Machineless week and Bombshell dress online course

We took my sewing machine to the repair shop last Saturday. It was such a hot day (35°C !) and my husband carried the heavy machine through several train trips before we reached the Janome dealer in Asagaya.

The man opened the sewing plate, took a look inside and shook his head heavily, which of course made me even more nervous. Anyway he said that it might take up to a week to repair the sewing machine and depending on the problem, the repair cost would be up to USD 150. He would inspect the sewing machine and let us know this week. So I guess it’s a serious thing?!

I’m sitting at home now, machineless for hopefully not more than a week. I guess I will do something else, like drafting a new pattern or cutting up fabrics. And why do all of my options have to be related to sewing? I guess I should find a new hobby.

Sew Retro Bombshell Dresses!
Sew Retro Bombshell Dresses!

Still not finding a new hobby, I took an online sewing course at Craftsy, Sew Retro: The Perfect Fit Bombshell Dress. The cost is USD 29.99 from the original USD 59, and I even got more discount because Craftsy is having a Summer treat deal for a week. So I only paid USD 25.

The instructor is one of my favorite blogger, Gretchen Hirsch of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. The course is for making a bustier dress with sarong skirt, using highly tailored techniques like underlining, boning, bust padding, waist stay and many more. Gertie also shows how to use use different style of skirts and straps, adding more versatility to the pattern. The pattern used is this Bustier dress with draped detail from Burdastyle (PDF download).

I’m not really sure if I have enough bomb to fill that shell, but I’m very interested in learning the construction and sewing techniques. My husband said that I can make the dress just to apply the techniques that I’ve learned. I think I will do that!

There are 15 videos in this course, each is about 15-30 minutes long and I was planning to spend my machineless week watching them all. I began to watch the introduction video yesterday and couldn’t stop! These videos are very fun to watch and Gertie is such a talented instructor. Her style is also a delight to the eyes, I love all the outfit she’s wearing in the videos.  If you’re interested in vintage and couture sewing technique, I really recommend this course!

I spent all day watching the videos, ignoring my poor husband and son. My husband loves to cook on weekends, so he made anchovy spaghetti for lunch and nikujaga for dinner (they were both so delicious!). Sidra read books and played Nintendo, then both of them played card games, checking Sidra’s homework, did lots of things etc, while their irresponsible wife and mama sat in front of the computer with headphones on her head all day long. Video #15 was finished at midnight. It is now Monday morning, day one of my machineless week …. *hang my head in shame*

Let’s go back to: And why do all of my options have to be related to sewing? I guess I should find a new hobby.

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  • Oh! Your machine is very expensive one so sorry to suggest to buy a new one. No wonder you can make such beautiful top stitching on the jeans you make. Of course $150 is good value then. When I think back it cost me $100 to service my machine about 7 years ago so probably is good value! Hope you get it back soon.

  • I, too, lost a dear old friend this year. She went caput in the middle of a dozen projects and was going to cost $150 to fix her. I cried. then, I shared my news with my family and friends. My sister let me borrow her machine. then, machines started showing up at my house….6 in all! Now, I have others come to my house to learn to sew and I have a machine for each of them to use. If you lived next door, I would give you one. If you put the desires of your heart out, they will be answered! I for one hope your new machine shows up soon- you are an inspiration!

  • Heehee, I think it’s because sewing is just your niche. 🙂 Can’t run away from it. I second the suggestion on hand-sewing skills, or hand-embroidery. Maybe even crochet or knitting if you’ve ever been interested? 😀

  • stef

    I am also concerned about the price of your reparation (and machine!!) also was it still not under warranty? you bought it less than 1 year ago, dealer should repair it for free as it breaks that soon after purchasing. Or maybe laws are different in Japan?

    • verypurpleperson

      If it still had warranty, of course we would have used it. Actually it was bought in February 2010, so the one year warranty has expired. It’s the same as in any place, nothing to do with Japanese law.

