Tuesday, November 30, 2010


So, after debating the issue for a while, I finally put in an order with allbrands.com for my serger. I went with the Juki MO735. All brands threw in all 8 serger feet, thread, needles, etc., so it was a pretty good deal. I was leaning towards to separate cover stitch machine, but in the end, I probably don't sew enough to justify the expense, and looking at my sewing table, I'm doubtful I'd be able to fit a third machine. And this machine is said to be their best, with up to 5 thread capacity for knit fabrics, and 2 thread chain stitch.

I got notification today that my machine has shipped, which means I can (after a year) finally return my mother's serger to her. I've also been stocking up on patterns (fabricland had sales for several of the pattern companies), and baby fabrics. Not for me. I have a relative who's having her first child and figure this will be a great opportunity to use my sewing machine and get to know my new serger, while at the same time making one of a kind gifts. :)

Life is wonderful.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Book Review: Dexter By Design by Jeff Lindsay

Pros: wickedly funny, returns to the style of the first 2 books

Cons: story arc is getting repetitive

The third Dexter book, Dexter in the Dark, took the series to places I didn't want to go, so I was very happy to see that Dexter By Design returned to the fun style of the first two books.

Dexter is working on his 'disguise' by taking Rita to Paris for their honeymoon. A bizarre art exhibit reminds him that his dark passenger hasn't played for a while. Back in Miami, a serial killer has started arranging bodies as art objects and Dexter is at a loss as to how to explain it.

After someone close to him is hospitalized, he makes an error of judgement that threatens his new family and the disguise he's worked so hard on.

It's a quick read, with Lindsay's characteristically wicked humour. My only complaint is that it seems any cops who start to wonder about Dexter, find themselves no longer in a position to do anything about him by the end of the book. It's a little too convenient for Dexter. Still, it's a minor complaint and didn't impact my enjoyment of this instalment of the Dexter series.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Complete Serger Handbook by Chris James

As part of my decision process to buy a serger, I read through some books to see what a serger can do and what in particular I should look for when buying one.

And so I came across Chris James' The Complete Serger Handbook. It's got a lot of colour pictures to illustrate the text, and sections on needles, thread, tension, stitches, techniques, etc. I especially liked the subsection on elastics and rolled hem (didn't know you could do that!). Most of the information was great for a not quite beginner. A few times the text was outside my experience level, so it's probably a good guide for beginners to intermediates.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To Serge or to Coverstitch...

I've been researching sergers the last 2 weeks. I want to make more clothes and it's time I return my mother's Janome 3-thread serger and get a proper 4-thread of my own.

The thing is, I'm also interested in coverstitching - as that's the best way to hem stretch fabrics and do certain types of decorative stitching. So I was going to get a combined machine. But everyone complains that it's a pain to covert the serger for coverstitching so I've been debating my options.

1) get a combo machine and potenti
ally not use all the features (if it is a pain to switch over or I'm too lazy to do it)

2) get separate machines, which costs more and takes up more room and potentially not do as much sewing as I currently feel I will...

Of course, it's possible either way that I won't sew enough to make back the investment I'd put into a serger. Especially since good models are pricy.

I'm currently deciding between the Juki MO735 (which is a serger that does coverstitch) and the Juki MO654DE (which doesn't).

I've picked Juki because I've heard the manufacture is top notch, with industrial strength materials used and a better blade than most sergers have.

Any advice or suggestions?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The End of the Garden

So I finally got around to digging over my garden. I put a lot of work into my garden over the year but only managed to harvest some lettuce, one zucchini and lots of tomatoes. So, I obviously put the tomatoes in a better location (last year I think I only got one or two).

I put compost all over after, hoping to improve the soil quality. I've added fertilizer and top soil already - digging it in in the spring so the plants have more of a chance to survive. Still, it's a lot of work and I'm starting to think that if my yields are as small next year I might give up and just go to the farmers market more often during the summer. It worked this year.