Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Old Faithful...

*Are your speakers on?*
; )
Here is my 1956 Kenmore sewing machine. She was rescued from the trash back in '93, thanks to Oprah, lol! I was visiting a friend and I kept saying I had to get going, but I got sucked in to watching the Oprah Show. When it was over I was walking out to my car when I heard someone ask, "Do ya need a sewing machine?" They were carrying it to the dumpster and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time! I put my girl in the car and couldn't wait to start a project.



I don't sew much, and don't know much about machines~or sewing for that matter. Over the years Old Faithful has endured much abuse. I never changed the needle according to fabric weight. I didn't adjust tension unless she acted up. I oiled her maybe twice. I sewed denim, and many layers together at once and she barely complained. I sewed sheer and net fabrics and cringed as I listened to her knocking.

But last year she'd had all she could take. The last thing I sewed on her were these little "Airmen" hats. I cut them down from adult sizes to fit the boys for my brother's wedding. I almost didn't get the second one finished. I was really crossing my fingers and gritting my teeth on that one, but she held on for me!
You can see the difference in the "toddler size" and "adult size" here~
Thank you Old Faithful!!

Alas, she will not feed fabric any longer. I try to run something thru and it just stays in the same place with a whirling sound as if the belt is loose. It's not the belt, and I changed it just to be sure. I oiled it. I checked the tension. There aren't any tangled threads. I'm hoping it's just something with the feed dogs but I haven't had time to mess with it or take it anywhere to be looked at. I swear I'll get her fixed one day and take good care of her this time!


I knew I needed a new machine, for more reasons than one. The number one reason being that I had to have an automatic buttonholer! In order to do the ruffles on Scarlett's BBQ dress, I must make roughly 1,500 buttonholes!!! (GASP) Not to mention this will be done on reproduction BBQ fabric that costs $600.00.
Um, yah. Don't wanna mess that up.
This is a project that has been haunting me for 4 years.
BBQ Scarlett bw ruffles closeup
scarlettheading
So, Old Faithful has been somewhat replaced.

The thing is, I'm scared to death of sewing machines.
I am more afraid of them than computers! Kevin bought me this brand new Kenmore the Christmas BEFORE LAST, and I have not sewn a single stitch! There is still a piece of film underneath the presser foot from the factory. It came with a video and it looks like rocket science to me. This is a HUGE obstacle I want to overcome, SOON.

17 comments:

Traci said...

Well, now you have all of us wonderful ladies just waiting in blogland for you to show us what beauties you make on your machine....GET BUSY!!! tee heee. You have nothing to fear, but fear itself!

Melissa's Cozy Teacup said...

My mom gave me her sewing machine a couple of years ago. She showed me how to thread the bobbin, needle, load the thread, everything. Think I've touched the thing much? Once or twice to repair Hubby's clothes but I have not changed the thread to sew anything for myself. I'm too intimidated! They are very scary things!

Susan said...

I have been sewing since I was a child. I have never been scared of my machine, I used to be intimidated by cutting out the material. If you mess up there, you're cooked. Seriously though, don't be afraid of it, jump right in by sewing on scraps of different types of fabric to see how they react and you will see that it's not any more difficult than all the other things we do, it's really not. Hang in there and keep trying.

~Becca~Bluebird Rose said...

Chris has an old sewing machine, and that baby will sew through anything. He especially likes it because it doesn't balk at sewing denim.
I, however, prefer hand-sewing. I too am intimidated by sewing machines.
:)

Lallee said...

Well you can't leave us hanging now! How about taking an old sheet and just doing some practice sewing over it. Try the different stitches, etc., with no pressure to make something. Off you go. We're waiting.....

Loved seeing the adorable sailors again.

Hugs,
Lallee

Lallee said...

OK, I just had a thought so I'm back. How about if you try out your new machine (not with the $600 fabric!), and I'll sew the curtains for the den next week. I've had the fabric for two years I think. We'll compare notes at the end of the week.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

You can do it!
You are a creative person--and there's that dress to make!
I never started sewing until I wanted my first baby to wear smocked dresses and they were too expensive to buy. It was good motivation.
I can't wait to see the dress!
Becky

Liz said...

Nikki,
I know what you mean. I am way intimidated by my fancysmancy sewing machine. I need to take lessons.
Yours looks like it has all the bells and whistles... You need to see what you can do with it.
I'm sure it will be something great!
~~Liz~~

Sweetie said...

When we were going through my Mother's belongings, we gave my daughter a 50s era Singer. Mom had used it for over 50 years. My daughter's friend is an auctioneer. She saw it and told my daughter that it was worth quite a bit. Your old machine is probably more valuable than your new machine. I got a new machine last year and, after my daughter gave me lessons, I love it. I am excited to see what you do with the valuable fabric.

Your blog reflects the glamorous times of years past. I really enjoy it.

Justine said...

I don't know how to sew at all! Can you believe it? Not even a button! And here you are making caps and dresses and you're afraid of that new machine?????? You'll do just fine!

Justine :o )

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

Wow, that dress is quite a project! Have you started on it yet? Love the old vintage sewing machine! I hope you can get it working again. I do like the new one too. I am jonesing for a sewing machine so I can make some things for around the house. I have a couple prospects on Craigslist.

You are so creative!

Kady

Rue said...

Oh yes.... I hear you. The dreaded sewing machine! That things calls from the basement, I swear! One day I will sew.... Just not today ;)

hugs,
rue

Heather said...

I am going to get you and Rue together and sit you down with your scarey machines and teach you how to use them!!! They aren't that bad and when you get the hang of it you will both be laughing hysterically at your previous fears. We'll have to see if Rue's is still sitting in the corner on "time out" LOL!! You CAN do this!!
My parents got my sister and I machines five years ago for Christmas- we had begged for them for years. After we got them we joked that it would take us the next five years to learn how to use them! Once we figured out how to thread the bobbin we were set! It's amazing how reading the directions can be so helpful!!!
Hugs
Heather :)

My Maine Cottage said...

I share in your fear of sewing machines- except you have already had success in the past...my first and last experience involved lots of smoke, ripped up fabric, and a very scary noise. Mine has been sitting in the corner of the room untouched ever since. :-)

I have a way with machines- Like when my hair dryer burst into flames while I was getting ready for a first date!

TattingChic said...

Lucky you! That is a nice machine.

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I have an old machine too. But, I really don't sew. It stresses me out - lol.
Penny

Jaede said...

Just dive right in, on an inexpensive fabric of course, you'll be fine and you'll wonder how you did with out