Tuesday, June 11

Birthday Suit and Sewing Machines

I turned 26 last March and aside from the Sagada trip, I gifted myself with something handmade and wearable. Days before my birthday, I started working on a dress. My two mini sewing machines were not working anymore and my auntie - a professional dressmaker - lent me her vintage sewing machine, time, and pattern-making skills :) When it comes to pattern-making, I could use all the help I could get!

My auntie patiently showed me the things I need to measure, and many other things I need to do first before the actual sewing. It seems like I'll be needing months and months of practice before I can make a pattern on my own.

Birthday Dress

The dress is simple and has raw hemlines:

Birthday Suit

Birthday Suit   Birthday Suit

Birthday Suit 
Birthday Suit

Birthday Suit

Birthday Suit

I need to buy my own sewing machine - portable but the kind that could last for years, even decades. Maybe I should go to dressmakers' Mecca - Port?

Can you suggest good brands or machine models?

6 comments:

  1. There isn't a huge choice in home sewing machines here in the Philippines. For home sewing you need one machine which will do pretty much everything for you: stitch seams, make buttonholes and finish everything off with a zig zag are the minimum requirements and they should at least come with a regular sewing foot, zipper foot and buttonhole foot. If you buy industrial machines (which are widely available here), you would need one machine for each of those functions and it would cost you a heck of a lot more! That said, if you are sewing professionally, industrial machines do a much better job than household machines. If you want to buy new, your only choice is Brother or Singer.

    Brother usually carries 4 machines of varying price levels starting at P9,000. The cheaper ones come with standard stitches. I usually recommend you get the one where you can adjust stitch width and stitch length manually so you can adjust them to whatever you are sewing which is especially important if you want to start sewing jersey fabrics. They also carry a home serger/overlocker which is great for making anything out of jersey as well as finishing off seams in one go (they overlock and trim the edges at the same time) but at over P20,000 you have to do a lot of sewing to make it work while. Brother has the advantage that they are available in most Automatic Centre’s, although if you have a particular model in mind, then call them first! They have a service centre in The Fort which makes it easy if you live anywhere around there.

    Singer has a website showing a wider choice of sewing machines, but I have never seen them sold retail. You would have to call the importer MONTEVERDE SEWING MACHINE INC http://www.singerphilippines.com tel 362.0712 or go down to the depths of Manila (somewhere behind Divisoria) to see the machines. I don’t have a particular preference for either brand as I own both. It just depends on your budget and what you want the machine to be able to do.

    I never recommend you buy a machine from abroad, as chances are that they won’t be able to find the spare parts here. The only exception is if you buy a machine in the second hand market down in the Port Area opposite Philippine Star. You can buy machines for even under P3000 if you haggle! They are usually machines from Japan and you will be lucky if you get a manual! I recommend staying away from any of the digital ones, as if something goes wrong, local mechanics won’t be able to fix them. And unless you do a lot of children’s clothes, you’ll never use all those fancy stitches anyway! Hope this helps! Have fun sewing! You’ve made a good start and you are lucky to have a Tita who is willing to help.

    Pattern making is actually much harder than sewing, and you really need to be able to sew first before you can learn how to make patterns. But luckily with the internet, you can now download patterns! I use www.burdastyle.com a lot but I am tall and the (German) patterns fit me well. You could also try www.lekala.co. This is actually a Russian company which now has an English language website. You input your own measurements (including height) and get a custom made pattern. I haven’t used Lekala for my self yet only for my husband and daughter so I am not really sure about the fit, but if you do please let me know how they work for an Asian frame!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That dress is so cute! You're both really talented :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi!!

    Wow, thank you thank you so much for your reply! Definitely learned a lot!
    I emailed you :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Danni :)
    I'll try to focus on sewing in the next few weeks haha.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Brother! :) I own that thing and very friendly to sewing noobs like moi :)

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...