Why the Kalle Shirt Dress? In celebration of now being able to sew buttonholes with an automatic function as opposed to the combination of zigzag stitches, patience (or thinning patience) and curse words that I’ve employed until now of course.
Winning last year’s Refashioners competition felt pretty great. As always, there were a wealth of amazing entries showcasing creativity and resourcefulness so it was lovely (and very lucky) to be named the winner. In addition there was an incredible prize package which included this beautiful Quilt Ambition 2.0 machine generously gifted by Pfaff.Up until now I have been working on a fairly basic John Lewis machine (which I believe are essentially Janome machines). I’m a big believer in being happy with what you have, and I have duly loved my machine dearly, as it has enabled me to do nearly everything I’ve tried with it. It did however, have it’s limitations, (in particular that lack of a functioning buttonhole stitch!) and as my experience has grown so the limitations had become more noticeable. So, whilst I wasn’t planning on upgrading my machine I was very pleased to be able to.And when it arrived, I wasn’t disappointed. After testing out the FIVE different buttonhole options I played around with some of the other functions.I mean it writes letters!!
Like most people who garment sew though, I’m aware that I’m unlikely to get much use out of the 200+ stitch options available, and what really matters is how it handles, how ergonomic it is and how it works through different fabrics.
The photo above shows the pull down IDT feed system which I guess is like a built in walking foot. It has been a bit of a revelation for me in that sewing with jersey and delicate fabrics has been sooooooooo much easier. I’ve also tried working with thicker fabrics, and the machine doesn’t seem to skip stitches when going over especially thick areas like belt loops – I’m not sure if this is down to the feed system or just a better quality machine.
I have also been appreciating all the small details that come with a better machine – built in thread snippers, automatic notification when the bobbin thread is running out, a larger work space and other little things that I never knew I was missing.
There are of course things that will take me a bit longer to get used to- my old machine just had a reverse button which had to be held down to back stitch. The new machine has a back stitch as a stitch option or a button that just needs to be pressed once. The only thing I haven’t quite got used to is that the same button also serves as the auto tie off option and haven’t go the hang of selecting the right one at the right time yet.
To celebrate how much easier I’m finding my new machine, I had to sew some things, and particularly things with buttonholes, hence this Kalle shirt dress from Closet Case patterns. I paired it with some Atelier Brunette gauze bought from Maud’s Fabric Finds, sewing the size 10 with no alterations.