Thursday, August 25, 2016

Adding to the Collection - a Singer 15-88

I've been a good girl for quite a while, and then for some reason I found myself taking a mooch at Kijiji, and what should I see - a handcrank Singer sewing machine.  This was actually my very first sewing machine that my parents bought me (a couple of years ago, honest, and for just GBP12).  Sadly I don't recall what happened to it, but seeing this one for sale made me think about it.  So I made a offer, and this lovely lady came home with me:

Cinders (I will be transforming her into the Princess that she truly wants to be!), is a 15-88 and was made in Prussia.  Her serial number is C3390349.  Unfortunately as the Russians invaded Prussia during WWII and cleared out the factory, there is no information on her exact age, but that is OK with me!

She is really grimy - I'm thinking that it may be nicotine (although it doesn't smell at all), and I'm slowly getting her cleaned.  She has a really smooth action, although I need to replace a wire guide on the tension control.  There is a bit of rust and some chrome missing on the hand-wheel, but once this is done, I'll be able to sit at the table and sew away whilst watching TV with Mr. SDSC.  I'm aiming for a sewing machine in every room - I don't think he has noticed yet!

Incidentally, this is a great site for help and instructions to overhaul handcranks and treadles.  It is from a UK site that refurbs machines for transport out to Africa.

I really love these old Singers, I use my Featherweight for doing buttonholes as it is much better than my Pfaff, and I have a couple of others that just are so lovely to look at - what fabulous stories they could no doubt tell.  Oh, and Cinders has a working reverse stitch.  A hand-crank with a reverse stitch!  The one on my Pfaff died years ago so it will be quite a treat being able to reverse!

So you have a soft spot for older machines>  Do share!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tuffets and Bargellos

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had bought a class pass for the Summer that allowed me to take as many sewing classes (at one of my local quilt shops), as I wanted for no extra charge - well apart from class supplies . . . . . !  And I have now taken two more classes that were great fun!

The first was a 'two fabric bargello' and I saw one of these at the quilt show I visited in May (fourth pic down) and when I found out that there was a class - I was all over it like a rash!

As I don't really have much of a sense of colour, I chose a fabric kit, and got sewing:

This was yet another fun sew, and only took two fabrics (the clue was in the pattern name!) and some plain black for the borders.  The main red/orange fabric is a kind of ombre, and the bubble fabric just co-ordinates with every thing.  You essentially sew a band of the bubble fabric onto each end of the ombre fabric to make a tube, and then lots of cutting later you have 30ish strips of fabric that are sewn together in a particular manner to get the 'tick'.  I have to say that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  Each stripe has to be carefully numbered, and there may have been a bit of 'fricking and fracking', but I am really pleased with this.

The black fabric looks a rather shiny - I was trying to get a photo on the deck and it was probably a bit too sunny.  It is matt black, and I will use this plain black for the binding.  There are a couple of shows coming up and I will try and get this done and entered.  I can dream!

My next class was over two Sundays, and resulted in a tuffet!  Now I know my British buddies will understand what a tuffet is - just think 'Little Miss Muffet', or as we used to call them as kids, a pouffe.

This is the underside, eventually the feet will be screwed in here and the button will be tied off.

And here is it, all covered.  The fabric I used was from a jelly roll of Canadiana fabric.  The strips are sewn onto a foundation piece that acts as a shaped pattern.  Oh and I added a label - well, you would, wouldn't you!  I also wrote my name and the date on the wooden base - just in case in years to come, someone re-upholsters it!  And this is what it looks like right side up!

I love it!  It has a diameter of about 18" and is about 12" tall.  It is a fully upholstered piece of furniture (unlike cheaper, inferior versions, we were warned!)  I will likely make another one - but it was rather expensive to make.

And these are the ones made by my class mates:

A lovely mix of different width pieces of fabric.  The cover is made up of 8 sections, so with a bit of maths, and you can alter the width of the strips.

The one above reminds me of liquorice allsorts.  It is interesting to see how fabulous the highly patterned fabric transformed into a rather sophisticated tuffet.  Just three fabrics were used for this version.

This red, white and black version was also made with a jelly roll of Canadiana fabric.  This time the fabric is batik and it is very striking.

The last one to show you is from a very soft palette of colours and the button in the middle has been embroidered with the makers initials.  Gorgeous.

It really has been a great summer of sewing.  I've made loads of small pouches and other odds and end for charity, as well as quite a lot of dressmaking.  

I have a few garments to share - mostly variations on a theme as I am thoroughly entrenched in my Tina Givens/Lagenlook style, and she is advertising that she has a lot of new patterns for Autumn - so I am looking forward to that!  I am also thinking of something similar to the Kaliyana Anti Suit, oooh, so many plans!

Before I go, just a reminder that I am selling off one or two patterns on Etsy (cough, cough, about 400), so please help a fellow sewing buddy out and take a look and grab some bargains.  Postage has been a bit of a nightmare to calculate - and I have credited a couple of orders where it actually worked out cheaper than my calculations (this has happened on a couple of orders of multiple patterns) - so feel free to contact me for a postage quote if it seems a bit expensive. Oh, and 20% off until the end of August with the code SDSC20.

That's about it for me - how has your Summer been?