Looking at Instagram the other day, I noticed that it was bereft of my fave sewing machine brand. BEREFT, I say.
Pfaff makes such great machines and are currently underrepresented in the world of social media. In exchange for your help making sure Pfaff gets all newfangled, I’ll give you a present: a fancy foot! Instagram your Pfaff machine and tag it appropriately. Then come in the shop to pick up your reward. (You do have to come in to get it, since I am contractually barred from shipping Pfaff merchandise.) I bought several gems to choose from and I know you’ll love them. I’m planning on doing some mini videos on each of them as well.
A new feature here on the Grey’s website: Pfaff machine manuals! Have you bought a machine from us only to have your pet weasel eat your beloved manual? Ordering a paper copy is weirdly expensive. $30? No thanks. Well fear not, sweet sewists, you can now find a nifty PDF of your manual RIGHT HERE. On our new manuals page (conveniently linked in the blog sidebar) you can find electronic versions of any machine we have ever sold. We don’t currently have ALL the Pfaff manuals ever made, but we’ll think about it, if you all are in need.
If something on your machine starts behaving strangely, the manual is usually your best first resource. As always, drop me a line if you got a Pfaff from us and just can’t figure out a feature. We are here for you, dearlings!
Crafty Foxes are out there in the blogosphere, kicking it up! Two blogs in particular were recently featured on Madalynne, a snazzy sewing, style, and design blog in its own right. Check out part one of her blog awards here.
I am going to let you in on a li’l secret, sewists. These babies don’t get officially released until the beginning of March, but we’ve got a pair in the shop and I just had to share them with you. The new machines are Smarter 160 and 140, sweet and petite mechanical machines that are great for beginners and sewists on the go. They’re replacing the Hobby 1132 and 1122. My first Pfaff (gateway drug??) was an 1122 (named Alice) and she’s still kicking it as my home machine. These are a step up, I’d say (cover your ears, Alice). They take the AWESOME Pfaff feet, have brighter LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs, neat0 grip knobs and sturdy levers, presser foot pressure control, auto-threader, and extra toothy feed dogs for grabbing recalcitrant fabric. They’re not as smooth as my current machine, Aeryn the Creative Performance, but since their MSRPs are $350 and $300 instead of $6000, I’d say that is A-ok!
Here are some shots of the new cuties, which I’ve taken to calling them the SweeTarts. Once you see their coloring, you’ll get why!
Now I’m going to tell you a little something that Pfaff may not want to hear, so no tattling on me. These machines are in the “Smarter” series, basically just means they’re made in a different factory from the rest of the lines. However, the last Smarter machine was, in my opinion, a lemon. It was kind of expensive and felt flimsy to me and I all-around didn’t like it. They discontinued it and I cheered inside. I was worried that these new fellas would follow in the footsteps of that other machine, but – thank GAWD- they don’t. They’re reasonably priced, sew a smooth stitch, and feel like the solid machine I’d expect from Pfaff. So, yay! Sweet as candy, non? How about that 1/4″ line on the bobbin cover. How did no one think of that before??
I hope I don’t get in trouble for spilling the beans on these machines; the only info I’ve seen on the web so far is a video in French:
This is a really cute concept and I’m glad that Pfaff is breaking out of their normal sexagenarian demographic into a more sex-ay one! Heh. I’m hilarious.
I hope you’ve liked this little peek and will come in sometime to give the new Smarter line a whirl! Stay tuned for more Pfaffy goodness like our Flash Your Pfaff Instagram giveaway and Hemlocks and Hobbylocks Party, coming soon. Ciao for niao, SweeTarts.
Holy free tees, Batman! While I have found that the tee that fits me the best so far is the Renfrew, there are some smokin’ new free patterns out there to give it a run for its money!
First up, Grainline’s Hemlock. This one-size-fits all baby really does seem to look great on everyone! Its boxy, slouchy silhouette is casual-cool and so easy to wear. I stitched this one up in our seaglass blue bamboo jersey and then dyed it using our Dylon dye in Velvet Black and a pyrex. Mixed with table salt, per the instructions, let it sit over night and WAAH-LAHH! I’ve also made one in a black burnout damask jersey, which I also love. Next up, maybe a sweatshirt version?
As I type this, I am wearing Cake’s Blank Canvas Tee as my first layer. Two pieces! Built in sleeve! Doesn’t get easier than this, folks. I slimmed this down a bit because I’m a fan of negative ease. Doesn’t that sound like a band name? Now playing — NEGATIVE EASE!! Though if Ashley and I ever start a band, I think we’d be the Russian Reds, after the most wearable red lipstick ever.
Last but not least is Deer and Doe’s newest offering, the Plantain! I made one up yesterday afternoon in no time flat. I used our cotton/spandex jersey in silver. It’s got a little swing at the bottom, which is great for camouflaging my wintertime tummy.
The main reason I’ve been zipping through these knits is our current machine setup. We have a Hobbylock 2.0 (MSRP: $550, Floor Model $450) set up to serge and a Coverlock 4.0 (MSRP $1800, Floor Model $1400) set up to do a fancy-pants coverstitch. Man is this machine smooth and quiet. Twin needles are ok, but I’ve never been able to get a parallel stitch that looks quite right, so having a whole machine dedicated to it is a real treat. I discovered two projects that were 90% finished in a box and the Coverlock helped me get the motivation to finish them.
