You may recall that, a few blog posts back, I said I was perfectly happy with my Bernette 740E and wasn’t planning on upgrading.
Well, but then I saw a Bernina 830 Record on Craigslist, priced very attractively. I investigated, and it turned out to be a gem of a machine, carefully and lovingly tuned up and restored by someone whose hobby is the restoration of vintage sewing machines. I bought it, figuring that even if I decided I preferred my faithful old Bernette, it would be easy to resell for as much as I paid for it.
Now, of course, I have to figure out which one to keep. Which means setting up for the Battle of the Berninas! (I know, technically the Bernette isn’t a Bernina, but they are very close cousins!)
I’m still thinking over what trials I want to put the machines through. Obviously it needs to be able to sew on a wide range of materials, but that part’s easy. I have everything from silk chiffon to heavy garment leather on hand, and scraps of slippery silk charmeuse, velvet, etc. Easy to try the machine on each of those materials.
But what else do I need to test? Bound buttonholes, of course, and plain seams. Maybe an overcasting stitch. But do I need to test free-motion embroidery/stitch painting? The ruffle foot that I own but have never used? I’m not sure those matter nearly as much but feel I should experiment with new techniques as well as trialing old ones. This has the potential to explode into a much bigger project, but I’m trying to keep it under control!
Anyway, here are the battling Berninas!
Meanwhile, back in the woods, Little Red Riding Hood has been hard at work on the Celtic Braid cape. I don’t have any glamorous progress shots, but over the last several days I have underlined the handwoven fabric, basted to mark the seamlines, and sewn the Celtic braid fabric portion together. I made a sample with the leather piping and decided it was too stiff, so I made 14 yards of black silk charmeuse piping, and basted it carefully to the partially-assembled cape. This morning I cut and assembled the lining, then trued up the seamlines, re-re-basted, and sewed everything together on the sewing machine. I threw it on the dress form, hoping it would would be at least somewhat photogenic, but of course without the pressing, trimming, or understitching of the seam, it mostly looks like a shapeless black-and-red blob. So tonight I will press it and then start understitching the lining, following which I will trim the seams to reduce bulk, following which it finally might be camera-ready. I expect this to take about a week to complete, and will post pictures once it looks a little less shapeless. After that, I can start working on the vest.