Thread Number: 76460  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Any sewists?
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Post# 1003091   8/9/2018 at 11:56 (310 days old) by jkbff (Happy Rock, ND)        

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So... a while ago..

I don't know what the hell I was thinking..

I mean.. in my mind, I wanted to make some curtains... No one wanted to service my old Singer Futura that I had... so.. this happened....

I have no freaking idea what I'm doing... ... I am not sure what I have gotten my self into.

Last night, I finally set up both on my table that I am going to convert into a sewing table. I have these pants I've bought several colors of that just seem to last, but the stitching will give and unravel if I strain them just right. Well I finally went through my last pair yesterday and had 10 pairs I needed to stitch the inseam back in.. I figured I better get it done, I put the s25 in the cover stitch position and ran a narrow cover stitch to replace the chain stitch that gave way on the pants..

Oye do I need lessons...

I did find out that I prefer a dining height chair with the machines sitting on a counter height table. Much better working area without straining my back.

Pfaff Creative 1.5 and Husqvarna-Viking S25.

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Post# 1003096 , Reply# 1   8/9/2018 at 12:42 (310 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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If you are only planning on doing simple sewing projects, like mending inseams and making curtains you would be much better off with a simple, basic sewing machine. All you really need is a machine that can straight stitch and basic zig zag. Iíve had a sewing machine of some kind for over 46 years. I made a few shirts back in the early 70ís. Iíve sewn lots of curtains and valances, and done alterations and mending, and never needed all those extra features. Its just more to go wrong.

My favorite aunt was one of the very best seamstresses around, she could sew anything, and did. She used to make all my Momís evening and cocktail dresses, and everywhere Mom wore them people wanted to know where she bought them.

For most of her life she just had a basic Singer straight stitch machine in a cabinet, with a button hole attachment, but no zig zag. Finally, in 1972 my uncle bought her a Singer Golden Touch and Sew, because it was top of the line and he thought she deserved it. She hated that machine! It made everything much more complicated. She was so sorry that she gave her trusty old Singer to my cousin and wished she had it back.

If you are going to be sewing lots of heavy material, like denim, get yourself a reconditioned old time Singer with a metal body. They weigh a ton, but they will sew through several layers of heavy fabric and never skip a beat.


Post# 1003142 , Reply# 2   8/9/2018 at 20:29 (310 days old) by jkbff (Happy Rock, ND)        

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By the time I realized what I had done, it was too late to take the machines back.

I thought of trading one back in for the mechanical pfaff but I really do like how the pfaff sews.. I'm not too thrilled with the embroidery side of it, and it takes all sorts of hoops and jumps to make my Stitch Era software work with the thing but it sorta fits the bill I guess?

That serger is neat though.

Post# 1003143 , Reply# 3   8/9/2018 at 20:44 (310 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Joshua at least you have something you can sew with an if you enjoy learning how to use it thats all that matters. Iím just like you about where I do my machine sewing. I bring the machine downstairs to the dining room table. I have though sometimes used the ironing board, just lowered it to chair height so I can sit at it and thats very convenient too.

I looked on ebay after I made my last reply. Boy, those old Singers have really gone up in price. I bought an old, reconditioned Singer from a sewing machine shop many years ago and I know I didnít pay more the $50.00. I now have a 4 year old BOL Singer that I use most of the time. Its just lighter and easier to schlep around, but the old Singer is a much better machine.

Iíve never used a serger before, so you know more than we about that.


This post was last edited 08/09/2018 at 22:47
Post# 1003160 , Reply# 4   8/9/2018 at 22:47 (310 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Have A Bernia (Bernette) Five Thread Serger

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Which when it works does wonders and is a treat for running up laundry bags and other things with straight or only slightly curved seams.

However threading the thing correctly is a royal pain. So much so spend far more time swearing at the machine than by it. *LOL*

For normal sewing have an older Elna Supermatic "Plana" and sort of newer Pfaff 1209.

Both will do a double straight seam (providing one uses proper needle holder and threads. This is good for inseams or others that need to be durable and strong.

Don't fret too much about first attempts giving you fits. It sometimes takes awhile getting used to a machine and or in swing of things.

When hauling out my mending basket and a sewing machine, always begin with something small and simple. Like perhaps repairing a seam on a bed sheet or table cloth. This clears my head and lets me get into the frame of mind since don't sew that often.

