The Sewing Place

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Messages - HenriettaMaria

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I think framing it will be a good idea.  Google reveals all - will take a look in detail once the house is right side up again!

Embroidery and Embellishment / Bedroom refurb = no machine sewing!
« on: July 08, 2017, 14:52:47 PM »
So we moved onto our bedroom in the long-running saga of doing up this 90-year-old property.  Consequently our bed is decanted to the extension/office/study and the hanging rail and assorted boxes are in the third bedroom, which is where the sewing machines live.  No room in there now, so no machining. 

While I was in Scotland seeing DM at Easter, she gave me a picnic basket full of her cross-stitch stuff, which she is abandoning due to the aching upper back it causes her.  One of the items in it was a picture of DS as a tot that she'd done about a dozen stitches of before giving up.  So I decided to give it a go, never having done cross-stitch in my life and never having much enthusiasm for embroidery either.

Well, I don't think I'll do another any time soon - it is a bit too close to painting-by-numbers for me.  I don't think it will win any awards - the back looks like it needs a shave (but as DH says, who looks at the back?).  Nonetheless, there's some satisfaction in finishing it and it kept the sewing mojo going while the work went on upstairs.  Here's the result.

Embroidery and Embellishment / Some beautiful C16th smocking
« on: May 08, 2017, 12:09:06 PM »
An acquaintance shared this with me.  It's a find in the Museum of London.

Patterns Discussion / Re: Recommended trench coat patterns?
« on: April 24, 2017, 14:24:54 PM »
I made Vogue 8121 in the 80's and it worked well, is lined, and has the option of a further detachable warmer lining, but it is long out of print.  You may find it on the Vintage sites.

Vintage Machines / My new, old Singer
« on: April 19, 2017, 14:58:12 PM »
So while DH and DS were in Austria skiing last week, and in DH's case, acquiring the need for crutches for a ruptured calf muscle :S, I went to Scotland to see DM.  She's now 81 and suffers from scoliosis of the spine and cannot lift anything heavy. 

For xmas 1978 DF traded her unbelievably heavy, knee-lift, cantankerous, 2nd hand Singer (probably a 15 or similar) for a spanking new 522.  I turned 21 a few months later so I got one too and, while I got fed up of four-step buttonholes, I could do just about anything I wanted on that machine - it became an extension of my hands in the end.  Mine died in 2000 and, while I am happy with its electronic Brother replacement, there's something about it that means it's harder to do dead-straight lines of stitching, for instance.  Maybe the trend towards bigger presser feet is something to do with it.

Anyway, when DM offered me her old machine I bit her hand off!  I've just been upstairs oiling the moving parts and trying it out.  The motor smells like my wee brother's Triang-Hornby train set did (ozone, maybe?), but it works a treat.  Here it is on my sewing table.  This, BTW, is the table that nearly got scrapped last year when the veneer really started to come away but DH and I stripped the rest of it off with wallpaper scrapers and sanded it down.  I then varnished it - the apparent grain is just brush strokes - and it looks pukka again.  Not bad for something that's been in the family since the 1930's!

The Show Must Go On / 19th Century Costume Resource
« on: April 19, 2017, 12:52:58 PM »
In the current edition of History Scotland magazine there's a piece about an early Victorian hunting coat.  At the end, there is a mention of a free app for Android and iGadgets called "A Century of Style: Costume and Colour 1800-1899" that complements an exhibition that was held at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum a year or two back.  I haven't looked at it as I'm not a C19th addict, but thought I'd mention it in case any of you are!

Vintage Machines / Re: Janome New Home siezed completely
« on: April 16, 2017, 20:10:30 PM »
It is definitely not computerised - it has dials for fixed stitch selection and a variable stitch length wheel.  Inside the top of the machine are discs that are all on the same spindle but have slightly different profiles around their perimeters.  Then there is a 'pointer' which, presumably, moves with the stitch selection dial and transmits the ups and downs of the profile to the needle positioner, thus giving the different stitches.

I'll suggest WD40, but that might require an expedition in itself!

Thank you

Vintage Machines / Janome New Home siezed completely
« on: April 16, 2017, 15:22:13 PM »
I was in Scotland visiting DM while DH & DS were off skiing last week.  Visited auntie, who pointed out a SM in the bottom of the wardrobe and asked if I was interested.  In fact, as I was relieving DM of her Singer 522 as her scoliosis means she can't lift it any more, I wasn't but thought the little New Home might be worth looking at as a replacement.  Its layout and functionality is identical to that offered by the machine currently offered by John Lewis for £99, which given it was originally purchased as a gift for Aunty #2, who died in 1988, just goes to show that some designs keep on going!  It must be at least 35 years old in that case.  DM & auntie assure me both DM's and this machine were serviced not more than 10 years ago.

So we got it onto the kitchen table to have a look at it.  The presser foot was down with a sample piece of calico under it (zig zag & buttonhole tests, I'd expect).  I could not get the foot up.  There was a bit of play on the lever but nothing moved.  So I tried the hand wheel.  No movement of the needle either.

Next I read the manual (such as it is) and took off the top and right side panels.  The left side panel swings out on an hinge.  I then oiled the movable parts and gave it five mins.  I checked the inner wheel and verified that it turns in both directions as you would expect for bobbin winding.  The drive belt move but nothing shifts. 

I plugged in the power and it lit up.  The motor responded but it couldn't move anything either.

The problem for 80-something ladies with no car is that they live at the extreme east end of Dundee and the nearest servicer, according to the lady who takes in alterations locally, is in Kirkcaldy.  So there's no chance of their getting it into the workshop.  I also suspect that, given a new machine of the same spec can be had for under £100, the engineer may very well declare it a write-off.  So, my question is, is it a dead duck?  Or does anyone have any tips that might solve things?

Fun with Fabric / Re: Interfacing?
« on: March 29, 2017, 21:42:42 PM »
I was taught that for very lightweight fabric you should self-interface using the fashion fabric of the main garment.  If you really don't want to do that you absolutely must test a remnant with sample interfacing and see how it's changed, both before and after washing.

Back in the day when I made a lot of shirts with fusible interfacing, I always interfaced the bit that wasn't seen, eg, the inside of the collar stand or cuff, or the underside of the collar, because of the problem of the interfacing glue seeping through.

Fun with Fabric / Re: T shirt fabric
« on: March 29, 2017, 21:37:51 PM »
I bookmarked some time ago but I haven't used it myself - the last time I bought knit fabric was at the K&S Show @ Ally Pally, but the site specialises in knit fabrics so may be worth a browse.

I have used in the past and they are good about sending decent sized samples (although they may make a small charge).  Good service anyway.

Hi, I'm new... / Huzzah!
« on: March 04, 2017, 14:22:20 PM »
So happy to be back in the group!   :*

My decrepit sewing table - the one with the failing veneer - has been scraped back to bare and revarnished at last and on Thursday I even got the machine out for the first time since about October.  It was only to repair the seam on DH's work trousers, but it's a start.  We have a new recruit at work so my workload should revert back to something more like part-time and I'll get time to do some real sewing done soon.

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