Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Moving Day

Long weekends can be wonderful and also challenging. We are in a deep freeze with two weekends in a row having below zero temps and wicked windchill so it's a good time to stay inside and sew. Taking a look at my UFO's (unfinished objects), I made up a black gingham apron with a corner of a vintage tablecloth for accent:
Gingham was almost cream so went nice  with tablecloth corner
Loved how easy it was and practical, too. Next up was a girls dress from "Girls Style Book" by Tsukiori in chambray with red gingham bias trim. These patterns are easy with simple lines that just beg for interesting fabrics or embellishment.
Pretend it's pressed and pins out of the hem!
Next up was the Kenmore 158-1980 where I had two models, sold one to a nice young couple, but the second one seemed to be doomed. Carolyn was interested but she wanted one with the bobbin case that would come out easily with just a small screw driver (or pin) to pull out the yellow "wings"that releases the case. This is especially good when you use fabric that is linty and you need to clean out the bobbin area frequently, a feature on my original Kenmore and I also grew to love it. When I sat down to make sure the machine was going to show its good side, it did not have the easy-release bobbin case. What? I was sure it did but maybe that was the machine that went to the young couple. Oh no, Carolyn was not going to like this but it was too late to get a hold of her. Besides, now that I was stitching that wasn't going well either. It was somewhat of a perfect storm of mistakes but Carolyn was gracious, tried sewing with it and explained her job as a professional seamstress. This was only going to be a back-up sewing machine but she did have to have the removable bobbin case. I was mad at myself for this big goof but we parted amicably. Now I had the time to take a look at my bobbin cases and try out two of the type she wanted.
Like this one (but cleaner!)
 It fit! I was ready to call her to relay the big news but then I sewed with it. Tension was very wrong (oh yeah, it was a different bobbin case) and the swing of the needle in zig zag left many skipped stitches. Sigh.

With an extra day at home, I had two wonderful ladies coming from a Friends of the Library group to buy sewing machines. Evidently, they had way too many young teens asking for books on how to sew and they wanted to give sewing lessons on sewing machines, ones that would work well and not be too expensive. They knew they hit the mother load when they saw my "Learn to Sew Sewing Machines" ad on Craigslist. With six sewing machines set up on the kitchen/dining table, they tried all six and said "Let's take them all!" so I was one happy business woman. They announced they would be back to buy machines for themselves so now we are friends!

After they left I had the task of moving my sewing room from one side of the basement to the other. It was decided it might be better to have all of my sewing stuff together and all of the "other" storage stuff in the spare room. Now, these are small rooms at best but it was going to be a big task. At the end of the day, all of it got moved but it's not a pretty sight:
Somewhat a "wall of shame" huh?
By count, there are 75 sewing machines either in portable cases or just as heads, and then about eight sergers, too. Something is going to have to be done. Next I prioritized my inventory with good machines on shelves with model numbers, machines that need help in the floor or listed for $10, and hopeless were broken down for parts. This is a big project but I hope it makes for less chaos in the end. Maybe this is what is due for having way too many sewing machines and not enough time or skill to fix them. Another sigh.

But hope does seem to spring eternal: I sat down with the Kenmore in hopes of getting it straightened out and last night it finally worked! There were some adjustments to the needlebar I had only done a few times before but it seemed I needed to finesse the width and position of the zig zag and move the needle bar down. Since I could not seem to get it to move down, upon closer inspection I did find out I could move it forward and backward. A small adjustment forward seemed to help the thread to catch in the hook on the left and right side of the zig zag. Much practice and "settling in" produced a fine stitch, even at the widest width.  This was indeed a silver lining.
Kenmore 158-1980

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