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Nexus-6
Mar 26, 2008

somewhere in a land of cotton candy and pinwheels where the air smells like sugar kisses

nolen posted:

Based on your desire for a metal machine and your price range, I'd recommend checking out the local thrift stores in your area. I have seen PLENTY of older Singers while out looking for fabric at thrift stores.

Check craigslist too!

Will do, thanks for the tip!

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Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


While all new machines have a plastic exterior some of them do have solid metal gears and shafts inside. $100 is reasonable for a new no-frills machine or an antique from the thrift store/craigslist.

Nexus-6
Mar 26, 2008

somewhere in a land of cotton candy and pinwheels where the air smells like sugar kisses

I spoke to my mom and she's willing to give me her old machine, as long as I replace it with a new one, and she doesn't care what kind.

SCORE! and her's is a Pfaff, I thought it was a Singer. It's still a tank, though.

RichBomb
Nov 16, 2004
a strange and terrible saga

Nexus-6 posted:

I'm hoping you guys can offer some advice. I'm looking to buy a sewing machine, but I don't need it to do anything mega fancy; I'll mostly be using it to mend stuff.

I definitely know how to sew, I was a costume design major in college, so I don't need a machine for n00bs, but I no longer have access to the 1980s metal Singer tank that was my mother's, as I moved to another state.
In looking at new machines online, it seems like everything is really plasticy and digital. Should I get a new machine? Hunt for an old one?

I'm hoping to spend around a hundred bucks, is that unrealistic?

Are you looking to be sewing for theatre? IE legit, my job depends on it sewing? A thrifted Singer + tune up will run you around $100. A used industrial (which will always stitch better) straight stitch will be about $200 with the reliability no domestic machine can offer. Just something to think about if you have the space and friends with strong backs and weak minds.

Nexus-6
Mar 26, 2008

somewhere in a land of cotton candy and pinwheels where the air smells like sugar kisses

RichBomb posted:

Are you looking to be sewing for theatre? IE legit, my job depends on it sewing? A thrifted Singer + tune up will run you around $100. A used industrial (which will always stitch better) straight stitch will be about $200 with the reliability no domestic machine can offer. Just something to think about if you have the space and friends with strong backs and weak minds.

No, nothing like that. If I was working in theatre, I'd definitely already have an awesome machine. I haven't done theatre stuff since I graduated. Believe me, my dream is to have the space for a fabulous industrial machine, but I can't justify it now, especially since I don't sew that often/ in that quantity anymore.

Dreadwroth
Dec 12, 2009

by R. Guyovich


This should be an easy question for you guys.
I have a goofy tactical vest that I want to use as my biking vest.
To this end , I was wondering how hard it would be to attach some reflective bits to it.
Is there a good place to order reflective fabric strip thingies from?
Finally, can I just sew 'em straight to the vewt or should I use backing as well?
Any help is very appreciated!

Thanks!

Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


Do a google search for "reflective sew on".

I don't see why you would want to add any kind of backing.

Dreadwroth
Dec 12, 2009

by R. Guyovich


Ahh well, probably no backing then. Thanks.

Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


Just a quick heads-up: Wal-Mart is apparently closing down their fabric sections. Several stores have 50% off sales, even on bargain bin items. I ended up with 5 yards of awesome fabric for $4.00 :)

kanteyluip
Aug 4, 2004

Mommy, I feel seasick.

Cross_ posted:

Wal-Mart
....
awesome fabric

Does not compute?

teknicolor
Jul 18, 2004

I Want to Meet That Dad!
Do Da Doo Doo


Cross_ posted:

Just a quick heads-up: Wal-Mart is apparently closing down their fabric sections. Several stores have 50% off sales, even on bargain bin items. I ended up with 5 yards of awesome fabric for $4.00 :)

This happened at my local walmart like months ago. They made it into a "scrapbook" area :cry:

vaginadeathgrip
Jun 18, 2003

all them bitches can't handle my sassy ass mouth

kanteyluip posted:

Does not compute?

Haha. When you start sewing and do home projects, places like Wal-Mart and Joann's are good enough. When you really get into it and learn about fabrics, how they behave and how they are made, you will never shop at Joann's again if you can help it. Unfortunately sometimes it is the only place around.