Post# 1003188 , Reply# 5   8/10/2018 at 11:08 (309 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
Like people that can play the piano...

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...I've always admired people that can sew. I have three machines, my late partner's Singer Golden Touch n' Sew, the Singer Touchtronic machine that came in the cabinet I bought and a Bernina electronic unit with a fun little touch screen and an attachment that embroiders. Many years ago I used the Touch n' Sew to embroider ducks on curtains that Dale made for my mom's kitchen. That pretty much sums up my sewing expertise. 


I know that the Bernina has a built-in tutorial on how to use it. You start with screen number one and it takes you from there. I have an instruction video for using the embroidery attachment too. One day I'll sit down with a bag or two of Pepperidge Farm cookies and see if I can learn something. Being a natural-born klutz has it's obstacles. 


I was so proud when I modified the Singer cabinet so that the Bernina would fit but there it sits perpetually closed up. Fortunately it has a small footprint. 

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This post was last edited 08/10/2018 at 15:45
Post# 1003247 , Reply# 6   8/11/2018 at 00:05 (309 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
since 1998

bought a JC Penny,made in Poland in 1984,clone of European singer in 1998 with intent to use it to sew skirting for a hovercraft project I cancelled :)Started usingthe machine to repair and modify clothes, then later began to create some clothing articles-mostly because of dissatisfaction with commercial products.once I had the patterns established,there was still the problem of different bolts of fabric shrinking at different rates and directions-resulting in "dud"items frumpy,ill-fitting or "out of rig"...Same problem occurs with many commercial products too,but those get out to the racks...I have about 30 other 1940s-80s sewing machines,a fave (that I have not really tried out yet) is 1983 Singer touchtronic 2010-made in USA :)I have a few of the old worm-drive Singers too-all steel gears and just about bomb-proof :)

Post# 1003407 , Reply# 7   8/12/2018 at 08:55 (307 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I have a pretty basic Brother machine I bought when I was working at Walmart in 1997.  I taught myself to make scrub tops, pillows, curtains, table cloths, and just a few little projects.  I recently was given an old (about 100 yrs) National treadle machine that was falling apart.  Well I salvaged the drawers, re-glued the veneers, re-shellacked them, and just made a simple non-folding top.  I fixed the machine head that was seized and now it sews pretty stitches....but I also bought a 1950's Japanese DeLuxe sewing machine (Singer 15 clone) on eBay.  That basic machine will sew through anything and it's all metal.  I just got a ruffler foot attachment and I've been learning to do machine embroidery on this old treadle because I can control the speed with my foot.  I guess sewing and craftiness is in my blood.  I can tat, crochet, and sew.  My grandmother could make anything.  My sister learned to do smocking and has made several dresses for bridesmaids.  Back in February I bought myself a new Brother serger.  It was $35 less on than in the store, so I did the buy it online and pick it up in store today and got the cheaper price.

Post# 1003417 , Reply# 8   8/12/2018 at 12:18 (307 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
1950s Japanese machines

I have ~6 or 7 of those,one marked "made in occupied japan"and a Mitsubishi emblem on it :)These all seem to have American motors and electrics until the last couple years of the 1950s when Japanese motors began to be mounted.I have a 1956 wards catalog and there were a few Japanese machines in there with American-looking motors.

Post# 1003447 , Reply# 9   8/12/2018 at 21:02 (307 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Yeah for a long time they shipped the machines from Japan without motors to save weight and mounted American motors on them when they arrived here.  I love those Japanese machines, some of them have such pretty chrome and colors.  They were made by Brother, Mitsubishi, Janome, and some other now famous machine makers.

Post# 1003464 , Reply# 10   8/13/2018 at 00:57 (307 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Since IK collect vacuums-sewing machines come next.I can do very basic sewing-have several machines--Bernina,Pfaff,Jukie -slant "rocket" Singer-fount that beauty at a yard sale!!!Stopped and it found its way into my car.Fixed right up at the sew &Vac place where I got my other machines from.Found a Japanese 1950's machine at a yard sale-fixed up nicely.The big problem is space to set up the machines so you can use them.

Post# 1010795 , Reply# 11   10/14/2018 at 17:02 (244 days old) by jkbff (Happy Rock, ND)        

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So I already traded the Creative 1.5 in and got a Creative Vision 5.0 that was used. I like this machine, but it is heavy as heck.

I thought I would try making a king sized quilt as my first true project. I bought some fabric strips from walmart, but I really am not happy with the colors.

