Friday, November 5, 2010

Brushing Off the Dust

I never got a chance to thank you all for the lovely comments on my quickly sewn love seat covers. Thank you! I can't say I enjoyed making them, it was a gotta do situation.
But the help I received and the great comments certainly made up for any lacking enjoyment in the actual sewing. It did however spark a love of a craft I have too long avoided. Sewing. I was so impressed again with the older style machines, heavy metal heads, gears instead of computers and wondrous attachments in bright shiny metal.
I had to get me one! My Bernina, while it has always been a great quilting machine, just doesn't have the umph that a vintage machine does. Plus, the new computer machines just can't be serviced at home like an older one can. What fun is that I ask? To that end I bought myself an old 50's Singer 401A,

much like the machine I learned on ( A Singer 237) but with all the whistles and bells you wish you could have afforded at the time you settled on the no nonsense workhorse 237. Gene and I also found a lovely Husqvarna Viking 6020 to keep set up for the heavy strap goods he needs sewn once in a while for his business.

My Bernina hated them and it was quite the pain to be constantly changing out everything to black thread. He might lose that 6020 to me. It's a fine machine and has the free arm! :) But fear not little Bernina I still love you!

So, along with weaving a little sewing has gone on here. Stella has a wonderful new fleece coat which my Dad poo-pooed until he saw her rip it off of Pogo ( checking for size) and want it back on her. Plus we all agreed, she wears it well and it makes her more willing to venture out in the rain.

These pics were taken before some adjustments were made, but you get the idea.

I was also inspired to actually sew a garment. I haven't sewn anything wearable in something like 20 years, but a lot of it came back and this pattern was just right for getting my feet wet again. No sleeves (which I actually like to do) but I had to make bias binding and that has always been one of those sewing jobs I never looked forward to. It wasn't too bad though, so maybe the long break was a good thing! Gene couldn't believe I actually made something to wear and wore it, so insisted I get up from the loom and model. So here you go, a rare picture or two and yes, I felt it was public worthy and did a much needed run to town without changing.

The pattern on the fabric which I have saved for YEARS is called Bow Wow Chow Mein.

And finally, parting shots. Two Old Farts, Squeezed Cheek to Cheek.


  1. I love how you're a collector....looms, sewing machines, yarn, books, dogs!

    Great job sewing!!! I wish I'd get so inspired. Love your garment and Stella's. Great fabric choices in these projects (and in the loveseats!)


  2. Great tunic, a very useful piece of clothing that looks good as well! Is that a handwoven rug beside that fashionable doggy coat? I still have my close to 40yr. old Bernina which I would never give up.

  3. You are smart to have bought that wonderful Singer machine! I have a computer machine which I love but am so fond of the older models. You have inspired me. And wow! A peak at you...great tunic, grrreat shots of those pups!

  4. I'm so thrilled to see more people dust off their sewing machines and just SEW! Your top is wonderful!!! I know you'll get lots of wear from it. You'll be making Stella some new coats before long!

  5. Oh Evelyn, I bet your Bernina is one of the wonderful Record models..yes?
    The rug is actually a recycled plastic and it is woven, but not by me. We have 3 or 4 of these, inexpensive and you pick them up and hose them down. Perfect for mud and snow season in our house. Plus they are rather pretty and well woven.
    Sue, it's good to see you! I'm sorry inspiration isn't coming your way, but the winter is long up there and who knows, it may hit yet.
    I do love to collect, but not like I use to as hard as that may be to believe!

  6. Nancy,
    I love the Singer, it even sounds like I remember the old one sounding. The Viking is nice too, but just haven't gotten as familiar with it...yet.

    LA, yes, it IS nice to just sew, it also makes me want to make more fabric weaving instead of articles. KWIM?
    Stella already has some flannel fabric waiting for another little coat, as does Pogo. Need to get more fleece for Peter and Jack. No one else needs or likes coats as they have heavy ones of their own. The tunic is cotton and more summer weight but it will be fun to throw a t-shirt on underneath and it works just right with a turtleneck for this fall weather.
    Thank you all for the compliments!

