The Sewing Place

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Vintage Machines / Spotted an old Husqvarna
« on: September 22, 2018, 01:54:34 AM »
I didn't know where to post, this is not sales, question or anything hands on practical. A rather rare Husqvarna treadle turned up on an action site here, probably not very rare, but not the most common. It has a transverse shuttle, the common ones are either VS  or 15 derivatives (CB). The rare part is mostly the nice condition, flowery decals, wood, irons and all. It's too far from me to get it, but it is nice.

Vintage Machines / Vintage lightweight portables
« on: September 10, 2018, 15:45:33 PM »
It's a subjec that returns to me, and I guess there aren't many common models around. I'm not very strict with the definition either, but with in the range of reasonably priced machines that turn up now and then. There's a few straight stitchers, I'm not sure how many zigzaggers there are. The Featherweightis  a gem and the most sought after favorite. Elna 1, the Grasshopper is surpisingly sturdy, I just missed one last week. I held a beige aluminium 201K23 in a case the other day, around 10 kg and not too heavy for a solid, full size machine. I think the Featherweight in it's case is around 6 kg or just under?  There are a few other small portables, but they are few and far between here; Favta, Cresta,... and I don't know how they are to work on.  Berninas turn up now and then, the simple models like 700 and 801 are not a bad option at all. Has anyone had a 125?

Last night I came across this page, an aluminium 185K, very close to a 99. Few of us bothers about a portable straight stitcher, we often need the zigzag and other functions, but I wonder how common it is? If it weighs 6 or 7 kg I would be interested.

Fun with Fabric / searching for fancy fabrics
« on: August 31, 2018, 21:36:08 PM »
I think I am searching for remnats of luxury really. It's for a patch work robe like Bilbo has in the Hobbit. I have started on this project before, but it has turned out more difficult than I thought to get the right shades and quality of fabric. A bit expensive too. I need silk velvet, I think cotton-viscose blends will be fine. I'm wondering if I can use dress fabric, it's usually a type of knitted/jersey velvet, or if it needs to be more of a woven upholsery fabric. Woven fabrics are firmer and doesn't stretch as much. I need, green, beige, burgundy, murky ochre, perhaps brown. There are other types fabric there too, more in the direction of jaquard weave paterns, mostly monocrome, I can't tell if they are clothes fabrics or upholstery.

I think this is a jersey knit, but the silk-viscose blend is at least nice. I think #40 might be good green for the purpose. To get the right look it needs to be more specific types of fabric than I first thought.

Sewing Machines / Bernina is a favorite but....
« on: June 19, 2018, 23:49:56 PM »
I was wondering if there was a bobbin case for the older models made for thicker threads. I came across this offer, I know the genuine thing is a bit more expensive, but isn't £62.50 for a bobbin case a bit expensive? I was expecting something like £25.

Technical Help / An easy way to make 5XL an L
« on: May 29, 2018, 23:03:45 PM »
I have a way too large piquet T-shirt I can't wear, but if I narrowed it, it would be fine. The size is not too long, just very wide. I don't know how I ended up with 5XL, it's sort of a mystery. I bought a few T-shirts on sale last year and this one was never taken in use. The trouble is flat felled seams in the arm-shoulder joining (oh horror). I might try a stretchy seam joining the outside in and sewing them together (if that makes sense). Any tips or things I should worry about before I start cutting?

The Haberdashery / Thread, water proof fabrics and pvc.
« on: March 24, 2018, 23:55:18 PM »
I heard someone talk about sewing tents, and they had found an extra strong thread that expands when it becomes wet. Has anyone heard of this before? The expanding part prevented water from leaking through seams.

I first thought it might be practical when sewing transparent pvc and bike seat covers. I came to think of shoemaking, but I think they use waxed thread, double seams and a general shoe wax to keep water from seeping in.

