Friday, April 29, 2016

Step It Up

Upon returning from Ray White's basic sewing machine repair class, it seemed to be raining...sewing machines! There were several I was hoping to bid on and many more in the local Craigslist ads. But these weren't the usual Brother and Kenmore models but Bernina and Elnas and oh so nice they are.
Bernina 1001
Here's the Bernina I acquired after the first caller was not able to make an appointment. I was surprised that I was next but it does happen that first callers can't always follow through. It's a Bernina! Model 1001 was not one I had before so I was anxious to see how it would stitch and how it might be different than the Record 530, 730, and 830 that I've had. It did not disappoint: smooth running and the stitches are perfect. Here's the story behind this one: an aunt gave this young mother her own beloved Bernina in hopes of the young mother learning to use it but she had no interest and it just looked too hard. After four years of sitting in the closet they decided it was time to move this sewing machine on to a new home. When we plugged it in and ran it the comment was "wow, it's so quiet" and that lead me to believe they had never even used it. Complex? There was a print manual included and a nice canvas cover with two pockets. Yea, not even plugged in or used but their loss is my gain.
Stitch Selection
In order to pay for this little lovely I figured it was time to sell some of mine so I got out my Bernina Record 830 to sell. It was such a beautiful sewing machine, hardly a speck on it, a nice variety of presser feet, ten genuine Bernina bobbins, and the knee lift lever all in the nifty bright red suitcase.
Bernina 830 all packed up

Bernina 830 with extension table

 I had a tiny moment of weakness as I was taking photos but I knew it was time. Only a couple hours after listing it I got a phone call and Barb was ready to set up a meeting. Really, I bought the Bernina 1001 at 5 pm and sold the Record 830 at 8 pm. Barb was so happy to try it out since her mother-in-law was an avid quilter and used a Bernina. So what was the big deal? Barb's Singer was on its way out and she thought it was a good opportunity to move up to a Bernina. And she was not disappointed. The feeding of the fabric was something noted and it's overall feel was a big plus. I printed out a manual, thanks to Ray and his disk of manuals, so she could identify the various feet and how they would work, and note all of the little differences in a Bernina in comparison to a Singer. The knee lever for the presser foot lift was a big surprise and we both hoped she could learn to make it part of her sewing.
Haven't heard of this feature? Here's the Bernina explanation:

The knee-operated presser foot lifter raises the presser foot and while lowering the feed dog. This creates significantly more space and noticeably improves clearance under the presser foot, which in turn facilitates fabric handling. This saves you time and helps you achieve perfect results.  During this process, your hands remain free to continue guiding the fabric. The result is smooth, neat seams on needlework, garments, and home furnishings. 

I was almost as excited as she was to get such a classic sewing machine and put it to good use right away. Dinner might be take out for the rest of the week at Barb's house.
Bernina 830 stitch selection
 I was glad to see the Bernina 830 go out to a woman who already did a lot of sewing because she was really going to love it. Besides, I still have a Bernina 807 Minimatic and now the 1001 so I'm hardly without a Bernina to sell. Next up will be the story of the three Elnas so stay tuned!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Wrapping Up

It has been a wonderful experience to take this class from Ray White who teaching sewing machine repair no matter what the brand. His principles apply to almost all machines, even industrial and sergers, so I think I'm going to have to take this information home and apply it to the collection of to-be-repaired machines that I own already.

We finished up this morning with check springs, escapement, and setting tensions back to factory settings. Does that sound intimidating? It is! But now I know the vocabulary and how to go about fixing those things. We spent the afternoon saying goodbye to classmates as they took off for Texas and Florida and working on our own machines. We looked at a Singer Featherweight and found out how to take out wound up thread under the bobbin, a Janome that was sold with "multiple problems" that turned out to be only a needlebar that was too low, and then a lesson on sergers. Melinda and I packed up and hauled my six machines out to her car as she left her's behind since she is going to continue on Monday with the advanced class and we chatted with Ray about teaching and Elnas. He showed us some of his treasures and we both realized we could not breathe that rarefied air of owning a restored Elna by such an expert but they do exist!

