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Thursday, December 29, 2011

I think...

I may have finally found the perfect maid.
We'll see for certain , if she responds well to my overly controlling nature :)

But for now, I think the search may be done!

Also, I wanted to make a note about something I discovered on my old car, and have rediscovered in my new truck.

I was filling my car with regular gas, because it's cheaper than the plus or super varieties. But I noticed that when I used a higher grade of gas, my mileage improved dramatically.
So, I offset the 4$ difference in cost, with enough of a mileage difference to more than make up for it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Today, it is raining

Which shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as I live in the Pacific Northwest.

Yet, every time we have s period of sunshine, it seems like all the drivers on the road suddenly forget what rain is.
So they drive REALLLLLLY slow in the passing lane, and they hit their brakes when raindrops hit their windshield.
If I weren't already a mad-fiend, this would be enough to put me over the edge.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Holidays

And stuff!
I am non-religious, but for those of you who have one faith or another, I hope your celebrations have been wonderful and that you have re-affirmed the bonds with those you love.

On the me end of things...
Well, I had a batch of candidates for the maid position, and the one that I thought had the best potential took herself out of the running..I guess I am a bit too overbearing for her to work for!

Oh well.

I have a few new candidates to interview, and some of them seem to have great potential to be trainable into the exact kind of maid I want!
So, there you go. Patience pays off in the end.

or so I hope.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Another thing

I've been seeing a LOT of lately:

People are buying machine off CL cheaply and then bringing them to me to be tuned up.
3 of the ones I've seen this month have been non-repairable.
Which means they were a waste of money, on the purchaser's part, and time, on mine because I don't charge for machines I can't fix.

People shouldn't sell trash to the unwary...

I have this

hooded shirt thing that has always driven me mad.
It's mostly the right size, but it's just too short in the waist, I am long waisted(and winded, yes, I know!).

So, I decided to take it apart and use it for a pattern!

Now, you may say, "But D... you wear dresses 99% of the time. What the heck are you going to do with hooded shirts?"

To which i would reply, "Shhhhhhhhhhh"


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sewing on the 1030

I can honestly say, I think I've found MY machine.
This machine is not as quiet as my 201.
But then again.... nothing is.

But there's something really wonderful about it's array of available stitches, and the reversing patterns.

It's smooth.
It's steady.

For a modern machine, or even for a vintage zigzagger, it feels SOLID.
There are no cheaply made bits to this thing.

How well does it sew?
Well, I had no difficulty going through layers of denim.

Another thing I love about mechanicals is that the decorative stitches are never going to wear out or start looking funky. They are what they are and that's what they always will be.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A lovely visit

with N was had today :)
She really is an amazingly pleasant person.

Is a series of Records!
Starting with the 730 and going through the 1130.
I like the shape of the 730 the most, but I gotta say I am totally enjoying the 1030.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The cabinet

for the 1030 is actually another trash save.
Someone had painted it the most hideous colors and then(I believe) left it by a dumpster out of pure shame.
I cleaned it off and re-shellacked it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The 1030 review begins!

Here she is, my new 1030!
Oh wait... I guess she's being shy!

That's better!

I think she feels more comfortable fully dressed!

Ok, time for real reviewy bits: 
This machine has 26 stitches built in, including decorative and utility. the biggest difference between this and the 830 is the reverse stitches. For a mechanical machine, this is fairly awesome.

The controls are still pretty much exactly the same as they've been since the original 530.
With the addition of the knob to switch between single direction and dual direction stitches (the green stitches move from side to side, the red move side to side and back and forth)
There's really nothing here that's hard to use or complicated to grasp.

In fact, to make it even easier, when you select a stitch the machines displays the correct setting/foot for use with the stitch.
Pretty darn easy.

The only thing I don't like about this machine is the change in the body type. The 730 is still my favorite in that regard. 

There are a LOT of features added to this machine, even compared to the 930.
Normally I'm not much of a 'feature freak' but given that this is a mechanical machine, I'll allow myself a bit of flutteryness.

What's the #1 feature that the modern machines have that most vintage mechanicals lack?
Right, needle up/down.
This machine has it.

The lighting is really interesting as well. rather than using a single bulb, it uses a smaller bulb on each side of the needle bar, thus eliminating shadowing.

I'll go into more depth about the machines actual sewing ability later :)

Finished the

two machines I was working on!
They are both really good machines, the 15 was sort of beat to hell.


I made a trip to my local Bernina store.
I went in to ask them about getting a mounting thingy to put my 1030 into a cabinet.
They informed me that (unlike Singer) the mounting kit for Bernina was not a weird proprietary size, and that It was basically just a bolt and a large washer.

Well then!

Fast forward to yesterday, where I was in a thrift store(imagine that!) and I came across 2 Bernina accessories cases, without their machines.
Inside one of these cases?
A big bolt and a really weird rectangular washer....ohhhh!

Sometimes I feel like I am the luckiest girl on earth.

Now if I could just lose some weight!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


for my cleaning service to show up.
And, in preparation of that, I am having to pre-clean the house....
See, they don't load dishes into the dishwasher, or empty the dishwasher. So if there are dishes on the counter or in the sink....she won't clean any of it.
That's sort of a fraction of the things they DON'T do.
They're really good at vacuuming areas from which all obstructions have been removed, and wiping down counters that have already been cleaned. Which strikes me as sort of pointless, considering what I'm paying them and the fact that I hired them because I don't have the time....

