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11  Re: Let's see your sewing machine!! in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Mrs_Boats on: May 17, 2009 12:59:34 PM
My baby! I got given this as a freebie and got it back from being serviced awhile ago-I just haven't had much of a chance to play with it until recently. The only big thing wrong with it, beyond 40+ years of dirt, was that the zigzag only zigged. The guy fiddled with it and finally ended up taking out the swing pin, putting it on his jeweler's lathe and shaving .0001" off. (And considered that a perfectly reasonable thing to do! Cheesy ) It's eventually going to need a new needle plate, but we couldn't find one for love or money so he patched up the rough edge with metal epoxy and it's good enough to be going on with.

I spent the last three days making new cushion covers for my sister's camper (I got all the domestic skills in the family Grin ) and my old girl has done everything I've asked her to, and hasn't balked once, even with six layers of upholstery fabric. She powerful quiet, and stitches amazingly fast!

Anyway, here's Noriko, an early/mid-60's Riccar 310, made in Japan.





Sorry about the blurriness of the second one; it's from my cellphone since my camera seems to have gone awol. It's the truest to color though-a two-tone green.

I have a demoted White 1755 languishing in the closet. It used to be my main machine but now will be backup, I think. And a Janome serger-one of the Harmony models. My sister has my mom's old Singer Touch & Sew, and if she doesn't start using it, I'm going to steal it back! That's the one I learned to sew on.

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12  dull, boring thrift table into snazzy serger table! in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Mrs_Boats on: May 03, 2009 04:18:44 PM
This was my weekend project. I picked this table up at a thrift shop a couple weeks ago, for $20. It was in good condition, and solid wood, but the finish was beat, and the color was faded. I sanded the heck out of it, then stained it with high-gloss Bombay Mahogany. (The last picture is truest to the actual color.) It still isn't the color I wanted; I wanted a really dark *red* antique cherry, but apparently the only way to get that is to let a lighter cherry stain oxidize. It definitely doesn't come in a can!  Whatever-I like it, and I think it turned out nice. I ModPodged a piece of scrapbook paper to the bottom of the drawer, and still have to put felt on the bottoms of the legs.

Before:




After:




The split on the top on the right side is where the two pieces that make up the top have separated.  It's really smooth, and will mostly be under the serger, so I didn't try to patch it, I just filled it up with polystain.
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13  Refurbed sewing machine table? I need some inspiration! in Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions by Mrs_Boats on: May 03, 2009 07:23:36 AM
I got a cool old sewing machine, but it came in a grotty, beat-up table.

You can kind of see what I mean:


It's much worse on the hinged end of the table, and worse yet when it's folded up-it was used as a side table, from what I understand, and there are water rings and huge scratches on the top. I had thought about stripping it and trying to refinish it, but I got to looking, and I don't think it's good wood, so I'm not convinced I'd get good results with stain. I don't have any objection to painting it, but what color? Brown, like it is now? Darker green, to go with the machine?  Something else?

It's in the crafty corner of the everything room, so it doesn't have to match or coordinate with any particular decorating theme. I'm open to suggestions-heck, at this point, I'm begging for them! The table needs some love, but I'm suffering from a lack of inspiration. I'd love to see some pics of refurbished tables!
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14  I got given a sewing machine, and now I have questions in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Mrs_Boats on: April 16, 2009 11:06:38 AM
backstory-> My neighbor volunteers (a LOT) with the local Combined Ministries Community Closet. She recently asked me if I'd be willing to come down and help them pack the winter stuff away, and start putting out summer stuff. I didn't have anything going, so I said no problem. Today was that day. CMCC is 90% clothes, and the rest is small household stuff-sheets, towels and kitchen stuff, from what I could see. They don't have furniture or large appliances.

Anyway. We spent the morning packing and unpacking, and then, while we were taking a break, I was poking around in the shed, to see what was next. I moved the sewing table and the director said, "Oh, that old thing. Honestly, I don't know why somebody donated it. It's not the sort of thing people need to replace in a crisis."  I moved it out of the way and went back later to take a look at it. The director said, "Don't bother putting it back-just prop it up by the dumpster."

