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Topics - b15erk

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Vintage Machines / Spoilt for choice
« on: Yesterday at 09:18:46 »
I decided that I would give my Pfaff1475 a bit of a break, as I do realise that she isn't getting any younger.  So, I moved over to the Bernina 730 Record.

I've always like this machine, but had a major niggle with the footpedal, and the jerky start at the beginning of seams sometimes.  I seem to have resolved that, and I can report that the Bernina is running beautifully - the embroidery stitches are a particular delight. I had run out of blue ricrac braid for the Dorothy blouse (for Lilya), and as it was just a try out, I decided to give the ricrac stitch a go.  It looks beautiful.  Pic below.

Then I moved on to the Singer 611g, which I haven't used for a while, and is mainly kept set up to do the most beautiful buttonholes.  So, after a bit of a clean, and a drop of oil, I put her through her paces.  She is lovely.  She makes a wonderful sound, very quiet, but quick.

I am very spoilt. 

Just the Featherweight, and the 15k, to bring up to speeed, and I have the most wonderful team of machines to play with at home.   :)


Vintage Machines / Bernina 730 footpedal
« on: February 19, 2018, 09:32:29 AM »
I decided to give this old girl an outing at the weekend to give the poor old Pfaff a break. 

I now know why I don't use it more - the footpedal!  It's a great clumpy, brute of a thing, and hard to get the right pressure on the foot.  You need to press down pretty firmly, but if you press it slightly too hard in the wrong spot, it snatches at the fabric and runs away with it.  I decided that using it sideways on was giving me more control, but I was wondering if other people have the same problem with these old footpedals?  Is there anywhere to lubricate, or just make it lighter to press?

I also had a bit of an issue with the presser foot lifter not operating properly, but that seems to have been resolved by generous lubrication - by jove these old Bernina's have plenty of lubricating points!  :o

The old girl is running beautifully, but if I could sort out the foot pedal, I'm sure I would use her more often.


The Cafe / Safe/reputable Websites?
« on: February 15, 2018, 08:47:39 AM »
Sorry if this is in the wrong place, but wasn't sure where else to put it.

My query is about websites which we find when Googling, but which ask us to log in, and look a bit to good to be true.

My query atm relates to the website, which appears to offer free access to many published documents.

In my case I was looking for technical information about my old overlocker, and came across what looks like a very useful book 'The Complete Serger Handbook', it seems to be free access, but is asking you to log in to download.

Does anyone know of this website and how reputable it is?  I don't want to download stuff only to find that I'm inundated with rubbish, and potentially bad things.

Hoping someone will have some ideas.


The Cafe / Philips 7400 back from the brink!
« on: February 13, 2018, 09:27:24 AM »
I've been having trouble with my Steam Generator iron for some time now, the steam was either not coming, or coming in massive bursts accompanied by a loud growling noise, and spitting brown stuff.   A couple of weeks ago I decided to clean it, a rather big job, as it is in a permanent situation where it can't be knocked off.

So, I freed up the iron, got a large bowl, and turned the iron base upside down - emptying the reservoir and the calc clean site.  I swilled everything out with clean water - there was quite a bit of muck and calcification in there, plugged it in, and it was a bit better....  ><

It's not been marvellous since then, and on Sunday, I tried to do some ironing, and I had no steam at all  :o.  This was when I decided I needed a new SG Iron.  The prices!  To upgrade my Philips was going to cost nearly £200!! At this point, I thought it worth having another go at fixing it myself.....

So, last night, I watched as many videos as possible, to pick up any tips at all for getting this beast running again.  I had nothing to lose, and with that in mind, I used a tip which isn't recommended by Philips - white vinegar.

At stoopid o'clock this morning, I remembered that I had a large bottle of this, and dismantled the SGI to take it into the kitchen to be attended to.

I sat it on the drainer, emptied the reservoirs into a clean bowl (there was a lot of muck in there), and started the deep clean.  I diluted the white vinegar with water, and filled the reservoir and clean calc tank with it.  I left it to stand for a few minutes before swirling it round, and tipping it into the bowl.  There was so much stuff coming out - it looked a bit like iron filings, and no surprise that my iron wasn't working.  Not wanting my ironing to smell of vinegar, I rinsed both reservoirs out several times, before I switched the iron on....

