Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Stitches with a machine

I don't sew a lot. In the past few years I've conceded to some hand-sewing when necessary.  I own a sewing machine. I inherited it from my mother-in-law when she passed and it may have been her mother's. It is a Kenmore from the 1970s (model 1774).  It's always been finicky for me. For example, it never adjusted stitch length... needless to say, I didn't enjoy using it. But hey, sometimes having a very limited sewing machine is better than no sewing machine.  Since I wasn't using it, I was trapped in that ever familiar excuse - if I don't really use a sewing machine, why would I get a new one?
Skip forward several more years and the mending pile has grown. There are piles of fabric (recently inherited) that I'd love to sew up and ideas galore for simple projects. I begin to harass my dear hubby more frequently about the sewing machine which has now seized up entirely. We try oiling it, but the machine is too far gone for a simple oiling. Has it even ever been serviced? (Is that a thing we actually are supposed to do with sewing machines? I had no idea before. Now I know better.)  Hubby discovered there is a machine repair shop 3 blocks away, which left us with no more excuses.

Machine is now home. After paying the cost of a cheap machine (in maintenance/repairs) this old Kenmore works again! It does things it never did for me before - such as change stitch length!  All the reviews I've read or watched on this machine by seamstresses praise it, so I don't mind the cost to get her back in working order.  Sure, a girl can dream of a fancy new machine or of finding the pattern cams to fit it - but let's be honest, I just need basic stitches.  If I want fancy embroidery, I'd be much happier with proper embroidery.
I cleared off space on the "dumping ground" craft room counter in the basement (hence poor lighting) and set her up. But before I moved her downstairs, I did whip up a few items to test. (Note, I do not claim to have great sewing talent.)

First a few nose cloths - two squares of flannel with zig-zag edging. I'd serger them if I could, but I can't. I've had a couple dozen of these cloths for 8 years or so. They've withstood frequent hot washes (still in use), so I guess a serger isn't necessary.

Then I was on a roll, so I mended a shirt for kiddo and made some scrap-fabric sleeping sacks for the kids favourite toys (per their request).  Eldest has been handsewing pillows with felt, so I left some of the sleep sack pillows as cases rather than stuffing them.

Have no fear. The sewing machine will not be taking over from other stitches or spinning. I also spent many hours in the past couple of weeks combing and carding All The Fleeces. Here's the most current batch on the wheel.

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