I've hit a few road blocks trying to assemble it all but people have been encouraging me to keep going. That is when I decided to cut all of my blocks in half on the bias and assemble them like the big block I've shown.

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Post# 1010818 , Reply# 12   10/14/2018 at 19:43 (244 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

What does a "serger" do?

Post# 1010831 , Reply# 13   10/14/2018 at 21:49 (244 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

A serger is also known as an overlocker.

It can produce several different kinds of stitches, including chain stitch and a cover stitch. Some stitches are a combination, for example, if it has 5-thread capabilities, it can overlook the raw edge to prevent it from fraying and at the same time put a chain-stitch "safety" seam a quarter inch or so to the left of it (the raw edge is on the right). The machine also has a knife that trims the fabric raw edge as it passes, so it has a uniform freshly cut edge to improve sewing. Sergers/overlockers frequently also have a "differential feed", that is, the feed dogs can feed the fabric at different rates before and after the needle, either to compensate for fabrics like knits (which stretch) or to get special effects, like ruffled or lettuce edges.

Usually, but not always, people in America use a pattern to cut the fabric that has a seam allowance, that is, if you are going to end up with a 2.5 inch fabric strip finished and sewn, it is cut as a 3 inch fabric strip so you can have a 0.25 inch seam allowance on each side. Then you use the raw edge as a guide with the needle one quarter inch from the edge.

But in many places, the pattern is the true size of the quilt or clothing to be sewn, that is, it has the *seam* lines printed, and one marks the seam line on the fabric and is free to cut as far away from that as one wishes, thus having a variable seam allowance. Often, in the industry, when one is making garments, that is what they do and cut the pieces apart with arbitrary cuts that leave a seam allowance that varies, because they know the person "serging" the garments will use the marked line to guide it under the needle, and the knife will cut away the excess fabric as it passes thru.

The "traditional" way people make clothes at home has the fabric cut into the appropriate pieces, they tell you "use a 1/4 inch seam allowance" or "5/8 inch" etc. If necessary, one trims the excess fabric in the next step, say, before turning the collars or in the underarm before setting the sleeves in etc.

This video shows a serger in action:

This video shows how people often use the seam allowance to guide a sewing machine:

This video shows a person using the stitching line to guide the sewing; this is a relatively high speed sewing assembly line; note that on a truly high-speed assembly line, one person would have marked the lines, another cut the fabric and the third person would just sew the re-inforcing seam:

This video shows a few of the reasons why one would need a stitching line to sew the seam in the first place, and a handy gadget to skip that step and just sew the seam:

Hope that helps.

Post# 1010909 , Reply# 14   10/15/2018 at 16:46 (243 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Thanks Earthling, very interesting.

Post# 1010950 , Reply# 15   10/15/2018 at 23:11 (243 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

No problem, I'm glad you liked it!

Post# 1011048 , Reply# 16   10/16/2018 at 09:16 (242 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I love my serger but man that thing is fast and seems to have a mind of its own at times!

Post# 1011656 , Reply# 17   10/21/2018 at 10:56 (237 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

I use posterboard for patterns-just tack down to the workbench(3x 2x12 lumber)with thumbtacks over material and cut out along the edge :)

Post# 1011701 , Reply# 18   10/21/2018 at 18:57 (237 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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You can always try the Lucy Ricardo method and cut out your pattern with a razor blade on the floor...

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This post was last edited 10/21/2018 at 23:26
Post# 1011744 , Reply# 19   10/22/2018 at 00:14 (237 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Looks like Lucy just cut a pattern in her living room carpet!!Will have to drag out my Lucy DVDs and see this!!!

Post# 1011777 , Reply# 20   10/22/2018 at 08:26 (236 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
My Mother

Made some of the most beautiful clothes you could imagine on a Singer 301 , No zig zag, just straight stitch and my Aunt did the same with a Free Westinghouse, if you can sew you can do basically anything with a basic machine.Mother wore some of those clothes to New York and Chicago for business meetings and always someone wanted to know where she got the dress or suit..LOL My Mother was the Adertising Director for Broyhill Furniture Industries.

Post# 1011786 , Reply# 21   10/22/2018 at 10:10 (236 days old) by jkbff (Happy Rock, ND)        

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I wish I had people around me that could teach me how to make clothes etc. My parents never did, My Grandparents never did, but their parents did but they were mostly gone before I came around.

