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21  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Built by Wendy 3835 in Voiles on: January 29, 2016 06:12:17 AM
I LOVE this pattern. Darling, 4-piece, raglan sleeve blouse. I made these versions in Voile by Anna Maria Horner. More on my blog! http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2011/04/handmade-simplicity-3835-in-voile.html#.VqtxKlMrKRs

Thanks for reading!



22  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Why I Recommend Buying a Vintage Sewing Machine and What to Look for if you do on: January 22, 2016 06:34:47 PM
Thank you so much for posting this information!  My newer, "modern" plastic machine that I've had for several years only sews reliably in reverse.  It never sewed  forward even after servicing.  Currently I am trying to revamp my VSMs -- a Viscount (Japanese 15 clone, no manual, recently acquired from a thrift store) and a treadle (family heirloom).   I look forward to being able to sew like a normal stashaholic Smiley

JS,

I'm so glad you found this post helpful! Thanks for commenting. I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems. I've taught a lot of students with brand new sewing machines and I finally decided that they're just not worth it.Have you checked the great world wide web for the manual for your Japanese machine? I have discovered so many (mostly free!) downloadable manuals just by trying Google. Best of luck in getting your older machines up and running!
23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Retro Autumn coat on: January 22, 2016 06:31:23 PM
This is so, so lovely. It looks amazing on you. Beautiful job!
24  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: How to Sew 5 Different Finishing Seams: A Tutorial on: January 21, 2016 04:34:41 AM
nice of you to share these! 

you can do #2 without topstitching by simply stitching down the fold on the seam allowances. 

and I've always done flat-felled seams on the outside of the garment (starting with the fabric wrong sides together).  Interesting to see it done the opposite way.

Thanks for commenting, steiconi. I love these seams (and really sewing in general) because there are so many different ways to do each thing. I love to see what other people's techniques and tips are, so thanks for sharing! I love a flat-felled seam on the outside as well, especially for yarn-dyed fabrics.
25  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Corduroy Dress with Vintage Abalone Buttons in back on: January 21, 2016 04:30:21 AM
GAH!! this is so elegant!! your blog is lovely too!

Thank you! I give the buttons all the credit for the elegance. Wink Thanks for checking out my bog, I appreciate it!
26  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Corduroy Dress with Vintage Abalone Buttons in back on: January 21, 2016 04:29:06 AM
It looks gorgeous! I just love those large buttons. I don't know why, but the back looks a bit Regency to me. Anyway, I also visited your blog and you definitely earned a new follower Smiley

Oh gosh, thank you so much, madziacz! Such kind words. I'm glad you enjoy the blog, thanks for following!
27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Colette's Laurel Top in Double Gauze on: January 15, 2016 01:57:00 PM
Hey Hannah, cute blouse.
And I love the Tin Thimble!!!

Well hello Kathleen! Thank you! So nice to see you here.
28  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Colette's Laurel Top in Double Gauze on: January 15, 2016 10:22:06 AM
I recently sewed up this sample piece for my family's business, The Tin Thimble. The pattern is Colettes Laurel top. The fabric is double gauze by Lucien fabrics and the trim is vintage.

This blouse was so simple to make, I highly suggest it for beginner sewists! Plus, Colettes patterns are excellently illustrated and written. The inside is finished with a combination of clean-finished seams, bias tape and zig-zag seams.

More on my blog here:http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2016/01/colette-laurel-in-double-gauze.html#.Vpk2sja3jH0

Thanks for reading!





29  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Why I Recommend Buying a Vintage Sewing Machine and What to Look for if you do on: January 10, 2016 01:29:20 PM
This article is originally from my blog. The original post is slightly more thorough and you can read it here: http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2016/01/why-i-recommend-buying-vintage-sewing.html#.VpLKGza3jH0

Thanks for reading!



Firstly, what qualifies as 'vintage'? Well there is some general disagreement out there about that, but for this post specifically, I mean machines made from the 1980's and older.

I also recommend all models. Kenmore, Singer, Necchi, Brother, White, Viking, Janome. It doesn't matter. I've worked with all those (and more I didn't list) and have had success with all of them.