Dinner was late, as always, but it was worth waiting for as we went to the grounds of the Arcadia Academy to have dinner in their Thee Abbey Kitchen Restaurant.
Arcadia Academy gymnasium
The grounds were originally Arcadia College before the Civil War, but spent most of its years as Ursuline Academy and is now being renovated as as restaurant, bakery, bed & breakfast, and local weddings. They have a ways to go but we sure enjoyed our meal, homemade ice cream for dessert, and even the local talent for live country music while we dined.
Arcadia Academy Chapel
 It will be a long ride home tomorrow but so well worth it. This is a little slice of Americana that we were glad to be a part of when we could get away, spend the time to learn and still enjoy the countryside. I'll have more later about visiting the little shops and some of our special finds but I gotta leave you with something to look forward to, right?

Friday, April 22, 2016

School Days

It's always fun to be doing an activity you love and this time of sewing machine repair school is just that: FUN! Ray White is a serious guy but he can still make our class enjoyable as he weaves stories into the facts to help make it stick in our memories. We started out our first day with a bit of show and tell of all the tools of the trade and items we might consider for purchase, some from Ray and some through various distributors. I'm in class with six men and one other woman, Melinda, and half of the men are actually working on industrial sewing machines when they head home. The men add information about tools and where you can get a good deal on a vibrating tumbler (Harbor Freight) but most of us are on equal playing ground.

As we go through the various parts of a sewing machine and how things should be and how to make adjustments, each of us is sitting in front of a sewing machine we brought or one Ray provides (yup, the industrial students don't have personal sewing machines) and we apply this knowledge to ours. Ray then comes around and points out how an adjustment can be made on each of them since we all have slightly different models. Here's Ray looking at my Kenmore 158-13160 and the feed dog timing:

Points for adjusting the feed dog timing

Ray shows other adjustments on my machine
Looking on as Joe has his borrowed Elna Lotus analyzed
As if this wasn't enough, we have our lunch catered by a restaurant that is right in front of the motel where many of us are staying and so far we have had pulled pork sandwiches and fried catfish sandwiches. Hot coffee and iced tea are always ready and bottled water with breaks in the mornings and afternoons to give us time to stretch our legs. But you have to see where we get to sit all day:
Front of the room where Ray is at his desk

Wall behind me, full of Elna sewing machines
Can you believe it? It's all I can do to keep my eyes on Ray and not look longingly at the sewing machines behind him. But in an effort to keep things lively, Ray has a giant needle, maybe 20" long, that he got from Schmetz, the German needle company that he uses to demonstrate how the needle and thread actually make stitches. He also has a nifty board to illustrate how hook timing works:
Is that hook just a little shy of the needle?
 Tonight before two of the men left for a tee time (it's about 75 degrees here today) Ray said we were moving along at such a good pace that tomorrow we will be done well before noon so we have the rest of the day to work on our own project machines so we can troubleshoot using his help to repair. Hot diggity dog: this is why I came! His expertise is great and we are still having fun. As Melinda and I were riding back together she said "I think we have a really good class" and I would have to agree.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Over the River and Through the Woods

We got on the road for our trip to Missouri by 6:30 am Wednesday morning, almost 12 hours on the road with only two stops so now we are resting up for the big day tomorrow. I'm so excited about taking Ray Whites class on beginning sewing machine repair! I noticed I made the reservation mid-January so this has been a long time to wait. We brought Jim's daughter along to visit a friend in St. Louis and I thought it might be just another complication along the way but, no, she was a delight to come along and we all had fun, at least as much fun as you can have on such a long ride (with two old people).