The more youtube videos I keep watching to learn techniques etc, the more I wish I could have just found an old singer ZigZag machine with a tall/wide harp. I would have been more than happy.

But I do like the creative vision as well, because it is neat. But it is $%#$@%^ heavy.

If I can get over this first quilt I think I'll be fine... Ugh.. LOL.

Post# 1012138 , Reply# 22   10/25/2018 at 23:56 (233 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Now that it's cool weather and the time is about to change I'm gonna be working on my treadle embroidery projects again. 

Post# 1012140 , Reply# 23   10/26/2018 at 00:04 (233 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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Anyone that can do that is an artist first and a sewist second...amazing and very beautiful.

Post# 1012146 , Reply# 24   10/26/2018 at 03:26 (233 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Actually Have That Vintage Book

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By Singer (circa 1930's) that tells how to make lace, embroideries et al on a sewing machine.

Have never bothered as don't have time to master patience and skills required, but for those that did and or still do are able to turn out wonderful things.

This sort of sewing machine embroidery obviously pre-dated computer/electronic sewing machines, especially the modern commercial versions that turn out fine cutwork, laces, and embroideries of bed/table linens, garments and other textiles.

Idea was back then was to harness the sewing machine (both domestic and industrial) to produce laces/embroidery faster (and cheaper) with much less eye strain than doing the work by hand.

In parts of the world where female (usually) labor is plentiful and cheap you still find embroidery and or laces done by "hand" using sewing machines. This as opposed to the huge computer driven sewing machines.

Post# 1025064 , Reply# 25   2/18/2019 at 21:49 by jkbff (Happy Rock, ND)        

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I wish I had that Singer 380 cabinet you have. Mom had one when I was a kid. I saw one on ebay by chance and as soon as I saw the pics, I could hear the looped handles banging from when I flap them and I could smell that cabinet. Machine oil, paper patterns and all of the notions Mom kept in that cabinet. There were a few times I nearly pulled the damn thing down on my head but thankfully never did.

Post# 1025114 , Reply# 26   2/19/2019 at 17:25 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

I'm getting real itchy to buy a sewing machine. For someone who has zero experience would it make more sense to buy a $30.00 toy or go for $100.00 'beginner' to see if I would like to learn to sew?

Post# 1025117 , Reply# 27   2/19/2019 at 18:08 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I would buy a solid old machine.  Circa 1950's if you can.  These are solid all metal workhorses.  All the new machines are plastic and will not hold up.  When the Singer my mom had from the 60's died, (half plastic gears...) I bought a modern Singer.  it works, has lots of built in stitches but it feels and is cheap.  I bought a Singer "Rocketeer" from the 50's  - one owner and well cared for- had it tuned up and it will last decades.


Post# 1025118 , Reply# 28   2/19/2019 at 18:14 by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        

Really good sewing machine stores (the only places worth patronizing) have reconditioned secondhand sewing machines, and one can get good value in the $150-300 range. Furthermore, they will willingly show you how to run the thing ON your machine, which is way better than balancing your phone and talking to Singapore.

Not Yet, but this year. I am starting to quilt!


Post# 1025119 , Reply# 29   2/19/2019 at 18:16 by Kate1 (Idaho)        

Donít bother with a Ďtoyí sewing machine. I actually donít have very favorable things to say even about $100ish machines sold nowadays but if youíre just trying it out and planning to upgrade later itís probably fine. You could also try to find a used machine. I got very lucky and found an older Kenmore machine at Goodwill for $20. Thatís what I teach my kids on and what they use when they want to sew something. It was what I used for everything until I upgraded to my Bernina and Juki serger.

Post# 1025146 , Reply# 30   2/19/2019 at 21:17 by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

I've just recently gotten back  into sewing and after using a friends new $150.00 Brother machine and having nothing but trouble and having had a great Bernina before, I  went on line looking and talking with at least 10 on line sellers, the under $200.00 machine all recommended as the right choice-- something fairly basic, I chose a Bernette B33.  $200.00 and I'm enjoying it greatly.  Not too fancy, and fair more substantial that the borrowed Brother.   I'd highly recommend it!  Greg

