I love them, and I’ve learned a valuable lesson about bidding on eBay.