Before we even left, on Tuesday night I had an appointment with Brad who was very excited to try out the Singer 306. We had to wait almost a whole week until both of us could agree on a time and I knew this was going to be crunch time. Brad liked the 306 and brought along a vinyl type of fabric to test it out. I also brought out a Singer 15-91 and a basic Kenmore 158-1340 but neither of them were as good as the 306 for feeding this special type of fabric that was slightly nylon in texture but with a flannel-type of backing. He was sold on the Singer and asked if I was into repair of older Elnas. That was a properly timed question since I was heading south to take a class from an Elna expert!

After Brad left I called up about a BabyLock serger that was for sale. As it turned out, it wasn't going to be an hour away from me but in the next town for 24 hours. I think that serger was just calling my name so I dashed over to pick it up. Along with the serger came a pile of fabric and some costume patterns and a full kimono. What? That's right, a full mustard colored cotton kimono. One of the patterns was just an empty envelope but there was a large envelope with paper for using your printer to print onto fabric so that was a pleasant find. Fabric all got washed and packing was completed on-time so onward to Missouri!

We had to stop along the way to stretch our legs so we ended up at a St. Vincent De Paul thrift store. This was a place that was pretty much a dumping ground but as a true thrifter I wasn't deterred. I was hoping to find a small footstool for a special order through my Etsy shop. I have been corresponding with a woman who would like me to make a footstool cover out of her father's neckties who has recently passed away. This was to be a gift for her mother and a very sweet idea but first I needed to get another footstool. I found one and brought it home but it is really too big at 18" tall and 18" in diameter. So we enter with one goal in mind: small footstool. No footstool this time but wouldn't you know it, I found 3 sewing machines: one old Kenmore in a small table, one empty table (with the hope of a sewing machine), and one portable Kenmore. I opened the portable up to find a clean as a whistle model 158-13160 complete with a set of accessories in original cardboard box. Of course, I walk away. At the check out with Jim, who gets a plaque with a woodland scene of shaped copper or brass for only 50 cents, I mention there was a sewing machine and like a true supporter he said I better go back for it. He didn't have to convince me:
Kenmore 158-13160

Would we have room in the trunk? Of course! Upon testing, it wasn't going to zigzag but it was only a little bit stuck and then it really took off. Sounded great, fully equipped, she went out to the car. Oh boy, here's what the back looked like (after Angie took her stuff out in St. Louis):

This is a sewing machine adventure and it has only just begun!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My Little Princess

As much as I love sewing machines, I really love to sew on them. This week I've been working on finishing up little girl dresses and think I have three new winners:
Hot pink top with skirt
 This two piece outfit was fun to make with the fancy lace inset and sleeve caps. Hard to see in this photo (I'm so not a photographer!) but there is a tiered skirt under there with pink fabric at the waist and hem with the print in-between. Casual attire but just a little special.

Navy dotted swiss with lace and rickrack trim
I tried this dress with a different bodice and now I finally have it right. The rickrack trim is what I used to make the flower that is all sewn on with a button in the center: no losing it or having it come apart! I love the fresh summer look of this one.

And now, for the grand finale:
Princess all in satin
I bought this princess fabric and then got to worrying that I couldn't sell anything made out of it because it stated on the salvage that this-is-Disney-and-for-home-use-only. A little sleuthing and I find out that is mostly a scare tactic and I only need to include a statement about this not being official Disney apparel. Of course it's not Disney wear but something made out of fabric that they intend for you to make up into garments, for sale or not.  But this dress is going to my granddaughter for her 4th birthday at the end of the month. It got her mom's approval and I know she will like how shiny and smooth it is with a full lining inside so it feels really nice. The fabric for the bodice is really special: It started to melt when I got an iron too hot! I had to re-cut the bodice pieces but glad I found this out before I got too far. Lesson learned!