I'm turning into a fabric snob. I hate synthetic fabric, it just doesn't feel right. Also, in 2000 years, that polyester dress you wore at your funeral will still be intact.

The Young Marge
Jul 19, 2006

but no one can talk to a horse, of course.

OK, a co-worker gave me a huge box of vintage sewing patterns from her mother's attic. Here are a few gems:














As you can see, they're from the 50s through 80s. I'm pretty sad that they won't fit me - they're mostly pattern size 6-12, or for like a 30" to 34" bust (fits a current US size 0-4). WTF should I do with these? Think they're worth any money?

Bah, if only I wasn't such a modern cornfed gal. I need a lady tux and a Jackie O suit, dammit!

nolen
Apr 4, 2004

butts.


The Young Marge posted:

OK, a co-worker gave me a huge box of vintage sewing patterns from her mother's attic. Here are a few gems:

(images)

As you can see, they're from the 50s through 80s. I'm pretty sad that they won't fit me - they're mostly pattern size 6-12, or for like a 30" to 34" bust (fits a current US size 0-4). WTF should I do with these? Think they're worth any money?

Bah, if only I wasn't such a modern cornfed gal. I need a lady tux and a Jackie O suit, dammit!

This is an incredible find and I'm always jealous that girls get all the good stuff. There are hardly any fun patterns for men.

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

Are they cut or intact? I'm kind of interested in the second Simplicity one, 8077 and MCalls 9727, but I have no idea how much they're worth and if you'd ship them out to England.

Your best bet would probably be to sell them on Ebay. My mum sold a few from the 70s and they went for around 8 each ($11). I guess it depends how many vintage obsessed people find them in the sea of Ebay. If you've got a vintage trade in store nearby they might buy them off you; there's one in London called VinMag that buys and sells old magazines, knitting and sewing patterns. I've no idea how much they pay, but they were selling intact Vogue patterns from the early 70s for 15. The Vogue patterns tend to be the most expensive.

The Young Marge
Jul 19, 2006

but no one can talk to a horse, of course.

Yes, they are almost all intact. I think there are only a couple that had been cut. It is a REALLY cool find; I was so disappointed when I realized that I would probably never be able to use them. :( I love vintagey clothes, especially that early 60s stuff. Maybe I'll hang onto a few and try to modify them (I remember seeing an online tutorial on how to resize patterns).

I think I will try eBay. There are a TON more in the box than the ones I posted. A lot of them are totally 80s and feature those gigantic boxy jackets with massive shoulder pads, so I doubt they'll sell. But hopefully some of the others will. I feel bad getting these for free and then turning right around and trying to make money off of them, but what else is there to do?

Oh, and I was amused by the change in sizing over the years. You can see how the two patterns after the Jackie O outfit say "new sizing" and go from a 14 to a 12 although the bust measurement remained 34". The dawn of vanity sizing?

Comrade Quack
Jun 6, 2006
Witty closing remarks have been replaced by massive head trauma and general stupidity.

You might want to check around Etsy, I've seen a lot of people sell vintage patterns on there.

Dr. Retarded
Jul 28, 2007
"It gets two squeaks, 'cuz it's the funniest one of all!!!"

Hi all. I was hoping someone here could help me with a bridesmaid dress problem I am having. My sister asked me to be her maid of honor 2 years ago. The wedding is July 10, 2010. Since the day the dresses were ordered back in January, I have lost 35 pounds. So, I have a lot of dress to take in, and since I am short, I have quite a bit to remove from the bottom as well. I am also pregnant, and will be 20 weeks the day of the wedding. Right now, bc I am still about 30 pounds overweight, I am not really showing, I just look a little thicker and more bloated than usual. However, I have a feeling by the day of the wedding I will be popping out a bit. Still, in my 15 weeks of pregnancy, I haven't actually gained a pound. Hopefully, this will not change before the wedding in 4.5 weeks.

OK, now that I have given you all of the gory details and background, here is the big question. The dress I am to wear is one of those mermaid/trumpet style dresses. Do you think that with all of the extra material on the sides since I lost weight and the extra material on the bottom since I am super short that a good seamstress could actually somehow transform the dress into more of an empire waist dress? I just know that I would be light years more comfortable in a free flowing dress with both a baby bump and the extra weight I carry.