So, my search for a maid goes on!

Begining the rewire

of the 15!

I need to replace the bobbin tire and a few other odds and sods.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2 new machine for me to work on this weekend

I've been brought a few machines to fix.
A 15-91 that needs a COMPLETE overhaul, and a 221 that just needs a basic service.

The check spring is broken, the machine is crusted with old grease, and it needs to be completely rewired..
Joy!  I love things like this :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Ok, I'm fairly certain I'm not an idiot...
In fact, I've got an IQ north of genius.

But this stupid pattern is driving me crazy.
Cryptic instructions are really not a great way to show the quality of your patternmaking skills...

Sure, YOU made the pants, congratulations. But the pattern you drafted is a giant piece of crap.

So, I'm left with two choices:
1. Try to figure out how to make it work, ignoring your unintelligible gibberish.
2. Set fire to both the pattern and the project as it now stands and call it a day.

I'm leaning towards #2

Friday, December 9, 2011

The pants...

I'm working on the cargo pants...
And I came across a part that I have 0 idea what it means.
No idea.

Black dress done.

Here it is!
I made the bottom ruffle almost floor length, and the skirt is actually a bit LESS poofy than my norm, but I think it works this way

Thursday, December 8, 2011

But first!

A word from our spons... wait, no, I don't do commercials...


You may remember way back when I said I was going to be working on some cargo pants.. or not, if not look back there <--.
So, I found a pattern that looked like it would be something I liked, Hot Patterns Weekender Cargo pants.
I bought it.

See, I'm picky. 
When I spend $20+ on a pattern... I sort of have high expectations for that pattern.
maybe that's unreasonable.

But despite the fun/glib text on the front of the package, I found/am finding the instructions to be somewhat confusing. There are several things where the creator apparently decided you already knew what you were supposed to to, so they sort of skim right over it.
Oh, also.....there's a bunch of printing errors on this pattern. Their cut lines don't match up.
Yeah, so.. No.
I have used cheap patterns before with little to no difficulty.
I guess I'll stick with those.

Been working with

the 1030.
I should be able to give a review of it soon.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The gadget of the day!

I've had this thing sitting around  forever, and bee sort of skeptical.
I's an old scissor sharpener.
Well, I can now say..
I used it on a pair of old kinda not so good scissors, and the difference was like night and day.
Ok, sure. It's simple physics and I'm easily amused.

Monday, December 5, 2011

This one's

going to be a bit more....frilly than the rest of them!
Here's a bit of the bodice and one sleeve!
They're going to get more and more complicated :)

I forgot

to post a picture of the finished striped dress....
so, here it is!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The newest dress

Is black denim with a red plaid wool lining.
It's going to be so awesome.
My dilema:
I can't decide if I want to go all out with ruffles and lace on this one.
All of my other fall dresses have been fairly austere.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The thing is...

, and I forget this a lot, you should always look for the simplest explanation or method first.
Working on Berninas is a perfect reminder of this.
The newer models are still sort of a pain in the butt to work on, if you're used to vintage machines, but at least everything makes sense.
For example, the needle seemed to be getting too close to the needle plate after my breaking a bajillion needles sewing through way too much fabric. So, I thought the needle bar must have somehow been knocked out of position and I would need to disassemble the entire machine in order to put it right.
One look in the service manual told me the rest of the story:
When the needle bent and struck the needle plate, it jarred loose the tiny bolt above the bobbin hook and allowed the needle plate to drift slightly. A gentle tap, and a twist of my multi-tool, et voila!
No major surgery required!
I love quality.

How to..

break a LOT of needles:
Sew through 2 layers of upholstery fabric and 2 layers of lining that is folded to form a mass of fabric that just barely fits under the presser foot...
I thought it might have been a weakness in the 1008, so I took out one of my 201-2s.
Nope, it's not the machine, it's the idiot in the chair! :D

what does this teach me?
Well, when dealing with super thick stuff, I have to figure out a way to sew it that's just a bit more clever.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And while I'm on the subject...

of the 1008, I decided to use it to make my newest fall dress.

Here's the bodice, finished.
I changed the neckline and sleeves.
I'm not sure how much ornamentation I'll give it, at this point.
We'll see when i get the form done.

What am I learning?
Well.. the 1008 is actually a really good machine. I mean really.
I knew from the testing that I did that it didn't suck, but making this dress on it has really shown me it's capabilities.

I'll still sell it, just because I have 4 bajillion other machines to use. And this machine falls into the same mental space as my 1030(which I will use for my next dress). So if I had to choose between this and a 1030, well that's really not a fair thing at all.

The next few months are going to be full of spotty postings!

It's the problem with this season.. too much to get done and not enough time to do everything I want.

So, I've got a few people interested in the 1008 I repaired and am selling.
2 of which are here now and  ready to try/buy it.

But there's another person interested, who isn't going to be able to come give it a try for another week or so.
And so, I am actually holding it for her to try first.

Now , you may think that is unfair of me. You may think that I should do things on a 'first come first served' basis.
And if I were Walmart, you would be right.

But I'm not Walmart.

Each person I've sold a machine to exists still in my head, I remember their machines and the possible issues with them. When I sell a machine it's not a single transaction, it is the beginning of a relationship between the buyer and myself.

So, when I get emails that are polite and clear, from someone who knows what the machine is and isn't, and doesn't regale me with bad grammar...I tend to want to favor them.
Is that unfair?
Not to me.