What girls want....

Girls have discriminating taste.  I know this now as I've been exposed for the first time to groups (hoards, flocks, gaggles?) of young ladies with my new job.  This is the job I've been wanting so badly to talk about but needed to wait until until the right time to go public.  It's also partially to blame for my not being around so much in the blogging world.

I landed a job as a sewing instructor!  As you may know this is something I said I was interested in doing a few years ago and I've been jumping from one stepping stone to the next working my way to this goal.  A few months back I placed an ad on craigslist looking for private sewing students and was contacted about being an instructor in a new sewing school that was to be opening in the fall.  Cool right?

Classes don't officially get rolling until mid September but we've been doing some tester classes and I've been working on sample projects.  So far the students look to be mostly between 2nd and 6th grade girls but eventually we'll get some adult classes going as well.

One of the projects I've made recently that's been a big hit is the stuffed horse from Simplicity 2921.  The first one I made was from fleece and I was thinking I'd make it somewhat realistic. 
Girls love horses right?  Yes...  and no.  Apparently what we have here is a boy horse, and while girls like boy horses also what they really like is girl horses?  Girl horses to my surprise have pink hair and very often have horns and are called unicorns, hence the photo on the pattern envelope.  Well, with my new knowledge of how a horse should be I went home and sewed up another example.  This time I sprung for the twice the price pink hair and I used fabrics from the school stash.  I was surprised to find that I don't actually have any girl fabric, old lady yes, girl no.  Girls like pink or otherwise bright colors.  

Here's some of the other sample projects I've made up for the school:

Today I have quite a few sewing projects to work on.  Derian is a teacher and does the shirt and tie thing for work.  Earlier this summer I promised him that we could make him his very own custom shirt pattern and shirts.  I was thinking I would just take one of his existing shirts and use it as a base pattern.  School is now only a week away and still no pattern or shirts for that matter.  The other day I had him put on one of his best fitting shirts and was horrified at how badly it fit.  Unfortunately I'm not going to get much of anything from those it seems.  So far I've made up two muslins from the Wild Ginger software, the first was really big, the second was skin tight.  Today I'm planning on no more than three more tests before we have a wearable shirt.  Keep in mind he's like I used to be, if it doesn't hurt, it must fit.  I can continue to refine the pattern after we get him a working model.

I'm also planning on making that cute little elephant and maybe the lamb from the Simplicity pattern.  Something else I did that was a first for me when I made the horse, I interfaced my pattern pieces!  Usually I don't intend on using a pattern that often but I figured since these are such small pieces and I plan on cutting them a few times I should try it out.  Wow!!  so awesome!  I used all interfacing scrapes and it worked out great, besides the pieces I fused to the wrong sides of the pattern...   woops!

Oh here's a video, I've been having a terrible time with video lately.  Something changed on my computer in the last three months and it caused my audio to record slower than video.  This is a big pain but I finally found a work around.  I've shot this video like 20 times before I got it to work so it ended up being pretty casual in the end.  I do talk about how I do my horse hair and mostly babble on about other stuff.

10lbs of buttons and the holy grail of vintage machines....

I've had amazing luck lately with donations.  From fabric to machines to buttons it seems that every time I turn around some wants to pass along a little love....

A few weeks back Sharon stopped by the PR offices with a HUGE bag of buttons for me.  I had totally forgotten that she had promised me an old collection if she still had it.  Well, let me tell you, this bag weighs 10lbs.  It's been picked through a few times for the really special stuff so what's left is a lot of really great everyday wear buttons.  Perfect!  I love having a bunch of buttons I'm not scared to use you know?
The photos don't really do justice to just how many buttons this is....  tons..  They're all old, no new plastic junk here (just old plastic junk, HA!)

As you can see, nothing super crazy amazing.  I did find a few cool ones though.  The collection should be sorted at some point to be usable, it's just a big pile as it is.

I think I've found the Holy Grail of vintage sewing machines:

The Bernina 117

No I don't own it yet but I'm on the lookout.  This machine was produced from 1938 to 1941 which is a rather short run.  It was the first zigzag sewing machine Bernina ever produced.  Often they don't come with a motor and are meant to be mounted industrial style or treadled (see the big holes in the bed for the belt on the right).  Will it sew any better than a 1960's Kenmore?  No...  But it's so cool looking and rare!

Pfaff 138
Now I want you to notice a few things about this machine.
 See the tension disks?  See any similarities between that and the Pfaff 138?

Now you've seen this photo already but notice the shape of the Necchi BU Mira, gosh that's familiar isn't it???  Mind you both the Pfaff 138 and the Mira came well after the Bernina 117. Very interesting to me how the design carried over into other manufacturers.

