bikinis and thinning the herd


I just came across some of your postings on pattern review and really enjoyed them, I followed over to your blog and am reading through it now. I was wondering, on pattern review you created a pattern for a bikini and the album where I think you said you laid out some of the details on how you drafted it doesn't seem to be up anymore. Do you still have that info? I am trying to do my own now and would greatly appreciate any advice you could provide.
All my best,

 Hi There,
I really should go over to PR and check out my reviews to see if links need fixing. I have to admit that after I worked there it's a little hard browsing the site as a regular user again. Lots of.... memories I suppose. That review causes a huge to do over at the PR site where the ladies were totally unprepared for the next generation of sewists and what they might bring to the table. The album is from the way way back and I remember now that I changed the access after I found some of the kids in the after school program googling me. . It's certainly not obscene but my job is hard enough not giving the kids something else to giggle about. Here's the link you're looking for.
Also along this same line I think my video on swimwear elastic is one of my more popular flicks. It's worth a view and it's short.

Good luck!


First of all I would like to thank you for your excellent blog and You Tube Videos. Over the last couple of years I have been educated and entertained by you. I learned to sew from my daughter when she was about 7 ( My mother had previously taught my daughter to sew.) and I spent endless hours at my mothers old Singer 328K making pillows, Dog clothes and Curtains with my daughter.

I have always liked tools, Woodworking, mechanics as a hobby and the next logical step after learning how to sew was collecting sewing machines ( I know that you suffer from the same disease). I now own far too many machines ( 23 domestic and 2 industrial) and need to sell some. I just use my machines for clothing repairs, mostly work jeans and tee shirts ( i;m cheap and make things last forever) and for projects such as upholstery curtains and roman shades. I was planning on keeping one 1960's Kenmore, a Singer 500 or maybe my 403, A Necchi BF, White 499 1.3 amp , and my Singer 301 . I would like to also replace my 2 industrial machines with a walking foot industrial. I was wondering what you thought of my list of keepers for my uses. ( I am thinking of quilting next and maybe trying to learn to sew clothes. )

Thanks for any suggestions and please Keep making the instructional videos and reviewing machines.

Dear Machine Collector,

That's awesome that you're 7 year old taught you. Everyone is always surprised when I tell them that I start kids off at 5. I've found my youngest sewers are also the most serious and dedicated. These kids will spend an entire day with me, that's 7 hours, sewing and sewing and sewing with maybe 15 minutes for a break to scarf down some lunch. I guess sewing is that fun! Anyway as you're giving me the list of machines you're keeping I find myself nodding my head at your choices. A 1960 Kenmore is of course an awesome machine that can be had dirt cheap. The Singers you mention are some of the best that company ever made. The white I'm unfamiliar with but it's likely made in Japan and like the Kenmore. These Japanese made machines were bullet proof and a real joy to sew on, so smooth!'

A walking foot industrial is on my list of machines I'm interested in owning. Actually i'm in the 
 market for a walking needle industrial. My friend Laurence just picked up a treadle which I'm finding extremely exciting. I don't know if there are too many of those industrial treadles available in this area. One of the high school girls who assists me is obsessed now with the Necchi bu I treadled and wants a treadle herself. 

I think your keepers seem good!

4 comments :: bikinis and thinning the herd

  1. Brian, I think it's because young kids are excited about learning how to sew--I know my four-year-old niece, Gracie, is. Gracie has known for a long time that if she wants something, Aunt Laura can make it for her. She's in that helpful stage too (may it never end!) where she always wants to help. This has morphed to her current attitude--"if I collect all the fabric scraps from my clothes, Aunt Laura will help me make clothes for my dollies out of them." So when she's here and I'm making something, we have sewing lessons. Having inherited my klutziness, she's not allowed to operate the machine without strict supervision, and the fabric shears are currently too heavy for her, we've learned about grain lines and how to pin patterns to fabric and how to stitch a straight seam, hand baste (I was doing pleats), and hand stitch. My grandmother started me at 3, so we're taking something of the same approach--slowly but surely!

  2. I really like barely there bikinis. I appreciate, because I found exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing useful knowledge.

  3. Hello Brian

    I miss your posts :-(
    I have a question about your cheap coverstitch purchased on ebay
    ¿Does it sews lycra?

    I have a dragonfly chinese overlock machine, it produces very beautiful stitches. At the begining it was a nightmare to adjust thread tension, but now, it seems very easy.
    My overlock is more robust thant your coverstitch, but similar mechanically to your coverstitch.

    I'd like to sew some underwear and speedos, but I'm in doubt if this coverstitch is the rigth one for this kind of task. I have not the opportunity to check the machine with my materials. I don´t live in the USA :-(

    Thank you for your advise

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