Finally finished- the 1940s cherry delight dress!

IMG_8095Made partially on my Singer 99 and partially on my Singer 221 featherweight, this dress is finally finished and I have to confess, it is one of my favourites so far… a classic style full of sweetness! It feels like this took ages to do, but I had to do it incrementally as with all my sewing projects.

Vintage sewing machine lovers note: the buttons were done with my SINGER buttonholer attachment (I love love love this gadget)! With my elna SU, I had to do “manual” buttonholes, the sewing machine attachment makes it all so fast! I mean, really, really fast!

The fabric was purchased at Spotlight when I was pregnant with my little girl (she is two in October, so I am pretty sure they wouldn’t stock it anymore). The pattern is 1940s, Simplicity. Whenever I come across those vintage/ retro hangers )(which I recollect well enough from my own childhood) I snap them up… so fun!

Hope everyone else is sewing up a storm also!

My sewing week in pictures

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With the arrival of my “new” Singer buttonholer from the Us (coolest sewing gadget ever)? I have been making lots of progress!

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Inspiration can always be found in my vintage Montgomery Ward catalogues!

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Enough leftover Hawaiian fabric is going into a shirt for my son… Will be a fun one for the beach in a few weeks!

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A classic toddler pinafore or smock mccalls 1694

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This weekend my spare moments were spent making contrast collars in white batiste for a number of girls dresses I plan to make, it’s much more efficient to do several sets at once by the time you’ve prepped the fabric and played about with machine tension. Incidentally, the fabric was bought in Melbourne at Tessuti on our recent road trip… I picked it up along with some great shirting for a pressie for my husband (as a shirt) later in the year.

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I also cut and assembled Mccall 1694 (the illustration at the top is from one of my catalogs from the mid 50s). This is a super cute design for a toddler… And very practical to slip over a third and pants or to protect another dress such as the cherry print gingham Simplicity 2200 I am making in tandem for her birthday later in the year. I looove using the Singer ruffler on my new featherweight, the result I’d precise and beautiful. Below you can see me sewing the shoulder ruffles on to the pinafore. This is not far from being completed and is pretty quick to sew (assuming that you don’t have little ones underfoot the entire time)! Weekends are great for me because hubbie gives me short blocks of time to make progress. Its the only way, for me!!!  I am also contemplating the trim I will use and what it will be worn with in her wardrobe at that time… it would be great if it all complimented… by design or happy coincidence.

I should clean up my sewing studio. Should, should,should. There are any number of chores. But sewing is so much more appealing!

Smock 50s featherweight sewing detail

To tuck or not to tuck…

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Trying to figure out your Singer tucker attachment? These extracts from “Machine Sewing” a manual for home economics teachers (1930) might help… (is anyone else there as smitten with old school sewing attachments)?

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I am actually longing to make this tailored dress…. Sewing machine attachments like tuckers are novel time savers!

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For SINGER sewing machine enthusiasts I am also posting this attachment list from the book, in case you are hunting down accessories for your machine.

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Happy sewing!

My new Featherweight (Singer 221 Sewing Machine)-Like sewing with a Baby grand piano

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I say “new” featherweight because it was acquired in this last week. My husband, son and baby daughter travelled over 1000 km to pick her up on a “holiday” road trip to Melbourne. Cosmetically she is in pretty good shape with a few small “love bites” from her years with her original owner (you may notice one on the light). Most of the time, she was left to sit in her box and the original owner preferred a treadle. I had her serviced almost immediately and she functions perfectly.

Look at that gloss! Sewing with her is like caressing a baby grand, there is definitely an air of luxury.

This is a special machine, she is being gifted to me by my husband as I have a milestone birthday this year- I don’t ever intend to sell her and I hope like the jewel that she is she will be a joy for one of my kids whom I plan to teach to sew early on. One day I hope to gift it to them.

I started sewing Simplicity 1220 on my Singer 99 (‘Snow White’). I used a tucking foot for the bodice tucks. As this machine was manufactured in 1957 I am christening her “Peyton” as ’57 was the year the  movie of the tres scandalous book Peyton Place came out.

Sigh. This is bliss. What are you sewing? Do you have a featherweight?

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A Singer 201k restoration in photos… Part 1

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Yet to polish the chrome but images on the right show you how dirty the machine was! When it was first run it seemed sluggish….  When I looked inside the face plate I had an idea why!

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Yuck!!!! I was just glad not to find any spiders as the machine had been languishing in someone’s garage for decades!

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Made in 1953 I have named this machine Princess, after Audrey Hepburn’s character in Roman Holiday which came out in the same year.
The 201k was by all accounts one of Singer’s most prestigious and high performance model in the 50s…. so glad to have one. Even if it means elbow grease and TLC!:)