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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another Addition to Singer Collection: 1953 Singer 15-91 EB Series

I picked up a Singer 15-91 from the Salvation Army yesterday Friday morning. I have been eying it for 2 weeks at its price of $85. More than double the cost of my Singer 201-2 but I was given 25% off and this one had everything all still with its original boxes too:

Tube of machine lube, all the different feet (7), and buttonholer and its attachments. I did find the original manual. It was my daughter who took it from the set! It is good to know that no one stole something from the Salvation Army Thrift for the sake of providing a high-demand collectiors item on ebay.

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I could buy one off of ebay.... but it just isn't the same. I called SA and they said it wasn't there. Oh well.... still worth it as the same exact machine is currently on ebay for $300 with still more than a day to go.


Singer 15-91 EB Series
Sews through canvas, leather, etc.
Distributed from Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1953
Factory Name: Kilbowie in Clydebank, Scotland

She works fine... just needs a cleaning.
More information on this machine can be found here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sewing Shopping Day

Gearing up for sewing, Little Miss here, thought it be appropriate to get some goodies. By 8:00 p.m. today, I had the following items:

*Cherry wood desk from a woman off of craigslist for $25.
*Hand made vintage sewing cabinet half off of its $25 tag
* Roll of velcro from Michael's at $1.99 per package
*Pattern tracing paper for $.50 and some fusing for $.10 at the thrift store.
*Dritz Cutting Set containing the rotary cutter, a cutting mat, and a clear quilting ruler from Jo-Ann for 40% if its $39.99 tag
*Dressmakers ruler from Michael's at 40% of of its $8.99 tag

As you can see, I love a great bargain and with a little bit of effort, it is possible acquire the things you need and will use without going so overboard. www.CreateForLess.com.
has my Dritz cutter for $12.99 by itself and at Joann's, it was $14.99. No site has my cutting set bargain but with Createforless, you may still save with everything else.


Create More, Spend Less

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My First Project - Practice making a table runner...

There was an email I received today asking if anyone knew of anyone who can sew some table runners. I don't know of anyone who sews, but perhaps, I could try?. What a great reason to start... to fulfill a need. Plus, it shouldn't be that hard, right? Just a rectangle piece formed by straight lines. And why not, especially since it would be part of a good cause.

The table runners would be put over three Young and Married Cafe tables on our Friday night sessions. The three tables would be to designate and honor the military wives whose brave men fight for our freedom and currently serving overseas.

But before I reply back to volunteer myself, I thought I'd give it a try first so as to not make a fool of myself later on. I dug in my fabric box and looked for the guinea fabric - a fabric I would probably never use or wear ever - and got to work. I worked with a scrap fabric, a dull pair of scissors, some pins, and the Brother machine. Below is a pic of my 20 minute creation:

A "very old Sanrio duck character" mini-table runner

How it was done:

2 pieces of fabric 12" x 30", scissors, pins

Place the fabric together with wrong sides facing out

Insert pins through the fabric 6-8" apart. This would help keep the fabric pieces aligned and together while feeding through the machine.

Sew three sides keeping about 1/2" from the edge of the fabric. . When you arrive at the corners, stop with the needle inside the fabric, lift the sewing foot, turn the fabric, put the presser foot back down and sew straight. Repeat until three sides are sewn together.

Turn the whole thing inside out. Follow by an iron press to help ensure that this table runner lay flat and crisp on a table. Lastly, take the last opened edge and sew it closed after folding the fraying edges inside. And tadah....... a table runner! Now go make one!

My First Stitches...

... hence the crookedness that is wreaking of first-timer juice.

my very first drive, done on a Brother LS 30

my very first drive, done on a Brother LS 30

From left to right, the stitch settings are:

Width 0 and F-dial on 4

Width 0 and F 4

Width 1 and F4

Width 3 and F4

Width 0 and F3

Width 5 and F3

There isn't very many options with this machine as far as decorative stitching but it can do its main job or purpose quite well.

Please excuse the pic quality as it was taken from my cellphone. Due to editing, this bright red print appears to be yellow!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Introducing Zoe! Welcome home, baby =)

She came in today and I am just in awe =) I have been thinking long and hard (half a day) for a name and have decided to name her Zoe 4166. Yes, it is close to my daughter's name, Chloe, but it just seems so fitting. It's a new model/machine and Suzy, though cute, just wasn't "it." Zoe also is Greek for "Life." Sewing was once a part of my life and with a little inspiration from Dan Miller and a nudging from the hubby, I have stepped back into a "life" that once before made me so happy then and is sure to make me happy for the days to come. And also, Zoe is so fitting because the hubby says I can't have a daughter named Zoe =(

So here she is, the baby of the family:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Practice Day on a Brother LS-30

My Singer 4166 is still in the mail and my Singer 201 still needs to be tuned up. I just happened to be browsing online and before I knew it, I snatched up a Brother LS-30 for $60 from Craigslist.com. It was too hard to let it pass as it came with 3 books (which I looked up on Amazon, of course) totaling over $54 alone. The three books were Sewing for Dummies, Singer Upholstery Basics Plus: Complete Step-by-Step Photo Guide, and The Complete Book of Sewing. So technically, this sewing machine was $6. The story: Former owner claimed that she never used it and it was a sudden gift when she had told someone that she wanted to learn how to sew. She never thought they would show up one day with a machine for her and say, "Oh here you go, now you can start sewing." (Wish things happened that easy, sometimes.) To be nice, she kept it but despite all these years, she never did sew and now has to lighten her load before she heads to the east coast in her truck.

