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Topics - Elnnina

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I only managed to catch up with this programme last night and they showed Dominic dealing with the cutest little Wilcox and Gibbs machine - even my husband was amazed - and wondered whether I would like one - now that is unusual for him.  Sadly though these little beauties fetch an eye watering price when they are available.  I must say I was rather taken aback when Dominic actually immersed parts of the machine in a bowl of soapy water - how on earth did he then ensure that these parts were totally dry inside.  Once clean and re assembled the machine did sew although it was only a chain stitch and from what we could see this worked, but I know that chain stitch can easily miss a stitch and thus unravel so very quickly.

For those interested in this programme but didn't see it, it was shown on BBC1  Tuesday 15th September so probably availabe on i-player.

Fun with Fabric / Palmer/Pletsch Perfect Fuse Interfacing
« on: June 05, 2020, 15:04:47 PM »
Someone recently was bemoaning the fact that Sew Direct’s Website was no longer doing the McCalls Perfect Fuse interfacings.

Well the very latest Sew Today magazine June 2020 has just dropped through my letter box and at the back of this magazine on the shopping pages the first page is devoted to this Palmer/Pletsch Perfect Fuse – there are four types Sheer, Medium, Light and Tailor ultra – all available in the usual two colourways of charcoal black and Ecru white.

Please has anyone got Butterick 6208 which is a tuck pleated tunic pattern in the largest sizing.  I rather like the way they have done the neckline and the front opening.  This appears to be an out of print pattern and whilst I have looked on line particularly at the USA sites, this pattern does not appear to be around.  The picture on the pattern envelope shows a peach coloured tunic top.  If anyone can help I would really appreciate this, or if anyone has this pattern and can give me a tracing of the top part of the front with the neck shape and facing this would help.  Thanks

Publications / Threads magazine No. 207 February/March 2020
« on: February 24, 2020, 10:59:29 AM »
The latest edition of Threads magazine is now out, I got mine last week.

There is an article showing you how to make Chinese Knots  for a fastening on a jacket.  An article on Focus on the Waist - to improve the fit on trousers, another article on Ponte Knits, and another article on Lining it like a Pro i.e.lining a jacket.

However what really caught my eye this time around was  an article called Tuck-marking trick and this involves using something called Totally Stable  Iron on  Tear Away Stabiliser and this has been used on a Butterick pattern 6208 which is out of print, and has tucks down the front bodice - the front bodice has a button closure and is slightly V neck. 

Sorry Jessie this information on the pleat part is probably too late for you, but this Totally Stable stabiliser product is available here in the UK via Amazon.

Vintage Machines / My new treadle machine
« on: January 26, 2020, 11:09:27 AM »
Well at long last have been able to have a closer inspection of this machine, it looks in superb condition, yes it really does, I cannot see any scratches or rubbing of the decals, the chrome is gleaming and the body work is also gleaming.  It does have an electric motor attached to the back with a light on the back as well, but the cable looks slightly dodgy in that some tape has been wound round the part where it plugs into the machine.  The foot control is horrible a huge heavy metal shoe type.  I have yet to try and change the belt over to the treadle.  However it is the treadle part I really want to use.

Anyway I am rather confused, the serial number of EF 758171 says this is a 201K made in 1950.  However there were two photocopies of booklets with this machine one for a 201-2 and the other for a 201K - now are they the same machine, if not what are the differences - you can tell I am new to all of this.

I already had a small Singer booklet produced in 1963 for schools  called 'A Manual of Family Sewing Machines' and this covers many really old machines, how to thread them, how to wind a bobbin,  how to change the stitch length etc.  Then there is a whole section  on all the various feet and attachments and what to do with them.  In addition  I also have an old 201 actual manual but this was for a beige different shape machine altogether.  In the Schools booklet there is a very clear diagram of a Treadle and it names all the parts.  (Yesterday was a very dark and  a particular gloomy day and I really need much better light and more space to be able to see what I am doing with this machine)  The Schools booklet I bought many years ago as a result of being given many old Singer feet and attachments, and this booklet helped me identify and use them on my then old straight stitch machine a Cosson.  I only gave away most of these feet and attachments  may be 20 years ago when I donated  that machine and other items to a charity that sends machines and tools out to East Africa.

