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synapticbreakdown
Jul 29, 2004
soap sliver lost forever

I'm hoping that out of all the people here who sew a lot, someone might know the solution to my sewing machine problem (I've searched a lot online (can't find the manual) but couldn't find anything so let me know if this question is out of place and I'll remove it).

It's a Kenmore 385 but I'm not sure how much that matters, but it doesn't serge or anything. I know that the top thread is placed correctly etc (I just sewed my first wear-able dress so I somewhat know my way around the machine). If I'm sewing a straight or zigzag stich on a piece of fabric, after a couple inches I'll hear a "clunk" sound. If I keep going, it happens again, and when I look at the underside of the piece of fabric, there are a lot of bunched up loose loops of thread around where I heard the clunk.

At first I didn't know what was going on, so went through a couple 'clunks' and then it became impossible to sew anymore, and I pulled a lot of thread out of where the bobbin thread comes out. Also, sometimes when this happens, the upper thread snaps, but I don't think it has to do with the tension.

Bleh... thanks for any help!

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guaranteed
Nov 24, 2004

Do not take apart gun by yourself, it will cause the trouble and dangerous.

Well, just for laughs, try taking the bobbin out and flipping it over so the thread feeds from the other side, or maybe rewinding the bobbin. Sometimes it's just the small things...

Also, switch needles. Maybe the one you're using is bent or too dull.

Pile of Kittens
Apr 23, 2005

Why does everything STILL smell like pussy?



That happens to me too! Usually a bobbin problem, but sometimes completely mysterious (but goes away when I start on a different fabric, so maybe that's it).

handbags at dawn
Mar 8, 2007

by T. Finninho


I had the same problem last week with my brand new machine, and I think it was just because the bobbin was either under- or overwound. I took the bobbin out and put another one in that I had wound at the same time as the first, and it worked fine, then put the first one back in and bang! same problem. I guess the tension just hosed up when that one was wound. I've changed bobbins at least six times since then, and even used the bad one (rewound of course) with no problems.

You might also make sure your bobbin case is nice and clean, if it's full of fuzz the bobbin thread or the needle might be catching on it.

Sarah Barracuda
Jun 24, 2007



What do you seamstresses do with any decorative stitches that your machine may have?

My grandmother went nuts on the Home Shopping Network recently and bought me this Singer with a ridiculous amount of decorative stitches. I've done some sewing before but can count on one hand the number of projects I've completed. I would like to make her something as thanks, using some of those stitches she was so excited about.

Here's a picture to show you just how many this thing has and how intimidating it is:



I have no idea where to even start and I'd love some suggestions. The ones from 28-60 seem pretty straightforward and easy for things like wallets and purses, but the others? How would you use them?

seriouslywtf
Jul 10, 2003

Seriously. WTF?

I am obsessed with this vintage pattern from Butterick that I found last night. I am going to make the black & white version as a test run, and then go nuts with other colors in the future if it doesn't turn out too weird.

Obsessed.

That is all.

guaranteed
Nov 24, 2004

Do not take apart gun by yourself, it will cause the trouble and dangerous.

That is cute. I don't know where I'd ever wear it, but definitely post pictures when you get it done.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


seriouslywtf posted:

I am obsessed with this vintage pattern from Butterick that I found last night. I am going to make the black & white version as a test run, and then go nuts with other colors in the future if it doesn't turn out too weird.

Obsessed.

That is all.
I need that dress to go swing dancing in. Seconding the request for pictures when you get it finished.

squirrellypoo
Feb 8, 2003


oh yeah, I've got that pattern! Butterick re-release it every ten years or so and I snapped it up last year thinking it'd go out of print again soon. I still haven't made mine but there are TONS of those on the internet and that dress looks really nice on everyone. I've heard it needs a stupid amount of bias tape, though, so stock up at the store or get yourself a bias tape maker in preparation!

And Latte Wench - I can't really help you as my machine does about 5 stitches. I can't say I've ever found the need to have any more though really. There are a few in there that are special, like 17 and 18 are blind hem stitches and the various buttonholes look nice, but the majority are purely decorative.

gum bichromate
Sep 4, 2006

~*~*~*~*~*~*~* I AM NOT A SLAVE! TO A BREED!! THAT DOESN'T EXIST!!! THE BEAUTIFUL PIBBLE, THE BEAUTIFUL PIBBLE
~*~*~*~*~*~*


Latte Wench posted:





I think 50 and 54 are adorable. I'd probably use them on a handbag, or maybe 54 in gold thread on a wrap skirt. They'd make nice little details on a lot of projects.

