On to Chapter 3 (Utility Stitches)

It took over 20 hours to work my way through Chapter 1 and 2 of the owner’s manual for my Brother Dream Machine.  I don’t resent it. But I was a little anxious to get to actual sewing. The Sweater Knit Top filled that desire and then I was back to working my way through the manual at Chapter 3.

Chapter 1 was Getting Ready and Chapter 2 Sewing Basics. Most of the information was very machine specific and was a matter of reading the instruction and then finding the part referenced and trying out a few stitches. It was, deservedly, slow.  Chapter 3 is all about the Utility Stitches.  I found it helpful that the manual would show the stitch, the foot to use and then suggested uses for that stitch. I’m in love with the buttonholes and button sew on foot . I attached the ball button by hand but the buttonhole foot automatically selected the correct size. I’ll keep in mind that it might need a little assistance for a more rounded button.

The stitching is as beautiful on the reverse as it is on the public side!!!!

I was also impressed with the hemming although I think I adapted to the Ruby Viking quicker.  In my sample I’ve stitched on the wrong side (hangs head) but you can see that with a fine thread, the hem becomes nearly invisible.  I’m not sure what the difference is, I’m thinking it is the needle position.  With the Ruby, I bump the fabric up next to the foot and the hem is perfect every time. I never test. But the Ruby has assumed its new role of Embroidery Only Machine and will not be hemming for the foreseeable future.  Since I do produce a good stitch most of the time with the Dream Machine, I think with a little more practice, I can produce a good hem all the time.

I was happy with couching stitches as well as many other utility stitches, but blown away by the darning function.

3 types of darning in the upper right corner

I know a lot of people are not even interested in darning stitches. I have a DH who after 7 decades of tangling with barbed wire fences doesn’t realize he will always lose. Always.  In the last 4 decades he has discovered that if he brings his jeans to me, I will make repairs so they are ready for the next fence altercation.   Really pleased with setting up the button-hole foot and using it for darning (shown at top right of sample).

I did not spend nearly as much time with Chapter 3, maybe 4 hours , as compared with the 20 spent on Chapters 1 and 2.  I did not test every stitch or procedure as I did with the previous chapters.  I know for instance that when I need the Mov-it Foot or the Free Motion Quilting W/Laser,  I will spend ‘quality time’ focused on that single technique.  The Free Motion will especially need effort to synchronize my movements with the machine.  I was never really successful at FM with my Ruby.  Got my fingers crossed that the Dream Machine will be a little more compatible.   The other thing making this chapter a shorter experience for me, was that I didn’t like some of the procedures.  I know that Brother is trying to present procedures that can be done by anyone with no other tools or assistance.  I took a particular exception to the dart procedure which has the dart stitched from wide to narrow point;  and cutting threads leaving 6-8″ tails which are then  knotted, threaded through a needle and poked back up into the dart. Holy cow!  I know at least 3 other methods that produce a beautiful point without so much effort.

In times past, I would have made a sample of every stitch and played with stitch length as well width.  I didn’t do that during this session but am not ruling it out for the future.  I’ve already realized, just with Chapters 1 and 2, that I will need to review the manual again and again.  There is so much information that I won’t remember it all.  At the moment, I’m considering a monthly calendar reminder to prompt me to review in depth a single technique.  I’m eager to move onto exploring all the features of this Dream Machine but realize there is a lot of excellent information I will not want forgotten