  7. Sewing is my first love, before knitting, spinning or weaving. I have done more lately than in the past 10 years! Quilt piecing mostly. Your top looks good and fun! For that matter you and the dogs look good and fun!

    I have a 4 machine collection. The best one for quilt piecing and weaving hems is an old mechanical heavy metal Singer that I got for $30 in a mid century modern cabinet. I love my Viking for clothing, Kenmore for rough stuff and loaning to the kids, and an old treadle Singer for its walnut cabinet. I am promised my mom's Singer Featherweight one day, the one I learned on.

  8. What a great post! Collecting vintage sewing machines is so much fun and I agree with you wholeheartedly that the old machines just can't be beat. I had a Viking similar to yours that I sewed on when my guys were little. I can't tell you how many little pairs of pants I sewed or how many little polos I made. Good memories!

    Nice doggie jacket and it's amazing that he likes it. I could see my Corgi shredding one....

    Thanks for sharing the photos of your new creation with you modeling it. It was neat to see what you look like after enjoying your blog for so long.

    Have a great weekend!

  9. Sewing has always been a skill I loathed, but use when necessary. I'm much more willing to do mending now that I have a Singer Featherweight - NO bells or whistles; just my style!.

    THANK-you for sharing pictures of yourself; it is so nice to get to SEE our blogpals!

  10. And what a great model you are! Fun to get back to sewing, isn't it? I'm heading that way but have too many other things to finish up for holiday sales first.

  11. Great job Theresa! I loved getting old machines from the thrift store, taking them apart, fixing them, and putting them back together again. Alas, I got rid of all but my Pfaff when we moved down to Ashland. Have it set up and ready to sew the minute I get a minute. Love Stella's warm jacket.

  12. This post is why I read blogs! I almost had tears in my eyes when you showed the Singer I grew up with. I think your vest is terrific.

    I have all my saved patterns but I'm shocked to discover that, unlike department stores that sell me size 12 clothes, pattern sizes have remained unchanged. My size 12 patterns are useless since apparently I'm now a size 18.

    I'm still feeling my way here, but man oh man, does it feel gratifying to sew again. Just like getting back on a bicycle.

  13. I love your top! And it looks so good on you. Funny, but I used to love to sew but I've really lost the motivation. Of course, my 6 year old Singer died on me not too long ago, and it's hard to get excited about buying a new one which probably won't even last that long. I love those old machines and am thinking I need to look around for one.

    Stella and her fleece coat reminded me of a dog my in-laws used to have. A poodle who would wait by the dryer for her coat when it had to be washed. For dramatic effect, she would start shivering as soon as it came out of the dryer, begging to have it put on again.

  14. Michelle, at least it is nice to do the sewing on a sweet featherweight, what a super little machine they are!
    Oh Cindie, I am sure when you sit down to sew it will be something wonderful.
    Renee, those Pfaffs are amazing machines. I've seen both old and new ones in action. Love the vintage attached folding little tables to make it a free arm or a bed.
    Sharon, I bought 4 new patterns yesterday all containing size 14. Now there was no way I was going to buy the 16-20. Looking at one the 14 while the measurements are small, seems like it would work. I like the Sewing Workshop patterns and Indygo Junction, all with all sizes.
    Leigh, I suspect a good vintage machine with attachments cost what a cheapo plastic bottom of the line does today. For reference, the Viking was $100.00 in VG condition, the Singer with a plethora of attachments and a complete monogram kit a bit over $200. The Bernina Record machines can cost dear, but are lovely to use, as is an older Pfaff I'm told. Craigslist can be a treasure or if you are of a mind, many of the machines sell on e-bay and there are some great sellers on there with machines completely serviced. Great dog story and so true, so true!