I made all of these on my Kenmore 158-1813 in its beautiful refinished desk but I'm not so happy with it at the moment. It seems to be slow to start and the stitches are just a bit less precise than I'm used to.Could it be that I really like the Vikings and Berninas more than a Kenmore Best? But I love a top-of-the-line Kenmore! I would still love to get my hands on a 158-1914 just to see if it's all they say it is (I bet it is!) but in the meantime I'm going to take a bit of heat via a hairblower and some TriFlow oil to see if I can get her humming again:
Kenmore 158-1813
All in all, I've got quite a few of my projects cleared out because I'm getting ready to go to Belleview, Missouri to take Ray White's Beginners Sewing Machine Class! I'm so excited I think it will be hard to sleep the next few days. I have nine sewing machines lined up but don't think I'll be able to take all of them but still...we might get them all in at the last. Guess I should prioritize, huh?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

She's So Fair

In celebration of the World's Fair in 1964 held in New York City, there were many products introduced, including sewing machines. One that has become notable is the White (brand) model 764 that is called "My Fair Lady" as indeed it is. I had one of these a couple years ago and didn't know the significance of the model; I just liked the cool look of it, with the handle on the top and it's pearlized mocha color. I've been on the lookout ever since and I spied one in our local ads this week and rushed out to get it. It was one of those 45 minute drives due to rush hour traffic but that's the only time we could work it out and I was game if they were. A few last minute emails with apologies they explained that the cabinet/desk was in pretty poor shape but they thought the machine was good even though it had been run eight years ago. That's not so bad if it was stored inside but I fear this one might have been in a corner of the garage. Oh oh. What would I find?

I found a nice young couple passing their little baby daughter between them as they explained it was her grandmother's passed along to her mother who told her "That's worth something: don't just throw it away!" That might have been in their thoughts because of the poor condition of the cabinet: the legs on one side had not only cracked but were tied together with zip ties. He took the head out of the cabinet so I could get it out of my car once I was home but, honestly, I don't think I'm even going to take it out of the car. I managed to pull the drawers out and empty their contents into a pile (oh, the treasures!) but the rest is riding around with me today. My plan is to see if a donation center will take it and, if not, we will break it down and put it out for trash it's that bad. But the Fair Lady...

White 764 with her backside showing
is not so fair. She's a bit of a dirty bird but it's not her fault  so she's going to get the spa treatment. Out came the TR3 car cleaner and wax, cotton balls, flannel for polishing, metal cleaner, Triflow, cotton swabs, screw drivers, and tweezers just to start. Each cotton ball gets used three times: one side until dirty, flip side until dirty, then you usually have a small chunk left as a third side still clean and ready to work. I laid the machine down on old towels and worked on taking off the top, the plate covering the side and belt, needle plate, presser foot, and needle. As I worked on cleaning off the dirt and dots of mold, the chrome knob that screws into the handwheel came off as well as the bobbin winder guide on the bed of the machine. By the time I turned it over to look underneath, I was already an hour into this project and found trapped moisture had caused the back section to rust. The metal cleaner took care of most of it but there are always parts you just can get into so oil and movement was employed in hopes of a flushing out of the lingering rust. Back together again and looking spiffy:
White 764 is now a Fair Lady

until I plug her in and hear this screeching sound. More oil, looking for places I might have missed, and it's better but then when fabric goes through the feed dogs there is a squeal that fades a bit with usage. I can see she's going to need a bit more tender care but her stitches look fine and she's pretty versatile for 1964: straight and zigzag, scallops, blind hem, and a four-step buttonhole. She runs pretty smooth and is very, very heavy so I think a new cabinet is called for. This means I'm on the hunt for the perfect cabinet that will show her off. Here's her badge of honor (before I cleaned her up):
HGT: Selected by the House of Good Taste New York World's Fair
She will be waiting to enter another house and bring all of her "good taste" with her. She's so fair.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Classroom Fun

I have been trying to get a how-to-use-your-vintage-sewing-machine class up and running and it actually happened last week. There were the four women signed up and they all came excited to learn to use their sewing machines but were somewhat afraid about how to start. As it turns out, they did not just happen upon the local community education site but I had recent contact with these women and mentioned they might like to take a class I had running in April. Karen and I first met when I bought a large lot of jewelry making supplies from her and she mentioned she would now like to turn her attention to sewing. SEWING! My eyes must have lit up as I asked her if she had a sewing machine (yes, a newer Singer) but she didn't really know how to use it. Because we had each others contact information, I went home and sent her the access to the information and she registered with Diane.