Vintage Machines / On the subject of sticky stop motion hand wheel
« on: February 23, 2018, 19:35:08 PM »
I have a relatively clean and well oiled 201 with a spoked hand wheel. It runs very smothly, but the clutch function has been a bit up and down. When I wind a bobbin the rest of the machine doesn't always stand still, and since this autumn it has gotten slightly worse. I took the hand wheel off today, and couldn't see any lack of oil, but I oil a bit extra inside the hand wheel and this time both sides of the washer with triagular placed lobes. and rather generously. The hand wheel runs and the rest of the machine stand still. I guess it needs more oil than I though. There's no need to worry it will not tighten up with too much oil or oil in the wrong spot. The screw grips well.

Machine Accessories / found a weaving / darning gadget
« on: December 03, 2017, 15:44:08 PM »
Have you ever seen anything likethis before? It looks very clever in the picture, but I have never seen anything like it in real life. I know some are expert menders of knitts, and some fancy shops can weave together holes and tears ivisibly in woven fabrics.

Vintage Machines / Old Gritzners with revers lever
« on: November 29, 2017, 19:17:54 PM »
About a month ago I came across a Gritzner with swirly art deco decals; white water lilly flowers with gold and green. I have notice this set of  decals before and the machine it self was in very nice condition. At first the price was a bit high, it was lowered a Sturday I went there, but I still hesitated buying it because it was missing a hand crank and shuttle. It was on a wooden base that looked like it came from a treadle setup, the threadle stand was missing too. I'm guessing it might have come from a treadle table with an option to make the machine a portable as well as treadle. The wood lid (case) and key was with the machine. After the weekend, Monday morning I passed the charity store, went in, I had the money in my pocket but it was gone.

I'm guessing this was a machine made ca 1900 to 1910, possibly WWI; mostly  because of the decals and the shape of the machine. It's a type of VS model.

The intesting thing about it is 3/4 size and a revese stitch length lever. I have search the web up and down and the closest I could find is this, it might be spot on the model but hard to be sure.

Searching the web I have come across this model too. It looks like central bobbin type; but I haven't found any info on it. It has a nice stitch length lever with reverse. I'm sure this is at least a decade or two before Singers model 101, 201 and later 15 were given a stitch length lever. Have any of you had your hands on a similar model?

The Haberdashery / durable zippers for a light weight rucksack
« on: September 07, 2017, 15:06:04 PM »
I have two small rucksacks (bagpacks?), it's made of very light nylon, the sort you can fold away and keep at the back of a bike saddle. It's in some ways very well made, enforced with nylon webbing in all the the right places, solid enough click-in-place latches, cleverly made with compartments and functional shape.

The not so good are the seams, they slippery nylon unravels in places and the stitching is not the best. I have sewn over twice or more to enforce it in places, seams I have replaced with double line if stitching. It seems to hold up well now, but the two zippers doesn't zip together anymore.

After all the enforcments I have done I'm thinking it might be worth replacing the zippers. It's a light weight thing,  doesn't hold much, but it's easily a bit of weight if it's filled up with a few groceries or whatever I end up bringing with me along the way. The zippers are plastic, the type you cut off by the meter and stitch one end to hold together. They worked fine when new, but they started acting up after only a couple of weeks. Are there dependable replacement zippers?

In the wardrobe / looking for a pattern
« on: July 26, 2017, 23:27:25 PM »
I want a type of trousers I haven't seen in way over 15 years, maybe 20. No stores around here carry anything close enough. I could maybe have one ordered by brands like Melka; they have a catalog of models going back forever and I think they still make stuff to measure.They are way out of style though, but I still want one or two. I just can't make slim fit work for me ( I'm too fat), certainly not the sort of one-size-too-small look.

How do you track down a out of style pattern? It's not the most in-style vintage either. I would make it in a type of smooth but sturdy mercerised cotton, maybe twill weave if I can find it. This is the closest I could find to what I have in mind.