So back to the photocopies that were included with the machine, there are pages and pages  33 for the 201-2 and 57 for the 201K.  The manual for the 201-2 machine was originally a small green manual, whereas the manual for the 201K was a much bigger manual.

Right I have tried taking a photos of this machine with the phone and then tried to download to my laptop, somehow I must have pressed the button too hard and have multiple shots of each photo, cannot get to this from where the photos are stored so I have just dragged one of each to the desktop so that I can hopefully attach these to this.  Oh what a steep learning curve I am on.  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]    [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]    [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]    [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  

Publications / Threads magazine No. 206 December/January
« on: December 15, 2019, 15:11:47 PM »
I received my copy of Threads yesterday, and there is a feature showing the winners of the Make it with Wool competition, some lovely garments and ideas, plus one is a Machine Embroidery winner and this is beautiful yet so simple.  I do love some of the  extras that some of these winners have added to their garments.

There is also a new and different way in fitting called Add a Yoke for Fit by Sarah Veblen she has taken a shoulder dart and turned this into a curved back yoke, and also on another one made a two piece back yoke.

The vintage garment feature is lovely and shows how we can add bias silk or taffeta  bands to tulle to create a stunning evening dress - replicating one from 1929.  I personally think this idea would be so useful for those making full wedding dresses and these bands on tulle would make an excellent underskirt as the edges of the tulle are enclosed by wide bands of the silk or taffeta.

Another article is about lining knit garments  and suitable fabrics for this.

Oh I do love my Threads magazine, there is always something nice that I like in each issue, it is just a shame it is so difficult to get hold of - luckily I have an excellent newsagent in a neighbouring village who gets this for me - I am the only one, and I start chasing him when I think the next one is due, and so far I have not lost out - sometimes it is very late.

Sewing Machines / Help I have thread caught in my upper threading
« on: November 09, 2019, 11:29:17 AM »
Please do any of you have a Bernina Artista 200 - and if so have you ever had thread getting caught in the upper threading, particularly where it goes up the left hand side of the take up cover and before it goes into the hook of the take up  lever.

Mine is well and truly caught in something, I cannot get hold of my mechanic, and I am very wary of trying to take the cover off the end of the machine - also I do not have the appropriate sized allen key.

I have secured the loose ends of the thread with some magic tape so that they do not wander or get blown /sucked into the inner workings of the machine, but I am at a loss as to why this has happened and also what to do.  Any help gratefully received.

The Haberdashery / Rollbe
« on: October 05, 2019, 10:19:50 AM »
A very long time ago on the old forum I remember Hevsi posting something available from Morplan that you rolled along and it measured curves and that sort of thing - cannot remember exactly what it was called - and it sounded an excellent idea and I wish I had bought it then and there.

Well this week I am in the process of making up four identical tops all cut from my own pattern, first top - sleeves went in with no problem.  Second top the sleeves particularly the sleeve head is coming up too gathered for my liking, and I have ground to a halt.  Then I remembered something Surefit Designs had and were offering a while ago and it is called a Rollbe, it is a natty little hold in your hand wheel (20cm) that you can roll around any curve you like, and it has just arrived in the post this morning - I used Surefit's UK supplier Judith Johnson who is based near Banbury.

So once I have managed to get myself showered and ready to face the day I shall put this through its paces.  Believe it or not I have tried measuring using the tape measure standing on its side, also using a flexible ruler and  I keep on getting different measurements, so I am hoping that this Rollbe will sort that out for me.  Whilst I can afford to lose some surplus fabric in the sleeve head, I really do not want to lose any in the circumference of the body of the sleeve as I have had an enormous amount of trouble to make this sleeve wide enough to go around my arm and then creating a sleeve head that fitted beautifully into an armhole that I also created.  I am putting the difficulties down to my using a thicker cotton fabric than the first top which was a poly cotton, however I have two more poly cottons to set the sleeves in.

