15 December 2011

Trial upload of a Standard Rotary Shuttle Sewing Machine instruction book

A couple of pages from the Standard sewing manual to see how they come out....It crumbled even more after handling...ouch.  I'm still learning how this blog works, totally trial and error. I managed to make a library copy for my use since the book itself is literally crumbling when handled.  The parts in the box are interesting.  Maybe a machine will come my way with the parlor cabinet I've wanted.  The only thing about that is the cabinet I like is for a Singer machine.    I would not even know if the base measurements are the same until I could get my hands on both.  I'm dreaming I know.

12 December 2011

Oh Yes, Sewing Machine Maintenance

I forgot to come back and add more to the tool post.  I added needle holders and some brushes to the tool kit.  I found some more of the chemical cleaners mentioned on the different sewing machine groups at Yahoo.

The machines that I worked on the past month were
(1.)  two Singer 221 Featherweight machines.  One is having problems with the power where the plug is in the machine.  I took the bottom off and really poked around and saw that the fabric covered wires under there are soaked in thick blackish oil crud.  Yuck.  I think that is why the machine went for relatively cheap in comparison to the others on Craigslist where I found it.

Then, (2.) a Kenmore 158.1060 and a 158.1030.  Both are small portables like the Featherweights.   I repaired the inside plug housing on the 1060.  There are some 'ears' that stick out and the screws that hold it in place go through them.  I guess the last person to tighten the screws did a too tight job and both were broken.  I used clear 5-minute plastic epoxy, let it set for 24 hours and then gently put it back together.  The weld did hold. Can I pat myself on the back? 

(3.) Then I tried to see what was wrong with a Singer 1036 electronic machine that has a horrible growl.  The motor makes the noise.  I don't do sewing machine motors -- yet.  That one was a throw away machine, so I just may take the motor apart.  Seems to stitch OK when I tried it.  I got covers off, and then made the mistake of not diagramming and taping the screws to the diagram.  I did top and bottom and one on the throat area and kind of mixed them up.  I finally got them all back in the right places, but I was sweating it for awhile, no kidding.  I hate having pieces left over. BTW, I took pictures of the weld.  May add them later on, we'll see. 

The contact cement I needed was finally found at a small independent hardware store.  I will be working on fixing the fabric of one of the Featherweight cases and the contact cement was recommended.  I've got tooth picks, cotton swabs, and towel remnants all set to work on this.  Later though, no time now.  The quilt must go on.

In the MeanTime...

Things have been busy for me the past month plus.  I bothered to sign up for a quilting class at our local fabric craft store.  Nice teacher, easy going, not picky about my mistakes or slowness.  This close-to-perfection thing about quilting is just another step in the process to keep me from liking piecing.  Have I said yet that I hate piecing?  Never liked it and I still don't.  I am not inspired to be artistic.  I can copy something if I can see and handle an item.  I like clothing, crafting and home deco sewing.  Cutting fabric up into bitty pieces to make a bigger piece, iron the seams down after sewing and hoping I got it correct drives me nuts!  Did I mention that I hate ironing!  I hate ironing. 

I'm taking the class to learn about it.  I'm only part way done, as sashing needs to be done next and then borders and then binding.  If I don't have it finished before her next quilt class, the teacher will allow me to attend and pay individually for each meeting I go to for her help.  A simple four-patch is all I'm doing.  However, it is going to be larger than a twin size, and I can use the extra squares (yes, there will be extra squares -- 12 fat quarters to make 5 1/2 inch squares makes for lots of combinations)  to make a bolster or pillow cover or something.  I think the teacher felt bad for me and had me doing a random pick to make the squares, but I'm trying to coordinate the different fabrics to make them look nicer. I still have to find a backing fabric and am thinking along the lines of flannel as it is so cold for me lately.  It is raining now. 

I think my next quilt will be done with a serger.

I may keep this blog posted about my quilt making, but then maybe not.

04 October 2011

Fixing My Featherweight's Case -- Gathering Supplies

If All Goes Well (Murphy may be lurking and we all know about Murphy's Laws, don't we?), I will start fixing the featherweight case this week.  First to get pictures to show what needs fixing.  I will do that later for show and tell on the next installment.  Need to get the camera set up, but first I have to find it, lol.   

Right now I'll explain the tools I'm gathering.  This case is not terribly damaged, just some of the covering and lining is coming unglued and it needs a scrub. 

