Meet My Assistants: Keni, Juki, New Baby Brother, Vera, Bonnie and Clyde, the Triplets, Birdie (and lots of toys) - PART 1
I have a lot of assistants. Let's face it, I've been sewing for at least 50 years now. When you have been sewing as long as I have, you accumulate a lot of equipment and a lot of sewing "things." Although I like to take my time when I'm working on a project because I want to avoid mistakes and get it right the first time, I am still a fan of experimenting and finding new ways to make the procedure easier and faster. This means I try out a lot of "things." These "things" may seem unnecessary to some people and I'm sure that I could survive without them, but if it saves me time in the long run, it becomes a necessity for me. For example, when I make a batch of Kasie Sundresses, there are a lot of bias tape strips and straps involved. If I make just 6 dresses, which is my normal-sized batch, I have to cut and sew 24 straps which I then have to turn inside out and press. Normally I would use a bias turner then stick a chopstick or butter knife inside to shape them, and then use a straight pin to pick out the point. This is a fairly time-consuming procedure involving a few steps. Imagine how happy I was to find in my possession a little, flat, pointed, plastic letter opener that was a sorry excuse for a letter opener but the perfect tool to use on my straps. It has actually cut my "strap" time by about two-thirds.
Anyway, I do have lots of sewing tools that I consider to be my "toys." I will share some favorites with you a few at a time, but for now I would like you to meet my first assistant. Keni has been with me for over 35 years and there are still things she can do that I have never tried. I recently bought her a ruffler attachment, sewed with a double needle, and used the correct foot with my button-hole attachment (imagine that). She was born in the early 1970s, has made many, many costumes over the years, and is my main sewing machine. She is solid metal and can sew through thick layers like you wouldn't believe. In the many years I have had her, she has been in the shop only 2 times, once for tension issues and another because I wore out her foot pedal. I have changed her belts and bulbs a few times and have oiled and cleaned her numerous times but I will keep this machine as long as I can...she is a workhorse.
In PART 2, we will meet Juki and Vera and I will share another toy or 2. Happy sewing!