Category Archives: Sewing

Newest Member of *The Choir

Saturday had a small adventure that included a drive I normally do for the day job.  I journeyed up to Daly City to see a vintage industrial Singer sewing machine, a 150w3.  Because of our weekly shift at the per adoption center, we needed to be up and on the road early.  There was the normal filling of the gas tank and acquiring caffeine.  Then we stopped at U-Haul to pick up the small open trailer I had reserved.  There was no way the machine was going to fit in my SUV, an while it would have fit in Kel’s van, the trailer has a much lower deck.  The assumption was that this piece would be heavy.

The drive up took longer than it normally would as pulling the trailer, especially with it unencumbered, required slower speeds than normal for me.  I didn’t twitch too much.  We found the address via GPS easily enough.  Then came the truly challenging part.  Daly City is essentially a suburb of San Francisco.  If you’re old enough to have watched the TV show The Streets of San Francisco you may remember how steep many of those streets are.  Not only is this street one of what I think of as the extra steep ones (so grateful to not be driving a stick), it’s a dead end.  Not a cul de sac with a little turning bubble, but a dead end.  So very carefully, I managed to get both the vehicle and trailer turned around, though by the time I was done it was way beyond a 3-point turn.  See the image below from Google Maps.  The yellow arrow is where I had to pull in, the orange is the direction I had to back the trailer then my SUV, and the green is the final parking spot.

delmar

The drive and turning challenge were absolutely worth it though.  The machine belonged to the seller’s grandmother who was a seamstress who did draperies, leather work and a multitude of other things.  It was obviously well used and well taken care of.  As expected of an industrial machine, the motor is sizable and mounted under the table.  There is a knee bar but it does operate by using the treadle peddle.  A test sewing on the scrap leather on it showed she sews like a dream.  The table itself is a thick butcher block piece on a cast iron treadle base.  It has a separate bobbin winder and dowels embedded into the table top to hold extra bobbins and thread cones.  A small work lamp is also a part of the table.  There is a drawer on the left that has extra needles, bobbins, throat plates, presser feet and more.  Another bonus is the machine cover that was obviously made by her previous owner.  The first two photos are from the seller’s listing, and the remaining ones are from the spot of my garage she has claimed.

I spent time today cleaning and organizing the garage.  Considering the power draw this machine has, and the fact that the garage is the only room with all ground capable outlets, I think it is a good place for her.  A bit more work out there, and I may have a proper workshop.  My electrified workbench with riser and shelf is already out there so it will certainly be a good set up.

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Filed under *The Choir, History, Needlework, Sewing

Candy Pop Quilt Progress Pic 2

All nine rows are assembled with blocks and sashing. Now to cut the sashing that goes between the rows. Once that is done and all stitched together, I will move on to the borders.

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Filed under Quilting, Sewing, Works In Progress

The Newest Addition

A few weeks ago, munchkin and I wandered through the ACS thrift shop as we usually do before heading into the grocery store. On this day we saw two vintage sewing machines in cabinets and one cabinet without a machine. One of the machines was a beige Singer 401 slant needle. As I am wont to do, I opened all the drawers to look through them. There were some extra presser feet, a buttonholer attachment, half a dozen or so extra bobbins, tens of extra needles including twin needles and a complete manual and maintenance kit. I sighed and walked away. There was no place to put it. I did take photos though. To remember her by.

Fast forward to just about two weeks ago and another visit to the thirft shop. Of the machines, the Singer is still there. It’s a really good price still, and the shop is have a 25% off everything special. I aked if they knew if it ran. Mark ran an extension cord, we plugged it in and tested. Purred like a kitten. My resistance completely evaporated.

Today we, the 401 and I, spent some time together. She got a good cleaning and an oiling. Part of the cleaning and oiling included removing the top cover. It was after this process that I realized there was a fashion disc in place. After taking that out and examining it, I realized I had a box of these from when I acquired a Singer Touch ‘n’Sew from Goodwill. A quick confirmed that these were completely interchangeable. Also in this box were some specialty presser feet and as well as cams for the Featherweight’s buttonholer.

A test drive shows beautiful stitching, and led to me finally mending the pair of munchkin’s jammie pants that needed it.

It’s been an exciting day.

Singer 401 Slant Needle in Cabinet

Singer 401 Slant Needle in Cabinet on the day she came home.

Maintenance Kit

Maintenance Kit

Feet w/the 401 (L-R) general presser foot, narrow hemmer, special purpose, zipper, special purpose with the buttonholer in the background.

Feet w/the 401 (L-R) general presser foot, narrow hemmer, special purpose, zipper, special purpose with the buttonholer in the background.

Extra presser feet from the Touch 'n' Sew (L-R) button foot, zipper, special purpose, 3 general purpose, multi-slotted bias binder, ruffler, unknown

Extra presser feet from the Touch ‘n’ Sew (L-R) button foot, zipper, special purpose, 3 general purpose, multi-slotted bias binder, ruffler, unknown

Fashion discs (L-R T-B)zig zag, arrowhead, diamond, solid scallop, icicle, multi zigzag, ball, ribbon, shag, solid pyramid, walls of Troy, chevron

Fashion discs (L-R T-B)zig zag, arrowhead, diamond, solid scallop, icicle, multi zigzag, ball, ribbon, shag, solid pyramid, walls of Troy, chevron

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Summer of Art

No work has been done on the mystery quilt in several days as other things have taken our attention.  For instance, this past weekend the clouds and fog decided to clear out and give us nice sunny days.  Happened last weekend too.

The previous weekend gardening happened with lots of weeding required and adding some color via new flowering plants.

The new annuals were a side effect of seeing them at the hardware store where we acquired fishing line.  That with the addition of crimping beads and the bead stash lead to a creative Sunday morning making sun catchers with the munchkin.

 

Then yesterday after school and while dinner was in the oven, we put together the terrarium using glassware found at the thrift shop along with bought and found sand, shells, twigs and moss.  We even added a little live spider plant.

After dinner, I spent some time with my Featherweight and home decor fabric to make a start market bags.  One is done except for 1.5″ of stitching which is where my bobbin ran out of thread.

 

I have enough material for 12 at this size.  I am considering making a couple larger.  We shall see.  There’s even a crochet one in progress.

Somewhere in all of this we’ve also pulled out watercolor paints and played with them.

 

We have plans for clay, potentially more terrariums (depending on what containers we can find at the thrift shops) and sun catchers and, as always, more quilting & sewing.

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Filed under Arts & Crafts, Crochet, Gardening, Quilting, Sewing

A bit of mending

I have these dress slacks that have needed attention for some time.  A few years ago, long enough that I can’t remember who was the culprit anymore, one of the cats decided to climb the clothing in the closet.  The bottom few inches of these pants were ruined with snags and rips.  Being that this was a really nice, high quality pair being fully lined, I couldn’t stand the idea of just tossing them.  At some point I did cut off the ruined portions.  The remainder has been haunting my studio since.  I had the glimmerings of an idea last night a dug through my box of trims and some trim grab bags I had.  This morning, I converted that idea into reality.  I hemmed both pants and lining, and added a bit of fun trim to the pants hems.  Now they are capris and have touch of seam lace that peaks out just below the hem and a small band of black and white gingham.  I’m quite pleased with the results and have already imagined outfit pairings.

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Filed under Needlework, Sewing