My Expensive Buttonholes

I absolutely love my Baby Lock Molly, but the one thing that didn’t please me was the single, automatic buttonhole. It just never seemed very nice. I know the Molly is capable of a nice buttonhole, because once the repair person demonstrated for me and it came out great . . . but somehow I never managed to duplicate his adjustments.

Not liking the buttonhole option has kept me from considering making tops that have visible buttons, which is limiting.

So I have bought a new sewing machine principally for buttonholes. Yesterday, I received my Brother 660LA, which seems to be a great machine despite it’s hot pink detailing. Right out of the box, the tension and stitch density on the buttonholes were much better than I ever got from my Molly—and this without a single adjustment, and on a single layer of muslin with no interfacing or button cording.

This machine has a lot of other features to play with, including many decorative stitches and three sets of fonts for lettering, meaning I could do some light monograming.

My little craft room is filling up with machines. It feels kind of crazy, but I love it . . . and if I’m going to be home a lot, I might as well have many things I can play with here.

Craft Room Solutions

Living in NYC, space is at a premium. Ever since I started to sew and knit, I’ve been trying to find ways to hide my machines and supplies. Whenever I start a project, I must haul out all my tools, which invariably take over our dining area/foyer and part of our living room.

It is such a hassle to store away my supplies after an hour or two of work, so all stays out.

Finally, I think I have found a solution.

It’s a craft cart on casters. I assembled it during a bout of insomnia last night and spent this evening labeling drawers and going through my disorganized bits and bobs.

My thought is that I can wheel it out each day, stationing it either by my “cutting table” or in front of the couch, or even in the office if I want to hang out with my Awesome Hubby.

To encourage me to put tools away immediately, I divided drawers by function.

They are:

  • Cutting/Pinning
  • Mending/Hemming (Tools)
  • Test Scraps (cutoffs of current project fabrics that I can use to test stitches)
  • Tracing
  • Knitting (Tools)
  • To Mend
  • To Rip/Tink
  • Muslins
  • And four “Project” drawers to store supplies for current or upcoming projects.

I could use a clip on light and some sort of hanging bucket on one side to store overlong objects like yardsticks and rolls of tracing paper. Unfortunately, I have not yet found what I need.

Suggestions on how I could make this setup better are very welcome.


I found this nice drawstring bag stuffed into a drawer, and it ties neatly onto the side of my cart to store oversized items. Very useful and easy!

My New Assistant


I’ve been away for three years, but now I’m back–with a lovely new sewing assistant, Jasper!

I’m also back with a new set of challenges, having been diagnosed recently with an autoimmune illness called Sjogren’s Syndrome. The diagnosis has brought much relief of one handful of troublesome symptoms (chiefly, terrible anxiety), while highlighting others that require some real reconsideration of how I use my energy (chiefly, chronic fatigue).