…even if I can’t say it sews as pretty as a song just yet! After a week of cleaning, reading and fiddling, my Singer sewing machine is looking pretty good:
1917 Singer sewing machine…aaaaaand Wolverine.
A couple years ago a relative pieced together and refinished this beauty, and I’m just now diving into how to keep a treadle machine in working order. At this point I’ve got more questions than answers, but I figure starting a master post and then linking to everything useful I find will be helpful for future reference and other people just starting out with an older sewing machine. If you have additional resources or advice, feel free to drop a line in the comments!
- How do I wind thread on the bobbin?
- When I unscrew the ‘brake’ knob as if to wind the bobbin, the needle still moves. Whyyyyyyyyyy?
- How do I clean old oil out of the innards of the body of the machine?
- How do I thread this effing bobbin holder.
- Adjusting thread tension: how, when, why. Will I be doing this on test swatches for every project sewn?
- Where do I put my feet on the treadle?
- Why does my treadle have a ridge at the front if a common treadling method is to have one foot further away and the other closer with a heel on the ground?
- Methods for taking care of the leather belt
- Does the leather belt always stay on the wheel or do you take it off/loosen it like the bow on a violin?
- When I use the treadle it feels like it gains momentum and overbalances (not going backwards though). Is it supposed to feel like that?
- What are all these attachments?
- How do I use each attachment? I really wanna learn do make a button hole using an attachment!
Posted in Around the Web, Crafti-mess
Tagged antique, bobbin, how-to, leaher belt, masterpost, NeedtoRead, sewing, sewing machine, Singer, thread tension, treadle, treadling
My home decorating aesthetic could be described a lot of different ways…eclectic, vintage, second-hand, and floral just about cover the main themes though.
I like to add strategic pops of color around the house–making my own curtains, or painting an old coffee table and shelves to refresh their look is the easy route to giving a dull room some pizzazz. But right now I’m really into updating my kitchen linens. Cottons? Cloths?
The point is, there’s this super awesome rad nonprofit creative reuse center where I live called The Scrap Exchange where I bought half a dozen bunches of cotton yarn for oh, six bucks. I don’t know how to read a crochet pattern to save my life, but when I was about seven my grandma showed me how to do chain, single- and double-crochet stitches. She did granny squares, and I ended up making excessively ruffled capes for my dolls.
Now, I make dishcloths! They don’t lay flat, and they’re not shaped perfectly, but it’s awfully nice to have a project that only takes a couple of hours and doesn’t require fussy material or counting stitches. It’s relaxing, makes washing dishes slightly more palatable, and I’m using reclaimed materials. Triple win!
Floral and striped and ruffled oh my!
*In the interest of full disclosure, two of these were actually knitted. #stillcounts
Posted in Crafti-mess
Tagged cotton yarn, crafti-mess, crochet, dish scrubby, dishcloth; dish scrubby; floral, floral, grandma, kitchen linens, reclaim, The Scrap Exchange, upcycle
I knew my love for reading the BBC World News section would pan out eventually. Today’s article was about Sea Silk, or fiber spun from the solidified saliva of a large clam.
Yup. Chiara Vigo dives into the ocean, harvests the spit (or beard) that anchors the clams to the ground, and turns it into fine, elastic thread that she spins, then weaves/embroiders etc. into textiles that churches and art museums all over the world want. Don’t quote me on that though. The internet being closer than a library, I ain’t ashamed to say this Wikipedia was a good start to learn where this craft has popped through time and across cultures.
Sidebar: it also led to searching for “Mermaid hair” which brought up algae…you’re welcome.
My favorite find from trawling the interwebs, is “Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells” by Helen Scales, which is now featured prominently on my Need to Read post-it note list. One section delves into Sea Silk, and the vagaries of mussels. During an experiment it appeared that the more a mussel is agitated, the more solidified saliva (byssus) it produces. Thankfully, “This was done by an automated mussel-bothering machine, not a sleepless grad student.” Shew.