Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another Lucie dress...and a new machine!

First - thank you for all the messages for feeling better. I am! Better every day, and the sun is out. Much appreciated, my dear friends.

A new sewing machine! And hopefully the last for a while :-)  My Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 has not worked out well for me. It's such a nice machine in so many ways, but so were my Janome Magnolia and my Project Runway machine. None of which hit the level of performance I really wanted. The fault was mine - the expense was holding me back.

The awful obvious - look how much I've spent avoiding the expense!

I thought long and hard about it. Truth is, I love sewing, it's what I do now that I'm retired, and I really want that great performer.                  

Research, research, and I got a Juki HZL-F600. Oh my goodness. It has everything, and it does everything (it's not an embroidery machine), and the features and performance are incredible. The ergonomics are thoughtful and impressive - I'm really pleased with my choice.

After much shopping around, I ordered from Ken's Sewing Center, and I received great bonus items as well: a wheeled tote, 100 Organ needles, a complete quilting feet kit, and 10 extra bobbins. Cannot think of another thing I need.

With the extension table attached

Everything actually fits in the front of the hard case!

Bonus wheeled tote!

Nice, large, and well-illustrated manual, with an additional  instruction CD! 

Bonus quilting presser feet kit

One of the first garments sewn on Mr.Machine was another Republique du Chiffon Robe Lucie for Ashley! I saw this lovely fabric at and had to make her one more for her summer wardrobe.

Fabric: Wild Flower Geranium by Newcastle Novelties

As with her first Lucie, this is unhemmed pending a fitting this week. I'm heading across Alligator Alley to house-sit and visit with the kitties while she and D. are in San Diego for ComicCon. I love going over - it's a nice break for me, the kitties are great company, and I get to cruise Holly Lobby and her JoAnns superstore.

This is a very nice, soft cotton, not at all wrinkly. It's a bit lighter than a calico, so I made a full underdress with Symphony poly/cotton broadcloth from JoAnns. Love this back neckline...

This is such a fun pattern to sew, and it's really very basic - a bodice and an attached gathered skirt. The suggested closing of the shoulder seam is a little different, but is also very clever. I like it!

Here are the instructions, which have great illustrations. It's like putting two pants legs together to do the crotch seam.

The lined front piece is inside out. The lined back piece is turned right side out and is inserted inside the front lining and main fabric, right side to right side. 

Now the shoulder 'tube' is opened and hand-sewn all the way round. Pull the pieces away from each other and voila! finished shoulder seams on both the main fabric and lining sides. 

A little different approach but it works great! 

One other tip: This is a PDF pattern, but unlike most PDFs, the different sizes are not differentiated by line style. They are different colors! So be sure to print the pattern in color, not in black and white (lesson learned...).

And that is all for now from chez Coco! A bientot!


  1. Lovely dress and great fabric. Hope to see pics of the kitties.

  2. Wowser to that brute of a machine! I'll bet there's going to be some spectacular garments produced on that. First dress included! Good for you for treating yourself as well.

  3. I have researched decent machines and this is the one I would like to buy. But you know they are so much more expensive in the UK. I could probably fly over, buy one, stick it in my luggage and still be better off! And you get free gifts too. What a life!

  4. Oh, Oh! so happy for you getting a new super machine. I've never owned a Juki, but I hear great things about them. I started out a Singer girl and loved them until they started using all plastic parts. I just don't think they are what they used to be. Back in the mid-90's I switched over to Janome. I wanted to get into some embroidery, so bought their TOL machine. A couple of years later and new TOL came out with a bigger embroidery field and I sprung for it. I still sew on that last one and still have the first as a backup. Don't embroidery much at all now (got past that phase for the most part), but I love how they sew and make buttonholes--plus I have a great dealer/service. Since then I think there have been 2 or 3 more TOLs, but mine serve me just fine. Having a great sewing machine makes our hobbies so much more fun! Glad you are feeling better!

    1. Your history sounds like mine. I started with Singer, switched to Janome, owned the TOL for 90's and then switched to Viking. Janome is a workhorse and there are days I am tempted to try them again!

  5. My next machine will be a Juki with a vertical happy that you moved up and now can sew stress free...well except for crappy fabrics!

  6. I'm extremely happy for you!!!! First, that you are feeling better and second that you bought a new machine. Yay!!!!!!!

  7. oh, envious here...:-) That is a sweet machine!

  8. Nice machine. I have never owned a Juki, though I have been looking at their sergers! Looks like you got a great deal.


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco