I hope you are all doing well? Life ‘Chez Andrew‘ is ticking along at the moment. I’m pleased to say I’ve been back at work for 2 1/2 months now and that’s going well. MrA & I have been able to visit our parents, family and a few friends too which has really helped us to feel human again after the lockdown. (Although I dread that we will soon be calling it the first lockdown…)
However, looking at the positives, there’s been some exciting news in my sewing-world… for a bit of context, let me take you back about five years…
I’d been sewing for a year and was looking to upgrade my entry-level machine for something with a bit more pizzazz. My friend LadyP (who knows everything about sewing and used to work for a big UK designer) has a Pfaff Creative 1473cd (snappy title!) from the 80’s which was a pretty fancy machine for its day. In fact, it can still hold its own in today’s market! Well, she said I should borrow it for a while, play with all the fancy functions and see which ones I’d like my new machine to have. What a great friend eh?!
Needless to say, I fell in love with the machine. I loved the design of it, it’s squared corners and modern professional look. The stitching was neat and precise and of course I loved the built in IDT system which does the job of a walking foot at the flick of a lever – no screwdrivers necessary! I was hooked! I scoured the internet for the full range and I’m not going to lie, they’re not cheap machines. To get the features I wanted at the price I could afford was going to be tricky, if not impossible. I ended up getting a deal at a sewing expo on a different brand and it’s been a good machine to me. (It wants me to tell you that after five years of practically non-stop sewing for me, it is very happy for the rest and is looking forward to a bit of R&R (& hopefully a short stay in the clinic!))
Fast forward to today and I am excited to announce that I have become a ‘Pfaff Ambassador’. In exchange for an honest review and a few posts on IG, I get to play with this amazing machine for a while, and I couldn’t be happier!
I’d had my eye on the Creative 1.5 for some time so couldn’t believe my luck when Pfaff suggested it as my first tryout. While I patiently waited for it to arrive I made a mini lego version with my nieces to quell the anticipation! Here they are united!
So to get started on this new machine, I chose the Sorrento Bucket Hat from Elbe Textiles. I’d made it before but couldn’t find my pattern. When I went to download it again I saw that it is no longer a free pattern, but A$2. The proceeds go to a different cause each month which is fantastic, so I encourage you to try it out if you haven’t already.
This combination-sewing-and-embroidery-machine can do so much more than I can fit into this post, so let’s just focus on the ‘basic’ sewing for today!
At 9kg the Creative 1.5 weighs around 2.5kg heavier than my last machine, which gives a good bit of power behind it. This also means that it has taken up it’s residence on my dining table – unlikely to be hefted onto the designated high shelf – It has quickly become part of the family… especially at mealtimes (when the sturdy plastic cover comes in handy!). The straight stitching is strong and true, in fact the machine is stronger than my table, so I use it on top of a non slip mat to take some of the pound out of its drive.
Back to these hats, as much as I like the pattern, after making a few, I have made some tweaks to the shape (I’ve shortened the depth by 2cm and the brim by 1.5cm). Once I’d assembled the hat brims I got to choose some decorative stitches. With 101 built-in, this wasn’t easy!
Mine was a bit more random, but with MrA’s I went for plant and foliage stitches. I used the same thread for the needle and the bobbin on my one and the stitches look perfect on both sides. With MrA’s (at his request) I used green on top and pale pink in the bobbin. This has come out really nicely too, but looks better on the needle side.
To make a chain of different stitches you just press the A🤍B button then type in the number of each stitch you want, eg: three trees and a house… (Or; 141, 141, 141, 140 if you prefer!)
Then on with the rest of the construction. All made a bit smoother with extra functions like a one touch lockstitch, auto snips and goodness knows how many needle positions! Something I learnt by mistake was that if you press the thread snip button while sewing, the machine will automatically do a lockstitch before snipping off the threads. Genius!
Even the eyelet stitch came out great: I used fraycheck in it before punching out the hole. One thing to note, which isn’t such a big deal, I guess, is that the machine starts stitching at the ‘top’ of the eyelet and finishes at the ‘bottom’. Now, it comes out nicely, so there’s no need to sew another one over the top, but if you did want to double up, you’d have to reposition back at the top again and hope that you have everything lined up accurately. It’s the same story on a couple of the buttonholes – like I said, not a biggie as they come out nicely anyway. I’ll show you the buttonholes another day! Overall I’m thrilled with the stitching.
I’m really pleased with how these hats turned out. Partly I think it’s to do with wanting to do this fancy machine justice, a large part of it I think is also due to the quality and weight of the machine itself – but at a £1000 upgrade from my previous machine, I should feel a difference, right?! I hope it has this effect on all of my sewing!
I’m afraid there’s no official photo shoot (I’m not very good at that, so I take my chances when I can!) London’s China Town seemed a fittingly colourful backdrop on our trip to the Loon Fung supermarket (to feed my addiction to Kewpi mayonnaise!)
The t-shirt MrA is wearing in the photo above was made on this machine too, I’ll tell you all about that another time – and I’ve got a great project lined up to play with the embroidery functions, I’m really excited about that!
So as you can imagine, I’m thrilled to be a Pfaff Ambassador! This fancy new machine has really got my energy back into sewing. My aim is to use every stitch and every function on it, after the lockdown (& the eventual-exhaustion of going back to work!) tried it’s best to drain all my creativity. I’ve tinkered with the embroidery functions a little so far, and even noticed a few Halloween designs that caught my eye (how come the moment I start thinking about Halloween-sewing, I already feel like I’m late for Christmas-sewing?!) But if you’re worried about my usual ramblings turning into a parade of adverts and hard-sell features, rest assured, I’m going to keep on sharing my sewing journey with you as usual – I’ll just mention the machine a bit more! It’s a welcome distraction in these uncertain times!
Stay safe and well, Sewists, until next time,
Notes to self:
- I forgot how much I like making these hats… I could do with a waterproof one … maybe a few Christmas gifts 🤔…