Here is a picture of the dress:

fake edit - I have tried saving it to waffle images many times; for whatever reason, no go. Here is the link to the dress: http://watters.com/product.php?style=8282&submit.x=0&submit.y=0

Thanks to all in advance. I really appreciate someone even reading this.

Artistic Monkey
Jan 8, 2004


Not really a sewing question directly, but how do you guys store all of your stuff? Shelves for fabric? Drawers? I'm drowning in my various craft bullshit and trying to figure out the best way to contain it. Especially since I only have one room in the house for myself (bedroom+sewing room+computer desk).

Asstro Van
Apr 14, 2007

Always check your blind spots before backing that thang up.


Welp, I got a sewing machine. A big beast of a machine that weighs about a million pounds. The good news is that it was free and I was able to figure out most of the bells and whistles without the instruction manual. I managed to find one online, but the model isn't quite right so not everything matches up. Mine is a Sears Kenmore model #148.12190, if that helps. It does exciting zigzags and such.

The bad news is that I can't figure out how to change the length of the straight stitches. Theoretically, there is a knob that does it for me. It starts at "B" then ranges from 8 to 24 then "-" and "." which is super mysterious since they all do the same tiny stitch. It might have to do with the button in the center of the knob, which seems sort of stuck and changes depth when the knob is turned. It seems to come further out when the knob is turned to "." but it looks like it should be out a bit more.

Any insights or suggestions? I think it might have some crap in there from storage, would using canned-air or a little WD40 be a horrible idea? The machine is still good enough to do most of what I need, but it would be super awesome if I can get it to do longer stitches.

Here is the beast

Click here for the full 800x558 image.


And the weird knob/button

Apkallu
May 8, 2007


Artistic Monkey posted:

Not really a sewing question directly, but how do you guys store all of your stuff?
I try to store it in those reasonably-sized cardboard file boxes. I try to separate by use, not color. So I have:
bottomweights,
cotton,
fancy/fine (brocade, chiffon - anything that can be used to make nice clothes),
special/craft/support (felt, interfacing - things you wouldn't make a shirt from),
'less than 1 yard', aka the overflowing scrap bin,
and a separate box each for patterns and notions.

I have these stacked in the back closet and I picked my categories because I'm more of a utilitarian sewer, not so much a quilter or crafter. I want to make a skirt? Pull out the bottomweights, see what's there before I go shopping. In theory the less-than-one bin is supposed to be a crazy quilt eventually, but it also ends up being trim, hidden linings, patches for hiking clothes, and stuffing for draft dodgers.

My mother quilts. She has taken over my brother's old room and the closet has been revamped with drawers and thin shelves so she can see the edges of all the folded pieces of fabric. Each shelf is a designer, or a theme (holiday fabric, food prints, etc.) It is overwhelming.

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

Artistic Monkey posted:

Not really a sewing question directly, but how do you guys store all of your stuff? Shelves for fabric? Drawers? I'm drowning in my various craft bullshit and trying to figure out the best way to contain it. Especially since I only have one room in the house for myself (bedroom+sewing room+computer desk).

Big pieces of fabric go in a large plastic box under the bed. Recycled/murdered clothes and usable scraps go in a huge wooden chest at the end of my bed. Beads, buttons and zips are all sorted in a little compartment box which then goes in with the uncut fabric along with some patterns. Thread, seam rippers, bobbins and chalk live in my pale blue polka dot sewing box and my pins are embedded in a toy my mum got me from Ikea and just live on my desk. The sewing machine when not in use gets covered and lives under my desk.

The problem I have is more with yarn competing with fabric for space. My uncut box is also getting pretty full, which probably means I should get round to making myself a dress or something.

Asstro Van
Apr 14, 2007

Always check your blind spots before backing that thang up.


Pickle Pie posted:

And the weird knob/button


So apparently this button is stuck, because according to every other machine ever, my machine is stitching backwards. Do you not have control over stitch length when it is going in reverse? If so, hopefully I can just unstick the button and be all set.

Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


Just turn the machine around and find a lefty to sew for you.
:downsrim:

angerbeet
Mar 23, 2004




The Young Marge posted:

Bah, if only I wasn't such a modern cornfed gal. I need a lady tux and a Jackie O suit, dammit!