If anyone is interested in this Rollbe do go and look this up on Surefit Designs website - and yes having their representative here in the UK is a great help.  I only ordered this on Thursday and Judith said she would put it in the post on Friday so fingers cross it would arrive today which it has - so excellent service.

So my task today is to get on with my six sleeves and get these tops all finished and put away so that I can move on to something else.

Please does anyone have this Bernina Artista 200 machine along with the buttonhole foot 3A which is the slide and has a sensor on the side?

I have successfully sewn many buttonholes on this machine in the past, sometimes I have had trouble with it misbehaving and found this was due to fluff or debris up on the inbuilt sensor which is situated up in the machine near the needle and thus I now always make sure that I have cleaned away any debris - this is where a dental mirror is so useful.

However all this week I have been trying to sew buttonholes, and yesterday thought I had got this all sorted but no.  I have my previous notes on how I did the buttonholes and the settings, but this time around I can do a perfect buttonhole but when I go to do another one all I get is a straight continuous line of satin stitches, it does not stop and go back up to stitch the top bar and then the  second bead.

I am at a loss to understand why it is doing this, I have saved the settings and luckily I have not yet tried sewing the buttonholes on my top - anyway as it is a type of cotton lawn I do not think this would tolerate too much unpicking.

I have three other tops all ready cut out waiting to be put together and they all need buttonholes.

I am obviously doing something wrong but I do not know what - can anyone help please - thanks.

Machine Accessories / Sewing machine light
« on: July 13, 2019, 11:49:07 AM »

The other week there was a mention of a sewing machine lamp that fastens on to the end of the machine and a flexible tube with an LED light in the end that will come round so you can position the light just where you need it on the sewing machine bed, i.e. right by the foot.

I had also gone into our county town to Hobbycraft with the sole intention of buying one of these as they had them available on line, but was disappointed that they do not sell these in the actual shops only on line.

Well I eventually tracked one down, this is by The Daylight Company, and it has just arrived, and oh what a dinky little gadget it is, extremely light, and whilst I was concerned about yet another electrical cable on my sewing table, this comes with some self adhesive clips that you can position along the back of the machine body high up so there is no chance of fabric going through the machine and getting caught up with the cable.  Needless to say I am looking forward to setting this up and seeing if this will help me to see what I am doing better.  It better had as I went for an eye test yesterday and need a new pair of glasses and they are costing me an absolute fortune, so combined with the lamp there should be no stopping me now.

The Haberdashery / Surgical forceps
« on: July 13, 2019, 11:43:40 AM »
By chance I came across the final of the very first Great British Sewing Bee programme the other night.  The first challenge was to make a man’s shirt, and it was whilst they were doing this that a reference to turning out the points on a collar that I picked up on, Ann Rowley the winner of that first series said that she used a pair of dolphin nosed surgical forceps and that they were excellent for getting the corners turned out neatly.

Going way back I happened to mention just how useful surgical forceps were to our sewing, they have so many uses, and for those who haven’t heard of them before they are roughly  13cms long although they can come in many sizes.  I have been lucky in that I have a very obliging chiropodist who will order these for me, failing that there is always a chance that a local pharmacy will order but I have never tried.

You can get these surgical forceps in straight tops - they look just like a pair of dolphin nosed scissors, or you can get them so that the tips are curved –  still dolphin nosed -  excellent  for getting into awkward and small spaces and for me a must have when threading up the overlocker.

Most of mine are the 13cm length, and I have one much smaller pair that came over from Canada and are kept with my embroidery equipment.

Publications / Threads Magazine - June/July 2019 issue 203
« on: June 16, 2019, 14:37:54 PM »
I picked up my copy of Threads magazine yesterday, and the main thing that caught my eye was a 10 page article called Get Started with Draping, oh she does go into so much detail I shall have to try this.  Then there is an interesting article called Trench Coat Appeal - 6 pages covering finer details which looks interesting.  Lastly an article about The Double-Eye Machine needle - this explores its decorative and utilitarian functions.  I had only heard about this needle from Twopence earier in the  week, sounds like a useful addition to the needle collection.

