I’m back again…blogging….

It’s been such a long time since I have written on my blog. I cannot believe that its been five months. So much has happened since then.
Embird has released a newer version than when I last blogged back in May which has given us more options and some great new features. One of the really good new features will be great if you do a lot of lettering for embroidery. If you own great embroidered lettering you have in the past only been able to use that lettering if you treated it just like a regular embroidery designs. You had to merge every letter and rearrange them in your hoop in order to be able to use them. But now, if you own Font Engine as well, you can use those embroidery lettering files. All you need to do is go to Insert in Editor and select the command Insert Ready Made Alphabet text. Select the folder to add from where your alphabets are kept and start typing……so much fun…..You can do all the usual things in the Layout screen, like changing the Baseline to a circle etc. But the only catch is that you need to own Font Engine! Now, can you think of a better reason not to purchase Font Engine?

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before or not but this year I joined the Australasian Sewing Guild Auckland Group. I have met such a lovely bunch of ladies – as well as one gentleman – who all sew. We meet once a month and sometimes take our machines and sometimes we do something else. Its been such fun. As luck would have it I managed to join them the year when the Annual Convention was being held here in Auckland. I decided very early on to attend the convention ( October 2013) as they had such a great list of classes to attend. There was a lot of work involved in organising and hosting the convention here in Auckland but the folk in our Guild did a tremendous amount of work and a wonderful time was had by all. I loved the Fabric Tour that we did mid week. I came back with bags of fabric and sewing needs. I needed them all…. πŸ™‚ I also loved my classes – both of them on creating pattern blocks – one a trouser block and the other a bodice block. The classes covered four days from 8.30 am to 5 pm. Being back in class after 45 years made the brain work harder but I thoroughly enjoyed it all. I came away with a trouser block which fits perfectly and also a bodice top that fits my post menopausal figure….I was very happy with the outcome. I must say that we were also feed magnificently and the organisation was fantastic. Our sponsors for the event were Bernina and they did a magnificent job as well. All the machines that we hired for the convention were Bernina’s. How good is that?

Earlier in the year I made my grandsons some winter coats and I showed them to Carol, who works at my local Bernina store. She said to me that I should enter the Guilds Convention Sewing Challenge. I was rather dubious as (like us all) I didn’t think I sewed well enough to enter a competition. However Carol encouraged me to give it a go so I decided that I would. I entered two categories – the Daywear Challenge and the Convention Collection. For Daywear I had to enter 1-2 garments and for the Collection I had to enter 5-8 garments, all co-ordinating. All garments had to be made of natural fibres and had to have a “Kiwi twist”….That’s challenge enough for anyone in my humble opinion! πŸ™‚
Anyway I set to and decided what I would make and entered the competition. It was worth entering as there were three Bernina machines up for prizes and a Horn sewing cabinet – for a first time entrant.

I made a lovely bright pink wool coat lined with multi coloured pinks and grey silk lining for my daughter with a brown wool dress lined with orange silk for the Daywear Challenge. The coat and dress represented the beautiful rhododendrons at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth where Julie ran her first marathon this year. The outfit looked lovely on her. Sadly I don’t have a photo of them on her yet! But here’s the next best thing –

Then I made a wool pinafore lined in pale green silk, a green coat lined with pale green silk, a merino long sleeved T’shirt, a wool skirt lined in the same green silk, and a merino cardigan for my grand-daughter, aged 2 1/2. They represented my view of Auckland. The city skyscape, grey and moody at times, the beaches with paua shell and the green of the Titirangi hills where I live. Once again, no photos with them wearing them but I do have photos of the garments.

The coat has pale green silk lining and I cut all the paua shells to the size of sequins and hand stitched them on the coat.

I created the skyline of Auckland City in my Embird Studio software and then appliqued it on using my Bernina 830 and the jumbo hoop. two hoopings.

This was an Ottobre pattern which I hand sewed on the pearls and the jade, including the jade for mock buttons.

Also an Ottobre pattern made in pale green 100% merino
And lastly, the skirt

Again, its an Ottobre pattern (love those patterns) which I lined with the same pale green silk fabric.

I was pretty happy with the clothes that I had made but having them judged in a competition was an entirely different matter. On the Fashion Parade evening my daughter Julie and my wee grand-daughter Casey came along to model the clothes. I was dubious about Casey walking across a stage in front of an audience and was worried that she might cry, as it was way past her bed time. However, she loved the attention and I think she stole the show. She not only walked across the stage once but asked if she could go again. I think she liked all the clapping from the audience! The compere told her to come across again but when she asked for a third time I told her that she had had enough. After all there were other people waiting to parade their creations as well. πŸ™‚

Then all the entrants had to come up on stage for prize giving….How nerve wracking is that??? Well, to cut a very long story short- I was Runner up in the Daywear section for Julie’s outfit, winner of the Convention Collection for Casey’s garments and the winner of the First Time Entrant category. I came away with a beautiful Bernina sewing machine AND a Horn Sewing Cabinet! I was so happy I couldn’t sleep that night…..

9 Responses to “I’m back again…blogging….”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Hi Wendy, Sorry but I’ve been away and haven’t checked my blog. Most embarrassed to find all the comments! The coat was made from Butterick B5685. The only change I made as I lowered the waistline so it sat at the waist rather than high waist. Thanks for your compliments. πŸ™‚

  2. Wendy says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    LOVE the fuschia coat. Just wondering which pattern it is please.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Hi Colette

    I really like my 830 but I have had quite a few issues with it. Even so I still enjoy it. I love some of the things that it can do and I do love the feet – especially the Dual Feed feet. Its also great if you do big embroideries – although I primarily sew on it – and the Jumbo hoop is amazing. Would I buy the new Bernina 880 – No! Too expensive and not enough new features to warrant the price. I think some of the new features are gimmicky. Would I buy my 830 again? I am not sure if I would. I think that there are other brands out there that have really big embroidery hoops and also sew equally as well as the 830. After all the times that mine has been in to be fixed (which I have never had with any machines previously) I am very unsure if I would trust another new and extremely expensive Bernina machine again. However my Bernina 580 is a wee dream. Never had a problem. Sews and embroiders like a charm!

  4. Colette says:

    Hello Carolyn,
    Is it posible for you to tell us what do you think of the Bernina 830 comparing to other machines ?

  5. Carolyn says:

    Hi Ella,
    No I am sorry but I do not own the Brother Scan and Cut so won’t be doing a lesson for it.

  6. Colette says:

    Hello Carolyn.
    You have all my admiration.
    Your mangifique clothes gave me the envy to sew also. I too use Ottobre models for children. (simple ones)
    A bientΓ΄t.

  7. ella says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    I see you have a new tutorial on the silhouette cutter using embird.
    I have purchased the new Brother Scan N Cut. will you be doing any tutorials using this new cutter? thanks.

  8. Carolyn says:

    Thank you Linda. It HAS been a long time…..

  9. Linda says:

    WOW!!!!!! Well done!!!!!
    You are so talented. Beautiful clothes.
    Great you are back writing to us.
    Enjoy your new machine and cabinet. πŸ™‚

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