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Messages - HenriettaMaria

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Sewing Machines / Re: Giving beginner sewing lessons
« on: December 26, 2019, 12:54:34 PM »
I taught a house-mate to sew many years ago.  He had never sewn anything but he was a draughtsman and therefore had an eye for precision and accuracy.  I had some shirting in the stash and a man's shirt pattern to hand.  I took him through the techniques - grain, notches, interfacing, flat-fell seaming, plackets - and he got on with it.  The only bit he didn't tackle was the buttonholes, which, on my swing-needle machine took some learning to get right, so I did them for him.  He wore the shirt with pride!

In other words, what else do your candidates do?  If they do something else that requires precision then they will probably get it very quickly.  Woodworkers seem to be in that category - they're very up on grain and 'measure twice, cut once' accuracy.

A Good Yarn / Re: Yarn Bombers in St Albans
« on: December 21, 2019, 15:21:31 PM »
Was in St Albans doing some Xmas shopping today and saw lots of the yarn-bombed post boxes.  They look lovely and show great imagination.  I do hope they go to a good home afterwards, although they'll need a good wash - it's been teeming down here for days!

Tech Know How / Re: Deleted posts
« on: December 21, 2019, 15:18:40 PM »
@Acorn - the GDPR is one of the worst pieces of legislation we've seen in a long while.  They implemented it to prevent Cambridge Analytica and the likes harvesting personal details, which makes sense, but it's so all-encompassing that it's compromising the ability of tiny operations, like the PTA of which I am chair, from doing their job.  Because we're a registered charity we're considered legally separate from the school so GDPR means we can no longer consider parents and carers as automatically members of the PTA and they have to opt in before we can invite them to buy tickets for a quiz night or the like!  Drives me nuts.  Instead we have to allude to the fact that there's a flyer on the school website about three levels down in the menu structure and hope people a) read the school newsletter to the end where we usually wind up and b) are motivated enough to go find it.  Needless to say, our take-up on evening fundraisers is about half what it was three or four years ago.

Maybe it's our own fault for not reviewing it when it was still at the white paper stage....

Amazing story I found on the BBC website

Sewing Machines / Re: Surprising features on your machine
« on: December 19, 2019, 16:08:01 PM »
I had the machine, also a Brother, for about 15 years before I discovered that it's possible to increment the needle position sideways by very small jumps.  I only found out by accident!

About the plastic vs metal in machines, it's not the bodywork that's the issue but the chassis/frame on which the machine is built.  If the G-shaped components between the feed dogs, up through the right-hand pillar, across the top and down to the needle is capable of flexing then the machine won't work well.  Cheapish machines have nylon chassis, which is why they're neither use nor ornament.  I have this on good authority from the man at the Brother stand at K&S Ally Pally, and he should know!

Plastic body shells don't affect performance because they're not structural.  BUT, and it's a big but, you must NEVER leave them for prolonged periods in direct sunlight otherwise they will be come brittle and eventually snap or crack. I've had that happen with the spool pin of mine, which sits directly below the aperture where the carry handle passes through the hard case to the outside.  I now store the pressing cloth over that to keep the light out completely.

Advantages - automatic buttonholes; bobbin winding (no need to disengage drive manually); incremental positioning of needle (rather than left, centre, right that my old Singer has); extended range of utility stitches such as stretch; option to sew without the foot control engaged (vital for auto buttonholes, I find); warnings when you try to do something stupid like forget to engage the presser foot; integrated needle-threader (nothing to do with computers but a really useful option)

Disadvantages - the fact that it doesn't remember settings when switched off and reverts to default when powered on again.  Mine is now about 20 years old (and more electronic than full-on USB/Bluetooth-enabled) so this might not now be the case - flash memory might have overcome this but it's worth investigating before you buy; precision straight line sewing is, on mine, at least, harder work than on the old Singer - again, worth checking when you test drive before you buy

Neither here nor there - lots of fancy-dan stitches that never get used

Vintage Machines / Re: An introduction to Jonesy
« on: December 12, 2019, 20:33:42 PM »

Vintage Machines / Re: A new friend
« on: December 10, 2019, 13:05:44 PM »
That's the same one my Mum used to have - even down to the faux animal case!  I think the small plastic-handled screwdriver is a 1970's addition, though ;-)

In the wardrobe / Re: Christmassy garment needed fast!
« on: December 09, 2019, 11:40:25 AM »
I'm in agreement regarding cheap, gimcrack Xmas woollens.  My 'Xmas' jumper is a Gudrun & Gudrun snowflake jumper (think Sarah Lund) but in navy ground and pale grey pattern (colourway now discontinued).  It is wearable for all of Dec & Jan.  It would be wearable longer than that but it is so dang warm!   NB - they're pricey - mine was a treat when I got a fairly sizeable end-of-year bonus a few years back - so probably not something you buy on a whim!

Any Fair Isle-type sweater in a jolly colour (ie, not beige, brown or muddy greens) would do the trick and be wearable outside of the two weeks either side of Xmas, especially if you add something sparkly on your head, ears or neck! 

A Good Yarn / Re: Need pattern for baby hat
« on: December 08, 2019, 11:56:07 AM »
Lots - I inherited my mother's folder of patterns when she gave up knitting.  Let me know if you're interested in that kind of thing and I can send you a scan.

The Haberdashery / Re: Rotary cutters, no luck with using them
« on: December 07, 2019, 10:57:26 AM »
@pip I'm with you - never got on with the things.  I much prefer shears :snip:

A Good Yarn / Yarn Bombers in St Albans
« on: December 06, 2019, 11:15:21 AM »

The Haberdashery / Re: Foam rubber supplier recommendations please
« on: December 05, 2019, 14:01:44 PM »
We're in the middle of reupholstering our dining chairs and decided to replace the rather thin foam with something more comfortable.  We got the foam, wadding and bottoming cloth from here

They do foam in various thicknesses and either in big sheets or pre-cut squares.

I ordered online on Sunday and it arrived on Friday.  I imagine that if you're desperate you could order online and save a bit of time.  It was fine for us - it's a two-handed job involving a lot of stapling so it's strictly weekends!

The Haberdashery / Re: Rough pins
« on: December 05, 2019, 12:42:00 PM »
I sew over pins that are perpendicular to the fabric but only if absolutely necessary - I'd rather remove them before they or the needle break!

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