  • I am sorry that you stay a week without a sewing machine, that’s really tragic! However I think that you are investing time in new learning well. I am eager to see the progress of your dress …

  • Yeah, I think you have created a new catch phrase with that one. In fact, I’m wearing a halter dress today that I bought at a thrift store last year, when I was still nursing, and when I tried it on today….you can guess that I (no longer) have enough bomb to fit that shell! The halter looked like two sad, empty sacks. Luckily, I can just sew in some foam boobs from an old swimsuit et voila! 😉
    I would use the machine-less time to cut fabrics and plan projects. That’s almost as fun, right? …right?

    • verypurpleperson

      Now that’s an idea that I love! I just realized that it is no use trying to find non-sewing related projects, I would just use the time for more sewing-related things sans the actual sewing!
      Thank you! 😀

  • I really love “not really sure if I have enough bomb to fill that shell”!! Very cute. Better to have not enough than too much I think.

    I’m surprised that it would cost so much to fix your machine … for USD150 I’d buy a new machine! Is yours a very expensive machine? Maybe they are really expensive in Japan?

    Anyway good luck with your bombshell dress … can’t wait to see it .. full or not!

    • verypurpleperson

      My sewing machine cost about USD 1500, it is supposed to be very strong and can handle thick fabrics, which is suitable for me as I sew a lot using all kinds of fabrics. I really like because it is very stable, but I guess I have tugged it too much when a bunch of thread stuck 🙁 Should be more careful next time.

  • I hope your machine gets fixed really soon!

    I too take Gerties bo,bshell dress course and totally share your concerns about having enough bomb to fill the shell (that sentece made me laugh) but really enjoy taking on a more complex dressnmakin projectg like that. Plus, Gertie is a great help with fitting and the alterations for a small bust are not hard at all!

  • Av

    Sorry to hear about your machine breaking down. Hopefully it’ll be a quick fix and you will soon be zipping off again 🙂 I’m sure you’ll find a new hobby, which could be sewing related, as a filler activity while awaiting your machine. I learnt to knit when I was too busy to seriously sew. I know that you are a knitter already so perhaps something else?

  • you are such an incredibly creative person, I’m sure you could use this machineless time to try other things! I know, it’s easier to try other things when you do have a working sewing machine *sigh* I can totally relate though, when my machine doesn’t work everything becomes abt what I CAN’T do:(

    • verypurpleperson

      “when my machine doesn’t work everything becomes abt what I CAN’T do”
      That is so true! I guess it’s the way our mind work…

  • Bri

    Well I hope you’re machine is fixed quickly, its never a fun place to be! Those courses sound fun, I look forward to seeing you make this dress, I’m sure it will look fabulous!!!

  • Elizabeth

    I would die without a machine, so as I can find good ones put out because they are not the latest/greatest, I adopt them.

    I found out the hard way that no machine is not fun. When I was a teenager (a LONG time ago), the family Singer died and had to be sent back to the U.S. for repair. I was without a machine for almost eight months. Of course, I still needed clothes to make ME happy, so I spent that long period honing my hand-sewing skills. Everything that year was made by hand–blouses, dresses (including prom), skirts, etc. My fave was the dress I made while riding the school bus every day. It had ruffles that, before gathering, were almost 30 feet long!

    There’s your next project–hand-finishing techniques!

    • verypurpleperson

      Aww thank you for the suggestien, Elizabeth!
      30 feet long of ruffles? Wow that is high couture!

  • Kat

    Aw, i’m sorry you have to go machineless – that’s a shame! Especially since you’re so good with it. Since you’re done with the videos maybe you could play with Sidra or your husband or cook! Cooking is fun… or maybe go shopping for frabrics.. Or read blogs, or read books.. I don’t know haha. But good luck!

  • “I’m not really sure if I have enough bomb to fill that shell”

    miss purple, i will be quoting you for a long time to come on this one. still laughing, as misery loves company :)))

    • verypurpleperson

      Oooh Oona, glad to have you by my side! 😀