Archive for June, 2009

The Secret is Out

Singer 15-91

If you want to know what to look for and how to purchase your very own vintage machine, take a look here at my article I wrote for SewMamaSew.

Now, don’t you all go running out snapping up all the good deals!  Nah- just joking…  but seriously, these beauties can be found just about anywhere and often for under $50.  I bought three in the last year and never paid more than $50 including the table (although they all needed cleaning and new wiring).  So if you really want a great machine, keep your eyes peeled and enough cash to grab one when you spot it.



So I tried to shirr a while ago.  I started this dress back at the beginning of May after hours of designing my own pattern.  (My sister has asked me to copy several mini Boden outfits for E.)

Trial Run Dress for E

I finally got around to putting it together and shirring last week.  The elastic thread has already come apart so I have to do it over.

Broken Already

I scoured the web looking for a shirring tutorial where the rows were not sewn in a circle or tube.  I just wanted to go back and forth across the front and back of the dress, but didn’t know if I had to tie off at each end.  Yeah, I was too lazy to tie all those darn knots that people do.


I wanted to sew one continuous line, but since I couldn’t find anything showing it done this way I wasn’t sure if that would still work okay or if it would throw off the whole shirring process.  Instead, I backstitched 3 or 4 times at the beginning and end of each row.  Bad idea.  After talking with G the other night, I found the exact thing I wanted to do in an Octobre mag!  The worst part was that one of the editions I already had also had the exact shirring technique that I was trying to accomplish.  Frustrating.  It was right in front of me all along.


So I will be re-doing the shirring and will be sewing in one continuous line this time, (and will reduce those ginormous pockets!).  Live and learn.

I also finally tried AB’s Swing bag– minus the scarf.  I don’t like scarfs.

Grad Present

I liked the pattern.  It was bare bones.  No pockets, gussets, or closures.  It’s supposed to be reversible so you can’t add all that nonsense stuff if you want to be able to turn it inside out.  I really liked the pleats at the base of each handle.  It’s too cute.

Love the Handle Pleats

The bag was for a neighbor’s daughter who just graduated high school and is heading off to OSU.  I tucked in some hard-to-find long sheets for her dorm and called it good.  It was great because I didn’t have to wrap it.  I don’t like to wrap. Talk about a waste of resources.  (Sorry, I feel a mean cold coming on which is why this post is a little funky and negative.)

Gift Inside

I really do like the bag pattern, but changed a few things such as: I didn’t interface it with canvas as the pattern instructs.  Who keeps light colored canvas on hand?  Do you?  I sure don’t.  I had this stuff which worked out just fine.  Also, I did not leave the opening for turning on the curve of the top of the bag.  I wasn’t about to handstitch on a curve- it always turns out crappy.  So instead, I put the opening on one of the straight sides and topstitched. Finished and given already with lots of thank you’s.

Next up- how does your garden grow & tour of my yard.