Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Sewing For My Supper

Tis that time of year again, shops already have an aisle of Christmas gifts and food, and I'm yet again in a panic because my brother is just so hard to shop for.
I also find that despite my best efforts, relaxation is impossible to find. I'm always sewing my little fingers to the bone to make sure everyone gets their order in good time.. I should maybe explain here that I make little felt brooches, mainly for shops, and they don't order one brooch at a time, no, a small order tends to be around the 50 items mark, and these brooches are hand cut (with scissors of course, I don't have multi-tool hands!) and hand sewn!

So this year, I'm trying to be one of those superwomen, who have everything planned and come Christmas are super relaxed and laughing at the rest of us! I'm already a little behind, but I can catch up, and this is how I'm going to be spending the holidays watching old films and drinking cocoa without a care in the world:

1: I'm going to make a big order of felt, before I need it! This way, I can't run out..
2: I'm going to dedicate days to doing one job at a time; cutting the shapes, sewing the eye etc etc
3: Ask my buyers to make their orders early so they hopefully won't rush me come December
4: Set up little boxes for each item so I don't need to rummage through my big sewing basket
5: Make a great big list of things to do, and get ticking - I love lists!

Reproduction 1940's Scottie Dog Brooch in green
One of the most stressful things I've found this Autumn is finding out that someone is copying these dog brooches, and not very well - If you're going to copy an animal shape, don't make it look like road-kill!
I spent ages tweeking this pattern, from an original 1940's design, I have developed it to be my own - It took nearly a year for me to be happy with the finished product, so I'm sure you'll understand why I'm so annoyed.
I've already emailed one stockist and I'm making a felt order tomorrow morning.. I'm already making progress.
I must be off, I have a few hundred dog shape to cut!
Jenny xx

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Sewing Machines

I learnt to sew on my Ma's sewing machine a long time ago, and I've been borrowing the machine on and off ever since. It's a good machine is is prone to hissy fits. So on Sunday, I happened upon this beauty, the owner was getting desperate for a sale and kept lowering the price until I finally gave in and handed him money!

I got it home, quite pleased with myself, then looked inside the case, and found a side plate/leaf piece, booklet and a box of bits with loads of feet.

I turned it on, the light works, then attempted to lift the foot to place in some fabric - nothing! The lever is free, and the foot is down. I opened it up to discover that the spring inisde (all above the foot) is missing! How? So it's not in working order untila replacement spring is found - Help!

But any how, I did a little research, and this machine's serial number doesn't appear in the Singer database, but the closest one to it is a 1964 model.

1964 Singer 327K

So, clearly disappointed, I continued with my knitting, until Thursday evening when I heard a thump in the kitchen. Going out to investigate, my Dad is standing there with a huge brown mock-croc case. I was giddy, thinking it would be perfect for storing my bags in (my currently suitcase is currently lost until the pile of handbags). Then he said "open it", I duely did, and discovered inside, this sewing machine!

It turns out, it had been thrown away, but rescued by a workmate of his, and offered to my Dad when he's been spotted putting aside another sewing machine (still to come!).

As it was dumped off the back of a lorry, the pedal/plug is missing, but as soon as it's replaced, will be working as my main machine (providing it works!)

1955 Singer 306K

One of these days I'll be given a working machine, but until then I'll have to work up the courage to borrow my Ma's machine again for some desperately needed dressmaking.
I have loads to tell, but just not enough time. I'm so behind right now, but next week I'll have finished the Cherry Ripe jumper and hopefully will have finished some old sewing projects.
See you Monday
Jenny xx