Sunday, April 29, 2012

Caught the Antique Bug

Ever since I have had difficulty sewing sticky Velcro with my sewing machine, I've had it in my mind that I needed an industrial sewing machine.  I was leaning towards the new Juki's and Brothers but they were pretty big machines.  Then, I read  Shannon's post on her Singer 15-91 and how she's been wanting another one.  I started doing research and decided, hey this is probably what I am looking for.

So, I started researching and looking.  I ordered a totally rebuilt one from a distant sale and I'm waiting on it's delivery.

In the meantime, there was an antique singer sewing machine on our local Craigslist for $15 that looked identical to the one I just bought.  I thought, hey, I'll get it for spare parts...  And there I now owned two antique sewing machines.  But this one must be a replica because it has a stamp on it that it was rebuilt and there is no singer logo on front.  It says "Rebuilt by Sewing Machine Exchange Inc. with Sewing Machine Exchange Inc. Parts Used Exclusively" on the inside of the machine neck.

Then, I thought, wouldn't it be cool to put it in one of those antique looking singer tables?  We looked at the photos of our local auction house we like to frequent on Fridays and sure enough, there was a table like I was thinking about.  We went, I peeked at it ( I don't inspect things very well at auctions, I like the surprises you sometimes find.)  I peeked in after winning the auction for a very low price and there was another sewing machine in it.  This one was a treadle machine that was very ornate.   Turned out to be (from my recent research) a 1916 Singer Red Eye treadle machine and cabinet for under $75.  It needs A LOT of clean up and refinishing.

Right after that, they auctioned a suitcase looking item that my husband saw was a sewing machine and no one was bidding on it.  He bid on it and won it for $4.  Turned out to be a brother sewing machine that looks exactly like a Singer 15-91.  Ok, so in a matter of a week, I now have 4 antique sewing machines for super great prices.

The distant sale 15-91 machine was completely rebuilt everywhere with a warranty.  The local craigslist Singer replica sews like a dream.  Tight stitches, wow.  The singer treadle machine needs some serious TLC.  I want to redo it.  The treadle works and moves the needle but the treadle belt broke from neglect and age.  So, I have to order another one and clean and refinish everything to get it working.  The cheap $4 brother machine sadly does not move the needle.  There must be a broken belt inside or something.  The motor turns the wheel but the needle doesn't move.  I'm tempted to experiment and figure out how to fix it.

All this and I really don't have a lot of free time anymore.  I recently went back to work after a long unexpected break.  So, that's great!  But, now I have even less crafting time!  Hopefully I'll find that balance again!  Now, I have the antique sewing machine bug.  I want to learn everything about them.  Modern computerized sewing machines are awesome, but, sometimes I'm afraid to sew difficult things on them for fear of costly breaks.  So, now, I can run that denim and leather and Velcro all I want!!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Second Phone Case - So Many Lesson's Learned.

I know that I can always buy a pattern and follow the experts in creating a cell phone bag for my new phone, but I'm stubborn.  This is something I am determined to complete.  The improvements I wanted over my first try at the phone case were that I wanted a hook mechanism to hang the phone on a lanyard or wrist strap and I wanted a pocket to carry some change for when I am on break.

So, please join me in laughing with me about how many times I tried to create this second phone bag.  I really did laugh each time.  I kept hearing the guy from the big bang theory constantly saying this is illogical.  It can't be this hard.

  • I cut the fabric according to my pattern.  I cut two extra pieces.  One of the large piece which I folded to create the pocket.   Also, one more folded fabric strap only smaller to hold the link.
  • I layered them as follows, batting, liner large piece right side up, flap strap, hook strap, pocket aligned with the flap strap and then the outer fabric right side down.
  • I sewed a 1/4 seam around the outer perimeter then sewed a second time to secure the straps tighter.
  • I flipped it right sides out an saw that the hook strap was inside out, the flap strap was inside the pocket and on the wrong side.  It was all discombobulated.

