A Thank-You Note

by Erin on January 2, 2008

Dear Dress A Day Readers,

I hope you had a marvelous holiday, with lots of loved and lovely people around and laughing and eating delicious things. I had a fantastic time myself, and part of that was thanks to all of you!

I know the gift of your kind attention wasn't really a holiday one (more of an all-year thing, thank you!) but BECAUSE of your attention, all sorts of really nice people have wanted to advertise on this site … which led to me being able to buy a BRAND NEW SEWING MACHINE! (I decided to use any money raised by ads for this site for good — that is, more sewing — instead of evil.)

Here it is, isn't she lovely? (Click on the image to visit the helpful folks at Sew Vac Direct.)

ebay item 8305987417

So far I have made TWO shirtdresses. Yes, two. With the collars and the buttonholes and everything, and one was even Liberty-print! (The other was polka-dot. I'll have pictures probably early next week.) The machine is like a dream for buttonholes. I've always wanted my own robot, and now I have one! A robot that makes buttonholes, the best kind.

So — thank you all so much! (And thank you to our lovely advertisers, too.) I love the new machine and I promise to use it A LOT.



{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

htwollin@yahoo.com January 2, 2008 at 6:44 am

Well, Erin – I’m always glad to do my part to add to the asset base Chez Dressaday!! Love the shirtwaists – I’m sure the “sexy librarian association” will be honoring you for holding up the standards!


Shelly January 2, 2008 at 7:47 am

I will overlook my crazy jealousy long enough to say, “Yay!”You and the new machine have fun together and keeping sharing the results.


Jen ~ MOMSPatterns January 2, 2008 at 7:57 am

Whooooaaaa.. look at all the pretty stitch settings.. woooow…!


libby January 2, 2008 at 8:16 am

Congratulations Erin, and welcome back!I’m so glad it’s Jan 2. All the hubbub it over and I still have three days of vacation left. If you need me I’ll be in my studio sewing. If you get hungry, well, you’re on your own!


Lanetz Living January 2, 2008 at 8:28 am

Hi Erin,My morning coffee has not been the same the last few mornings. I have missed you! What a beaut!! Looking forward to seeing all your new “creations”.Hugs,Janet


Miss Kitty January 2, 2008 at 8:59 am

Hooray! A new sewing machine for the new year! I hope you’ll do a post on why you bought this one in particular. I’m in the market for a machine, myself.


Monkeygrrl January 2, 2008 at 9:10 am

I got a new sewing machine last year and it really makes me want to sew a lot more. Just to make buttonholes. During the holidays, I hug it every day. More power to you and your shirtdresses!


sixties sewer January 2, 2008 at 9:15 am

I too have a new machine, circa 1978. My son found it in Goodwill and bought it for me for (I hope) very little. No fancy stuff, but the stuff of legend nonetheless, a Bernina 830!So happy you are back Erin. Sew your heart out.


Katie Alender January 2, 2008 at 9:53 am

Oh, stop! I’m drooling over your stitches. I may have to pass my sewing machine along to a family member and get a new one this year.


Marge, Born Too Late Vintage January 2, 2008 at 9:53 am

What a great new machine. Use it in good health and may we see many more drabbles and secret lives of dresses!


Julia January 2, 2008 at 9:55 am

Congratulations! You deserve it for all the pleasure you provide for sewists and dress-lovers. I, too, would love to see a post about the decision-making and research that led you to this particular machine. SewVac Direct may find themselves selling a lot more Juki HZL E80s! Buttonholes are the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE on current machine and actually lead me to pattern choices that don’t feature them… which, as you can imagine, is rather limiting.


Susan W. January 2, 2008 at 10:05 am

Do sewers here own or wish to own a serger? I don’t have one and don’t even know what one looks like, but some sewing acquaintances imply that my little Singer is the moral equivalent of a toy compared to a serger.


fae January 2, 2008 at 10:13 am

Congrats! I’ve had the same machine (my only non-vintage) for a year or so, and she sews like a dream!


Xstpenguin January 2, 2008 at 11:45 am

Happy New Year Erin and to all my fellow readers here!A new sewing machine. Goody. I can see the need for some new fabric to go with it :-DEnjoy it!Cheers,AJ


Anonymous January 2, 2008 at 11:52 am

Hi Susan W. I have a serger, but it is about 10 years old, so there are probably lots of things that sergers do now that they didn’t do when I got mine. That having been said, my opinion of sergers is that a good “dressmaker” model of sewing machine (basic utility stitches, good buttonholes, but nothing fancy) is superior to a serger. Sergers are great for sewing knits in particular (which I do), but they can’t make buttonholes. And the things that sergers can do well, such as overcasting raw edges, making blind hems, rolled, hems, and the like, a standard sewing machine can usually do, although it may take a bit more fiddling. I use my standard sewing machine about 90% of the time and my serger about 10% of the time. People who love their sergers are often folks that quilt, make activewear and sew with polar fleece and knits often.Amy


