Thursday, 20 December 2007

Easy Pet Bed

Make Pet Bed Cushion Puppy Chihuahua Cat

This is a perfect little bed for a new puppy or kitten and also for little toy dogs who love a little bit of comfort.

This quick and easy pet bed is made using an old pillow that has been cleaned. A new one of course be used, but I wanted to use a pillow that was still ok but had gone too flat for my liking.
Pillows get replaced reasonably regularly in our house, so this is a good way to make good use of them once we don't sleep on them anymore.

These were made for my little chihuahua who is 12 years old and would sleep on my own pillow all day if given the opportunity!

  1. Work out the center of the pillow and mark with a fabric pen. Cut the outer fabric only all the way around the pillow.
  2. Carefully cut the stuffing inside the pillow. A good pair of sharp scissors is need for this and it should be cut in small sections at a time. I parted the stuffing using the points of the scissors as I cut to make it easier.
  3. Once the pillow is completely cut in half the raw edges need to be finished. Push the stuffing further into the cushion to avoid it getting in the way whilst you sew. I overlocked mine, however the edges can be turned in and sewn on an ordinary sewing machine. If you do not sew I imagine fusible webbing or fabric glue would work just as well. Repeat with the other cushion.
  4. Wrap the cushion with fabric or place in an old pillow case. Then give to your pet and await approval. My little girl could barely wait.
If you have a medium sized dog then you would not have to go to the trouble of making a pillow smaller, you could just use it as is and cover it.
If you have a
large dog just sew two pillows together.

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Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Sew a Bookmark

This is a really easy bookmark to make and makes use of some of the fancy stitches on your sewing machine.
  1. Cut a length of denim approximately 6cm wide by 20-25cm long. I use the offcuts from shortening jeans, so these measurements sometimes vary.
  2. Thread your machine with thread and set to your chosen stitch. A type of satin stitch is best for outlining. Sew around all sides 1.5-2cm in from each side. Pivot at each corner to give a neat finish.
  3. Fray the edges around the bookmark by pulling the threads up to your stitched pattern. A pin is very useful to do this. Cut around the edges to make the frayed edges even.
  4. Select another stitch and sew a pattern in the center of your bookmark. Tie off loose ends, and glue or sew on some sequins.
More bookmarks for you to make.

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Sunday, 16 December 2007

Reindeer for Christmas

OOOHHHH! look what I found

We just had to make these really cute reindeer today We couldn't find the right colour facecloths so we used some
chocolate brown stretch knit I found in the cupboard instead.

pinked the edges of the squares of fabric and then made them up in the same way described in the link above. We ran out of large soaps so we then started using travel soaps, smaller eyes and tiny pompoms and made even cuter baby reindeer!!!


Make Reindeer Crafts Christmas

These are so easy to make even kids can do them and would make a very quick last minute gift that almost anyone is sure to love! These are going to teachers and family members.

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Saturday, 15 December 2007

Cleaning Old Sewing Machines

Clean Restore Singer 201K Sewing machine
This is my Singer 201K from the 1950’s. When I bought it, it had only been used as a hall table for many years and the machine itself was never used by the owner. The table was in really good condition and clearly had been polished regularly. The machine however needed cleaning and the power lead, pictured below, needed replacing. Thankfully after a good clean and service I ended up with a great working machine. Here I will share with you how I clean my machines, no matter how old they are.
Vintage Singer 201K Sewing Machine in cabinet