My contact with Deborah was a bit unusual as she wanted to know about buying a sewing machine for her neighbor who ended up not getting one. That opened the door for me to talk to her about her absolutely lovely Kenmore sewing machine that was still new-to-her. She wasn't too sure about all of its functions so I suggested my upcoming class. Deborah signed up and even brought her teenage daughter, Skye, who had her own Kenmore, another good vintage model.

So there we were: 2 ladies with their much newer Singer sewing machines at one long table and 2 at another table with their vintage Kenmores. I had two sewing machines as demos, a Kenmore 158-1040 and a Bernina 807 Minimatic. The principles are the same for sewing but the know-your-sewing-machine part was wildly different. We talked about the basics and what our machines might be able to do since they all had zigzag, stretch, and buttonhole capability. We sewed on striped fabric to see if we could sew straight lines and then jumped into making our own pillowcase. I brought pre-cut fabric and they brought their own, too, so they used a bit of both. Our teenager, Skye, just wanted to know how to get it done but the other women were interested in making a concealed, or French,  seam knowing this was going to be a mess in the laundry unless it was bound in some way. I practiced on a pillowcase sample with the short end first and then the first step on the long seam:
Step 1: Sew seam with wrong sides together
Step 2: Turn outside in, seam same distance away to encase raw edge

Step 3: On outside you cannot see any stitches

Karen and Diane found out they needed to sew farther away from the first seam or trim the seam before sewing the second time but it was a learning process and they were very proud of the end results. I encouraged them to not just hem the final edge but to go back and add decorative stitches, using all they had on their respective sewing machines. This would be a good practice run and on a practical use item to give it a bit of flare.Here's my sample pillowcase (purchased pillowcase where I used my Kenmore 158-1803 and Viking 1100 to make the stitches).
Decorative stitches on deep hem, lace trimmed

I added the lace on the edge to give them a few ideas of how they might trim theirs. By this time we were packing up and hauling everything out to the cars. I had a stack of books and miscellaneous items for give-aways: how-to-sew books, thread caddy's, and brushes to clean the inside of their machine. At the end of the night I went home exhausted but happy with my four students who each made a nice pillowcase, learned some things about their own sewing machines, and were going to be ready to start another project. Maybe they will make another pillowcase? I did hear something about all those repairs that were stacked up at home so maybe even getting that pile down a bit would be a start in the right direction. I do know that Deborah was very happy to have her daughter sewing on her own machine and feeling more successful. Sometimes all it takes is someone other than mom to say things are going well, here's how you can do this, for it to suddenly make more sense.

Would I offer this class again? You betcha! As they were walking out I mentioned it had been offered as a 2 session class but it was pared down to one for tonight. Karen stopped and looked over at Diane so maybe I should try to offer the two session class again. There's nothing like showing up ready with all you need and an evening to get a project at least started if not nearly done. What could we do next time? There are always pajama pants or a simple t-shirt but I'm going to have to work that out for maximum learning and success. Yes, it was a good start on learning to sew with the sewing machine you have. This reminds me of the song from the '70's "Love the One You're With." Learn to love the sewing machine you have and you might be surprised how much fun it can be.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Mother of All Garage Sales

It's been another big week for sewing and sewing machines. The event of the year, one I actually wait for all year long took place on Saturday: the Textile Center Garage Sale! This is that huge gathering of crafters who want to see how cheaply they can buy their supplies. Donations are accepted on Thursday and Friday with a whole crew of volunteers who sort and price all of these lovely donations. Last year I volunteered to sign in other volunteers but this year I got a bit braver and volunteered to sort and price fabric. Big laundry carts were rolled in and were full of bags of fabric. About half were labeled but so much needed to be wrapped with tape and priced. It was fun to sort all the different types of fabric but most decisions needed to be made quickly. We were allowed to purchase at the end of our shift but it needed to be priced by someone else just to keep things fair. I bought $10 worth on that day and then headed back on Saturday for the big day.

