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.
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!
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)?
I am actually longing to make this tailored dress…. Sewing machine attachments like tuckers are novel time savers!
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.
Just made thus 30s pattern up for my son. Last steps: buttons and buttonholes… What type of buttons for you think????
Surprisingly quick to make up, and I really like the topstitching details. finish on the inside of the yoke… Lovely and clean with flat fell seams. My son chose the fabric, a very happy design!
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?
The bobbin case and feed dogs were removed for a good clean it seems there was dirt and dust in every possible crevice and cranny! Accumulated since 1953!
I also cleaned and reassembled the upper tension control… That definitely made a difference to the tension swatches
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!
Yuck!!!! I was just glad not to find any spiders as the machine had been languishing in someone’s garage for decades!
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! :)
I have named my 1937 Singer 99 “Snow White” (1) because I like the irony, being that it’s a pitch black machine and (2) because that was the year Walt Disney’s classic came out. Here is an image of her stitches understitching a bias collar with catch stitches made by hand beneath it…. Almost finished the dress!
A few pages on attachments for Bebarfald Bluebird fans… Sewing Efficiency is actually useful for anyone interested in sewing machine attachments, the application is essentially the same… Let me warn you some of the seam binding techniques are not that easy (on my Singer at least). Anybody use a Bluebird? Do you love it? What’s your favourite accessory?
Love love the image above.. I want to do that!
Love love ruffles… Best attachment ever! This is my Greist ruffler attachment for low shank machines… Works great on the Elna Su but probably not the best fit for my Singer 99…
These are my feet for the Singer 99 at present. The adjustable hemmer seen on the bottom left is my favourite gadget at the moment.
It’s super easy to use when you get the hang of it…
I will move into singer featherweight Territory soon… I have just found one…. My birthday is later in the year but it will make a great pressies from hubbie.
Loving sewing with my Singer 99, seen here with my washi tape seam marker…
Improvisation! Fortunately I found some Singer knee lever machine instructions at a market but there are plenty available for free on the internet. I also have instructions for the Bebarfald Bluebird sewing machine. I have featured a few pages here for other vintage sewing machine enthusiasts as I know how painful it is to have no instructions , but will probably sell the original on ebay. Hope these images of some of the key pages help some folks out there. Happy sewing!