For cleaning the case's outside covering,  a soft rag with some water and Dawn dishwashing detergent.  My kidlette's ex-boyfriend used Dawn to clean engine grease off his hands -- worked great.   I've got a bag of well used, recycled t-shirts, previously cut up and saved -- now called soft rags.

Dirty scuffs can be gently cleaned with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge, going over it very gently as it can scratch smooth surfaces.  I don't think it will hurt the covering in this case, but I plan to be careful.  I've used this sponge successfully on a hard plastic sewing machine case where water and soap was not enough.  I had asked my OSMG* what he used to clean sm cases and he said they would not clean and to let it go.  I used the Magic Eraser on half the case and took it in to show him.  He did not believe I had cleaned it with that.

Next I need contact cement to re-glue the loose flaps and maybe some of the interior lining at the edges.  I thought finding this would be easy, but it's not.  I've looked and asked at the major garden and paint stores, Wallyworld, the hardware aisles at my local markets, and at two auto parts stores -- nada. My next stop is a little family run hardware store. The owner can order some if it is not on the shelf.

More on this later, as soon as I get that contact cement.

As a side note, I will finish the FW fabric tote I started and had to abandon while my kidlette was visiting for a month.  It is a tote that you put your machine in and then use the tote to lower it into the case.  Keeps the machine paint from getting scratched and the bonus is that if you turn it over, it becomes a cover while the machine is sitting out to keep out dust.  The tote info is here Featherweight Tote by Craftyhipster so scroll down to see that blog and her link to the instructions.  She has a white FW and the case does not have a tool tray so I have to adapt her pattern by an inch or less to fit in my cases which do have the little tray.

Historical note:  did you know that there are as many as five (5) different case sizes for FWs??? 
*OSMG - old sewing machine guy/gal (except not necessarily old)
FW - featherweight
SM - sewing machine

10 September 2011

Odd Tools for Sewing Machine Repair

'Interesting' is a word I'll use to describe my findings while perusing other folks' vintage sewing machine repair blogs.  Maybe my juvenile 'Wow' is better. 

Besides the normal tools for sewing machine repair, today I learned I might or probably will need wood dowels, deep kitchen trash cans, egg cartons or ice cube trays, and patience.  The last one is gonna take me down, I just know it!  OK, the what for: 
dowels for knocking out some parts from inside the machine head; 
deep trash cans for soaking machine heads in copious amounts of either kerosene or Evapo-rust;
egg cartons or ice cube trays for keeping small parts in the order you took them off;
patience for waiting for chemicals like kerosene, break-free, evapo-rust, or various blasters to do their work when wiggling, pushing, lifting, gentle tapping and choice words won't work right now.

What are normal tools?  How about things like
screwdrivers - both long and stubby, straight and angled,
rubber mallet,
carpet piece or placemat,
wrenches, allen wrenches,
cotton tipped swabs - the industrial ones with wood handles are best,
pliers, leather scraps,
soft rags,
sewing machine oil, tri-flow,
plastic bags,
tool boxes or carry bags,
brushes, and a
camera - hopefully with close up capability.  

I'll add more when I remember them or look through my kit.  Now, if I can do it I'll try to post a pic of a hefty tool kit.  I took the Ray White repair class at Cathy Nelson's and I shot a picture of her tool kit.  You need muscles to lift it and that is just the little one. 

27 July 2011

John Michael Montgomery -Letter From Home

Traveling Soldier By The Dixie Chicks.

Dixie Chicks ~ "Ready to Run" (Better Quality)

Dixie Chicks - Cowboy Take Me Away

Dixie Chicks - Goodbye Earl

Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats

Carrie Underwood - Cowboy Casanova

Josh Turner - Your Man

Josh Turner - Would You Go With Me

Josh Turner - Why Don't We Just Dance (Alternative Version)

Toby Keith - I Love This Bar

Toby Keith - Cryin' For Me (Wayman's Song)

Toby Keith - A Little Too Late

Toby Keith - Who's Your Daddy?

Toby Keith - Beer For My Horses ft. Willie Nelson

Toby Keith - As Good As I Once Was

Chris Young - Voices

Chris Young - Gettin' You Home

26 July 2011

Boy oh Boy -- I Really Love the Voice

Hmmm, how it all started...DH watching Idol, and a deep voice singing a country song, Your Man and he (Scotty McCreery) said it was by Josh Turner.  Well, I've got a country station on the car radio and had heard it, but did not pay attention to who sang it.  Love YouTube for listening to oldies or finding songs or singers.  I found and watched more than several of Josh Turner's videos, read comments, watched behind-the-scenes videos.