My daughter Kelly always comes with me and this year my husband wanted to come, too, since he's interested in jewelry making. There were some beads and books about jewelry making but that was a very small part of the sale area. As I made my way down the nearly impassible aisles to the fabric I could see how much larger the piles on the table were then they were two days ago. You really could not begin to see it all but we tried anyway. Kelly was such a good helper as we each held up pieces and said "dress?" or "kitchen?" with yea or nah. So much of the fabric was priced at $1 that when I went to pay I could see I only bought $1 or $2 rolls or bundles. Here's my new stash after I got home:
That's $16 in fabrics, missing the Thursday haul
Then it was on to the patterns, books, and magazines. I didn't have time to check out the magazines since I was going to focus on little girl dress patterns. Kelly found some dress patterns in my size that I approved of but in the end I bought 13 patterns for girls and four for myself. Here's the kicker:  they are 10 cents each but they only deal with whole dollars so my 17 patterns were $2. Ah! I was short three patterns! Never fear, Kelly was over by three so I took her extra. That's right, all this messing around for 30 cents! I also found some of those great vintage sewing books: Singer Sewing circa 1949 and 1969. They are just wonderful and for only $1 each they were going home with me:

That's a lot of reading to do!
Last night I checked each pattern for contents and all but four were unused, never opened. That means someone had high hopes of making something but just didn't quite get as far as even opening the pattern up.  Well, I've had a few like that, too.

My grand total for the volunteer day of shopping and again on Saturday was $30 and I've got some great stuff to replenish what I've sewn up. We couldn't stay for the silent auction of the sewing machines but I did get to look at them and left only an hour or so after we got there since we had afternoon commitments. They have a big bag sale the last hour that is a mad rush but not this year for us. There's always next year...and I can dream about it until then.

Friday, April 8, 2016

It's New To Me

I love to repurpose things: tablecloths, clothing, sewing machines, Tupperware, and the list is nearly endless. I also like to get a great deal (don't we all?) so Goodwill Online Auction and Goodwill Outlet are pretty exciting for me. Having been there several times in the last month I could even call myself a seasoned shopper.

Goodwill Online Auction is like any online auction where you make your highest bid in the last seven seconds, hoping no one else has put in a higher amount and it's too late for others to reconsider. I miss out on many of them because my highest amount is way lower than someone else. Why so low? These items are all "as is" and not returnable so if something is irrepairable I now have a parts machine and I'm not willing to spend big money on a parts machine. Since my bidding is exclusively for those I can pick up in the Twin Cities, there's no added shipping & handling with only the $2 handling charge and tax, making my take a bit more palatable. Last week I picked up this serger:
White Superlock 734D
and this week I picked up this serger:
White Superlock 534

 The White 734D is a great serger and has a few added benefits: the whole front opens up for threading, making it much easier than most, especially for an older model like this one.
White Spuerlock 734D: all open and ready to clean & thread easily

 All I had to do was clean it up and it runs great. Okay, so the top of the thread stand has a permanent bend but that's not too hard to live with, is it? I hesitate to bend it back fearing I will break it so it just has a little more "personality."

While I picking up my online auction item, I only have to go next door for the outlet where everything is weighed and you only pay $1.29 per pound for clothing, housewares, media, shoes, and accessories and per item for electronics, glassware, and dinnerware. Furniture is priced separately, like the Singer 233 sewing machine I snagged and wrote about in I Spy. It's great to find those vintage linens and stray pieces of fabric and I don't mind only getting parts of something I can use since I can just cut off the bad spots and use the good parts. Here are some of the gems I've snagged recently:
Sheer valance, dresser scaft, Kaufmann print, new-in-package tablecloth

Cuddle-Duds full flat sheet, crinkle pleated skirt (dust ruffle?)

