Tag Archives: Singer sewing machines

Refashioned!

My new nightdress. Formerly a linen shirt belonging to my husband. I’ve been hanging on to the shirt for ages but now seemed like the right time to use it.

The original

I’ve extended it with a leftover piece of linen table cloth. Both fabrics are very soft after long years of laundry. I bought the lace trim to try to tie it all together and make it look more feminine. I’ve replaced the plastic buttons with shell buttons.

I’ve got a fair size collection of shell buttons taken off old clothes, found in charity shops or donated by kind friends.

It’s been an interesting project for my “new” machine

I did French seams to avoid having to start on the zigzag attachment yet. And I put a lot of the trim on by hand because I couldn’t get past the lack of a free arm.

Any advice on how to cope without the free arm please let me know.

Next time’s project has to use the zigzag attachment. It doesn’t have instructions so I’ll need to do some research. Maybe YouTube?

I’m pleased with it though.

Thanks for dropping by.

Enjoy your week

Norma x

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Filed under Clothes, recycling, Singer sewing machines, slow fashion, textiles, Thrift, upcycling

A New Machine and Some Quilts

My “new” sewing machine. It’s a Singer 201k and it sews like a dream. It’s incredibly heavy so I’m looking for a table it can sit on permanently.

I’ve bought it a buttonholer and a zigzag attachment. I’ve got to try them out yet. The tote bag I made to try it out had French seams!

So what else has happened?

These quilts I put my quilt group’s exhibition (one unfinished) appeared in British Patchwork and Quilting magazine along with lovelies made by my friends.

I’ve been mending, garden dyeing and refashioning. And I have another project idea afoot.

More to follow.

Thanks to Lynda who suggested I start blogging again. I promise to try.

Norma x

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Filed under blogging friends, patchwork, quilts, sewing, Singer sewing machines

The Seamstress Tag

I’ve just read Emily Ann’s Seamstress Tag here and really enjoyed it, so I’m going to do one myself.

Here goes…

Who are you?

I’m  Norma and I live in beautiful Mid-Wales.

When / why did you start sewing?

I’ve always enjoyed sewing. My Mum was a dressmaker by trade and sewing was a part of life when I was growing up.

I was pretty awful at it though – my clothes were Mum-made rather than Me-made.

I started taking it seriously in my twenties and got obsessed in my thirties. The obsession continues – I love sewing.

Favourite / proudest make?

A “knock-off” Armani suit made from fabric fr0m the Jaeger factory – I bought it on Grantham Market (Lincolnshire). I needed something for a job interview. I got the job & wore the suit to death. I’m still proud of it even though it is long gone.

Disastrous Make?

Lots of those – I laugh when I think about my early attempts; I must have looked a sight. I always wore them to death though.

The worst one recently was probably my bra. I managed to put the cups on upside down. I haven’t tried again but I will one day…

Favourite place for fabric shopping?

Charity shops, vintage stalls, jumble sales, old clothes. I love a good rummage.

Most used pattern?

My own pattern free designs. And just recently, a pattern from a 1934 magazine I’ve made twice and I’ll be using again as a base pattern.

Most Dreaded Sewing Task?

Zips!

Favourite sewing task?

This is a hard one: it changes often. Anything involving handstitching is my current favourite.

Favourite sewing entertainment?

The radio. I like Radio 3 and Radio 4. For those of you outside the UK, Radio 3 specialises in classical music and Radio 4 has plays, current affairs, stories and so on.

Printed or PDF patterns?

I am trying to like PDF patterns but I find them very hard work.

What sewing machine do you use?

A Pfaff Select 1548 – it’s a mechanical rather than electronic machine and it’s been a pleasure to use since the day it arrived. My previous computerised machine went insane (yes, really!) and I decided to go mechanical. I’ve never regretted it.

And I’ve also got this

PB130392.JPG

It’s a 1930s machine and still sews perfectly.

Any other hobbies?

I’ve got two Labrador Retrievers so walking is a big thing, I run, and I keep hens. And I’ve started knitting.

I hope you’ll want to join in this tagging because I’d love to know more about you.

Thanks for dropping by,

Norma x

 

 

 

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Filed under Clothes, dressmaking, sewing, Singer sewing machines

1934 Skirt

I’ve finished the 1934 skirt using only 1930s methods. It’s been a fun process and I’d recommend it as a way of relaxing. Definitely slow sewing.

Some 1930s details: the side placket and the waistband

Press studs / snap fasteners were the usual way to fasten a skirt or dress in 1934. Zips were still unusual, at least for home sewers in the UK; only one of my many 1930s sewing books gives any instruction as to how to insert a “slide fastener”.

The waist is finished with Petersham ribbon as instructed both by my pattern and by the various sewing books. The waist edge is turned over the top of the Petersham and the raw edge should be finished with “Prussian binding”. I have no idea what that is, so used a narrow bias binding. You can see from the photograph that it’s a nice finish. I did the waistband by hand – easier than by machine as it didn’t need unpicking afterwards….

I finished all the seams by hand overcasting and sewed the hem by hand too. My 1930s machine is straight stitch only.

What did I enjoy and what worked well?

I like the waist finish very much and would use that again.

I enjoyed the hand overcasting most of the time.

I love turning the wheel of my old Singer. How can it sew so well after 80 years?

I love the pleat. If you have been watching The Durrells on ITV on Sunday evenings you will have seen Mrs Durrell (Keeley Hawes) wearing a skirt with a pleat like mine, but she has one in the back too. It’s not needed for movement but it looks lovely.

What I did not like and what I would do differently

I would stay stitch the waist. One of the books warns you to check the waist measurement as the waist is likely to have stretched. When did stay stitching come in? It’s not in any of my 1930s books.

I would make a button placket rather than the press studs or I might use a zip. I’d stick to the side fastening as I think that looks good.

I will add a back pleat as well as a front pleat just because I liked what I saw on the television.

The next step is the jacket. I don’t wear suits but I think an unstructured jacket would look good with some of my other clothes. I’m going to give myself a break now and pick up the jacket in a week or two.

Meantime I’m going to be looking at this book again and again.

20160412_152158

It has some photos but mostly it has illustrations of 1930s clothes. I just love the illustrations.

EmilyAnn is making progress with her 1930s dress pattern so why not go over and take a look?

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 1930s, 1930s sewalong, Clothes, dressmaking, history, sewalongs, sewing, Singer sewing machines, textiles