I know it’s a bit early for trick and treats, but over the summer I’ve learnt a couple of simple sewing tricks…and I’ve had a few treats!!!
My first big treat was a vintage sewing machine! I’ve been hankering after one for a while having seen a few comments on facebook, I spotted this one on ebay, I put in a bid and she was mine 🙂
Isn’t she gorgeous!! I’ve named her Pearl as according to Elkie Brooks, Pearl’s a Singer! The style is called a Fiddleback due to the shape of the base, it’s one of the earlier model 12 machine’s. I found out Pearl was made in 1885, through the serial number you can find out the year of manufacture, although I was puzzled for a while as mine has two numbers! So she is over 130 years old!
She is in full working order but I thought I’d treat her to a service before I sew with her. I managed to pick up a couple of spare bobbins and needles on ebay and also a copy of the manual!
I had to laugh at work the other, someone was muttering that their husband had four bikes ‘Why does anyone need four bikes?’ I replied ‘Well I’ve got four sewing machines!’
Ok, Trick no.1; I learn’t this at Tea & Tents. It’s so simple everyone else probably knows already! When tying a knot at the end of my thread I’ve always made a loop and then passed a loop through, fiddly and not reliable! Not now…with your threaded needle in one hand and the other end of the thread in the other, wrap the end of the thread around the needle a couple of times as if you were doing a french knot. Hold the wraps whilst you pull the needle through, keep hold until you reach the end where it will form a neat knot! So easy!
My second treat was courtesy of my OH for my birthday. He bought me a proper pair of dressmaking scissors. They are hand-made in Sheffield by Ernest Wright & Son. Sheffield is the traditional home of the steel industry in England (though sadly in demise now), each individual blade is hand-ground on a traditional saddle-mounted grinding wheel…and mine have got purple handles so they stand out as being MINE, anyone found borrowing them for paper will be suitably dispatched of!!! They are lovely to use, they made me realise just how blunt my others are! I’ve just added the embroidery scissors and snips to my Christmas present list!
Trick no.2; I learnt this at Tea & Tents too, it does seem to make a difference…you know when you’re hand-stitching something, sometimes the thread is constantly twisting on its self…you’ve threaded it from the wrong end! With European threads (like the Gutermann I use) you should apparently thread the end as it comes off the bobbin, not the end you’ve just cut. American thread is spun the other way and therefore you should thread the end that you cut! Try it and see if you think it works…what I haven’t yet worked out is how to apply that to DMC threads!!
My third treat was a visit to the Great Northern Quilt Festival in Harrogate. There were some stunning quilts there. Sometimes it does help you to focus on what you’d like to make, I really liked the medallion quilts, so that is now added to my ever growing list of quilts to make! Some of the miniature quilts were amazing, though I’m not tempted to try one…I was tempted by quite a few stalls though!
I tend to find at shows I get a bit overwhelmed by all the fabrics and don’t tend to buy as much as you think I would-ish! On the Monkey Buttons stall I saw their beautiful harebell quilt, I remember admiring it last year, this year I bought the pattern and the fabrics, the colours are gorgeous. I bought a pretty blouse length (posing under the scissors!) some beautiful teal half metre lengths and a kit to make a clock for my sewing room. Lots of treats really 🙂