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Messages - HenriettaMaria

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Vintage Machines / Re: Singer 99K with knee lever
« on: August 09, 2019, 12:19:57 PM »
My mum had one just like that.  It was a heavy, temperamental beast that had to be coaxed to produce decent stitching without a rat's nest of thread at the back of the work.  After multiple visits to the mechanic we all lost patience and Dad traded in for a brand-new 522, without mother's knowledge, as a Xmas surprise.  I now have the 522 because Ma doesn't sew any more.

Vintage Machines / Re: singer sewing machine with sphinx decals
« on: August 03, 2019, 16:51:45 PM »
Check this database out to find out, although a quick look didn't find a match for your number - did you type it correctly?

Patterns Discussion / Re: Vogue Autumn Patterns
« on: July 29, 2019, 21:27:17 PM »
I thought V1648 by Julio Cesar, the inheritor of Koos Van Der Acker, was imaginative but I will never make it and even if I did will never have occasion to wear it.

Patterns Discussion / Re: Coat - comfy or elegant? or flashy?
« on: July 29, 2019, 21:23:57 PM »
1 will be warm in the winter wind.  2 will be elegant but you'll want to block the gaping draught with a scarf, which may spoil the effect.  3 to me is a bit run of the mill rather than flashy.  I'd do 1 for comfort in the winter and 2 in a slightly lighter wool for spring/autumn formal wear.  I could see it in a gorgeous mauve/lilac wool for a spring wedding - mmmmm!

Technical Help / Re: Should I have made this collar stiffer?
« on: July 28, 2019, 13:02:11 PM »
I'm also thinking the collar is the wrong shape.  It's possible it either needs the depth reduced so it's only as deep as the collar stand is high, or else its curvature increased, possibly by spreading the pattern piece at the point where it's wrinkling - slash from outer edge to neck stitching line and open a wedge (as if adding a dart).  Might only need a few mm to make the difference so worth testing.

Technical Help / Re: Drafting in seam allowances correctly
« on: July 28, 2019, 11:36:17 AM »
I use a graders' set square to add seam allowance, always 15mm:

Then I notch or clip the allowance and ease the stitching lines together.  Never had a problem.

Publications / Re: Mens shirts
« on: July 24, 2019, 20:27:44 PM »
This is another oldie but goodie that I've had for 40 years.  Brilliantly dated but the techniques still stand.

Publications / Re: Book advice
« on: July 24, 2019, 12:26:02 PM »
It's old now and the photos of models wearing garments are *so* Abigail's Party but I've had this for 40 years and I still refer to it - sometimes turns up in second-hand shops.

Jersey is not a good fabric for a beginner - it requires special handling and the rules of fitting are different from those for wovens.  Other fabrics you could start with are

* poly-cotton (good for lightweight blouses, shirts and summer dresses/skirts but get at least 60% cotton)
* Vyella (a lightweight soft wool for winter shirts and blouses)
* small-scale gingham - good for learning about grain and pattern-matching and good for shirts, blouses and aprons
* brushed cotton, whether plain, printed or check (good for more pattern matching and winter blouses and pyjamas)
* lightweight wool mix (60 - 80% wool) - good for skirts and trousers
* ticking - find this in the furnishing fabrics section.  Good for aprons and if it's striped, good for a bit of pattern matching if you add pockets.

The Haberdashery / Re: New Ironing Board
« on: July 20, 2019, 14:36:14 PM »
I'm on my second Brabantia ironing board.  Again, I love the vastness of its top - ideal for pressing trouser seams neatly - and the lack of iron rest - ideal for bedding or curtain-making. 

The first one (circa 1987) had a chipboard top and eventually the steam got to it and it started to fall apart.  This one has a metal mesh top.  It still has its original cover although that's under a cheaper cover bought from John Lewis so it's still in good nick.

Patterns Discussion / Re: Self Drafting
« on: July 13, 2019, 14:06:53 PM »
You could simplify things by using Vogue V1004 (dress/bodice) and V1003 (trousers) and some cheapish gingham, to make grain and levels easier.

It is quite possible to learn from the books if you are the sort of person who can learn complicated things from written instructions.  I am much more monkey-see, monkey-do and so two terms of evening classes were needed before I could picture the end-result of Bray's instructions - I made stupid mistakes before then.

The Show Must Go On / Re: Medieval Dress and mens outfit
« on: July 09, 2019, 16:14:22 PM »
Should be well shrunk now!

The Show Must Go On / Re: Steampunk ?
« on: July 09, 2019, 16:13:24 PM »
As I understand it, the core ethos of steampunk is, what if the plastics revolution never happened?  So lots of leather and brass precision engineering instead.  Makes me think we might be back in that zone if we are to wean ourselves off fossil fuels!

The movie that really kicked of the SP fad (and drove Sean Connery so demented he retired) was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Try Simplicity 8114 & 2172 or google images of "steampunk clothing patterns" - there are loads to choose from!

In the wardrobe / Re: Time to get the coverstitch out...
« on: June 19, 2019, 19:59:49 PM »
My 5 thread overlocker has a coverstitch option.  Last week I took up the hems on three unflatteringly long t-shirts and fixed the unravelling hem on a fourth.  Takes a while to get confident but it's worth it for the end result  :D

In the wardrobe / Re: Machine Guidance
« on: June 02, 2019, 20:10:24 PM »
Radiofan's post about 514 models prompted another consideration.  If you're buying a vintage machine you need to be clear whether or not you're happy with a flat-bed model.  A free-arm model makes sewing cuffs and the like a lot easier.  Modern machines are free-arm by default (as far as I can tell).

In the wardrobe / Re: Machine Guidance
« on: June 02, 2019, 12:16:37 PM »
Another consideration - cheap machines have nylon chassis.  Older Singers and higher-spec machines have cast metal chassis.  Metal chassis = more rigid machine = more drive through tougher fabric (or one's finger, as I recently found to my cost!!).  So what?  Well, if you take up jeans, you can find yourself trying to stitch through the fell seam that could have up to 9 layers of denim.  From experience I can attest to the fact that a £99 Brother (bought by brother for SiL as a 'surprise'!) doesn't have the oomph to do that.

I can also vouch for pre 1980 Singers as being extremely good for precision straight stitching, a feature that will make men's shirts that have fell seaming/topstitching much more professional.  My old machine was a Singer 522.  It died 20 years ago but recently I acquired my aged mother's identical machine and I can say that the difference between that and my bells-and-whistles Brother is noticeable in that respect.  The Brother does one-step automatic buttonholes so it still has a place in my heart, whereas the Singer is a swing-needle and so it's four-step manual buttonholes only.  There are lots of Singer 522s going at reasonable prices on Ebay if you want to take a look.

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