I do enjoy reading Threads, there is normally always something of interest, and of course where there are diagrams to follow these are easy to follow.  I certainly won't be parting with my copies of this magazine, they are very well read as well.

Vintage Machines / Just look at this beauty
« on: May 28, 2019, 14:45:17 PM »
I mentioned in one of my other posts the most beautiful Fiddle Base treadle machine and I have found this You tube.
It is called 1888 Singer No.12 Ruffler on VS2 treadle Machine.  Isn't it the most beautiful machine and the lady who owns this is extremely lucky indeed to have this.  Not only is it in superb condition, it really does glow, and both the body of the machine and the treadle base are in excellent condition and as for the little cases of attachments just wow.

Now that is the type of treadle and machine that I would love to own - oh why isn't in this country and why isn't it up for sale???

Vintage Machines / Vintage CWS Federation sewing machine
« on: May 18, 2019, 13:45:26 PM »
Right I have never got dressed so quickly before as I did this morning,  I get up late, have breakfast, eventually shower and get dressed, and the morning is gone.  So what was different this morning, my husband came back in from shopping and said there is a sewing machine in our village's charity shop window and it says CWS Federation.  Quite a pretty machine,  Trouble is the shop was closing in less than 20 minutes.  Well I got in there with five minutes to spare - it does need a lot of TLC, it has a shuttle and from one bobbin I could see that it had wound and piled up one side (I remember this happening on my mother's machine)  No needle in situ but there was one in the side box - no lid to the box.

I intend to go back and have a closer look on Monday morning - I will be popular!!!!  Now something is ringing alarm bells in my head and that is needles.  So far I have learnt that Jones made this badged machine for CWS Federation back in the 1920's.  I believe those of you who have ventured into the vintage side that Jones needles for this type of vintage machine are extremely difficult to get hold of.

Now why do I want this - well something in me has hankered after an old pretty - pretty being the operative word here - machine for a long time, ideally I would love a wrought iron based treadle but it is getting it to my home.  This  CWS machine is a hand turned one so should be easily transportable.

My husband is sort of egging me on it is only £15, and although I would want this to be a decorative machine, it would of course be nice if it worked.  So those of you who have tinkered with these old beauties, i.e. taken them apart, got them working, cleaned up the chrome and the body work, would this be an easy machine to try and sort out?  The chrome on the hand wheel from what I could see looked okay needs a good clean and polish, and the chrome plates covering the shuttle, and the end plate  also need the same attention.  I did not look to see if the shuttle case was there.

So please any feed back from anyone over this over this weekend really would be appreciated.  If I am right on the needles is there anywhere I could get them - or should I just give this vintage machine a clear miss?

By the way the two ladies on duty in the shop today were saying it could not be taken out of the window until they change the display - well I have had things out of the window before and of course on Monday it will be a different team in there, so I intend to have it brought out so I can see it more closely and I shall have some thread with me!!

The Haberdashery / Wooden Pressing Tools
« on: December 14, 2018, 11:15:27 AM »
I received an e-mail today from a place called Islander Sewing Systems in the USA (they recently took on selling Connie Crawford’s patterns and books) and today’s e-mail had details of a sale of their wooden pressing tools and there is a five minute video to watch on how to use them.

Now only a week or so ago I suggested to Sonatine and SewRuthieSews  the use of a clapper, and an alternative to a clapper was to use a wooden rolling pin.  Well if you go on to Islander’s web site and can find this video link – it is called Pressing Matters she is showing how to use the point presser (this often comes as a combined point presser and clapper), and  a clapper on its own, she is also using a long piece of half round wood stick which she  has called a  Seam Solution – this a is strip of half round wood 24” in length and she is showing how you would use it for pressing open the seam on trousers.  By the way she mentions that the wood used in these gadgets is hard wood.

I just thought this would be interesting for those who are venturing into coat making.  Interestingly she also mentions how when pressing a piece of poly crepe that despite using a steam iron the crease does not hold, so she tried using the clapper on this and what a difference.

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