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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / how to re-set a yoke/waistband? on: September 09, 2011 02:51:40 PM
I was out thrifting today and lucked into a fabulous wool skirt. Brown and teal plaid, lined, it fits perfectly, except for one small problem...I'm short, it's not. It's ankle length, and ideally I'd like it to be more like just below the knee.

Normally I'd just cut it down and re-hem it, but it's got these really cool boxed kick pleats that I'd like to keep. So now I'm thinking about moving the waist down, instead. The front is a V shaped yoke, with about 3" of elastic on each side, followed by a narrow flat waistband going around to the back, where it buttons over an invisible zipper.

How exactly do I do this? This is what I'm thinking is involved, but if I'm going badly astray, please let me know.

1. Carefully pick entire waistband/yoke from skirt.
2. Figure out how long I want the final skirt to be, and cut down the waist, remembering to add seam allowance and  subtract the yoke.
3. Reattach yoke/waist to skirt. (Like a quilt binding, I assume-one side gets machine sewn, the other side hand sewn.)
4. Carefully split the back seam, and reinsert the invisible zipper. Hand sew the lining to the zipper.
Alternatively, 5. Find a tailor and let them do it.

I'm a fairly competent seamstress, but this is pushing the edge of my abilities. I can make clothes, but aftermarket tailoring is something new.

Am I missing any major steps? Making a mountain out of a molehill? Would it be easier to reset the pleats? Any advice? I'd really like to expand my skills, and a fabulous but inexpensive skirt seems like the thing to try it on.
2  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / repairing a crazy quilt on: May 08, 2011 05:01:03 AM
I met a friend for lunch yesterday well out of my usual stomping grounds. We had intended a picnic at a little local park but got rained out. Happily, we went junking instead, and I ran into (and fell in love with!) a crazy quilt top. It's about the size of a generous lap quilt-probably big enough to nap under. Smiley It's in pretty good shape, but three of the pieces are frayed. The top itself is made of biggish blocks of crazy quilt, if that makes sense. From what I can tell, the crazy part has been hand stitched, and hand tacked to the backing fabric, but the blocks machine stitched.

I've got two questions. 1. How can I repair the frayed blocks? I hate to pick out the snazzy turkey track embroidery around it, but I do enough embroidery that I could replace it. Or would it just be better to applique over the ragged spots? 2. How do I go about quilting this? Stitch in the ditch would oversew a lot of the embroidery. Just tie it? With what? (Can you tell I'm kind of a newbie at quilting?)

Actually, make that three questions: How do I wash this thing? It seems pretty clean, doesn't smell old or musty or anything, but eventually it's going to need washed, since I intend to use it. Wash on gentle or dry clean?
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / help! foot control speed troubleshooting on: May 01, 2011 12:28:22 PM
I have a Singer 237 with a new motor, and recently serviced. The problem is that the foot controller has two speeds...SEWWWWWW!!!!! and off. There is no middle ground, and certainly no slow speed. I've tried driving barefoot for more control, but all I got was a cold foot. This machine is new to me (a thrift store find! I <3 my local SA!) so I don't know if this is the way this machine is supposed to run or not. I've already checked out the foot pedal and it's clean, so it's not a wad of thread or something causing the problem.

Is there a way I can slow it down?

(It's probably not helping that I'm doubly frustrated from trying to figure out a poorly-written pdf pattern. Gah!)
4  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / sewing cabinet mod on: April 27, 2011 04:58:57 PM
I wasn't sure where to put this, but here seemed reasonable, since it's sort of about sewing machines.

I snagged a nice sewing cabinet with drawers from freecycle last weekend. It's a desk style (with no fold-down on the left) with drawers, and hinges in the back. The problem is that my machine only just fits. That is, the base of the machine is *almost* smaller than the hole. Frankly, I'm afraid if I run it at any speed, it'll vibrate off the hinge pins and end up in my lap-or on my foot. The hole is also 3" or so too long, but I can live with that; it's a handy place to drop the cords. My big concern is the width.

Is there a way to modify the top to fit? Even adding a half inch would be helpful. I have no equipment for major carpentry, but can handle minor stuff if someone's got a workaround. I'd really like to save this desk, but it's unuseable as is. Help?
5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / how to identify your vintage Singer on: March 31, 2011 10:01:59 AM
I was poking around, trying to figure out what model my new girl is and I ran into this site. I don't know how comprehensive it is, buut it seems pretty thorough, and it helped me ID mine as a 192k.

Check it out-I can't be the only one wondering what I've got!

http://www.sandman-collectibles.com/id-singer-machines.htm
6  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / vintage Spartan/Singer-my new find! on: March 30, 2011 01:41:30 PM
Look what I found!

I was killing time in the thrift shop when I ran into this sweet little machine buried on a shelf. No price tag, but when I asked, I was told $15. Who could pass that up? The wheel turns, but I didn't plug it in, so I don't know about the motor. There's still thread in the bobbin, though.

A quick Google tells me it's a British-built Singer, made in Scotland. A longer Google (and turning the thing upside down a few times-honestly, who named it a *Featherweight*?) tells me tentatively that it was made in 1941. The bottom is stamped Simanco-dunno what that's about.

A couple questions. Did this originally have a case? It's screwed into a plastic case bottom, so I don't think it was supposed to be in a table.

