I own a vintage sewing machine that I scored for free from Craigslist a few years ago. When I got it, it was covered in grime, and was missing its motor. When I finally got a motor for it, I didn’t really use it other than for hemming curtains and sewing random stuffed bunnies. You know, practical things.
The machine is a beauty! All metal construction, baby-blue and cream in color, and not a dent.
Here’s a video I took of it sewing: Vintage Brother Model 280
Well, I finally took that machine out this weekend and made myself a polka-dot single-pleat skirt. I got the tutorial from here (although I can’t say I followed it that closely). I got the fabric from Dressew downtown for $9.99 a yard. I only needed a yard although I bought two.
I sent the following photo over to show 6pence2life, and my ibff of 7 years says to me, “I didn’t know you could sew!” Well, crap, neither did I!
Actually, my mum came over on the weekend and she talked me through the fabric cutting part and we talked at length the order in which I would sew the pieces. My mum is a very experienced seamstress (for hobby). She can draft patterns, and can whip out high quality dresses, skirts and even coats. This woman is also a skilled crocheter and knitter. I learned how to crochet and knit from books, but she corrected the way in which I hold my hook/needles and yarn. This explains why I never get hand cramps, have even tension, and can get a projects done in record time.
While putting together the skirt, my iron died. No joke. It committed suicide and nor I or Nathan can get it to turn on. I think the iron was about 7 years old. What baffles me is that my sewing machine is probably 40+ years old, and it hasn’t even thought of failing on me. Anyhow, because my iron died on me, I couldn’t really prepare my hems properly so I basted (more than once) before putting my fabric through the machine.
This made me think about how I could get a vintage iron. Or perhaps, I should heat up cookie sheets and rub it against the fabric. Desperate time calls for desperate measures.
Unlike the tutorial, I sewed up the sides first using french hems, and the elastic goes around in the casing at the top. The reason is because, if the elastic ever wears out, I can easily change it and don’t have to take apart the whole skirt. I also added a blind hem at the bottom by hand (although my machine has a blind hem option).
I’ve fallen in love again with my vintage sewing machine. I’m itching to sew more things!