Things you will need:
  • Newspaper - to sit your machine on and protect the surface underneath
  • Rags - lots for cleaning and polishing
  • Paper towels to sit cleaned items to dry
  • Toothbrush or paintbrush - to clean stubborn areas
  • Cotton tips
  • Vacuum cleaner with a Computer attachment (it allows you to reach small areas easily)
  • Kerosene
  • brass or silver cleaner
  • good quality sewing machine oil
  • gloves to protect your hands from the dirt and chemicals
  • notepad and pencil or digital camera to make notes as you take things apart
How I Clean My Old Machines:
Vintage Singer 201K Sewing Machine clean underneath
Remember to only do one section of your machine at a time to make it easier to put back together!!!It can help to take photos or takes notes as you work. If you have a manual for your machine keep it handy, just in case you need to refer to it
Take note of where the parts belong. Then remove all the shiny parts and clean with brass or silver cleaner. I was told by my local sewing machine repairer that brass cleaner is much softer on the metal parts and will cause less wear in the long term. If find it safer to remove the needle from the machine during the cleaning process. 
Remove lint from the bobbin case and under the machine. I use my vacuum cleaner with a tiny computer nozzle attached to make it easier. Some people use canned air but I don’t like the dust blowing around getting into places that may cause damage later. I prefer to get rid of it completely with the vacuum.                                                                                                                                               NOTE: If you find something that looks like a piece of red felt, LEAVE IT THERE! It is felt and helps to lubricate things. It is meant to be kept oiled. Do not take it out. The model in the photo below is a Singer 66-1   Singer Antique 66-1 Sewing Machine Red Felt Bobbin Case
Clean areas under the faceplate and underneath with some kerosene on a rag, paintbrush or cotton tip. This is also safe to use on decals but I would be careful on worn areas anyway to help preserve them. Don’t forget the feed teeth. Wipe away any excess.
Oil the machine on all the moving parts where metal touches metal. It also helps to refer to the manual if you have one for your model. You can find out the model number of your machine at ISMACS using the serial number which is found on the front base plate of the machine. This site will also tell you approximately when your machine was manufactured.
Replace all removed parts. Worn bobbin winder tires and belts should be replaced with new ones, especially if you intend to use the machine. Keep the originals.
Once you have finished cleaning, the whole machine can then be given a polish with some machine oil or a wax and polish with a gentle car wax. I just used sewing machine oil as I didn't have any car polish. Just be careful over the decals. Do not allow any oil to come into contact with the rubber bobbin winder tyre or belt. This will cause them to perish quicker, and will make them slip if you intend to use the machine.
Any gears on the machine will need to be greased. I use grease from my local sewing machine repair shop. Follow your manual for application points as grease should NEVER be used like sewing machine oil and the oil should NEVER be used in place of grease
Inspect any electrical wires and cords if your machine has them. Damaged ones should be repaired or replaced by a licensed electrician. A power cord that looks like this really needs replacing, even if it does work! This one has perished from being in the same coiled up position for years. I usually give this job to an electrician. Singer 201K Sewing machine perished cord
Polish the wooden table or bentwood cover if you have one with a quality wood polish. I used marveer.
If you find this helpful or something is not quite clear, please feel free to leave a comment or email me.

More information on antique and vintage Singer sewing machines can be found here at my post on Helpful Antique Sewing Machine Links, ISMACS and Treadleon.

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Friday, 14 December 2007

My Singers

I have well and truly caught the singer bug!

I started out with this 201K in a cabinet, which still has the original sticker on the front from the retailer.

And now I have a family of them, 201's that is, including a 99k and a 1917 lotus 66-1 treadle. Amazingly I have managed to get each of them up and running with a good clean, some oil and new belts.

Here is my 1917 66-1 treadle. I bought it just a week ago and it had not been used in many, many years. As you can see it has wear on the lotus decals and some minor rust spots. I gave her a good clean and some oil (see my post on cleaning old machines), replaced the belt, bobbin winder tyre and added a new cover plate. She now runs like a dream!

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Thursday, 13 December 2007

My First Real Antique

After much research I found ebay to be a wonderful place to find antique sewing machines and accessories to go with them.

I found a great item called a puzzle-box. Well it just fascinated me as to how everything in it fitted and folded up.

Here are some photos.

Look at how well it is made. Not bad for something patented in 1889!

Look at all those accessories to fit the antique sewing machines. Hemmers, a ruffler(it makes gathers and pleats) a tucker (for making tucks of all sizes), a binder, underbraider and others.

Fortunately for me the seller sent a copy of the manual for how to use all the bits and pieces.

My only dilemma was that I had no machine to try them on.

Can you guess what my next purchase was???
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Wednesday, 12 December 2007

My First Blog

Well I have lurked around a few blogs for a while and recently decided to give it a go.

Sooo here goes!!
(deep breath and relax, it can't be too difficult!)

Firstly a little about myself. I love all things beautiful and the more girly the better. Although I love frills and lace I also have a fondness for gorgeous simplicity too. I have many creative loves and have recently found another. Those of you out there like me will most likely understand what I am on about. Creative passions are addictive!

One of my absolute favourite blogs would have to be Heather Bailey's here

I have recently discovered a long hidden passion for vintage and antique sewing machines, in particular Singers. With this discovery I learnt about some amazing sewing machine attachments and wow! They really knew how to make things back in the old days. I can create lots of wonderful projects using vintage feet not available for todays machines.

I guess I should tell about the treadle I nearly bought, but glad I didn't. Not so long ago I found a very old husquvarna viking sewing machine in a cabinet in a second hand store half an hour away from me for only $50. After a quick inspection (at this point I knew absolutely nothing about antique sewing machines) I noted there were more than a couple of parts missing and it needed a great deal of restoration . I thought for a minute and figured that it wouldn't be too difficult to find parts. After realising how hard it was going to be to get home I decided that if it was still there in a week and I still wanted it, the machine was meant to be mine.
The first thing I did when I got home was go to google and search and search and search. Well needless to say I found basically no information on the treadle I wanted to buy. So no hope of finding parts easily. BUT I then discovered Singer sewing machines!!! Attachments, spare parts, manuals, all kinds of collectibles and did I mention attachments!! Oh what FUN! I am going mad over Singers!

So I will leave you there until next time


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