Post# 1025171 , Reply# 31   2/20/2019 at 05:45 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I have a Brother I bought with my Walmart employee discount when I worked there in college back in 1997.  It's been great for what I do.  But I also have a 1950's Japanese Singer class 15 clone machine, bought it super cheap on ebay because the seller couldn't test it due to the cord being so deteriorated it was unsafe.  Of course I know how to re-cord it and did so I could tinker with it, but my ultimate goal was to use it on a treadle cabinet I had restored.  I made curtains just a few days ago for our bathroom and did so on that treadle machine.  So much more enjoyable and relaxing.  I left the motor attached to the back so I can hook it back up if I ever want to.  It's all metal, bulletproof, and sews super straight and true, but it only has straight stitches.  If I wanted zigzag I could easily get a later Japanese model and it would still fit the treadle.  A lot of those Japanese machines were made by well-known companies like Juki, Brother, Janome, and Toyota, among others.  Those old Japanese precision deluxe machines will sew through ANYTHING and multiple layers at that!  MIL has one too but hers is still electrically powered and has several fancy stitches on it.  Below is the actual machine I bought for cheap.  Photo 2 is the same machine installed in the reworked treadle cabinet .  I had to re-glue all the veneer to the fronts of all the drawers, re-shellac everything, and make a completely new top and stain to match.  Eventually I'll put the articulating mechanism in that raises and lowers the machine when the top is opened, but for now it's just stationary.  I love sewing and crocheting and tatting so much that if I could make my RN salary doing it, I'd do it and quit nursing!

Those old machines are addictive though.  If I had the room I'd have a washer collection along with a sewing machine collection.

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This post was last edited 02/20/2019 at 06:35
Post# 1025196 , Reply# 32   2/20/2019 at 12:38 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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I'd take the advice of these seasoned members. Don't be like me and buy a machine with dozens of lights, bells & whistles that just sits there. It says "Made in Switzerland" whatever that means. I have 3 machines, 2 free Singers and the other almost as cheap because the lady liked me. I'm seriously thinking of re-purposing them.

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Post# 1025354 , Reply# 33   2/22/2019 at 14:04 by jkbff (Happy Rock, ND)        

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What are you looking to accomplish?

There are many things I wish I would change with how I went about getting my machines, but now I have 5 of the damn things.

I will say, I love my Creative Vision 5.0, but I wish it was the 5.5 (improvements on a few things).

The Creative 1.5 is an excellent piecing machine. It has no problems feeding small pieces of fabric.

The Creative Vision has me spoiled though because it has an automatic presser foot, so that includes auto hover and pivot as well. (When I take my foot off the pedal, the foot lifts slightly with the needle down so I can turn my pieces.)

Something I wish I understood better going into this is needles, needle size, thread and bobbin thread make all the difference in the world.

What I wish I would have started with, after all the money I spent, was an old (vintage) straight stitch machine IN a cabinet, an old machine with a tall throat. Now I am having a dining table re-purposed to have a machine dropped in so I can have a flat bed for quilting.

Oh, the other thing, if you are going to be interested in embroidery down the road, buy a used high end machine from a dealer that will let you trade that machine in for something different and give you everything you paid back into the new machine. Get a machine with a full touch screen that allows you to modify the embroidery ON the machine, adjusting placement, sizes etc. Embroidery software is ridiculously expensive. Most of the Pfaff/Viking/Singer machines come with access to basic tools that will let you take normal fonts from or various places and turn them into embroidery fonts. The machines that have the screens built in that allow you to adjust layout will typically weld the letters together better than what the intro software will allow you to do on the computer.

Post# 1025362 , Reply# 34   2/22/2019 at 15:30 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

jkbff, thanks for the advice. I'm still at the stage of awe that you push a pedal and a thing goes up and down and makes a stitch!

Post# 1025412 , Reply# 35   2/23/2019 at 13:18 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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For someone who can't even thread the most basic machine, I sure seem to have a lot to say. I guess I've always been attracted to sewing machines, mainly from a design standpoint. The early Singer computer machines with their exotic names like Touch-Tronic and Athena were more like small pieces of modern sculpture. Unfortunately I've heard as many negative things about these machines as I've heard about the Northstar engine in my little Cadillac. So I'm not recommending them unless you're simply interested in design aesthetics . I did try and use the Singer that came inside the cabinet I bought and it does seem to work.


And who would doubt the late wonderful Polly Bergen and those 100 million people?

CLICK HERE TO GO TO twintubdexter's LINK

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Post# 1025435 , Reply# 36   2/23/2019 at 19:14 by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
late slant needles

so far no trouble with my 1983 touch tronic,but I think I have heard of nylon gears in later slants shrinking and cracking from age...