 It can't be this hard.  So I pulled out the seam ripper and removed the layers and tried again.  This time I had the hook strap correct, I knew this.  I re-layered the pocket and flap strap on the liner and covered with the outer fabric right side down.  I resewed everything and of course, redid the double stitching around the straps.  I turned it right side out and now I had
  • The hook strap was correct - Yeah!
  • The flap strap was outside the pocket - Yeah!
  • We were good to add the front of the case.  '
  • I placed right sides together and sewed around all three sides.
  • I turned it right sides out and ended up with the hook strap on the inside again - Ugh!
  • I ended up with the flap strap on the inside of the pocket again - Ugh! 
  • I almost gave up.


Now I know that I need to lower the small portion of the phone back to not cover the hook strap.  This way, it will stay in the right direction.  So, I again seam rip the front from the back of the phone bag.  I spend 20 minutes trying to figure out how to position the pocket and strap to have them come out right.  I think I have it right and I sew the pieces together a 3rd time.  SOB..when I flipped them right sides out, again, the strap was under the pocket.  I give up.  I walked away and did something else.  Then it hit me, just flip the pocket to the back side of the bag.  This allowed me to get the flap strap visible and useful!  Finally.  Here's the final outcome:

Front side with flap strap

Back side with barely visible pocket

Believe it or not, I'm going to try this whole process one more time.  The phone fits, but, it's a little tight.  So, I want to make it bigger!  Let's hope it's not as difficult as this one!  Hopefully I have learned my lessons!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Padded Phone Pouch

I had a great visit with family.  It's always great to be home as well.  I had a new phone waiting for me when I returned.  I love technology almost as much as crafts.  With phones being as expensive as they are these days, I wanted to have a quick fabric pouch to put my phone in my purse when not in use.  I didn't want to purchase a bulky case.  So, I set out to create my own pouch.  The phone I got was the Droid Maxx which is pretty big.  It makes it easier on the aging eyes to see it.  I'm in my mid 40s and my vision is changing so much..

 So, how I created the pattern was to trace the outside of the phone.  I added 3/4" to all sides of my tracing.  To the top of this tracing, I traced 3/4 length of the phone which will become the fold over flap.  So in actuality, the length of my pattern is 1 and 3/4" lengths of my phone and the width is increased by 3/4" on all sides.  Hope that makes sense.  One addition thing I decided at the last minute was to make the flap area 1/4" smaller on sides.  This will make it easier to tuck under the strap.  You can see that on the photo below.  Then I created one more patten just the size of my phone plus 3/4" on all sides.  This will be the front of the pouch.  So I ended up with two pattern pieces.  One long one that included the fold over flap area and one piece for the front of the pouch.,

I cut a piece of batting, a front fabric, and a lining fabric for each pattern piece.  I place the batting on the bottom and then placed the fabrics right sides together on top of the batting.  I sewed a 1/4" seam all around the 3 sides of the fabrics/batting and left the bottom open.  I also made a quick band of fabric from a tri-folded piece of fabric.  I sewed the edges to secure the strip.  You'll see it in a later photo what the finished strip looks like.

I turned the sewn pieces right sides out.  This caused the batting to be sandwiched between the fabric with right sides out.  Now I simply layered the long piece with outer fabric face up.  I place the strap piece about 1/2 way down on the piece.  Then I top it with the smaller square unit with the outer fabric face down.  In this case, the red is my outer fabric and the black is my liner.

Now sew the bottom 3 sides.  Snip off the excess strap on the sides.  It will be a little difficult sewing this together and tough turning it with all the batting in the seams.  But I wanted it there to protect the sides of my phone.  By sewing the bottom, you close all those openings that you used to turn the pieces.  When I flip it right side out, the flap folds over and tucks under the strap for closure.
I love it!  It's just what I was looking for in a quick cover.  Otherwise, the phone will be on my desk or person.  I'm sure I won't be able to pull the phone out of the pouch quick enough to answer the call but it's more to transport the phone safely.  I also may just create another one and add a strap to the back to be able to carry it by itself in the case when I am on break.  If I do that, I might also add a snap to the closure.  If you need any help creating your own pattern, let me know!
 Thanks for stopping by!