Thursday, February 4, 2010


This is my new term for the problem my sewing machine is having. I don't mind that it has a few quirks but why does it always have to be buttonholes, and why does it always happen when I'm really knocking out the sewing, especially when something looks really good?

I've been working on the "olivia" puffed-sleeve blouse from the 6/2007 issue of Ottobre. I love this little blouse for many reasons, but I particularly love the version that I've made for Maeve. First, there's the fabric: it's a Liberty of London lawn and I think the colors are scrumptious. The yoke is made from a very fine calico. Maeve actually picked both of these out herself, and I think the colors and fabrics are pretty sophisticated for a 9 year-old. Second, there's the way it went together. I was scared that it wouldn't look nice, that something would go horribly wrong as I sewed, something that I couldn't correct. But up to this point it has gone together like a dream, and the lawn holds the gathers so nicely. Right now I have 3 things left to do in order to finish it: the sleeves need elastic, the buttonholes must be made, and the buttons need to be sewn on. Maeve is asleep and I need to measure her arm to make sure the elastic is long enough, so that has to wait. But I could do the buttonholes. Except the machine is being picky. I did a test buttonhole and it was fine, but as soon as I tried to do one on the blouse, my machine jammed. I've tried rethreading it, a new needle, adjusting the tension - everything. Nothing seems to help.

What it needs is a trip to the repairman. Yes, I had planned on doing that earlier but I didn't get around to it. It really needs to get a checkup, though, since I haven't taken it in for one since 2001. Yes, shame me for not taking better care of it. It's not my fault. I couldn't find anyone in Germany who would work on it, since it's not a 220v machine. I'm sure there is probably someone somewhere in Germany who could have done it, but not where I was. I have tried to care for it myself by cleaning the dust out frequently and making sure that I don't sew with bent needles, etc. But I can't take it apart, so I'm stuck with doing only the basics.

I hope I can coax it to let go of its fear of buttonholes this weekend. We're supposed to have a snow storm and I know I won't be getting it to a repairman while that's going on.

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