I bought a new sewing machine a couple of days ago! It's a Pfaff Ambition 1.0. I was sold on it almost entirely because of the way it makes buttonholes. You put the actual button you are going to use in the back of the buttonhole foot and pick which type of buttonhole you want to make, line up the bottom of the buttonhole, and press a button. Automatic stitching commences. Done. The buttonhole is done. WHAAAAAAAT! You may have known that sewing machines do this, but I did not!!!
My old machine was ten years old. It was . . . okay, not great. This new machine is only my third sewing machine in over twenty-five years of sewing. My first one that I took to college and had until I got the second one ten years ago basically did a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch, period. My second one did a bit more (it is also a Pfaff, but pretty near the bottom of the line — can't remember the model number because it's in the shop now). When the guy at the shop looked at it he actually congratulated me on being able to sew on it — it apparently has so many problems he was pretty amazed I was getting straight seams at all. So that's being fixed and I will keep it, as a backup machine. I'm ridiculously excited about the new one. It purrs. It really does. I thought that was just an expression of speech but it turns out its for real. I think this is the first thing I've owned that is not a cat that actually purrs. Excited.
I made Amelia a little brown dress from a couple of vintage patterns (mostly Simplicity 9532). (I would've used just one but it didn't have all the pieces, so I had to mix and match.) The fabric was old — it's been in my stash forever, and I think it was from the '80s. The shape of this dress is one of my very favorites. If you start looking at sewing patterns you will start to notice that even within the same basic dress shapes, there is a lot of variation in the shapes of the pattern pieces. I had two patterns for dresses that looked pretty much exactly the same in the cover illustrations. Turns out, the skirt front and skirt back on one was about 50% wider than the other, which obviously results in a much more gathered, much fuller skirt. I've been looking at the pieces a lot and trying to come up with my favorite set of basic pieces for a wardrobe for Amelia. If you have a bunch of patterns it's pretty fun to actually mix and match sleeve shapes and skirt widths and yoke shapes and make new combinations. Well, I think it's fun at least!
I wrote to the lovely Lindsay a month or two ago and asked her if she wouldn't mind if I copied the adorable matryoshka costume she made for her adorable daughter, which I'd seen on Pinterest. She very kindly said yes and I was thrilled. It was so much fun to make. I drew the design with a fabric marker and then painted it with fabric paints — my first time using them. Then I lined that painted panel with more white cotton and stitched the whole thing like a pig patch to the front. I took Amelia up to visit Daddy at work for Halloween and she had a blast. She was very serious in her costume, which cracked me up. We had a very long, very fun day and she conked out by 6:00 p.m., so no trick-or-treating this year (and Aunt Susie stayed downstairs to answer the doorbell for the neighborhood. Her favorite costumes were the "Sleeping Cowboy" (ha!) and the "Gothic Prom Girl." It was definitely my favorite Halloween so far!
(Oh, and her knitted booties [which are some of the only things I can get to stay on her feet!] are from Misha and Puff. I just love them.)
Fall continues to roll through the city. The rains have started this week — rain in the forecast every single day now. For the first time, I feel a little sad about that: It will change my daily morning walks with Amelia a bit. I have rain gear, yeah, but walking around in the gray old rain definitely won't be as nice walking around through the golden sunlight, under a canopy of red trees, through the crunchy dry leaves, over the snapping acorns, smelling the delicious scents of woodsmoke and frying onions and crab apples. It'll be walking through mud and very cold water falling on your head. Aw, well. That's what chai and cinnamon buns were made for. At least I'll feel like I've earned them now.