Anonymous January 2, 2008 at 12:09 pm

I own a serger. You do not NEED a serger to sew. In fact, if you own a serger you will still need your regular sewing machine. Sergers sew with multiple threads (3, 4, or 5) and have cutting knives that trim off the excess seam allowance. Basically, they knit a seam and seam finish at the same time. You can do seam finishes quickly and efficiently with a serger, sew neat and durable overcast seams on knits and, coverstitched hems (IF your serger has that capability).Sergers will not: make button holes, do top stitching, sew a usable curved seam that needs to be turned. Since the seam finish is actually a knit stitch, you can’t clip a serged seam.If you have a sewing machine with a good selection of stitches for both woven and knit fabrics, you can sew just about anything and produce similar seam finishes. A serger will do it faster and easier, but it’s not absolutely necessary.Having said all that, a serger can be a wonderful addition to your sewing arsenal.You can watch some videos here where Nancy Zieman of Sewing with Nancy demonstrates various serger techniques:http://www.sewingwithnancytv.com/CMC


Shrimpton Couture January 2, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Hi Erin! Sorry about posting this public but can you drop me an email with your ad rates and info please? I might be interested. You never know when you might need some extra bobbins or something – I might be able to do a small part tee heeCherie


Susan W. January 2, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Thanks for the serger tutorial, Amy and CMC! I think I do have everything I need on my regular machine and I’m not usually racing the clock when I sew, so I don’t need to feel needle envy after all.Now when I think about the two friends who rave about their sergers, I realize that one is always making dance costumes for her ballet school and the other does a lot of upholstery projects… so, yeah, different sewing from what I do.


Karen January 2, 2008 at 3:03 pm

hooray for a new machine! I am now officially in the market for one. I love my basic machine (I won it in a 4-H competition 12 years ago, I’m a bit emotionally attached), but I’m outgrowing it. Both my husband and my Mom have offerred to buy me a new one since I sew so much, I am just so afraid to enter the world of New. Does anyone know of a machine review/comparison site? The link on Dressaday to the Threads article is a few years old, and patternreview only helps for looking at specific models. I don’t know where to start, and I want to have an idea before I walk into my shop and get overwhelmed.


paisleyapron January 2, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Yay for you Erin!! Congratulations on finishing TWO dresses. I still have to do my finishing work on the ONE I tried to finish over the vacation. I am green with jealousy.


Anonymous January 2, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Oh, I am so happy that the ad money is being used for good instead of evil! I was worried. ;-)Also happy that we’ll get to see more of your creations. You Sew Girl! Tina What-I-Found


Anonymous January 2, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Enjoy your new machine! I’m sure it will be great. I have a Juki serger and just love it.


moggy January 2, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Those one-step buttonholes are THE BEST THING EVER (It comes with a special foot that you stick the button into and it does them the right size every time, so you only have to mark the spacing). It does indeed make one want to make shirtdresses all day!


jennifer January 3, 2008 at 1:07 am

Ahhh, that Simplicity shirt-waist pattern.See the dress in the back with the little print? It was sewn up by a junior high me when I was hoping for the same sophisticated look, without the bust-line to fill it in…..sigh


irielle January 3, 2008 at 6:34 pm

Congrats! I’m so glad to hear you’re being rewarded for your wonderful blog. Thank you!


Jill January 3, 2008 at 7:41 pm

She is a pretty machine! I just bought this exact model and absolutely adore it! Great buttonholes! She goes along well with my industrial Juki! :)


Karen January 3, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Congrats on your new addition. I’ve been looking at the same model (need to replace my Singer 7426 before I take a hammer to it) and the buttonhole comment just sent me shopping. Looking forward to seeing these new dresses. And welcome back – blogland wasn’t the same for a few days.


marty January 3, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Erin,Congrats on your new machine. I got a new machine (for classes) back in October. It’s a wonderful little Babylock and came with 9 presser feet plus a tote bag. The thing that I love the most about it is that I can lift it with ease as it only weighs 12 pounds. Compared to my Pfaff which weighs 30 pounds, it’s a cinch to carry. Now, I can go to ASG sew-ins as well as take classes. It looks very similar to your Juki with 66 built-in decorative stitches and 8 different one-step buttonholes. I love it and it has served me well in such a short time.


Anonymous January 9, 2008 at 1:06 am

Just have to add, belatedly, that I don’t know any quilters who use sergers for quilts. Quilt s/a is 1/4 inch, plus the overcast edge would add unwanted bulk and be the devil to quilt through, as well. I don’t have a serger, though I sometimes use my friend’s for seam finishes on garments. I do it primarily for utilitarian reasons–usually I like to use a more interesting seam finish.saidee


antibelle erin January 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Erin,I wanted to ask, how and why you decided on a Juki? I researched Jukis when looking for my xmas sewing machine purchase (a Pfaff 2046), and asked my technician about them. He said they are good, but he’s a Pfaff man at heart and thinks the Japanese design philosophy is more disposable oriented, and they stop making the parts for repair comparitively quickly. But I liked some of the Juki models and prices. Just wondering.P.S. I bought my machine on ebay since I was looking for a specific out of production model (just one generation back – the 2048 is the newer version, “upgraded” to not have the feature I wanted!) and my big hint is, buying at Xmas or some other holiday was awesome because all the other bidders were distracted. I got mine for 1/2 of what I’ve seen the same model go for before and since, without any competition. $800 for the Pfaff of my dreams! I really wanted to buy from my awesome local technician, but I’m not in the Pfaff target customer income range. He’ll get all my maintenance business though.Thanks! another Erin


alexisxannastetic April 23, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Congratulations!It looks lovely.


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