I found several other singers to listen to, Toby Keith has become a favorite mainly due to his very funny videos, A Little Too Late and As Good As I Once Was  are two favorites along with Who's Your Daddy -- I love the yellow Ford.    Toby telling the story behind  I'll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again (by TrueCountryTV) is a hoot.  The song is good too along with Beer for My Horses sung with Willie Nelson.  Carrie Underwood singing Cowboy Casanova and Before He Cheats are good, actually I found most of her stuff very good. 

THE VOICE:  Picked out other singers to listen to from the choices on the right hand side and found Chris Young.  Oh My!  Close your eyes and just listen.  The one I accidentally found was Because of You when he was 18 and I almost did not believe it was him -- he's 26 or 27 now.  He had the voice back even then.   Good songs are The Man I Want To Be; Tomorrow; Voices.  Gettin' You Home  is also known as the little black dress song -- and you can just hear the mischievous fun in his voice in this one.  The video is cute also. 
Just open another tab while on the computer and select a playlist and just listen.  Hooooweeee!  Love that Voice and he's not bad looking either.  I just heard him on our country radio station  being a co-host when I drove to pick up that sewing table.  He's touring with Jason Aldean this summer and has a new cd album out titled Neon.  Love the slower ballad type songs he sings.

25 July 2011

My New Featherweight

I've had a black Singer 221-1 Featherweight for a couple of years, but left it in storage.  I have a couple of other machines that are black and I really don't like sewing on them as I feel I can't see so well when using them.  My 'friends' at work call it CreepingOldFartism.  So when I had a chance to get a tan featherweight I jumped at the chance.  It arrived in the mail, just over a week ago, perfectly packed for the trip, double boxed and all.  What a cutie! I'm not sure yet but I think this is a 221-K7 and was made in Canada.  Everything is tan or that Singer beige color; machine, motor, cords, foot controller, and inside case lining.  The case exterior is two tone, brown and tan and does not have a lock, just latches. 

I learned from a couple of ladies in a sewing group to use a nylon strap to secure the case.  They made their own out of nylon webbing and a couple of D rings.  They even sewed a handle on it so as not to stress the main handle of the case and did 'x' stitching over the joins to reinforce those areas.   I can see the worth if you don't lock your case or if latches become bumped open.   At least when that happened to me as I set it down too close to the sofa it caught and opened only one latch.  I'll be making a couple of the straps.  The webbing strap can be easily got from JoAnn's or at our big Sport store.  I imagine the straps are good for any case  or case handle you are not sure of, especially those old plastic ones that are now getting to the vulnerable dry crackly stage as they age.  Just make them long enough. 

This past week I have been perusing the internet and checking out local selling boards and subsequently found a sewing table at a great under-market price.  This is the Singer kind that is a card table with an insert that pops out and you drop your sewing machine in so it levels with the table top.  I thought it might be for a Singer 301, but it turned out to be for a Featherweight!!  It needs some attention before I would want to use it for sewing, the top finish is dry and cracking and the sides and legs could use a going over.  It had been stored in a garage so it is a bit dusty underneath under the rim.   When I set the tan FW into the table and DH (dear husband) saw it, he commented (he was surprised) that it really was small [compared to a normal sewing machine].  

I reminded him that a friend of ours sewed all clothing for her daughter, herself, her MIL, costumes for school, local theatre costuming, home deco stuff, curtains, tote bags, doll outfits, and whatever on that FW machine, her only machine, for years and years.  She always said she did not need any other machine -- except once, when she was on a deadline for some costumes and borrowed my Kenmore 158.1941 for the blind hem stitch.  She normally hemmed by hand. 

Just for information sake, I retrieved the black FW from storage, oiled and lubed it and have it out right now too.   I pulled out fabric and  fiber fill from my stash to make padded bags for the cords and yet large enough for the foot controller.  The controller normally stays on the underside of the lid in a metal clip, but the cord and plugs hang down onto the bed of the machine.  The bags will prevent any more scratches from happening. 

I'm off now to research restoring the wood top of the table.  Pictures later.