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Topics - Madame Cholet

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Sewing Machines / (Possibly) looking for an industrial table...
« on: February 21, 2018, 18:32:46 PM »
Hmmm... the Bernina 840 flatbed that I bought last year for a fiver and resurrected has had my bodged-on feeble domestic motor removed now because I wickedly attempted to make it stitch through umpteen layers of bag components. Which unsurprisingly it couldn't quite manage.

So I remembered the DC motors made by a chap in Cornwall that I had seen for sale in his ebay shop some time ago. Although the size of a domestic sewing machine motor, being DC they provide high torque on starting. Not enough to sew thick veg tanned leather but powerful enough to cope with multiple bag component layers and shoe uppers. I first contacted him a month ago and he has been back in touch and there have been emails exchanged with photos etc but things are happening really slooooowly and I still don't have one of his motors, there's none in his ebay shop, I don't know when I can expect to get one, and tbh I'm getting impatient now and my mind has wandered off on a tangent that goes something like this...

... OK I hadn't really got space for an industrial table... but then again I have just had a jolly good clear out of the spare room and put up oodles of shelves thus freeing up floor space... and if I slide the tumble drier into the corner and put those toolboxes into the cupboard.... then I could fit an industrial table in there...  :ninja: 

So I am wondering the following:
1. where would I start looking for an industrial table - just the table and motor - no machine?
2. what would I expect to pay? (second hand; cheap if possible)
3. the size of the cut out on the top - are they tailored to each machine or is there some kind of standard size?

The annoying thing is that I used to own a Brother industrial machine which was in excellent repair, not a scratch, and a lovely machine. Then when my life took yet another unexpected and 'interesting' turn and I had to sell the house I (part) owned several years back, I had to downsize considerably and was forced to let it go. I had to sell in a hurry and the local sewing machine shop gave me £50 for it (ouch) and the man made out like he was doing me some kind of favour because he said he would have to buy a new clutch motor before he would be able to sell it again. I don't know what truth there was in that but to this day every time I pass his shop I still grit my teeth  -<
(And relaaaax...  :))

So... the back of my mind is churning away and wondering if getting an industrial base is a practical idea. I'd put up with a clutch motor but the humming can be irritating but there'd always be the option of one day upgrading to a posh and (mostly) silent servo motor instead. I don't want to let DC motor man down but then again I've waited a month now and nothing has materialised. So... I'm just wondering about the possibility of what I had previously considered to be not possible!

I saw this & I thought you may be interested! / Bernina 807 £30 Edinburgh
« on: February 12, 2018, 13:02:23 PM »
These are really very lovely little machines and usually go for much, much more!
It's like the baby sister of the 830, being a lot smaller and having fewer stitches.

Edit to add - the most usual fault with these is a cracked stitch cam gear so if anyone from here is interested and goes for a test drive, check that all of the different stitches sew ok.

I went to Quiltfest Llangollen yesterday and I was blown away by the fabulousness of the quilts I saw on display there.
There were many quilts that had applique work on them, and the majority of these had what looked like a machined blanket stitch around the edges of each appliqued motif.
The stitching looked wonderful, but sadly none of my vintage Berninas can sew such a stitch
.... or can they?
So I spent some time tonight playing on my 930, and realised that a hack is possible after all. 

I selected the blindstitch, set the stitch width to 2.0, and the stitch length to 1. I set the 930 to half speed so it would just chug along quite slowly.
The blindstitch consists of 6 stitches. First are sewn 4 straight stitches, then stitch 5 has the needle swing to the left, and finally stitch 6 swings the needle back to the right.

I found if I counted along with the stitches, counting 1, 2, 3, 4 (- as the needle sewed the 4 straight stitches) then on the count of 5 (- for stitch 5) lifted the stitch length knob all the way up (- as though for reverse), then on the count of 6 (- for stitch 6) lower the knob back down for normal sewing again, I managed a passable blanket stitch:

In front of the presser foot is the normal blindstitch.
On the left is my blanket stitching.
In between the two is a line of vari-overlock stitch plus the towelling stitch, which is like a kind of wonky blanket stitch, which I tried out but is not suitable at all for what I wanted.
Please ignore the stitches directly below the motif... they were from me trying to do a Bernina mock hand quilting stitch, and the less said about that the better.... I read about the technique in an old Bernina leaflet, where it looked quite impressive, but try as I might I can't get it to happen.

I like my faux blanket stitch though, I think with a little more practice I'd do a neater job, and I'm sure I could put it to use somewhere.

Mods - this may well be in the wrong place, but as it involves my vintage Bernina I put it in vintage machines - please move as appropriate if need be  :)


 ??? :vintage: :)

(Edited to add 'copy image location' link so the pic from gumtree would show; I tried to make it a bit smaller but I don't know how  :S)

Access All Accessories / My first attempt at making a bag
« on: January 20, 2018, 16:07:32 PM »
I found a link to some free bag patterns on @Hachi 's blog, and decided to make myself one - the Gerbera Cross Body Bag by Blue Calla.

It's the first bag I have ever made, and just in case it all went horribly wrong and ended up in the bin, it is made from charity shop remnant linen blend (outer), an old pillowcase (lining), and some fleece scraps from my stash. The pansy is my first stab at free motion embroidery, from a few months ago.

I stuck to the bag pattern apart from piecing the front panel as my embroidery piece was smaller than the panel pattern piece. I skipped using interfacing for the outer linen blend pieces, because although I have some in the house somewhere I couldn't find it but wanted to make a start on the bag anyway; I won't do that again, as I think the absence of interfacing shows. Also I used ordinary fleece stitched to the lining in the seam allowances, as I didn't have any fusible fleece to hand and again as this was essentially a practice piece I was happier using what I already had.

The fleece I used was quite thick so the bag feels very soft and padded, and has already been put to use as a place to safely store my sat nav  8)

I enjoyed making the bag, and I'm really pleased that the mystery that is bag making is beginning to reveal itself to me.
I'm planning to make another, again a practice piece from scraps. The next one I intend to make is the Clematis wristlet bag, also a free pattern from Blue Calla. I'll post pics up in this thread when it's done, all being well. 
(The free Blue Calla .pdf bag patterns link is

[Later edit to add pic].

Here is the link:

I discovered these on reading Hachi's blog... thanks Hachi  :loveit:


The seller is asking for £20. I think it may be a 12K but don't quote me on that as I am not completely up to par with ID'ing vintage vintage Singers.

This ebay auction ends in around an hour - at 11.36 am today - with currently one bid at £2.56.

They are around £30 to purchase new. There are some very poor quality clone feet out there but I don't think this is one of those.

I hope this link is useful to someone  8)

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