I have no practical advice but that Vogue 9762 is just gorge.

ludosti
Feb 25, 2007

Cute, but psycho

Artistic Monkey posted:

how do you guys store all of your stuff? Shelves for fabric? Drawers?

I store most of my fabric in clear plastic bins (so I can easily see inside without having to open them up) and a few in cardboard boxes. In a pinch I use plastic bags. Smaller bins are stored in an old bookcase and an armoire and large bins are stacked under/near my sewing and cutting tables. I group things by use (special occasion, bottom weight, childrens, fleece/flannel, etc.) I'm lucky we have the world's largest master bedroom and my husband doesn't complain about my stuff slowly taking over.

taiyoko
Jan 10, 2008




Pickle Pie posted:

So apparently this button is stuck, because according to every other machine ever, my machine is stitching backwards. Do you not have control over stitch length when it is going in reverse? If so, hopefully I can just unstick the button and be all set.

It seems odd that there's no obvious reverse switch, so it may be that the button in the center of that knob is indeed the forward/reverse toggle and is stuck. You might try taking it to a place that services sewing machines and getting it looked over for any other issues that might need attention too.

And that knob is indeed the stitch length control, going from B (or baste) to 24 as in 24 stitches per inch. I have a similar machine that I inherited from my grandmother. Lemme go try to take a picture of it...


EDIT:

Didn't get very good pictures of it, due to lovely camera.


Click here for the full 1647x1053 image.


Green circle is the stitch length control knob.
Red is my reverse toggle. Press it to stitch in reverse, release to stitch forward.
Blue is stitch width control and in the middle of the dial is a knob that controls the special stitches available on the machine. Certain stitches require either the red side or the black side to be on top. The stitch width dial controls the width of the zigzag stitch and the width of certain other stitches.

The yellow circle controls which stitch settings are in use. My machine has straight/zigzag, blind hem, stretch stitches, semi-automatic buttonhole stitching, and one of my favorites for finishing, the pine leaf/serging stitch.

The thing is a tank and I don't just mean in durability. It weighs a ton and the back of the manual has written in it "Christmas 1975". Mom also said this was the same machine used to sew her wedding dress.

taiyoko fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Jun 19, 2010

vaginadeathgrip
Jun 18, 2003

all them bitches can't handle my sassy ass mouth

Well, I spent the last year+ of my life working on my senior project (among other things) and the result here is 42% blood, 3% sweat, and 45% tears. I mentioned earlier in the thread that I did costume design for Alice in Wonderland (before I knew of that Tim Burton travesty :argh:) with sort of a 1930's flair. Anyway here are shots from the fashion show:


My Alice.


The Rabbit with a silly hat


A shot of the tails




Cheshire (fat)cat wearing her hat backwards and possessing boobs that I requested not be present


The Queen with a bad wig

Close up of the fur collar

Queen from behind


:3:

Don't have any good detail shots unfortunately. I did a photoshoot for it but the pictures didn't turn out so hot. Plus we were outside and the rain drenched the queen's cape, making her fur all matted and gross :(.

But it did bring this :3:

Nione
Jun 3, 2006

Welcome to Trophy Island
Rub my tummy


I was hoping to get an opinion about a sewing machine I found on craigslist. It seems like a great deal, but I don't know much about the brand or the model. The woman selling it is going to get back to me with some more information, but if there's anyone who has experience with White sewing machines I'd appreciate any input.

Just so you have some more information, I don't do any heavy duty sewing. I make some skirts, dresses, pillows, etc. No leather or canvas or anything. I'm also trying to get started doing some quilting and want a machine that I can use just for piecing.

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/art/1803598481.html

Thanks!

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

vaginadeathgrip posted:

Well, I spent the last year+ of my life working on my senior project (among other things) and the result here is 42% blood, 3% sweat, and 45% tears. I mentioned earlier in the thread that I did costume design for Alice in Wonderland (before I knew of that Tim Burton travesty :argh:) with sort of a 1930's flair. Anyway here are shots from the fashion show:


My Alice.

