Saturday, October 15, 2011

I've been working on a new project and have been taking apart old suit coats to reuse the wool. I love de-constructing old tailored garments and admiring the old time craftsmanship in the hand stitched collars, the layers of horsehair interfacing, and rows and rows of pad stitching along the lapels.

But tonight I'm working on this: it's a lovely vintage Harris Tweed and the ugly matted goo you see is glue. Glue on the hem, the lining, and the interfacing. Lots to cut off. Ugh.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ta Da!

Inspired by a vintage war salvage logo from This took a good part of the day to piece together but it is good enough to keep me happy for a while. Also put together versions for 'vintage" goods and "handmade". Oh, and ordered real live business cards. I think the next round will have to have some color...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Project #1 is an attempt to create a chew resistant soft dog toy. Using scraps of recycled wool, I laminated two colors with free hand machine quilting. These I cut into the toy shape, using a large "pocket yeti" pattern from an old project. I layered this to a piece of the denim (dyed red) and added a felt face appliqué. Then added another layer of denim over the top, leaving a space in the stitching to turn it right side out. Trim, turn, stuff and close.

He looks a bit like a hollow, or soul eater (from the Japanese Manga, Bleach). Not a great photo, I admit. Quite blurry-- I think he's trying to run away.

footnote: poor little guy lasted all of 5 minutes.

The new season brings new routines and projects, thus the absence. In short, I'm still trying to get used to school hours-- and not too successfully. With several new ideas in the pipeline my old Singer Touch and Sew decided she was not up to the task, and quit-- no notice. Well, not exactly without notice-- she'd been to the shop twice for repairs recently and yesterday was the first use since the last visit. She worked great for all of 10 minutes, and then quit feeding the bobbin thread. So this morning I ran to the thrift store hoping to find something cheap and working. Actually, I always hope to find an amazing industrial machine with a $5 price tag, but so far, no luck. Instead, I found a very nice Touch and Sew and was tempted until I checked the gears and found they were still the original nylon. As that is the origin of most of this machines problems (being that plastic gears tend to break and wear after a few years), I kept looking. The only other machine was this pretty little green gal-- the Singer 185J-- which, according to the internet, is a simple straight stitcher, not very pricey for resale, but a real workhorse. A quick check confirmed the electrical seemed to work ok, but the belt was missing. For $19.99 which included the table, I took the chance and brought her home.

I was a bit nervous she would require some obsolete bobbin and needle size, but she likes the Singer 66, which is sold everywhere, and of which I have a few dozen. Needle size looks standard too. Best of all, I forgot I had an old non working machine in the attic which had the correct size belt. Sometimes I amaze myself. So far, everything works great, except the bobbin winder. The handwheel won't disengage and the bobbin winder doesn't turn. More research is required to figure this out, but in the meantime I can wind bobbins on the "new" Singer. New, as in bought in 1999 but not used until last year. It took me that long to figure out how to thread the bobbin, and it sews like a drunken tailor so it's only used as a last resort back-up to the back up.