Sunday, 30 October 2011

New toys!

A few days ago, Boyfriend dearest came home from work with the promise of something he'd salvaged for me, that he couldn't bear to see go in the skips. He was, however, quiet on what exactly he had in store for me. Last night I was greeted by the sight of him carrying these in for me:

And what was inside?

I think the noise I made was something along the lines of "Eeeeee!!!". What can I say? The boy done good! Two vintage hand-crank machines, both of which can be used with a treadle if so desired.  The cream one on the left is a Frister and Rossmann. More on that machine in another post- for now I want to concentrate on the other.

This is a Jones Family C. S. (Cylindrical shuttle).

She's so pretty. The machine itself seems to be in very good condition. There is very little pitting to the metal that I can see, and the decals are all in fairly good condition with only minor wear that is to be expected of a machine this age. The motif on the shoulder of the machine has 'As supplied to Her Majesty Queen Alexandra' around the crest, which dates it to around 1910.

Shoulder decal detail

Hand-crank mechanism

Mmm... Decades old fluff, but nice shiny workings

Unfortunately the wooden case has suffered a little from exposure to damp conditions. The inner veneer in the base has buckled badly. There is also a small area on the bottom edge of the lid that has suffered similarly, although to a much lesser extent. I think I may remove the bodies to allow the cases to dry thoroughly to prevent and further damge, but they still seem structurally sound so I doubt I''l attempt any restoration to this for a while..

Damaged inner veneer

One moment that did have me very excited was when I opened up the accesories compartment. Inside I found the original manual and accessories box, full of goodies.

The manual has suffered with the damp as well, being in a pretty sorry state with the pages stuck together badly. However, all the parts are in good order. There is a second smaller box inside containing various feet and attachments, including a narrow bias binder, four different hemmer feet, a quilting guide, seam width guide, and an underbraider. I have yet to find what that oval disc has fallen off...
Also in the box of bit were two packets of machine-specific needles, still in their waxpaper wrappers inside, five bobbins (plus the one in the shuttle) and a total of five needle threaders of different brands. The previous owner obviously hated threading needles!

So many threaders!
I can't wait to get this beauty cleaned up and test her out. The mechanics all seem to run smoothly, though it's a little stiff from being unused. Hopefully nothing a good brush out and oil won't solve.

Next time, the Frister and Rossmann.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Dress in an afternoon...

...but not for me!

This is a quick dress I made up for the little one in between working on my list. It's from Butterick 6968, one of my flea market finds bought for 50p last month.

Butterick 6968 (left)

I made view C, the dress with short puff sleeves. The envelope has an advert for Butterick's "new" book, 'Ready, Set, Sew!', which dates this pattern to 1973. It's great when you can figure out exactly when your pattern is from I always think.

As always, little miss refused to stand still and take decent shots, so these are the best you're getting!

Sneaky face

The fabric is a lightweight cotton needlecord in black with a  multicoloured flower pattern. The upper front has five inverted tucks. They were disappearing into the print of the fabric, so I added red topstitching to lift the lines a little. I also added patch pockets to the front skirt (they are more visible in reality).

Detail of fabric and tucks

This is what I usually get when I try and take photos:
 Camera five!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Plaid jumper skirt

Progress has been made on the Autumn Sewing List! This is actually the third complete garment from my first list, but is the first I've got round to photographing. (I am a bad blogger, I know...)

Today's offering is a black and white plaid jumper skirt.

 Why do I never smile in time?!

McCall's 3590, dated 1956 | Advance 8064

I took inspiration from various 1950s patterns, but drafted the pattern myself. I began with my half-circle skirt pattern, and folded it to give me an eighth of a circle; four panels in all, with seams at the sides and centre front and back. I then added an extra 1.5" to the width of each panel at the waist and marked in the darts at this width. An extra 3" above the waist gave me my extension to make it high-waisted, and I drew in the shaped top and drew in the upper half of the dart. The straps are worn crossed at the back.

A moment of new-shoe love
I added textured red buttons to accent the subtle red stripe in the weave, and lined it in the same shade.

Lining hand-stitched to inner facing

I hemmed the skirt and lining separately, as always. I'm don't like the way the hem can pull if the lining is attached to the outer at the hem. Plus I always have the worry of "what if one layer shrinks and the other doesn't?". The plaid was pressed and hand-hemmed with a near-invisible catch stitch, and I gave the lining a narrow machine hem.

 It closes at the back with a lapped zipper. I have to admit, it's been years since I really used this method, but having done it on my last three zips I'm now in love with it as a method!

Colours used from my Autumn palette

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Addicted to knitting

For most of last week, my evenings were spent making some vintagey goodies for the little monster. More specifically, I knitted up the short sleeved sweater pictured right, from one of my new 50s patterns:

1950s 'Youngsters Woolies' pattern booklet

It is part of a twinset with the cardigan (bottom), is worked in two colours and has a lacey stripe patterned yoke. Did I mention this was my first ever knit garment?

 Another funny flash-face

As it turned out, the pattern wasn't too difficult to knit: the holes are done by simply knitting stiches together. The only problems I encountered were of my own making, usually by miscounting and generally not paying attention.

Pattern detail and button closure on shoulder