This is simply beautiful and I especially love the style of sleeve.
Honestly, if I still had an office job, I would wear that to work.

handbags at dawn
Mar 8, 2007

by T. Finninho


Nione posted:

I was hoping to get an opinion about a sewing machine I found on craigslist. It seems like a great deal, but I don't know much about the brand or the model. The woman selling it is going to get back to me with some more information, but if there's anyone who has experience with White sewing machines I'd appreciate any input.

Just so you have some more information, I don't do any heavy duty sewing. I make some skirts, dresses, pillows, etc. No leather or canvas or anything. I'm also trying to get started doing some quilting and want a machine that I can use just for piecing.

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/art/1803598481.html

Thanks!
For $35 you can't go too far bad. Those old machines are great for the kind of sewing you want to do, especially piecing. A nice straight stitch is all you need for piecing and those machines do that excellently.

And I like the Alice things - I like the rabbit's outfit the best.

Nione
Jun 3, 2006

Welcome to Trophy Island
Rub my tummy


handbags at dawn posted:

For $35 you can't go too far bad. Those old machines are great for the kind of sewing you want to do, especially piecing. A nice straight stitch is all you need for piecing and those machines do that excellently.

And I like the Alice things - I like the rabbit's outfit the best.

Awesome, thank you! I'm going to pick it up from her tomorrow morning. I'm very excited to have a machine again. Mine (an old 70s Necchi) was ruined in a flood and I keep forgetting and buying pieces of fabric that just lay around with no purpose. (Actually, that's completely untrue, I don't forget. I just can't NOT buy the absolutely gorgeous, on sale, last piece in the store hunk of fabric, even if I KNOW I will never ever ever have the time or patience to sit down and hand sew anything.)

Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


Speaking of ruined machines.. I managed to break a needle in my Brother and in the process throw off the machine timing. Are there any online tutorials or generic repair books out there ? I can only find snippets on how to repair 1950s industrial sewing machines and e-book scams.

Jumpsuit
Jan 1, 2007



Holy moly, that Alice stuff is incredible! I really love the Rabbit outfit.

I just finished sewing a cape, Burda pattern 7619. I'm ridiculously proud of myself because it's the first sewing project I've ever done and it turned out really well!



I already want to make another one, probably in red.

Caitlin
Aug 18, 2006

When I die, if there is a heaven, I will spend eternity rolling around with a pile of kittens.


Hot stuff! I like it. I would look horrible in it but I wish I didn't because I would wear the hell out of that.

Beep Street
Aug 22, 2006

Chemotherapy and marijuana go together like apple pie and Chevrolet.

Jumpsuit posted:

I just finished sewing a cape, Burda pattern 7619.
This is awesome and totally puts my first sewing project (a cushion cover) to shame. What material did you use for this? I'm thinking a cape would be great for autumn.

handbags at dawn
Mar 8, 2007

by T. Finninho


Thank you also for putting the pattern number in your post, as soon as my daughter saw those pictures I knew I'd be making one for her and I didn't have to ask. ;)

justasmile
Aug 22, 2006

Everybody's free to feel good...

I got a new Singer Confidence a few months back and so far have really enjoyed working with it. Until today. I'm attempting to make a lacy garter belt, but my machine keeps on eating/destroying my lace! It looks (on the backside of the lace) like the bobbin is bunching up, but I'm guessing it's actually threads from the lace that are getting bunched.

I made sure the needle is meant for light-weight materials and have tried putting the guides down with no success. I also tried attaching it to another light-weight fabric, but that didn't make a difference. What am I doing wrong? Is it possible to sew with lace on a machine (I guess I never did it on my old machine, either)?

Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


What are you piecing together? Lace and .. ?
The usual suspects:
- small, new needle (size 11 or less)
- stabilizer underneath the fabric (Solvy Ultra helped me with stretch fabric getting sucked into the bottom)
- correct thread tension (play around with it)
- expensive option: replace presser foot and throatplate with a straight stitch one, i.e. a tiny hole in both instead of the regular wide slot

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justasmile
Aug 22, 2006

Everybody's free to feel good...

Lace and...lace, ideally. I also tried piecing it together with a light-weight knit (very stretchy), but it didn't make a difference. Changing the tension helped to some degree, so maybe that combined with the stabilizer will do the trick. Or maybe I just need to make this out of different fabric!

Also to be completed this week: a car booster seat for my cat, so he'll hopefully be less annoying on road trips.

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