Vintage Machines / 222K, a bit expensive or not?
« on: July 09, 2017, 13:37:56 PM »
I have been thinking about the prices of Featherweights. This one can be bought for a bit more than most used straight stitchers. It's in nice condition and it's the freearm model and it's always more expensive.

I know the 201 cost more to make, and is in most ways a better machine to work on (because of the size). It can often be had for around £40-50 almost regardless of condition. Two weeks a go a 221K went for £150 here, it was sold within two days. A sales add for a hand crank 201 can be up for months and months. The odd thing is; it looks like Singer made more Featherweights than 201s. I don't have a complete overview, but going through a few pages on ISMACS I've noticed the 221s were turned out in batches of 10.000, the 201s in batches of 4000, both were made for over 3 decades about equally as frequent. There should in teory be more Featherweights out there than 201s?

I don't complain about the price in any way, it would cost a bit to buy a brand to 222K today, it's in good condtion and they aren't very common. They have become a gem among vintage machines.  It's about the same we have to sped to get a reasonably good sewing machine today, less than a phone or computer. I wonder if any of the other vintage models will become more popular and sougth after? From a bit of research it looks like the Featherweights didn't fetch much money until sometime in the 1990s.

Vintage Machines / repairing a swiss zigzagger
« on: July 06, 2017, 13:15:32 PM »
I have a Swiss zigzagger with a broken plastic part. The screw on the side that takes the stitch cam has a plastic cap and it's broken in two. It will zigzagg but when the plastic comes out of alignment it interfers with another part and it stops the sideways movements.

I shall try and glue it back together, maybe someone out there has a zigzagger for "repair or parts" out there? I guess it's the plastic caps on the two setting screws that will crack on this attachment. Why oh why did they invent plastic; and why did they start to think implementing it in all kinds of ways were modern and progressive  -<

Vintage Machines / Stuck screw on 201 finally loosened!
« on: June 13, 2017, 13:22:58 PM »
I've had this machine for around 3 years now (I think). It's a black cast iron 201K, with motor and pedal. It cleaned up fine when I first bought it, and it turned out to be my favorite machine ever since (I have a freearm model with zigzag and lots of stitches right next to it, which is nice too).

After replacing motor belts, bobbin tyre, and a lot of cleaing and oiling, a center screw under the bobbin case gradually caught my attention. I never was able to loosen it, but last night it came out effortlessly. The only thing I can imagine is that repeated oiling and using the machine the last few years has done something.

I had the bobbin case out last night. By now it's self made dust and fluff I clean out, production of it seems to be endless though. I made an attempt at the center screw and it came out with no effort at all. I could tell I had managed to clean rather well by poking cotton buds and tooth picks from under the base of the machine as well as above. There weren't any troublesome grime and dirt if anyone else should worry about similar stuck screws. 

There is one good reason to get this part out though. It has springs for for the bobbin case closing ring. If these springs are reluctant to click in place on the side of the locking ring they might be packed with dirt and grime. I already had noticed this trouble on my machine, but couldn't get the part out. I poked these clips as clean as I could with toothpicks and pins, and I managed rather well. I didin't really know this though until I had the part out too inspect behind the springs. I cleaned out a bit of dried up oil and grime, but it wasn't absolutely a must.

To sum it all up; with a bit of effort this area can be cleaned with the part in place. It was nice to have it confirmed though. If a screw or part is stuck, what works are: oil, clean, keep on oiling and cleaning, use the machine and be patient :- )

Vintage Machines / cam sets for the Swiss Zigzagger
« on: May 16, 2017, 14:44:33 PM »
I bumped into this add today. I know there were one or two members on the old forum looking for these. It might not look like a bargain price, but if you didn't pay much for the zigzagger to begin with it still well withing bargain range A reasonable price on this zigzagger seems to be around £60 or £70. I have seen them sell for £150 many times, and ebay adds for twice that (not sure if they eventually were bought or how long it took). This is only a reproduction of the cam sets. The add lists as four sets sold and six left on the shelf. They look well made, with numbers and pattern on each.

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