January is usually the time when I rebel against the culture of GOAL SETTING FRESH START OMG GET FIT NOW!!! that I guess sells lots of self-help books. My only actual resolution is to drink more water. Same every year. However, I am guilty of startitis. Oh, you know, that thing when you start those Jedediah Pants and then have fabric left so you start a Moss Mini, and there’s that coat you can’t wear until it warms up, so why bother working on it, right? Plus all the forgotten little things (ahem tee shirts lost in the knit scraps box…) So, I want to work on my follow-through. I guess this is a good intention to set for the year: not just to start things or, worse yet, to be afraid to start things at all for fear that they won’t be perfect. So here’s my New Year’s intention/non-resolution/whatever:
I was checking Instagram, minding my own, when I came upon the latest blog post from Dear Stella. Not one, not two, but THREE members of Crafty Foxes Sewing Club are represented: Katy, Ping, and me! Whoa. Thanks, Dear Stella. You make me feel like I’m on top of the world:
Eléonore of Deer and Doe has given us a lovely little gift this holiday season. Click here to read her post (click on the EN in the upper left for a translation.) It’s a croquis sheet with space for fabric and fit details! (The pdf seems only to download from the untranslated post.) Yay! I have, in the past, wished that I could do something like this, but I know that my hand-drawn croquis would look something like:
Luckily, you have been saved from that fate. Thanks again, Eléonore!
Hey, y’all. We’ve been meaning to do some staff picks for like ever so here they are! Some of these snazzy items are in our nascent web shop, some are forthcoming, so stay tuned.
Ashley’s picks are our thick and comfy red plaid flannel ($10/yard), from which she is planning an Archer, and 14 wale corduroy in “ocean” by Robert Kaufman ($14/yard). Isn’t that peacock color amazing? She’s also a fan of our slender Clover silk pins ($6) and spools of rayon seam binding ($5). Seam binding is some useful stuff and is extra nice on our cutie-pie wooden spoolies.
I’m super into the Anna Dress from By Hand London ($19) and our “Treats” tin ($15). Who doesn’t want to solicit favors and bribe important people? The Frixion highlighter ($3) erases with heat and is ultra useful, as is our Voodoo pin cushion ($6) and Soak wash ($10). The Barely Squeakin’ By coin purse ($4) is handy-dandy for holding accoutrements and our Crafty Fox pins ($1 and $1.50) just make me happy to look at. Bobbin the Fox! Forever! He’s up on our new chalkboard wall smiling away and announcing our class schedule.
We’re still adding more products to our web shop. There is free shipping for the time being, but it won’t last long! Hope your holiday shopping/eating/partying is progressing well. I know mine is. Man was Stitchmas ever a crazy time. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and made it even more festive!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Stitchmas! No matter what your religion, if sewing is your jam then Stitchmas is your holiday. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to sew all of your holiday presents. No way. In fact, most of my holiday gifts are from Oxfam, The Animal Rescue League, or Greyhound Friends. All it means is that you should make some personal happy time to sew and to hangout with other sewists! Namely, at our Stitchmas Party on December 14th. There will be giveaways, free stuff, snacks (vegan too!), and deelishis adult beverages. The signature drink is the Bobbin for Apples, a festive concoction that will really help us get our cheer on. Also anything you buy during our party is 15% off! That includes sewing machines, so if you need a last minute surprise or a special treat for yourself, we’ve got you covered. There’s free parking in the lot off Albany and don’t worry, we won’t force you to sing carols.* The party starts at 5pm and lasts until we run out of jolly. See you there!
*You can, of course, sing as many carols as you like, especially beloved are those in which you have replaced every word with “meow.”
I recently made some good life choices and some, well, more questionable ones. The good ones involved sewing up a sweet mid-length version of By Hand London’s Anna Dress. The other involved…my hair. You see, periodically I get the urge to trim. The totally unnecessary urge to trim where no trimming is necessary. I say to myself, “Just a snip or two to even up the sides,” and then all of a sudden I have a sink full of hair. I did this very thing a week ago. What you see now is after Robert from Liquid straightened up my straightening. Shorter than I planned, but, let’s be honest, I didn’t plan anything at all! So, it’s real short-like. While I’m waiting for it to become a chin length bob again I’m going to live it up with some wild spiky bits. Like I’m a character in the Sandman comics. Or Siouxie Sioux. Or a radical sci-fi heroine. Any of those will do.
As for the Anna, I love it. I ended up opening the side seams just a bit on this version and doing a full bust adjustment on the pattern for next time. Oh, and I skipped the facings for bias tape, as is my wont.
Next up, I’m working on a collared shirt for John in our white Pinpoint Oxford shirting, a coat for myself from some wool curtains(!) I was gifted, and maybe another Archer. Looks like I’m not the only one who is addicted!
PS: How do you like the new site?? I decided to change it up after noticing that Target’s store brand was using our main font. I mean, I like Target. A lot. But I know it’s time for something new when they’re scooping our branding.