Debbie Metallica
Jun 7, 2001



Latte Wench posted:

What do you seamstresses do with any decorative stitches that your machine may have?

My singer has a handful of decorative stitches but certainly not that many. I've just used them as a little accent on things, but they're kind of a pain in the butt. :( I have a little leaf pattern that I thought I might use with quilting but...uh...that was not realistic!

seriouslywtf
Jul 10, 2003

Seriously. WTF?

squirrellypoo posted:

I've heard it needs a stupid amount of bias tape, though, so stock up at the store or get yourself a bias tape maker in preparation!
Yeah, it says on the back to buy like three packages of bias tape, so I'm mentally prepared. ;)

Goldaline
Dec 20, 2006

my dear

I've never had the patience to use those decorative stitches~they take too long, and I like doing stuff by hand rather more. But I have seen them used really cutely on necklines or sleeve cuffs, or in repeated stripes on a skirt.

I finally got my slides scanned in for my final project, the idea was to make a 'relic.'


The holes are for horns, it's a jacket for a young boy with horns. A lot of my work is narrative or situational (let me know if I should shift my stuff to creative convention or something, I know it's not really fashion-based)

RichBomb
Nov 16, 2004
a strange and terrible saga








Edit:
All sewn on this


Kwik Sew 3504, slightly modified. Still debating putting a cinch and a patch on the back. I'm going to hold off doing something about the knee/thigh bulk until the denim (12 oz? Can't remember) settles a little.

RichBomb fucked around with this message at 05:12 on Jun 12, 2008

logorrhea
Apr 7, 2006



seriouslywtf posted:

I am obsessed with this vintage pattern from Butterick that I found last night. I am going to make the black & white version as a test run, and then go nuts with other colors in the future if it doesn't turn out too weird.

Obsessed.

That is all.

Oh my god- are you me? I just found this pattern the other day and I've been obsessed ever since. I was thinking of trying it in this cotton: Michael Miller cotton

The picture doesn't really do the fabric justice: the dots have a silver sheen. It looks really cool and mod.

RichBomb posted:

Kwik Sew 3504, slightly modified. Still debating putting a cinch and a patch on the back. I'm going to hold off doing something about the knee/thigh bulk until the denim (12 oz? Can't remember) settles a little.

Wow, this looks really professional. I'm impressed :)

Juriko
Jan 28, 2006


RichBomb posted:

Kwik Sew 3504, slightly modified. Still debating putting a cinch and a patch on the back. I'm going to hold off doing something about the knee/thigh bulk until the denim (12 oz? Can't remember) settles a little.
Honestly they look fine, at least how they are lying in the photo. They are defiantly a looser fit than what is popular right now but they don't seem to look to awkward. Though, that also might be a function of the denim being so new/stiff that they are holding their own shape .

robert giblets
Apr 22, 2008

by Fistgrrl


RichBomb posted:

Kwik Sew 3504, slightly modified. Still debating putting a cinch and a patch on the back. I'm going to hold off doing something about the knee/thigh bulk until the denim (12 oz? Can't remember) settles a little.

Holy poo poo, I'm really impressed. How long have you been sewing?

Pile of Kittens
Apr 23, 2005

Why does everything STILL smell like pussy?



logorrhea posted:

Oh my god- are you me? I just found this pattern the other day and I've been obsessed ever since. I was thinking of trying it in this cotton: Michael Miller cotton

The picture doesn't really do the fabric justice: the dots have a silver sheen. It looks really cool and mod.


Wow, this looks really professional. I'm impressed :)

Oh yeah, that! I have a blue one hanging in my closet right now. I don't like how tight the front apron part is (not the part that comes around from the back), and the snaps just aren't doing it for me, so I'm thinking about redoing it with real buttons with buttonholes, and putting gores in the front part so it can flow more naturally.

squirrellypoo
Feb 8, 2003


RichBomb posted:

Kwik Sew 3504, slightly modified. Still debating putting a cinch and a patch on the back. I'm going to hold off doing something about the knee/thigh bulk until the denim (12 oz? Can't remember) settles a little.
They look great! Awesome job on that topstitching, too.

You must tell me where you bought those nickel rivets, though - all I can ever find are the gross faux-brass ones, ugh.

Oh, and usually denim likes to shrink abit the first few times you wash them. Even if you prewashed and tumble dried before sewing, you can still expect to lose a little bit of length.

Leonard Leroy
Feb 11, 2007

Filipino Box Spring Hog

RichBomb posted:








Kwik Sew 3504, slightly modified. Still debating putting a cinch and a patch on the back. I'm going to hold off doing something about the knee/thigh bulk until the denim (12 oz? Can't remember) settles a little.

