The loaner

Dateline – last week…

Wednesday: The new December KnipMode magazine arrived. OMG!! Best issue in a long time, holy crap! (It’s scanned and a preview is coming up very soon!)

Thursday: I traced out dress #11, where the centre front portion of the skirt comes up and around to form the collar, joining back on itself. The pattern pieces were massive and several needed joining together and extending, so it took me much longer than usual.

Friday: Pip convinced me that this absolutely must be in a solid, and since my longest solid knit was only 2m, I either had to run into the West End on Saturday (ugh), wait a week for an internet fabric order, or hope against hope that the lady at Bhopal Textiles on Brick Lane (just about the only non-wholesaler there) had any suitable jerseys, and was actually still open when I walked past.

And score! She was in the midst of closing up (she said she normally closes around 6 or 6:15, which explains why sometimes she’s open and sometimes she’s shut when I walk home) and had a fantastic navy blue cotton-lycra jersey for £3.50/m. So the 3m length cost me £10.50. At first I felt guilty for buying new fabric when I have such an overflowing stash from NYC, but then it occurred to me that I’m sure James spent more than that at the pub on the same night…

So I came home and laid out the fabric and cut out all the pieces, needing almost the entire 3m, even with Knip’s single layer layout! I went to bed with all my pieces ready to go on Saturday…

Saturday: I was woken at 8am by the men delivering our new dishwasher (a wedding registry gift which has already Changed Our Lives.)! So I helped the man lug it down the moorings and onto the boat. Then I went for a run, and felt great about being back on my old 10k loop, hearing Big Ben chime 9:15 as I lopped across Westminster Bridge at my halfway point. After my shower, I baked a loaf of Bramley Apple Bread, and finally sat down in my sewing room to start the dress I was so keen on, after weeks of muslins (four in total, though I know I only showed you one).

I ran the overlocker to get the shop’s thread out so I could put mine in, and the #^$&%*^# thing jammed!! Again! In the exact same way that it had when it went into the shop two weeks ago! I didn’t even get to remove their thread and the &$%#&%^ thing broke again! James heard my swearing through the wall and graciously offered to drive me to the shop if I needed. At this point I was so frustrated I was ready to burst into tears and just chuck the thing in the river.

But I rang up Maury again, and luckily, Mark was in the shop (he doesn’t always work Saturdays) so James took me and my sick Bernina up to Hackney Road once more. Mark quickly diagnosed that the upper looper was bent and cracked in the exact same way as it was before, and is going to ring Bernina today to try and get them to replace what is clearly a faulty part on their end. At one point I said to him “And here I thought Bernina was a name for quality” to which he said “No, just a name to charge more for parts”. Huh. (Any Bernina reps reading this that care to restore my faith in the brand? Because right now this is the last Bernina I’ll ever own…)

In any case, he saw the pain and frustration in my eyes and quietly asked if I would like a loaner machine while he sorted mine out. Would I?? The sun came out, the birds chirped, and a tiny rainbow appeared in the shop, and I practically skipped out of there with my loaner overlocker, a Janome 9200D:

I very timidly threaded and tested it, fearing I was some sort of Black Widow of overlockers, but it hummed and purred and by Saturday dinnertime, my dress was finished! I was hoping to get a photoshoot done yesterday, but the weather was awful and I swear it was dark by 2pm, so for now you’ll have to settle for these teaser photos on Susan:

I’m wearing it to work today and I even popped in at Bhopal on my walk in to show the lady what became of her fabric. 😀

Sunday: Since it was just a horrible day out, I stayed in and traced a few more patterns, cut out the pieces (and in the case of the lace, hand-basted those, too) and my sewing room is now abuzz with activity for “me sewing” before I start the great birthday and christmas gift pile!

Coming up shortly are…

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