Also, it looks like the serial number says P401407, with something blurry that might be an E in front of the P. According to this site (http://www.planetpatchwork.com/fweight.htm), it's actually probably ED, but how do I know I'm looking at the right thing? I can't find any pictures of serial numbers for comparison.

What's the SIMANCO stamped on the bottom? The plate on the motor mount also says SIMANCO, and Made in Canada.

Anything else you can tell me about the new girl would be fun to know. I'll call the sewing machine guy tomorrow with an eye to taking her in this weekend for a thorough cleaning and going over.



Pardon the mess. You can tell I cleaned off just enough of the table to put her down and take pictures. Sorry!

3/31 Update: Much poking around on the Singer site (and internet in general) has refined some of my guessing. It's a model 192k-it says so on the stitch length selector plate. I cleaned more gook off the bottom, and the serial number is EP401407, making it built in 1959. The motor works (I plugged it in) and the wheel turns, but the front half of the machine and the bobbin mechanism are frozen. I did take the plate off to check it out, and it's incredible dirty (eons of old grease and lint) but not rusted, so I suspect my sewing machine guy will get it sorted fairly easily. I have an appointment with him tomorrow at noon, so I'll know more after that.

Now all I need is nice, old-fashioned Scottish name for her and we'll be all set!  Cheesy


7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / interfacing on leather? on: October 30, 2009 09:05:38 AM
Can you put interfacing on leather? I want to make a cover for my Kindle, and got to wondering. I'm planning on a book cover to go over the Amazon cover that it came with, and the leather I have came from an old leather trench coat-pretty, but limp.

If so, is it better to use the regular kind or the fleece stuff? If not, any suggestions for adding some stiffness without adding bulk?
8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / two issues: stitch width not stable + zigzag problem on: October 17, 2009 04:47:10 PM
I was zigzagging the long raw edges of fabric today and noticed a couple of things. The first I'm fairly sure is mechanical, but the second is probably me.

Issue the first: I had the zigzag set to a nice wide stitch. Three feet later, it was back to a straight stitch. I reset it-same thing. I looks like the vibration of the machine is causing the stitch selector dial to jiggle from whatever it's set to back to zero. Short of taping the dial down, is this something I can fix myself? Or does it need to go to the fixit guy? Actually, maybe I should be asking is this fixable at all?

My next problem is that before my zigzag started disappearing, I noticed that it was pulling the fabric between the edges up into a ridge. I assume that's a tension issue, but fiddle with it didn't get me anywhere. What am I doing wrong-am I supposed to loosen the tension or tighten it when it does that?

Oh, and my machine is a mid-60's Riccar, if that makes a difference:
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Never mind! WAS need clip art for decoupaged dresser on: October 06, 2009 11:46:07 AM
Never mind. I was in the shed yesterday, found a jug of paint stripper and thought I'd see what was under the umptyeleven layers of paint before I added another layer. I *think* it's walnut-whatever it is, it's a nice, close-grained wood with a dark, sort of reddish stain. I'm going to get more stripper today and do the rest, restain and then seal it. (Yes, my middle name is occasionally Maytag, because I'm wishy-washy!)

* * * * *

My dad came down to visit this last weekend and brought my old dresser with him. It's a nice solid wood, but nothing fancy, I don't think, and probably not anything that would look good stained. It was one of my first furniture projects when I was in high school, and that paint is still on it, only it's faded from barely beige to sort of a sickly pink.

My plan is to paint it bright white and decoupage labels on the drawers-clip art panties and bras on one drawer, socks/hose on the next, sweaters, pants, etc. The snag is that I'm not finding clip art like I'm envisioning. I'm looking for somewhat cartoon-y line art, just black and white. (Although if it's not b&w, I can always PS it to *be* b&w.) If I can't find enough of that style, I'd be ok with b&w retro/vintage pictures of the same stuff. (Clothes, not the people in them, although once again, if that's what I find, I can always PS the people out.)

Unfortunately, my google-fu isn't getting me anywhere (try google any variation of "panties" and see what you get! Angry ), and I've already been at it most of the day. Time to call in some backup! Does anyone have any idea where I can find the kind of clip art I've described?
10  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / why didn't someone warn me invisible thread was evil? on: August 31, 2009 05:34:49 AM
So I finally collected enough ties to try rickrackruby's tie bag and decided I'd use invisible thread for the top stitch.

The stuff is evil. *Evil*, I say. Angry It wouldn't stay on the spool (and my spool socks are meant for serger cones) and kept wrapping around the spool pin. If I looked at it funny it jumped out of the tension discs and then wrapped around the tension knob. Or around the bobbin/bobbin pin when the needle went through the fabric. And then, of course, it broke; that's how I knew it had wrapped itself around something, yet again. I briefly considered trying to use it as the bobbin thread, but given the fits it was giving me, I talked myself out of it fairly quickly.

A spool sock might help keep it on the spool, but I dunno about the rest of it. At this point, frankly, I'm so irritated with the whole thing that if the answer to working with it is 'patience', I'm done! I spent so much time fiddling with the stupid stuff, trying to devise ways to keep it on the spool and unwinding it from whatever when I couldn't, that I blew an entire afternoon and still only got about 8" sewn.

Is there a trick to working with this stuff that I'm missing?
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