Ya, those need to break in a bit, they still look tight in the upper block. Still, impressive. Where did you get the denim? Selvage by any chance?

RichBomb
Nov 16, 2004
a strange and terrible saga

Thanks for the compliments everybody. This is my 4th sewing project, the first two being boxers and for the third I tore up some old 505's and used them for a patterns for jeans that didn't look that great. I'd have finished all the edges but my serger asploded half way through.

Squirelly poo- I ordered from this guy and they came like 3 days later, super easy to install, but I can't really recommend the oak button I used for my top button, it's not as sturdy as the others. For top stitching I used a seam guide foot, like this one. It was indispensable.


Leonard- I got it at a (kinda) local independent fabric store. Not selvedge, but when I machine washed the fabric to get the shrink out the exposed edges lost a fair amount of indigo, so there's a good chance that these will fade nicely. I'm thinking about getting an industrial machine and going Ande Whall for awhile.

I might take the hem up, even though I want some stacking, 35 inches is huge for me because I only wear 30 or so.


Edit: Just checked them out with the jeans rolled up inside, looks way better, new pics later in the week.

RichBomb fucked around with this message at 01:20 on Jun 9, 2008

Leonard Leroy
Feb 11, 2007

Filipino Box Spring Hog

I don't think stacking would be a good look for your body type. Maybe cuffed, or an almost cropped inseam would be cooler, especially with boots or something.

robert giblets
Apr 22, 2008

by Fistgrrl


I can't wait until I can get as good as you guys are. I'm completing my first project right now. I'm going to Parson's in NYC for fashion design, after I get my Bachelor's, but I'd like to get sewing experience under my belt before that. Right now I'm doing a simple, 60's-style dress, and what I'm working on is the facing and the sleeves, which is kind of difficult, but whatever. I'll try to post pics when it's done so you guys can criticize my amateur sewing skills. :v:

Not an Anthem
Apr 27, 2003

I'm a fucking pain machine and if you even touch my fucking car I WILL FUCKING DESTROY YOU.


Goldaline, you're probably super busy with work but would you consider doing custom work?

edit, if curious email mattus at gmail

Not an Anthem fucked around with this message at 03:17 on Jun 9, 2008

Goldaline
Dec 20, 2006

my dear

Not an Anthem posted:

Goldaline, you're probably super busy with work but would you consider doing custom work?

edit, if curious email mattus at gmail

Email sent, curious to see what you're looking for!

Nione
Jun 3, 2006

Welcome to Trophy Island
Rub my tummy


This may have already been asked on here, I have read the entire thread but it's been awhile and search is disabled.

What kind of machine is everybody sewing on? I have an old machine that my aunt gave me. It's from the 60s/70s and weighs a TON. Recently I've been having a lot of problems with it, the foot pedal isn't working correctly, and it's generally just a pain in the rear end, especially as I do a lot of dragging it all over the place to other people's houses, etc. So I'm thinking of getting a new one. I'm not quite sure where to start. I haven't sewn on new machines, we've always had really old ones (I learned to sew when I was little on my mom's antique treadle Singer in the cabinet) so I don't know how the newer models compare to the older ones as far as quality goes.

What brands/models would you recommend? I only do very basic sewing, no quilting or embroidery, so I just want something that will do the basic stitches, buttonholes, etc. I know I want something that has easily interchangeable feet and is super simple to thread and wind bobbins, etc. Basically I'm looking for quality, durability, and simplicity. As in, when I lose the manual and don't sew anything for 2 years I'll still be able to sit back down and thread the drat thing without getting frustrated and yelling at it.

vstheworld
Jan 8, 2007
i want to ride my bicycle. :(

So it's been 4 years since I've used the ol' sewing machine. I used to be a fashion design major and after 2 years of hating everyone at school, I ditched it for science and went to a state university. I think I would have had more success had I gone to a better school, but I was too nervous to go very far from home and ended up at a horrible horrible place.

But long story short, I am dying to sew again! I remember a lot of my techniques but I'm buying a book just in case. I thought I'd pick up the Vogue basics book. For my first project I want to make a dress that I've been eying at the Betsey Johnson store and can't afford because it is bloody $400. Has anyone come across a similar pattern or have any suggestions?