Post# 1025833 , Reply# 37   2/27/2019 at 13:57 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

To wash or not that is the question...

There seems to be two schools of thought about prewashing fabric before cutting and sewing. I'm going to be using a cotton print to make some curtains. One side says ALWAYS prewash the other says no unless it's for clothing. Can anyone share some wisdom? Oh yeah, I bought a low end Singer at Wally World just to see if I'm going to like this project.

Post# 1025837 , Reply# 38   2/27/2019 at 14:15 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Iíve made curtains using new, unwashed cotton fabric with no problems, so I think you will be OK not washing the new fabric first before making the curtains. But for any clothing, I would recommend prewashing, drying and ironing the yardage first, before cutting out the pattern and sewing the garment.

This practice used to be very important years ago, as most cotton yardage wasnít pre shrunk or sanfornized, and the finished garment could become misshapen and shrink the first time it was washed. This maybe isnít so imortant now with modern cotton yardage, but as the old saying goes, ďAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cureĒ.


Post# 1025838 , Reply# 39   2/27/2019 at 14:23 by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

For home dec projects I never preshrink fabrics, even cotton!  

Post# 1025845 , Reply# 40   2/27/2019 at 15:37 by bendix5 (Central Point, Oregon)        

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My wife has been a life long sewer of clothing and now is mostly a quilter. She pre-washes all new material. If you put ten fat quarters in the machine and run rinse and spin cycle each one will come out a different size. If you don't pre wash your finished project, it will look great until it hits the machine the first time you have to wash it. Especially quilts will get twisted and never lay flat again.

What Eddie Said ďAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cureĒ.

Post# 1025846 , Reply# 41   2/27/2019 at 15:45 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

I think it depends quite a lot.

Yes, it's true that a lot of fabrics are sanforized and that currently fiber reactive dyes are less likely to bleed or fade or stain other fabrics.

That being said, I'd think it depends on how comfortable you are with change.

If you didn't pay much for the fabric and you don't mind wasting your time if something goes wrong, just sew it. If you'd resent the time spent washing, drying, pressing/ironing the fabric just to discover it did not shrink or bleed, you may want to skip it.

Me, I'm ambivalent. If I'm making a quilt and it's going to be rather densely quilted, even if if shrinks a bit I'm fine with it as long as it doesn't bleed all over and stain itself. I'm also unlikely to prewash any kits I bought for quilts that are precut, that would be madness with all the fraying, and I'm willing to grin and bear it if I wasted my time and money on something that got ruined, it's live and learn.

But most of the time, particularly if I bought yardage to cut myself, I will prewash it in *exactly* the way I intend to wash and dry the finished product. Many people will wash everything in one way and treat it after sewn in another way, and will be very unhappy with the results. A *lot* of fabrics in bolts are not on the straight of grain, they look like they are, but as soon as you wash and dry it you realize it was distorted during weaving/dyeing perhaps by the wrong tension on the yarns and as soon as the fibers relax it's visibly distorted, and you get a better chance to cut it right and/or try to fix it.

And if you ever intend to just wash and tumble dry it, do not iron the fabric. Press it, don't iron it. Ironing can undo all the pre-shrinking you worked for by washing/drying, and it can bite you in the but after you wear the garment and wash/dry it and you will be in for a ton of ironing again.

All that being said, for curtains I'd wash and tumble dry the fabrics, take a good look at it and decide if you even want to sew it. Most of the time, the answer will be a resounding yes.

But there was that one time I washed and dried fabric for a set of curtains I wanted to make, really pretty fabric, and it basically ruined it, so I have never sewn it. Still bitter about it, one of these days I'll either do something with it (not curtains for sure) or donate it or trash it.

Have fun and good luck!

Post# 1026075 , Reply# 42   3/2/2019 at 16:39 by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Think I'm hooked. Made curtain panels with a matching valance for the door. Kitchen may be next!

Post# 1026083 , Reply# 43   3/2/2019 at 19:03 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        


Now that you are hooked (yay!), please notify the guild of the person who hooked you, I believe we're still running the "every ten people you hook you get a toaster oven" thing!

:-P † ;-)

Post# 1026091 , Reply# 44   3/2/2019 at 19:39 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

twintubdexter's profile picture

A photo of those curtains would be nice. I'm sure you'll be moving on to more projects, although those curtains sound like a real accomplishment. 

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