Monday, September 30, 2013

Singer 66: Cleaning up the Wood

I finally got around to cleaning the wood on the Singer 66 I bought. You can see the "before" pictures here, when I cleaned up the metal bottom part. It had been in a basement for many, many years and was very grimy. 

These are all "after" shots. I used Murphy's Oil and a ton of painter's towels wiping away the dust and grime. Realistically, it looks worse now without an inch of dust hiding how discolored the wood is. Andrew is going to sand down the top and we will stain and seal it. 

The flash made the wood look a little more vibrant than it really is. The color is faded.

 The table is quite nice: it has four drawers on the sides and a fold out center drawer for thread and things. The machine can of course be folded away when not in use.
See the thread drawer?
 Some of the drawers on the sides have a little of the original finish, which looks like a light cherry color with a glossy varnish. Very little of that is still present, 94 years later. Andrew will help me fix it up and it will look amazing!
 The fold-out surface is really in need of some sanding.
We have been dog sitting a friend's chihuahua and Mia leaves on Wednesday. Then, I will have the back porch back and I can start working on the table out there. She has been penned up on the porch when we're not home because she considers "housebroken" to be a relative term. She is also not fixed and has been hilariously trying to entice T-Rex into some puppy-making. He is fixed, totally does not get it, and thinks they are just playing a dog game. Lol.

Maybe I can make some progress on this machine later this week!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Molly's Ews Blouse: McCalls 6512

Andrew always likes to call my blog "Molly's Ews", since I made the web address "mollysews." All in good fun, of course, as he willing takes my pictures and listens to my sewing updates... I got that mole removed, so I had stitches and it hurt quite a bit, so I couldn't sew. Then, I got an eye infection. So I didn't sew very much for the last two weeks, and from the sewing I did accomplish I made this hideous piece of merde. Pardon my French. 

I thought this pattern would make a super cute blouse. I have two Forever 21 dresses with the droopy bow and they are super cute and get tons of compliments. One is solid burgundy and one is green polka dots. The 3/4 length sleeve version pf this pattern seemed best, as it is slowly starting to feel like fall here in Chicago. Plus, I didn't like the look of all those stupid pockets and tabs. 

Unfortunately, it looks so very awful that I didn't even bother finishing it. Somehow, I missed the fact that the sleeves are not set-in and are more like kimono sleeves. This creates a droopy, bat-wing armpit look. The sleeves themselves are blousy, as is the tie; when you add in the droopy pits it looks so sloppy. 
The flower print is very cute, but  I don't think it really goes with this style of blouse. It is "too much" in combination. It's supposed to have buttons down the front. I cut that piece on the fold to see if I could skip them, but I didn't even hem the bottom because I'm over it.
Look at the back, so shapeless and unflattering.
See the webbed armpits?
Granted, these pictures are terrible and I made no attempt to look cute. The blouse is poop. I really like the fabric though, and I want to salvage it into something I CAN wear. I wear my red Alma blouse a LOT and I think I might be able to cut it out of this monstrosity. Then, I would have a cute, flattering, fitted blouse and be able to save this fabric that I really like!

Does that seem possible? Any other ideas on how to save the fabric?

Thanks!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Estate Sale Loot: The Singer 66

Andrew and I went to two estate sales nearby on Saturday. One was just some random stuff, doors for sale and a basement. We went downstairs and I was like"ohhhh!" Andrew said "the sewing machine?" I had not even noticed the machine, as I was staring at the exact same bouncy horse that I had as a kid. Obviously, I do not need a bouncy horse, so I turned my attention to the machine. 

It was a Singer and the table was cool and it is a treadle. After making sure everything moved and turned, and it did, I asked how much. The guy said 40 but he was willing to negotiate. He accepted 30 bucks and helped Andrew carry it upstairs. That was really nice, since they don't have to help and usually don't, I assume for liability. (I have stitches in my shoulder from getting a mole cut out and can't lift things). 

Then, we tried to jam it into our Mazda 3, which let me tell you is no Oldsmobile 88. It did not fit in the trunk or in the backseat. Andrew ended up going back inside and the guy was nice enough to drive it to our house in his minivan for ten bucks! So, in the end, it was $40. 

I found a good website with info on cleaning up old treadle machines and bought some cleaning things on Sunday, but didn't get started until this afternoon. 

Today, I only worked on cleaning up the cast iron base. I used warm water and white vinegar with a painter's towel and then dried it with a rag. 
before washing

Super dusty gross gross



After about an hour of wiping and using an old toothbrush for the details:
I did not even realize the Singer part was in gold paint!
 The base is still partly rusty from sitting in a basement for so long. Andrew said he would help me sand and refinish the table and repaint the base. I expect it will look amazing!
Much nicer. 