RichBomb
Nov 16, 2004
a strange and terrible saga

Nione posted:

sewing machines
Just take it in for service and get a new pedal. New machines are by and large cheap plastic mehness. I sewed the jeans on the last page with a machine from the 1970's that was never sewed on, and the stitches are fairly good and the motor is stronger than most things you'll find today. Fix up what you have or go garage sale hunting this weekend (a search for "sewing" on craigslist should yield you a lot of those) and find a 5 stitch machine. No need to pay for another new inadequate piece of junk in the world when there are plenty of excellent and cheaper finds to be had.

squirrellypoo
Feb 8, 2003


RichBomb posted:

Just take it in for service and get a new pedal. New machines are by and large cheap plastic mehness. I sewed the jeans on the last page with a machine from the 1970's that was never sewed on, and the stitches are fairly good and the motor is stronger than most things you'll find today. Fix up what you have or go garage sale hunting this weekend (a search for "sewing" on craigslist should yield you a lot of those) and find a 5 stitch machine. No need to pay for another new inadequate piece of junk in the world when there are plenty of excellent and cheaper finds to be had.
I agree entirely!

Nione posted:

Basically I'm looking for quality, durability, and simplicity.
This describes most vintage machines absolutely perfectly.

And vstheworld - that style of dress is HUGE with the Big 4 patterns right now. Half the sewing community has been bitching for the past few seasons that that style is all they seem to be releasing right now (though Vogue is the exception, thank god). Have a look through Simplicity, Butterick, and McCall's current collections... They should be easy enough to hand hold you back into the sewing groove after your absence. :)

Nione
Jun 3, 2006

Welcome to Trophy Island
Rub my tummy


RichBomb posted:

Just take it in for service and get a new pedal. New machines are by and large cheap plastic mehness. I sewed the jeans on the last page with a machine from the 1970's that was never sewed on, and the stitches are fairly good and the motor is stronger than most things you'll find today. Fix up what you have or go garage sale hunting this weekend (a search for "sewing" on craigslist should yield you a lot of those) and find a 5 stitch machine. No need to pay for another new inadequate piece of junk in the world when there are plenty of excellent and cheaper finds to be had.

Thanks for the advice.

vstheworld
Jan 8, 2007
i want to ride my bicycle. :(

squirrellypoo posted:


And vstheworld - that style of dress is HUGE with the Big 4 patterns right now. Half the sewing community has been bitching for the past few seasons that that style is all they seem to be releasing right now (though Vogue is the exception, thank god). Have a look through Simplicity, Butterick, and McCall's current collections... They should be easy enough to hand hold you back into the sewing groove after your absence. :)

Thanks for the suggestions. I think Simplicity #4072 and McCalls #M5137 are pretty close, but I'm going to have to modify the sleeves. Let's hope I can catch up to speed enough to remember how to do this. :blush:

Also, another question. The material that BJ uses for this dress is a really heavy, smooth, 4 way stretch type fabric. The dress is really heavy. I want to use the same fabric so I can mimic the draping. Does anyone have any clue what this fabric might be called?

squirrellypoo
Feb 8, 2003


vstheworld posted:

Thanks for the suggestions. I think Simplicity #4072 and McCalls #M5137 are pretty close, but I'm going to have to modify the sleeves. Let's hope I can catch up to speed enough to remember how to do this. :blush:
Make up a muslin out of a bedsheet or something first, and try a couple different variations of sleeve on it - the "Peasant Type Sleeve" on this page(halfway down. and minus that weird edging) might be one to try...

quote:

Also, another question. The material that BJ uses for this dress is a really heavy, smooth, 4 way stretch type fabric. The dress is really heavy. I want to use the same fabric so I can mimic the draping. Does anyone have any clue what this fabric might be called?
Was it a knit or woven? Do you know if it's shiny or matte? I don't suppose you can sneak a peek at the care label to at least get the fiber content?

I think the most difficult part of this would be finding similarly patterned fabric to make this in. Both of the ones she uses there are pretty distinctive!

vstheworld
Jan 8, 2007
i want to ride my bicycle. :(

squirrellypoo posted:

Was it a knit or woven? Do you know if it's shiny or matte? I don't suppose you can sneak a peek at the care label to at least get the fiber content?

I think the most difficult part of this would be finding similarly patterned fabric to make this in. Both of the ones she uses there are pretty distinctive!

I'm pretty sure it was a knit fabric - because knits stretch two ways and wovens only one, right? The fabric had a small shine - kind of like the jersey fabric for sports jerseys.
I'm not sure when I'm going to be heading back to the store - but I bet you I could find someone selling it on eBay that would give me the contents of the label if I pretend like I want to buy it >:)
Also, I'm not worried about the print. It was the style I was crazy about. I'll probably do my own screenprinting or embroidery on it.

Thank you so much for your help! All my knowledge is slowly coming back to me with these reminders you're giving me.

seriouslywtf
Jul 10, 2003

Seriously. WTF?

logorrhea posted:

Oh my god- are you me?
Haha. Glad someone else is getting into it too! I cut the fabric for mine last week but had to go on a business trip, so no chance to sew it yet. I'm just doing the black & white one from the front of the pattern since I think it's so chic, but I'll probably make it again with crazier patterns in the future.