Ballet recital? New costume for my granddaughter!
 Just to sweeten the deal, as a senior citizen I get an additional 25% off so now I pay less than a dollar per pound. I can afford to be generous! Occasionally I find a sweater or pair of pants that I think are worth the risk but I'm careful not to take anything that's pretty heavy. A recent score that I was excited about later was a winter sweater from Peruvian Collections. The label rang a bell and it looked like something I could wash in hot water to felt so I brought it home. After checking it out online I decided it was worth washing by hand to see how good it might be; not only did it come out beautifully, I tried on this size large sweater to find it wasn't a bad fit, especially for winter when it would have another shirt under it. These are $100 sweaters! Sometimes it pays to do the digging.

Peruvian Collection sweater
Haven't been there and wonder what I'm writing about? They wheel out large blue bins, about 6' long by 3' wide that are about 30" off the ground. They are piled high with items that weren't sold at the GW shops so they mostly contain clothing but some are full of boots and shoes or books. Most people have a shopping cart where they pile up their finds and that can be helpful but can get in the way. There is a protocol about new blue bins that are first coming out from the back: they are wheeled into place and you can look but not touch until they bring several carts out and give the final nod or OK. Watch out! The digging begins in earnest and you could get hurt! This is especially true when the carts are full of hard objects like the electronics that contain heavy parts and cords, possibly even some broken parts, although they are good about things being somewhat intact. I understand this isn't for everyone and I usually don't get into the melee but there's always the possibility of finding a treasure. Like a Peruvian Collection sweater or a Kaufmann print fabric. Life is full of surprises!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Free is Nice

I love to find items for free. Sewing notions, sewing machines, cabinets (no, not cabinets!) and this week a got a wonderful bunch of sewing patterns for free! I found the ad on Craigslist early on a Sunday morning but noticed it had been posted the previous afternoon. Oh no, I was too late, but I sent a response anyway. No answer. At the end of the day I send another one saying I was still interested and could come another day...? The response back was that I was too late but she would keep my response because they might be a no-show. No problem, I could wait, especially for free!

Two days later I still haven't heard so I send a friendly email asking if the patterns had been picked up but they were getting picked up on Tuesday night and I was next in line: should she take her ad down? This generous soul was new to Craigslist and didn't know some of the protocol. Ah, yes, how to keep your ad up without the hassle of multiple calls for an item that probably isn't available anymore. She would tack a "pending pick up" note on her ad but will give me a call if necessary. Wednesday morning we woke up to day long rain but I got a welcomed email: the pick-up was a no-show. I was up next! You can bet I wouldn't be a no-show.

We arranged to meet while her son was in hockey and after my yoga class so I drove over to the ice rink and that's where I met TJ, or Tari, and her generous donation of patterns. We promised to connect online as she has a blog and a Facebook page and I rushed home to take a good look at my wonderful haul:

This isn't even all of them, just the ones I want to take action on first!
Wow, oh wow. There were over 30 patterns, some were the specialty ones that do not go on sale and are around $10 each so it will be fun to try them out, too. I haul out my fabric that I've put aside for the little girl dresses and start to match patterns to fabric and come up with the following:
Vintage gray and pink print pairs with hot pink for a jumper with a front zipper

Navy dot with cream all-over eyelet, possible trims, too.

Both lavender fabrics are silky for a lovely fancy dress

Red and white dots with dotted trim for a summer shift

Blue and yellow stripe with pale yellow contrast, maybe blue lace?
Black and white with eyelet trim with a pattern I already had for a layered dress

Pink dots with animal print for a different layered dress

I guess I just love dots and lace. Please vote on your favorites or tell me "no, no, NO!" if something seems way off. What happened to those years when I was a trend setter (that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but at least I was in style) to now when I have to breeze so many fashions by my daughters for a thumbs up or down? Maybe I'm just a tiny bit behind? This is one way to keep current and, besides, I'm still having fun!