I haven't even attempted to clean up the top yet, but the wheel turns, the needle moves, it has the bobbin and bobbin plate and just needs to be cleaned and oiled I think. Also, it needs a new leather belt, but those are only about $9 online.
Singer 66
 Nearly all of the decals are still in good shape. The chalky white stuff came off when I licked my finger and rubbed it, but the website I found said to clean the entire head with sewing machine oil. I haven't gotten that far, yet.
 "Red Eye" is the 66's nickname due to the design.
 I googled the serial number and it is from 1919. It will be fun to clean it up and get it working. Learning how to use a treadle will be interesting as well. I promise at some point I will start going forward in time, instead of backwards, and get a machine that does some modern functions... like a zig-zag! :)
Regardless, both the table and the machine are beautiful and I'm excited for this project!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Estate Sale Loot: Halloween Ideas?

This is my loot from last weekend and the weekend before. I bought about 20 1960s National Geographic to add to my collection on the back porch for my imaginary future classroom. Andrew tried to argue that I don't need them, but that was a lie. I bought them all for like ten dollars. Totally worth it. 
 At a different sale, I bought the gold pitcher that has a thing for making iced tea. This is my new obsession- brewing my own iced tea. That is also why I bought the orange, skinny pitcher the week before. Then I can add just a little sugar and it is a semi healthy drink. I am almost thirty and have been feeling squishy and out of shape lately. I know I need to start running, but I hate running. Instead, I have been drinking less calories: water, fizzy waters like La Croix, and my iced teas. I am going to take yoga starting in October.
 Over here, I bought a white feather wig. I really want to create a costume around it. Any ideas?

They called my sweater "the Jewish Cowboy," which is funny, although I'm guessing they are meant to be sheriff badges, right?
 I also bought the children's book called Moving Picture Circus from 1917 or something. The book is cute because the zig-zag cut pages flip, changing the animals into funny mutants. The story is weirdly written and very odd.
Chicken wig party time!
I decided T-Rex is going to be a dragon, probably Game of Thrones style. Maybe a little red and black Drogon or Balerion the Black Dread, since he is black. That should be fun!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Casual dress: Butterick 5496

Hello! I am still alive! School has started and, while I am still substituting, I go to the same high school every day (same one as last year), so I know a lot of the kids and the other teachers. It's not bad and definitely the best possible subbing situation I could find! I'm going to take some more courses this year to add some more subjects that I can be qualified to teach... hopefully leading to a job next year for sure!

I actually made this dress before we went on our honeymoon, but didn't find the time to post it. Then, I washed it in the machine and all of the elastic at the waist came off and it was out of commission until I changed the thread color and sewed it back on. On to my finsihed dress!

This is my pattern, Butterick 5496 from a sale at ye olde Jo-Ann fabrics. I made view B and decided to increase the length a bit to take it from a tunic to a dress. It has three pattern pieces, elastic and bias binding, so it was a quick make. 

T-Rex decided to photobomb every picture as he rubbed into some mysterious stink in the grass. My garden, in the background is doing very well. After someone stole my one pumpkin while we were out of town, I ripped out the space-wasting pumpkins and now everything is doing much better. I have approximately 2000 cherry tomatoes in the kitchen right now.
Showing of my wing-flap sleeves. T-Rex admires me. 
 Looking at the pictures, I think I should have hemmed it a few inches shorter. I don't really love my fabric choice; the print is cute up close, but lost at a distance. However, it is perfectly chill, casual dress to wear around the house or running errands.
Finding a stinky spot.
 For construction, the front is one big pieces, the back is too. The sleeves are finished with a narrow hem, the bottom hem is done on the machine and the neckline is finished with bias turned to the inside. It told me to use bias tape for the elastic casing, which looked nice until I washed it. Then it completely unravelled and all of the elastic came out. So that is not an "ideal" finish. I would use a real piece of fabric next time.

The back is fine, but again I would like it a bit shorter.
The eternal question: Does he want to smell like the stink, or make the stink smell like him?
 I can leave the tie undone if I want, but it makes a super casual dress look too sloppy. I thought this was just a wonder of my modelling skillz, so I had to post it.
Now turn your head. Yes and squint off into the distance like a pirate. Good, good. Make sure you have 46 hair ties on your arm for no reason. Great, perfect shot!

Thanks for anyone still reading after a good six months of sporadic posts. Summer is ending, the house is not insanely hot and school is back in, so I am motivated to make outfits to wear. Maybe even some jackets...