Thursday, 25 April 2013

My Birthday Presents

The 22nd of April was my 23rd birthday. Mum asked me if I felt a year older. I said I'm only a day older than I was yesterday. : )

My brother was at college, so my birthday lunch was a simple, low-key meal with me and Mum at home. Sandwiches, Ritz crackers and dairylea spread, pineapple chunks and cheese, and a cup of tea. No room for a cake afterwards; that's for dinner's desert anyway.

My presents were
  • "Fine Machine Stitching" book
  • "Seam Assembly and Finishing" book
  • 2 elastic headbands (now screen-wipes because they gave me a headache)
  • 1 shiny black Alice band
  • a buttonhole cutter (that doesn't cut)
  • pattern notcher
  • Kindle Touch cover
My favourite presents are in bold.


The Fine Machine Stitching book is my most favourite present, partly because it's the most interesting. I haven't tried any of the techniques in it yet, but (as you know) my Brother XR6600 is out-of-action and my Toyota 21-DES is very basic. (Still, I practised repairing a face cloth today and it went well.)

This book is like a big magazine full of information you can actually use (instead of adverts and "techniques" that should be on Mister Maker or something). It's right up there with Claire Sheaffer's Couture Sewing Techniques, also by Taunton Press. I may do a more thorough review when I've had a go at some of the techniques.

The other book, Seam Assembly and Finishing by Teresa Gilewska, is much more basic than the cover images would have you think. If you want to know the sort of thing Kathleen Fasenella shows you how to do, look elsewhere. This is a collection of basic garment sewing techniques and if you have Reader's Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing you will already have access to most of the techniques. The instructions in Seam Assembly and Construction are in clear photographs.

The seams and things are illustrated in the technical way, like Fasenella shows, which I find very helpful to use when I'm figuring out specs. But other people's illustrations can take a bit of figuring out. And Gilewska's instructions do not specify seam allowances like Fasenella does, so are still meant for home-sewists and not industry.

The techniques are basic but illustrated with computer-made-drawings or photographs which help with the explainations. Often I find photos to be less helpful than drawings, but these photographs seem to be fine. Very occaisionally, they have forgotton to translate a word in a photpograph from the French edititions. For example, "millieu", meaning "centre" was missed.


I also got a pattern notcher. I have only tried it out and it takes a bit of strength (at least to me), but it does the job and even works on fabric. It went through two layers of linen. Perhaps I ought not to do that, but maybe they would sharpen if I notched some kitchen foil?

Well, they are the gifts most relevant to this blog. We wrote to the seller of the buttonhole cutter and they said they would replace it and send the returns pack. It hasn't arrived yet but I suppose they don't want to pay first class postage on it. You can't blame them really (at 60p for a letter, what would it be for a package?!)

Sabrina

P.S. Happy birthday to anyone else who's having one this month!