Pages

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Right Equipment.

I am a fairly novice seamstress, but I can sew a straight line (most of the time) and can read a pattern.  I like being able to make things for myself (and the dogs) - especially when I can reuse, upcycle and make do.  I would love to learn how to quilt, but I fear that I have two big strikes against me:  the focus of a fruit fly and I am math-challenged.

My very favorite sewing machine - the one I use for almost everything - is my mother's old Singer Featherweight.  She got this when she graduated from college - 1949, I believe.  This little gem is built like a tank (and weighs almost as much), has NEVER broken down, and - other than the occasional belt replacement - has functioned flawlessly for all these years.  I recently had to track down a repair person to replace the original cords that run from the pedal to the machine.  I (luckily) noticed there were breaks along the cord just before Kramer clamped his jaws on it.  That would have put a sparkle in his eyes. 



I was very lucky and found a repair guy that works out of his house - right on my pathway to work!  He can and will work on any type of sewing machine and told me lots of interesting things about the early Singers.  Cool beans.  He also has an adorable dog.  Who quickly discovered that I drive around with dog treats. 

For fancier sewing, I have an older Husqvarna (Husky 145).  It is desperately in need of a once-over and now that I've found my repair guy, it's next on the list.  Right under car repairs, vet bills, fuel oil, and gasoline.

I have my holiday gifts to make, a few pair of pants to hem, and my exciting new project - flannel-lined window shades for my living room windows!  I have a real problem with window 'dressing'.  Mostly, I like them bare-nekkid.  That is a problem, however, if I happen to be bare-nekkid.  I don't think the neighbors are ready for that.

10 comments:

  1. Yes, the Singer Featherweight is a great machine. My 85 year old mother is still sewing on hers. She made a lot of my clothes on that machine when I was a child. When I go to visit her, I sometimes take jeans that need to be shortened because that little sewing machine can really sew through thick fabrics very well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2T - I've had a lot more luck with it getting through just about anything than my newer 'fancier' machine. There is a lot to be said for an American made machine with no plastic parts.

      Delete
    2. I think the "no plastic" parts is a big reason those wonderful machines last and last and last. I don't own one (a Featherweight) but everyone I know who does swears ya just can't beat 'em. Lucky you to have yours! And lucky to have found that super-sounding repairman.

      You'll have to remember to take some photos of your new flannel-lined window shades. They sound perfect for winter time.

      Delete
  2. I love the picture of the old Featherweight. Many years ago my late mom gave me hers - a wedding present from my dad in 1941. I packed it in its original case when I moved my sewing room and old Bernina 830 Record to the farm - and it remains cased waiting for me to reinforce and paint my makeshift sewing table. But you've sparked me with this photo to get it done - right after the holidays.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have an old Kenmore machine that my mom bought second hand in the 1980s from a seamstress that much have been upgrading. I haven't taken it for a spin for a long time but it too was certainly built to last!

    And I'm sorry but math skills are no excuse for not learning to quilt if you want to give it a go. There are so many simple patterns out there that give you every single measurement that you will ever need. If you can follow instructions to follow a pattern for clothes or knitting a scarf you can quilt. I taught myself from trial and error and believe me when I say I'm no math genius!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a Featherweight, compliments of my dad and his wife. She and her family are quilters, and I think there was a hope I'd want to be one, too. I have enough hobbies, thankyouverymuch, but I use it for mending.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You know, you could just sew yourself some flannel-lined PJ's and forget the whole window treatment project.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've got an old Singer (from the early 80's so not THAT old!) that is my backup machine. I've got my main machine that is an Elna and my old Damascus treadle is always there if all I want to do is straight stitch. One of our local shops will even still service the treadle machine but it would be so nice if they did housecalls!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, girl!! She's a beauty. Quilters LOVE featherweights! I don't have one, but I know lots of folks who do. I'm told they are wonderful for piecing quilts. And you do NOT have to be a math whiz to quilt. That's what patterns are for! I'd love for you to give it a try. I think you'd like it. If you'd like to know more, just email me, okay?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Super cool about having such an old machine that works and belonged to your mom. I resist buying a sewing machine because I feel like it'd be irresponsible to acquire another hobby. I love the idea of felting old wool thrift store sweaters and turning them into useful things. Someday...

    ReplyDelete