Friday, 30 August 2013

Vintage gifts for a Vintage birthday

Hola! As I mentioned in my last post I recently celebrated a bit of a milestone birthday, reaching the ripe old age of 40.

What a party! For the first time in my life (other than our wedding) we had a catered event. What a revelation! So easy, so relaxing and so delicious. (Thanks Mum, such a wonderful gift).

My best memories of the day are simply being amongst my beloved family and friends, but I must admit to being pretty spoiled in the gift department as well. P, in particular, did extraordinarily well. Today I'm sharing the fabulousness of...

Gift from Hubby Number 1:

I understand if you are swooning right now. Sigh...
That my friends is a beeeeeeeeautiful Singer Featherweight 221K, serial number dating it to February 14th, 1950. Yes, that would be Valentine's Day. Could it be any more kismet?

I have been in love with these machines for a very long time. They are seriously a work of art, I mean, look...

Flawless scroll plate

That scroll face is ridiculous. What happened to the days of sublime excess in product design? Bring them back, I say!!

Truth be told this little baby arrived on my doorstep in February this year, with promises to P that it would remain in the closet until my birthday arrived. Hmmmm. I kept my end of the bargain, but P kept suggesting I get it out and take it for a drive and really, how could I resist that? I have the world's best hubby...

Remember that totes bonanza and iPad sleeve from a while ago? All done on this awesome machine. I gotta tell you, I was sewing through some serious layers when it came the iPad sleeve. Knife through butter, baby, knife through butter. They just don't make them like that anymore.

This Featherweight is in great shape. Her surface is pretty much unmarred except for a smallish scratch in the front of the fold down bed. She gleams and twinkles in the light, with the most charming of personalities.

I shall call her Miss Kitty. Meeeow.

She had been fully serviced and the cord and foot controller re-wired prior to delivery, so Miss Kitty was purring like the proverbial from the get go. I ended up buying her through Ebay, and the UK no less. Always a major risk in my mind, but I really had a good feeling. And getting a Featherweight locally is incredibly difficult and/or expensive. Even accounting for international courier delivery I am still ahead.





She came with the original manuals.










And all these fabulous attachments:
  • Ruffler - used to make gathered and pleated ruffles. It's adjustable for one, six and 12 stitch ruffles
  • Foot Hemmer - used for fine hemming, ruffle edges and hemmed seams
  • Adjustable Hemmer - will allow the making of hems from 3/16th inch wide
  • Edge Stitcher - used for insertion of lace etc, tucking, French seaming, facing and seam finishing
  • Zipper foot (adjustable) - used for zipper insertion, tubular cording, corded seams and slipover welting
  • Multi-slotted piper and binder - to apply binding and piping.

All the above are pretty stock standard, but mine came with some extras: the Singer Automatic Zig-Zag Attachment (Made in Switzerland) and Singer Buttonhole Attachment (No. 86662). These take the machine from being a simple straight-stitcher to a whole other level!

Peeps, I have a confession. I haven't tried any of these yet! I am terrified... but I think it's time.

To make it complete I'd love a graduated throatplate! Anyone got one of those lying around? It sure would save me having to put revolting masking tape on mine to mark a 1.5cm seam allowance. Anyone? Anyone?

I'm off to ogle the beauty of Miss Kitty. And maybe take her through her paces, I hear vintage machines like these don't like to be left alone for too long.

Do you have a vintage obsession? I'd love to hear about it!

Stay tuned for Gift from Hubby Number 2. He really outdid himself this year.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Do not adjust your monitors!!

Don't be afraid, I'm still here, this is not a weird redirection in blog land!

It's a new decade, a new name and a new look, but it's still the same me you know and love.

Yes, a couple of weeks ago I celebrated a somewhat momentous birthday: the big 4-0. We had a fabulous grown up birthday party (kids included), on a beautiful Sydney winter afternoon, with all our nearest and dearest. It was such a special day and I felt thoroughly spoiled and loved. A brand new decade...

So did I have a crisis, midlife or otherwise? Not at all, I wouldn't be that cliched/unoriginal, that wouldn't happen to me...

But, I have been thinking for a while that the current look of the blog and even the name itself, just didn't feel like "me" anymore. I'm not sure that any of us starting a blog have a perfect idea of where we are heading or what we might "look" like in a month, a year. I was anxious to get started and just beginning to feel my way.

But now, 18 months or so on, I have a better idea of who I am as a crafter and blogger.

This winter I discovered the incredible joy of knitting. Wow, what an art! When you sew you create a garment, but when you knit, you create both fabric and garment and there is something magical about that. I feel a bit giddy... it's the feeling of falling in love: giggly, excited and ever so slightly obsessed.

I've also expressed before that I'm not much of a winter sewer and there is often quite a bit of radio silence during the cold months. I miss my crafting and blogging, during those months. Knitting feels like the perfect winter craft for me.

So this is me. Me for now. Me hopefully for the foreseeable future.

A bit of a sewer, a bit of a raveller, occassionally unravelled.

I hope you continue your journey with me. I have so many projects to share with you. My birthday presents included a camera remote control, so no more waiting for a photographer!

PS. Don't worry, if you were a "sew your own pace" follower this does not mean you have to re-follow me, I'm taking you all with me on this journey! For those new to me and my little ole blog, let's be friends!