Friday, 4 September 2015

Brother Jones and Advance PJs

One of the must makes for me this summer were pyjamas - all my pyjamas were a sorry state of worn out leggings and tee shirts, so I ran up a shibori pair and two of advance 8148. 

advance 8148 pyjamas from bedlinen

The advance pyjamas looked particularly handy as there is no button up jacket, and as it turned out, I didn't need to bother with the 2 buttons recommended.  One handy thing about making pyjamas is I took as many shortcuts and slapdash as I felt under no obligation for a particular finish!  My grading of the pattern was a bit off, and I never lowered the darts enough and didnt lower the pocket at all! I never noticed the pocket oversight till the end (doh!).  The first pair were made from an old sheet, and I thought the taupe colour sophisticated, but as pyjamas it looks a bit more institutional - I probably should have trimmed it, but ...... that didn't happen.  The main fiddly part of the pattern was the collar, which wasn't really that fiddly just something I never made before.  Feeling incredibly organised having matching pyjamas!
advance 8148 pyjamas from bedlinen

The second pair are not yet finished.  They are made from some red linen scraps and ikea pillowcases.  The pillowcases were probably donated to the charity shop as they were so badly made and could not be ironed flat the weave/cut was so off, which was fixed when they were opened up.  I decided to make them up on the Brother Jones machine which I finally got repaired. 
advance 8148 pyjamas from bedlinen

I got this machine from a friend.  It was left behind in the house they bought some years back.  Since then, it was stored in the attic, and it never had a cover.  When she asked did I want it, I said yes.  It was a case of 'speak now think later'  as I didn't know if it worked and had forgot about repair costs and I have never lifted a machine as heavy as this one.  When I got it home, I cleaned it and checked it.  It kinda worked but I didn't use it as there could be a lot of gunk in the motor and I didn't want to damage it.  I got it repaired, and it goes like a charm.  I figure it was a home workers machine, and it seems to have been repaired over the years and pieces replaced - namely the plate the presser foot sits on!  Unfortunately the plate will only allow a straight stitch (the hole under the presser foot is too small for zig zag) even though the machine can do zig zag.  

What I love love love about the machine is that the feed dogs are adjustable (my singer can really clamp the fabric), and the presser foot pressure is adjustable.  It has a side loading bobbin which is fine but not a favourite as I think they are fiddly and you can never see how much bobbin thread is left.  However, I can totally overlook this as the machine sews like a dream.  

There were a few issues of seam puckering at the start but it could have been my threading, and I have not had the same issue since but notice the thread can stray here and there so I am keeping an eye on it.  (it seems to come out of the guard easily....). Its hard to find a manual for these as there is no serial number or model number as with the Singer, so I don't know if there is any feature I am missing.

Aimee at the wrongdoll  has this machine, and she made the most amazing denim skirt with fabulous top-stitching , so if I can achieve anything near that standard, I will be doing well indeed!


  1. Hurrah!! I finally get to see the Brother Jones - what a beauty! I am so glad you managed to breath life into it - there is something so romantic for me about these old machines and like you say, they can sew like a dream, given a little love and care.

    I recently bought a new Janome from John Lewis and then someone from my work got in touch to say they had a vintage Singer I could take off there hands which had been unused in their loft for 25 years! So I've returned the Janome and taken the Singer for a service - at the moment when you switch it on it won't stop sewing as there is some kind of electrical fault. However, I have high hopes for it, as it is virtually unused with zig zag and button hole functionality if I can get it fixed. Fingers crossed :) If it springs back into life I will be posting about her for sure.

    I love the pyjamas - both the institutional and pillowcase version - really nice, unusual pattern. They are on my list of aspirations.

    1. I just looked up your Singer 328 to see what it looks like and it looks quite similar in style to the 538 I have just acquired - yours looks prettier though. The good news is the electrical fault has been fixed so I will be able to control the on and offing! Just waiting to find out if the zig zag and button hole work - if they do I will be a very happy sewist indeed. I definitely haven't got room to acquire any more old sewing machines - which is a shame as I could easily turn into a collector - they are uber functional and things of such beauty. I'll post some pictures of my new steed once I've gained possession.

  2. Wowzers!!!! I have just looked up the display you mentioned - that's is something else. I am going to spend the next half hour googling about it instead of doing some prep for work tomorrow. Thanks for mentioning it. I love the whole industrial stylings All Saints have employed - absolutely wicked. I've just looked up Novum machines too (never heard of them before) and seen some beauties. I look forward to next week's instalment! The 24 hour or more validation period is a good one - I tend to employ it when it comes to clothes that I don't need. However, since I've got into making, buying clothes has lost it's allure which is no bad thing :) x