Reason No. 1: You can service them yourself

I wrote an entire post on cleaning, oiling and maintaining your sewing machine. Unfortunately, for many of my readers with brand new sewing machines, this post will not be helpful to them. Many new sewing machines do not allow us to take them apart and service them ourselves. This is because they have fancy computers inside that we would risk damaging if we poked around.

Older machines can be opened up, taken apart, cleaned, oiled, and put back together with a fair amount of ease. This means we can save ourselves some cash by foregoing services at our local sew-n-vac place and do it ourselves!

Reason No. 2: They're made of metal

Plastic has many benefits, but it is not a material I want to find in my sewing machine. Plastic melts. Plastic bends. Plastic cracks. Vintage sewing machines are made almost entirely of metal, which means they are difficult to break. It also means that they are sturdier than their newer, plastic models. They can push through more layers of heavy fabric (hello, denim and canvas!), and they will produce lovely, even, stitches through these layers because they're so tough.

Also, side note, you can find many brands that were made in America. That is nearly impossible today. That $40 Singer at Target is definitely made in China. Personally, I'm all for American made.

Reason No. 3: They're Simple

There is beauty in simplicity. Vintage sewing machines often have a limited number of stitches such as straight, zig zag, buttonhole, overlock and perhaps a few more. For beginning seamstresses, this is perfect. For more advanced garment seamstresses, this is perfect. If you want to machine quilt a king-sized quilt with machine embroidery stitches, this is not perfect.

I love my vintage machine because it is a workhorse. It gets the job done every time, and with beautiful results. It is not fussy, it is not hard to fix, it does not have computer glitches.

Reason No. 4: You Get More Than you Pay for

The sewing machine that I use for daily sewing, currently, is a 1980's Necchi that I purchased at Goodwill for $15. It's been six years since I purchased it and I've only taken it twice to be professionally serviced.  Thrift stores are a fantastic place to look for these little vintage honeys. You can also find them easily on Craigslist and at yard sales. They're rarely overpriced and there's often nothing wrong with them.

You may only pay $30 for a sewing machine that will last you your entire lifetime.

What to Look for if you Decide to Purchase One

Find the number plate. There should be a metal plate located either on the side, back or underside of the machine. Here you'll find the model number, serial number, and the watts/amps/energy amounts for the machine. If you're able, do a quick internet search for the model number and see what comes up. If there are other machines like it for sale, that's a good sign. That means it will be easier to find replacement parts and attachments. If nothing like it shows up, it may be a collectors item! But this also means that parts and attachments will be more difficult to find. Are there reviews for it on Ebay or any other websites? Do sewists like it?



Does it move? If you turn the hand wheel, do the parts in the machine move through their motions? Does the needle go up and down? If so, that's a really good sign. Better yet, if it has the power cord, and you're able to plug it in, try it out! It may sound bad, but that's ok. Any weird smells or sounds the machine produces are likely from lack of use, dust build up, dried grease, etc. Those problems can be fixed with a thorough tune-up (which you can do yourself, remember?).

If it won't budge at all, you may want to pass it up (although I have seen several frozen machines be restored to their original beauty through a lot of patient oiling and cleaning...just sayin').

Does it have all it's parts? Machine, power cord, pedal, attachments. These are the main components of the sewing machine (the attachments being the least important part). If it doesn't have the power cord or the pedal, you may want to take a moment to see if you can find one on Ebay or Etsy. If you have a Sew-n-Vac place in your town, you could call them to see if they carry, or can order, replacement parts for older machines. If it doesn't have the attachments, don't worry, those are also easily discovered with a quick internet search.

Does it have the manual? Yes? Score! No? That's ok! Just about every sewing machine manual can be found in either a physical copy, or a digital copy online. If you're searching for a 1950's or older manual, I highly recommend searching Ebay and Etsy. If you're searching for a newer manual, some are available as free digital downloads simply by Googling them.

If you have further questions about purchasing a vintage sewing machine, please comment below! I'd love to help you figure out what type of machine is right for you.
30  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Vintage Simplicity 7480 in Vintage Plaid on: January 06, 2016 04:33:34 AM
Thank you everyone! Such kind words! Smiley
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