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Messages - HenriettaMaria

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House Beautiful / Re: Tablecloth/curtains?
« on: November 04, 2019, 19:14:07 PM »
Blackout lining is great for stopping draughts.  It's dirt-cheap and you don't even need to hem it.  Might be a bit unsightly hanging below existing curtains but it will do the job in the short-term.  I made a pair with just lining header tape for MiL's spare room when DS was tiny to prevent early-morning wakening and used that single-row tape that the top of the blind is sandwiched between so they were really quick to knock out.

This is a good book too - made sense of a lot of the weirdness that an overlocker brings to your life!

Machine Accessories / Re: walking foot
« on: October 19, 2019, 15:07:56 PM »
I was pleasantly surprised to find my 1999 Brother walking foot worked on my 1970's Singer.  However, since the rolled hem foot for the Singer fitted the Brother, the only unknown was whether or not the fork that engages with the needle clamp would do the job.  It did.

Try it and see.  The worst that can happen is that nothing happens!

Sewing Machines / Re: Do you use your decorative stitches?
« on: October 07, 2019, 12:54:54 PM »
I use some of the decorative stitches, most specifically the sine wave one - handy for household things.  Most of the rest are a bit meh.  The lettering isn't all that - looks very like the first of Iminei's examples.  Instead, if I have to put a name on the inside of a garment, something I do if I'm making for re-enactors, I use the free motion option and 'handwrite' it.

Tutorials / Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« on: October 07, 2019, 12:49:26 PM »
Would putting a horizontal tuck in the sleeve to mimic where a cuff joins the main sleeve work?  Then it's just a simple overlocking job rather than cover stitching a new hem.

Events / The Original Re-enactors' Market, 15-17 November, near Coventry
« on: October 01, 2019, 13:41:53 PM »
TORM to its friends is on in mid-November.  It occupies both sports halls of Sports Connexion at Ryton on Dunsmore near Coventry and is vast.  Much of it is reenactor-specific, like swords, armour, period footwear, but there are vendors selling more generally interesting stuff like:

  • 100% woollen cloth
  • 100% linen and silk, including brocades
  • naturally dyed linen tapes and braids
  • miscellaneous haberdashery including pins, hooks, unusual buttons, boning
  • also hats, musical instruments, glass and ceramics etc

There are usually vendors selling farmers' market grade cakes.

If you're interested I recommend Friday as it's the day that the theatrical and TV types descend whereas Saturday and Sunday it's heaving with reenactor types.  If you can't do Friday, get there early at the weekend.

More details at

In the wardrobe / Re: Taking a skirt in and up
« on: September 30, 2019, 17:00:07 PM »
The skirt hem depends on style but I can tell you from practical experience of C17th re-enactment that if it's below the sticky-out ankle bone the risks are: it gets soggy around the hem, either when walking or when you bend forward and forget what the state the ground is in; you trip over it going upstairs or uphill; you catch the back of the hem with your heel.

My recommendation would be to get it fitting around the waist first and only then decide on the hem length - you don't know how it will hang until you do.  Then try it on with the shoes you intend to wear it with and experiment with the level of the hem.

I saw this & I thought you may be interested! / Re: Inside the Factory
« on: September 17, 2019, 19:17:10 PM »
….the Ruth woman. I would have enjoyed the programmes where people lived in the same way they did in historical times but I couldn't watch them because of her.

She really is awful, isn't she?  I had a conversation with a guy called Stuart Peachey, who is the historian behind the Green Valley Farms historical village project and an authority on working class clothing of the late C16th and early C17th.  A TV company did some filming there a few years back (I recall it went out as an early evening series, although I can't remember which channel) and she was just odd.  She would rock up, do a piece to camera and vanish again without getting in any way involved or discussing what she was doing with the staff there.  Consequently, they were trying to film activities completely out of season when the weather was too cold/hot/dry/wet or the foliage was too green/absent altogether.

Tutorials / Re: Easy concealed zip insertion
« on: September 15, 2019, 15:23:08 PM »
@HenriettaMaria What sort of zipper foot did you use?

It's a Brother foot bought from the Brother stand at the K&S Show at Ally Pally one year.  Perfect for my machine and, I recently found, works well on my inherited Singer 522 too.

Tutorials / Easy concealed zip insertion
« on: September 15, 2019, 13:31:53 PM »
I was wandering around my bookmarks today and happened upon this tutorial, which makes concealed zip insertion a breeze.  Concealed zips weren't a thing when I started to sew, so I never learned back then.  I did try to teach myself, using a concealed zip foot a couple of years back but the results were unsatisfactory.  However, this technique does away with that and simply uses an adjustable zip foot, a foot I use a great deal when things get tricky.

I am sure this link must be buried in the archives on this here forum, but I'm reposting it because it is just so clear and useful.

House Beautiful / Re: Piping Problem
« on: September 11, 2019, 16:01:00 PM »
The adjustable zipper foot is a dream for piping.  You can leave the needle wherever the machine wants it to be and move the foot until you, the needle and the work are happy.  Works at treat on cushion covers.

Sewing Machines / Re: Do you name your sewing machines?
« on: September 10, 2019, 15:48:06 PM »
Nope - it never occurred to me.  The only inanimate object in our house that has a name is a Numatic 'George' wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner, which is called George since it's emblazoned on the motor unit.

Vintage Machines / Re: What you see in a pub
« on: September 09, 2019, 20:27:47 PM »
My boss, who's German, doesn't believe in pension funds and invests instead in holiday flats in Lisbon.  She showed me pictures of one of her flats once and it had decorative alcoves in which she'd positioned vintage sewing machines, which you can pick up for hardly any money in the local flea markets.  It pained me that she'd screwed them down rather than done them up :'(

Lisbon, I should add, had an earthquake in 1755 that caused a 6-foot tsunami on the north east coast of Scotland.  I suppose you pays your money and you takes your chance!

Darkside Diaries / Re: Sara’s sewing story
« on: September 08, 2019, 19:09:07 PM »
If anyone's interested in ASL and deaf culture, Oliver Sacks' book Seeing Voices is extremely interesting. 

I still have a VisionOn annual from the 1960's from which I taught myself the BSL sign alphabet, which is very different from the ASL version (in BSL, for instance, the five fingers of the left hand represent the vowels, so pointing the index finger signs an 'e' and pointing at the thumb signs 'a').

The Show Must Go On / Re: 1940s clothing for kids (Help)
« on: September 07, 2019, 17:32:46 PM »
DS did this in Y6.  He wore long shorts, long socks, a checked shirt from the wardrobe and a sleeveless cardie that I picked up at a re-enactors' market - specifically marketed at this demographic!  Everything else was out of the wardrobe.  I think the parcel was just bubble wrap in brown paper.

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