No joy.  The iron was heating up, but no steam was being generated....

OH came down, and after the usual conversation about the early hour, and smell of vinegar in the kitchen he asked if it was working yet.  Unfortunately, it wasn't.

It was worth it though to try to save £200.  I decided I would give it one last go. 

I left it to heat up for a bit longer before trying again, primed the steam button, still nothing....

AND THEN - there was a massive blast of steam, and it just carried on coming!!  Just at the point that we had decided it had to be a new iron!

So, ladies, before ditching your iron, give it some tlc.  I used the white vinegar as a last resort, and although Philips do not recommend it, it appears to have done the trick.

I've left the SGI in the kitchen to try it again before I put it back in place - and it will be filled with distilled water as a precaution against calcium build ups.

Hope this helps someone who like me was on the verge of hurling their iron through the window, or buying a new one, as they are not cheap.


Overlockers & Coverstitchers / Riccar RL624 Overlocker
« on: February 12, 2018, 15:57:34 PM »
I have had this machine from new, and a few months ago I broke the feed dogs while trying to replace the stuck blade.

The blade has been replaced, and the feed dogs (thank you Helen Howes), but the machine has been sitting there for some time now as I can't get a stitch out of it, and it's making a noise that it wasn't making before.

I'm going to have one last stab at it, before sending it to the tip.

Anyone worked on overlockers before?  Any tips?

Technical information on Youtube is very thin on the ground, and I can't get hold of a repair manual anywhere.


The Cafe / Got a bit of a problem...
« on: February 12, 2018, 13:55:15 PM »
Not sewing related.

I took one of OH's watches in for a repair before Christmas.  The chap I use is on the market, and I was told that it may have to be sent away and could be gone several weeks.  Not a problem, OH has other watches, and I'd used the chap very often before so left it with him.

I'd been back a few times since Christmas, but the girls couldn't find the watch, and assumed it was still away.  This Saturday though, they said that the boss knew about it, and could I come back when he was in.

I did so, and found that my husband's watch had been stolen by an opportunist thief whilst the chap was working on it.  He said that if I brought a picture of it in he would try to get something similar for me....

I was quite taken aback at how casually he was treating the matter.  Whilst it wasn't an expensive watch it was quite unusual, and OH had had it for 30+ years.  It was bought from one of the Sunday magazine 'limited edition' offers, because it was so unusual.

OH was quite annoyed at the blase attitude, but neither of us know what rights we have in these circumstances....

Do I put it down to experience or what?

I've spent the morning looking for similar watches, but nothing is coming up.

I've put a pic up of something which gives and idea of the watch, but OH's is the zodiac sign Taurus, and far nicer.

Any ideas folks?


The Cafe / Ebay strikes again
« on: February 08, 2018, 09:14:54 AM »
Last week, while looking for something else, I came across a Clover mini iron, on Ebay for £12.99 + £3.89 postage.  Well, at that price I had to have it, especially as I'm doing some FPP, for which it would be really useful.

It came yesterday.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. All that was in the package was the iron, in a cardboard square tube (?).

But, it had two heat settings so I switched it on.  It took a while to heat up, so I read the packaging.  The instructions said that it should not be used without the stand.  I checked, no stand.  Then I smelt burning - it had rolled over onto my bag lining and burnt a hole! 

So, I fired off an email, and when it had gone, I had another look at the instructions - such as they are.  The iron should have come with a bag as well as the iron, so off went another email....

Then I realised that nowhere did the name Clover appear....

Another email went off.

The replies - three up to now:

hello, the Chinese gave a piece of a nasty tin, the best to buy a normal soldering iron stand,
unfortunately in the new delivery in UK plug version - they do not make any of these plates, we can also make a small refund for this blade, but it is better and safer to buy a soldering stand e.g. such:
eBay item number:361413639368

this product dont have the bag

yes this model zd-733 is mini iron,
dont look to packing, this is made in china frequent mistakes in manual or packing

of course if you dont want this iron just sent it back and we will make FULL refund

or if you want keep and refund 4GBP for missing bag and stand let me know

All three replies are inadequate.  The offer of a refund would be good, but I will have then paid 2 lots of postage, for something which is clearly not as described, and could possibly be dangerous.