10:45 pm, I took it out of the box and have been meticulously following the sewing manual. It is now 12:23 am and I have only gotten the bobbin in. I'm not even sure if I have it in correctly. The highlight of my sewing thus far is that I learned to thread the bobbin. I have learned to thread the bobbin. Hallelujah!

The next step is to thread the machine. My hubby just sent me this link to help me: Threading the Machine

I will let you know how it goes... it might take me another hour or two for this step. I will backtrack and also add a link showing you how to thread a bobbin.

(5 minutes later) OMG!!! If I had only watched this bobbin video before attempting to install the bobbin, I would have saved me an hour! Online videos are highly recommended!

Here is a picture of the machine I am working with:

Practice Day on a Brother LS-30

My Singer 4166 is still in the mail and my Singer 201 still needs to be tuned up. I just happened to be browsing online and before I knew it, I snatched up a Brother LS-30 for $60 from Craigslist.com. It was too hard to let it pass as it came with 3 books (which I looked up on Amazon, of course) totaling $40 alone. So technically, this sewing machine was $20. The story: Former owner claimed that she never used it and it was a sudden gift when she had told someone that she wanted to learn how to sew. She never thought they would show up one day with a machine for her and say, "Oh here you go, now you can start sewing." (Wish things happened that easy, sometimes.) To be nice, she kept it but despite all these years, she never did sew and now has to lighten her load before she heads to the east coast in her truck.

10:45 pm, I took it out of the box and have been meticulously following the sewing manual. It is now 12:23 am and I have only gotten the bobbin in. I'm not even sure if I have it in correctly. The highlight of my sewing thus far is that I learned to thread the bobbin. I have learned to thread the bobbin. Hallelujah!

The next step is to thread the machine. My hubby just sent me this link to help me: Threading the Machine

I will let you know how it goes... it might take me another hour or two for this step. I will backtrack and also add a link showing you how to thread a bobbin.

(5 minutes later) OMG!!! If I had only watched this bobbin video before attempting to install the bobbin, I would have saved me an hour! Online videos are highly recommended!

Here is a picture of the machine I am working with:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Learning by Connecting

I was very excited to learn today that my sewing group will finally be doing a meet again. It's been so long since the last one and there is no better way to learn and get inspired but to be with others of like mind. Other than taking a sewing course, this is the major way to really jumpstart your sewing journey. So google and look around for groups. I found my group on Meetup.com.

Another way to get connected is through the American Sewing Guild. This site can help you find your local chapter that hold classes and events. Some of the local sites list people who offer to teach sewing one on one.

san-diego

San Diego Sewing:

Click here for your local ASG. Note that there is a yearly fee to join but parts of the site and 411 on anything sewing is accessible.

Sewing classes are available throughout the county and through various community colleges, but for those looking for free and less structured lessons can attend through local Continuing Ed classes.

I will be updating this with upcoming sewing classes once I learn of them.

Til then, connect and learn!

p.s.

For those who must learn from home, don't despair. Check out the How To Videos page with videos and resources that I've found helpful or promising.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Something lost (Singer 401A)... something gained (Singer 201)....


So I went back to the thrift store the next day to pick up the Singer 401A below and when I got in, I saw that it had been sold... yes that was a very sad day for me....

But today, I snagged a 1938 Singer 201 off of Craigslist for $34 only a few minutes after it was listed.

It appears to be a good deal according to http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingMachine/Review/1/2220 and http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingMachine/Review/1/1746

It turns on, motor runs, needle goes up and down.. so it appears to be all good but since I have to relearn to sew, I will not know until I try it out thoroughly and send it in for a tune-up. Meanwhile there is the pic of my 1938 Singer 201 above. More information about this collector's item can be found at ISMACS and anything else you ever want to know about 201s can be found here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sewing Machine Day

Off to get a sewing machine or two today....


Singer 401A for all the somewhat heavy things I want to eventually make. I just saw it at the store yesterday before it closed and will be going back right when it opens today. Isn't it beautiful? The reviews (#59-62 on the list) for the Singer 401A are just awesome.


And the other machine I will be getting is pictured below; the Singer 4166, which I will be ordering from Costco.com. Sewing enthusiasts have told me that a beginner such as I is better off buying from a specialty shop to get a quality machine, have the ability to take advantage of the free sewing lessons they offer, and to have someplace to go when something goes wrong. That is such great advice I would recommend too.

But I still opted for the Costco.com route despite legit reasons not to, for the following reasons:
1) Return policy is the Nordstrom's for sewing machines; if it breaks, want to exchange for something else, or simply if unsatisfied, simply return for a full refund
2) It has many options despite its 3/4 size, making it easier to be creative and to tote around to sewing classes I will take some place, and
3) It was a Martha Stewart pick (that may be a lame reason for some as she is a spokesperson for VSP, but nonetheless, it is true).

The drawback of going this way is waiting 7-10 business days and I actually have not seen the 4166 in person.

The reviews (# 68 & 69) also weren't that bad at all. One mentioned that despite its size, it sewed through 4 layers of denim!


I will post up pictures of the actual ones when they are up and running! Yaay!