Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another snow day! Finally, a chance to sew...

12°F. at noon and 4 inches of snow on the ground and still falling steadily. A beautiful old Singer 301A in place on top of my sewing machine cabinet. I am happy, happy, happy! DH, not so much.

We were expecting the snow but the forecast keeps being revised for more snow and colder temps. Supposed to be a high of 20°F. today but I don't think it's going to make it. Total accumulation predicted to be 7-12 inches. Hmm, maybe that one will be on target.

For me, I'm a very happy camper here in my work room which also happens to be the room with the woodstove. Sometimes I whine because of the heat but not today! The old Pfaff 230 I've used for years is down for repair. The machine was originally my grandmother's. She ordered it from Germany soon after WWII and after a wait of a year or so it arrived and has been going strong almost continuously since then. It should be back up and running shortly but in the meantime I want to sew!

So my mom, as always, saved the day by offering me one of her machines. This one, a Singer 301A, came with it's grasscloth-covered case and boxes of attachments -- more than I can readily identify. Mom's not much help on id as this is one of her "rescue machines" she picked up at auction.The woman hates to think of a sturdy (near-) working sewing machine being trashed which, very sad to say, is what often happens if the auctioneer can't get a bid. And not many people seem to want the old machines unless it's a Featherweight and easily recognizable as a "collectible." So for $5 or sometimes up to $15 if it has a cabinet, she buys them and puts them in her basement sewing room. When my cousin, Hope, comes to visit, they pull a couple machines out and set up a piecing party down there. (Hope makes beautiful quilts in the time it takes many people to make a set of placemats.) Mom works on her 1980s-era Pfaff, Hope and anyone else who wants to work on a quilt choose from the extras.

So when she offered me the Singer, I knew it was in good working condition and since it's an early portable I could bring it home without asking DH to help load/unload. And now I'm able to sew again! After being without a machine other than my serger (after *gasp* 7 years I have to admit I'm still only using it for straight seaming and have yet to change thread -- thank goodness for those large cones!) I'm even happy to be hemming DS's jeans and mending towels. But today I AM going to do a little more, more fun, that is. I started by making a baby bib pattern (couldn't readily find one to hand or online and didn't want to spend time searching!) and putting together a little bib to tuck in a swap package I have ready to mail. It's a book swap so the bib is something extra I wanted to include because I just found out the recipient is expecting a baby boy. Had thought I'd knit something but now that I have a working sewing machine again, everything MUST be sewn, kwim?

Drafting the bib wasn't too hard. I used a sheet of 1-inch square graph paper (from an easel pad) and drew out the pattern after estimating the size and attempting to shape it by viewing a few pics of DS wearing a bib of his I'd always liked. (Meaning one big enough to catch almost everything, even covering the shoulders.) I did one side, then folded the paper in half and cut both sides at once. I'm no good at symmetry.Using an old pair of jeans, I cut the front of the bib. To take advantage of the best part of the denim (these were discarded jeans, remember -- I'm just happy there was a "best part") I laid the pattern over the triple seam, placing it down the front middle. Then I found a piece of cotton print that looked suitable. Little yellow chicks with kites and butterfly nets are middle-of-the-road baby stuff -- even tho we THINK the baby will be a boy there's always a chance it won't be.

To hedge my bets further, I cut out a couple chicks from the scrap of fabric cut from the bib's neck area and appliqued them on the front and back of the denim fabric. I was going to put the little guy on the front but decided he fit better on the back, above the hook-and-loop fastener.

And there you have it. In less than an hour start-to-finish an "I want to sew now" project that helped me stave off the non-sewing d.t.'s. The end result is kindly modeled by DS's old teddy, Kissy. Now, excuse me, as I have to get started on another sewing project. Stat.


Marilyn said...

Ah, you are so creative. That is the sweetest bib. I have a couple of great nieces to make gifts for, and I only have a month to do it.

Love the ducks!

Marilyn said...

Actually, I see that they're chicks. Sweet.

Sandra said...

Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman! I love the fact she's rescuing sewing machines and re-homing them.