-------

In other news, I made this really simple (but really flattering, IMO) twist-front dress a couple weeks ago:



I used a Butterick pattern and it was ridiculously easy, except for the insanely stretchy fabric I chose to use. Still, it turned out well.

It's not nearly as impressive as those jeans, though. ;)

squirrellypoo
Feb 8, 2003


vstheworld posted:

I'm pretty sure it was a knit fabric - because knits stretch two ways and wovens only one, right?
Not necessarily! You can have knits that stretch one, two, or even four ways, and you can have wovens that don't stretch at all, or stretch one or two ways (I don't think you can have a non-stretch knit, but maybe someone else can chime in?).

Look really closely at the threads on a teeshirt and you can see that they're like little tiny Vs - that's a knit (though they're LOADS of kinds, that's the simple version). Wovens will be square patterns with distinct threads going one direction, and other threads going perpendicular.

Strangely enough, Wikipedia actually has the best explanation I could find (strange because Wikipedia hardly ever has anything but stubs for sewing info).

I just got a big order of cotton interlock, polyester wicking teeshirting, meryl wicking lycra, sweatshirt, and ribbing fabric from an outdoors fabric shop so I'm in hog heaven right now... :) I hadn't bought a big load of fabrics since I was in the States last August, and I've sewn through all but three pieces of that so far!

robert giblets
Apr 22, 2008

by Fistgrrl


seriouslywtf posted:

In other news, I made this really simple (but really flattering, IMO) twist-front dress a couple weeks ago:

Very nice job, especially since you used stretch fabric. What was it?

seriouslywtf
Jul 10, 2003

Seriously. WTF?

bornon328 posted:

Very nice job, especially since you used stretch fabric. What was it?
It's this super drapey poly/rayon jersey material. Great to wear, huge pain in the rear end to sew. This poo poo can stretch like more than twice its original length.

papermastermind
May 25, 2005

I make for a salty appetizer!

There's a fine young lass that i've been seeing that i'd love to make a dress for. I'm very proficient in my sewing machine technique, as I've worked a lot with my own clothing, but i simply have no idea how to make a dress. As usual, the internet is a fairly mediocre resource for sewing (I guess all the sewing knowledge is stuck in 20 generations of tailors). Are there some books that I can pick up at Borders/Barnes & Noble or even the library that would guide me in the right direction?

For reference as far as colors/patterns, she has black hair and black eyes, a fairly dark complexion (hispanic), and is beautiful in a "classy" way, if that makes sense. If anyone specifically wants to help i can send some pictures (AIM is the same as my username).

And every time I've skimmed over the ladies' fashion thread (IN BOREDOM OKAY), I've always loved this dress, and I know she'd love something like it:

squirrellypoo
Feb 8, 2003


papermastermind posted:

And every time I've skimmed over the ladies' fashion thread (IN BOREDOM OKAY), I've always loved this dress, and I know she'd love something like it:


I normally go with sewing patterns myself, but that looks like it'd be quite easy to just draft (you MUST get accurate measurements for her bust, waist, and hip no matter what you do, though. "oh I'm a size 8" just does not cut it when you're sewing, trust me on this...). To me, that dress looks like it's two boob triangles (I'm guessing the bodice is lined, so it's four in total) with an underbust seam and the waist/skirt is just one big A-line shape, and then some spaghetti straps up top.

So just aim on constructing that, and then you can create that smocking effect by getting some elastic thread and loosely winding a bobbin with it and sewing a bunch of horizontal lines around the waist.

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Celluloid
Jan 28, 2006
mad scientist

Does anyone sew with a treadle machine? I started sewing with a 1910ish Singer when I was in 9th grade. It was a lovely machine - had never been electrified! - and I could get it to fly.

I had to leave it when I moved out, due to space, and now I have one of those cheap plastic wonders. I *HATE* this machine sooooo much - BUT I'm trying to tell myself it's just a learning curve.

My current project (just the bottom hem to go!) is a sleeveless dress. I stalled on in this week... I'm wearing it to a 1940's event and I was trying to figure out how to set the zipper into the side.
Last month, I made a pair of retro high waisted jeans. Ran out of time and ended up having to finish up the closure with a dennison gun! Still got tons of complements.
Right now I'm icing down my belly. It was warm in here and I was all alone, so... While pressing out the hem, I knocked the iron right into myself. While doing the jeans, I sewed through my finger.
Starting to think this isn't the hobby for me!! ;)

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