Any thought on how to proceed girls? 

I saw this & I thought you may be interested! / Stitch My Style
« on: February 06, 2018, 09:18:03 AM »
I stumbled across this on YouTube, and thought it may be of interest to those of you who like sewing videos.

She does remind me of Trudy from Hot Patterns, but can't seem to find out much about this sewer - not even her name!

Entertaining though.


Technical Help / Repairing a cut
« on: February 01, 2018, 10:07:35 AM »
I've been asked to repair the dress DGD was wearing when she cut her leg.  The cut is just over 2" but not straight.

I would normally butt the edges of the fabric together, neatening any loose fibres, stabilise, and zig zag.

The dress is 100% cotton and quite a busy print, so should be easy enough, but I don't do many repairs, and it would be good to know if anyone has any better ideas?

I've attached a picture.


The Cafe / Just when you think you've done it all...
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:51:46 AM »
I've been sewing and knitting since I was a little girl, tried everything or so I thought.  Dressmaking, Soft furnishings, Curtains, blinds, bit of patchwork, EPP, toy making, bag making, free motion work.

But, every time I think I've covered everything, I find there is yet another another (new to me) skill to tackle.  Sewing really is the gift which keeps on giving!  :)

The latest thing to excite me is Foundation Paper Piecing.  Who knew that such wonderful projects could be made from small bits of fabric? 

Wish me luck as I embark on the journey to make the Unicorn with the technicolour mane!  I aim to emulate the one made by Sandra - wonderful work! 

It could take me some time... ;)


I popped in to the Willowbrook Charity Warehouse yesterday.  Not much to interest me - but, they have lots of end rolls of furnishing fabric.

The warehouse is in the old BT building facing Morrrisons in Sutton.  If anyone is interested I'll happily provide better directions.


Technical Help / How do you attach a collar and stand?
« on: January 23, 2018, 10:12:52 AM »
I know there are several ways of doing this, but thought it worth asking the question as techniques do tend to evolve.

I'm tempted to try the one pass method where you press up the sa's on the collar stand and slip them over the neck edge.

Your thoughts please, will as always be much appreciated.


In the wardrobe / It's time for plan B....
« on: January 23, 2018, 09:10:42 AM »
Well, it would be if I had one.  I'm feeling great sympathy with Lowena atm and wonder what I learnt in all the years I've been sewing.

From the beginning.  I need a frock for a Christening at the weekend, and decided on a shirtdress.  Made the toile with just a few small concerns which were mainly about sleeves.  I wore this toile on Sunday, and was very pleased with it.

The usual agony over fabric for the 'real' frock, but I went with the one which went best with my new shoes, and I was ggod to go.  All cut out, then decided to line the body, not a big problem.  Back pleat and little hangy thingy done, front pleats done, and on to the placket.  This went in beautifully, perfectly aligned and just ready to stitch the bottom down - when IT happened.  I went to fit the collar, and realised - I hadn't done the yoke!!

At that point, I restrained myself, but walked downstairs and had a rather large V&T.....

I really don't want to attempt to unpick the placket on this one just yet, I think it might just make things worse as I've already clipped into the corners.

So, I've chosen to start again with new fabric.  A bit more boring compared to the first one, but I can't face the unpicking, and don't have enough fabric to re-cut the front.

Wish me more luck with this second one, I think I'll need it....

Jessie  :'( :'( :'(

I saw this & I thought you may be interested! / Simplicity 8269
« on: January 22, 2018, 10:32:43 AM »
If anyone is interested, these are available on FB for £4.

Looks like a very versatile pattern, and my OH needs pyjama bottoms!

The lady is Peta Yates.  I think hope this is the link:


Access All Accessories / UFO Bag Help needed
« on: January 12, 2018, 13:10:26 PM »
As part of my 2018 Sewing Plan, I want to get rid of some UFO's.  The first one is a bag.  I can't remember the name of the pattern, but I don't think that will affect the help I need with it.

The bag is quite large, and I've use strong stiffening which looks nice, but is making it difficult to sew the gusset (?) on, to make it even on both sides.

The gusset is quite wide 20cms, and so there is a lot of bulk to get under the machine.

Any help at all would be appreciated.

I'll make a start by trying to find which pattern it is, and maybe try to take some pictures.


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