What, you say you'd like to get your hands on a 117?  Check out ebay right now, you can pick up a beautiful example for a cool 2k (that's $2,000!)  I'll be waiting for the sister thrift special of $19.95....

Body parts?

Ok not parts, more arms and legs...

My new commitment (by the way) is that I'm going to try to post more often. See the problem is that a regular blog posting with video and photos (like I like to do) takes hours to put together, yes... hours. It's a deterrent to be sure when there's so many other things to distract me. It's also very frustrating when technology like slow internet and voice/video sync hamper my progression..   Anyway...  I think I'm going to try to supplement long posting with little short ones in between. Of course the question come up, Is this quantity over quality? You can let me know...

Today's creepy pattern Simplicity 3642 "Seasonal Decorations" although I think an ebay listing for this pattern is on the right track with the title "witch mummy elf Santa legs home decor".

Yes indeed that's what you're getting her folks, arms and legs....For Halloween I think it's rather cute, those witch hands and feet are awesome! The mummy is just so so but Santa? OMG and the elf? What crime scene did we just walk into here?

This pattern is in print and available for purchase, don't miss your opportunity to own one of Simplicity's finest! 

P.S. Feel free to email me with your favorite oddball pattern and I'll do a collage

Free sewing machines!

Oh I bet that got your attention...

I know, it's been a long time since I've posted anything here but I assure you it's not because I'm burned out or under a bus.

Here's a little clue..  
The last two months have been somewhat of a whirlwind for me.  I moved!  It was one of those situations where the landlord wanted a lease through next Spring and I just knew I didn't want to stay that long.  There's much more to the story but I'll reserve some of the personal details for now.  Things in the new place are finally set up properly and I'm enjoying myself getting aclimated to a new area much closer to Boston then I was previously.

Here's a little peak of my new sewing space:

My new "office" is in a closet that's too small for a hanger.  This is the typical New England style construction I've come to expect.  Obviously people here would never think of hanging clothing in the closet...   duh..  Also check out my new ironing table!  This is inspired by those big ironing tables they sell at sewing expos, mine cost less than $10.

Singer Merrit
Lately I've been heavily involved in a new project that I'll talk about more here in the coming months.  Part of my role is the acquisition of sewing machines.  Is there any better fun than that?  The budget, only $30 per machine. The rule, nothing too new but anything else goes.  With my own collecting I've become very strict, only certain brands and models, the best of the best more or less.  

This new situation allowed me to look at machines I would have otherwise passed up
 and it's been a blast.  I've purchased two Kenmore, an old black Universal straight stitch, a Montgomery Ward, a White (with black paint of course), Dressmaker and a few different Singers.

I check local craigslist, freecycle, and ebay posting daily and in doing often come across FREE sewing machines (well not on ebay..).  Of the ads I respond to for free machines I'd say 25% have come through.  I've also been successful in talking someone down to free after convincing them their machine wasn't worth money on the local used market.  One machine was supposed to be a Kenmore but when I showed up it turned out to be a Singer with stripped plastic gears.  Not a total loss since I will save the foot pedal which will work great for a machine missing it's own pedal.

Two of the machines I've found for free are notable and I'll give you a quick preview.

The Singer Touch-Tronic 2000.  They renamed this the Athena for some reason.  This is the very first electronic computerized sewing machine ever produced, the year was 1975.  Yes, that's one year older than I am..  What computerized electronics did YOU have in 1975?  I imagine this was one pricey machine in it's day.  It features a wind in place bobbin that I've only been able to make work once AND rubber feed dogs!  I'll do a video and a full review but here's the preview photos:

My other new acquisition is a Necchi BU Mira with icky paint.  The machine is missing it's zigzag needle plate and the bobbin cover.  Whenever I come across a machine missing these parts I usually assume someone swiped them for another machine.  How else would one loose pieces like this?  With this machine came the accessory box AND wonder wheel with all four cams.  The wonder wheel alone is worth more than the machine....  The guy was happy to give it to me for free to haul it out of his garage.  My plan is a repaint!  I've always wanted to repaint a sewing machine but been afraid to ruin it.  This one is ruined already so I have nothing to loose.  It'll be strictly for fun, this isn't the kind of thing one recovers from financially.  If the paint works out then I'll replace the bobbin cover and needle plate.  If it doesn't then I'll part it out on ebay.

I think it's really an awesome looking machine, the shape is so...  interesting.  It also has a great motor and after a lube the mechanics are really sweet.

Lastly...  Thank you everyone who emailed me to check on my situation over the last two months.  I had no idea how many people would miss my being around.  It's humbling and feels good knowing I'm appreciated for doing something I love.

Have a great week!
Related Posts with Thumbnails