Long story short (too late! Grin ), I brought it home with me. The director was delighted to get rid of it, and happy it was going to somebody who might be able to do something with it.

So, er, what do I have? It's a Riccar, a brand I've never heard of.



Model 310B


It appears to be in good condition physically-even the chrome is still shiny. It's amazingly clean on the inside, and the wiring is all intact (although the light bulb is out). I plugged it in and it runs, although I haven't played with any of the stitches yet.

A couple of questions: I can't find a manual anywhere online, (heck, I can't even find a picture of it online!) and I checked the usual sources. I have an email into Riccar, but they appear to do mostly/only vacuums now. Any other suggestions?

Most of it seems pretty straightforward, except for a switch, and a dial. These switches here (the white one behind is the on/off) I'm assuming are for Up and Down, but what's going Up and Down?



I'm also assuming this dial is a stitch length selector-is it?


Is there anything I should know about this machine that's not jumping out at me? Does anybody know anything about this machine? Anybody care to take a ballpark swing at how old it is?
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15  my new purse organizer in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by Mrs_Boats on: April 14, 2009 12:58:21 PM
I like my new purse, except for the part where it's basically a big bag with one small pocket. I *hate* it when all my stuff ends up in a heap in the bottom of my purse, and then I can't find anything.

I saw a couple organizers here and was thinking about StudioKat's when I saw this one at sweetbriarstudio on Etsy. (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23457978) StudioKat's is nice, but I don't need all those pockets, just more pockets that I had. An afternoon's work, and here it is.

It's got two big pockets on the outside on one side:


and three on the other side:


It has the same arrangement on the inside, just reversed:

There really are three pockets on the bottom row-I just don't use that last one much and so it lays pretty flat.

Action shot, with all my stuff in it:


I really like it-everything in my purse is exactly where I put it when I want it again! I'd do it a little differently if I made it again though. I used a fairly stiff interfacing, but only on one layer. Next time I'd do both, and see if that didn't kill some of the floppies. Also, I didn't topstitch the corners-I didn't think it would make much of a difference. But I'll bet it does, and I'll do that sometime this week. Really, the flop is my only complaint, and the way it fits into my purse, it doesn't flop much.

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16  Lots of Pockets (lots!) and a wallet in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by Mrs_Boats on: March 22, 2009 03:24:06 PM
Hey, all. I've had a busy weekend-I finally got around to finishing a new purse for me, and a wallet. Overall I'm pleased with both, but I could stand some concrit--and advice--especially on the wallet.

First up-Lots of Pockets. I saw a few of them here and thought they were cute. This was my mockup, and I'm glad I made it-it's too small for my taste. The shell is white corduroy from my stash; the lining is actually a former valance, also from my stash. No interfacing, and as you can see, the snap is misaligned so the tab is crooked.





But I liked it, so I made another. This one I expanded 3" in both directions. The black corduroy shell came from my stash; the lilies from Hancock's. I like lilies.  Smiley I used fusible fleece for interfacing, which worked really well, I thought. The only hitch is that one set of darts on the bottom don't line up. You'd have to turn it upside down to see it though, and if you do that I'm likely to take it back and whack you with it. Grin A neat detail is the cords on the tab go horizontally, while the body goes vertically. Completely unintentional on my part. Tongue





Then there's the wallet. Roll Eyes I used this tutorial (http://elily00.wordpress.com/tutorials/wallet/). I didn't have any problem following it, but I should have made a mockup of this too, with something simple like denim. What a PITA. I have no idea what the outer shell is; I got it Walmart and at the time, thought it was some sort of microfiber. It wasn't vinyl like I'm familiar with, that's for sure, but it was a pain to work with whatever it was.







This is where I could stand some advice. I didn't topstitch around it, and here's why:



See that pucker on the left edge? I sewed along the spine of the wallet and got that. I had the same problem in the basting stage; whatever the outer fabric was stuck to the presser foot. How do I prevent that? I'm afraid that if I topstitch around the edge, it'll end up puckered everywhere. I'd like to learn how to handle it-I've still got enough left for a simple ID holder.

All in all, not a bad first try. I learned a lot, it doesn't look too horrible, and I'll probably make another one.

edited because I can't spell today!
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