Showing posts with label Singer 201K. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Singer 201K. Show all posts

Monday, 15 February 2016

Disappearing Nine Patch - Part II

I have sewn all of the three patch rows into nine patch blocks - nine of them in total.  The blocks are all basically the same with a red value patch in the middle and a 'colour' at each corner.  The remaining blocks are cream.

Having spent several hours carefully sewing these patches together I am about to cut them up.  Yes!  That's right - I haven't gone mad.  I made one cut vertically down the centre of the block using the seam line to help me.  The cut has to be made two and a quarter inches from the seam.  Another cut is then made horizontally across the block again two and a quarter inches from the seam lines.

Now the nine-patch block is separated to make four asymmetrical four-patch blocks.  I repeated these cuts on the remaining eight nine-patch blocks.

The result is 36 four-patch blocks - six of each colour.

These blocks have gone together very quickly.  Since I shortened the belt on the Singer 201K it hasn't slipped once and the machine, which was fairly enjoyable to sew with, has become a joy to use.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Disappearing Nine Patch - Part I

I have decided to start my sewing year with a quilt.  I've spent quite a while thinking about what I want to do with fabrics I already have and in the time I have available.

I have been reading up about disappearing nine patch quilts here, here and here.  I was taken with the setting which imitates sashing and corner stones and decided that might work with the fabrics I have to hand at the moment.

Working from the premise that my individual squares would be cut at five inches based on the common size of commercially available charm packs I began to do some sums.

My quilt will be made up of nine nine patches that's 84 individual squares which would equate to two commercial charm packs at 42 squares each.  These will be made up of:

  • Nine red for centre of the nine patch blocks - these will become the corner stones
  • Thirty-six cream for the middle patches on each side of the blocks - these will become the sashing
  • Thirty-six coloured prints for the corner patches of each block - I cut six of each from six different fabrics

Here are all the squares cut out nice and tidy - a couple of hours work over a couple of evenings last week.  Speed is of the essence with this project as I don't have loads of time and I need to keep the momentum up.

The next step was to chain piece nine red squares to nine cream and then set aside nine cream for later.

I am working on the Singer 201K1.   I have read that this is the correct designation for a Kilbowie built machine originally fitted to a treadle.  I recently shortened the belt on this one.  It has made a world of difference.  The belt must have stretched making it tricky to get the machine to start and stop.  It had a tendency to run backwards at the beginning, run-on when stopping and stalling altogether when crossing thicker seams.  I took about 3/8ths of an inch off the length for the time being and now the machine is performing faultlessly.

The thread is Gütermann 100% cotton and the machine is set to 15 stitches per inch. I used my trusty cloth guide to help maintain a scant quarter inch seam.  I chain pieced the 18 remaining cream coloured squares to 18 of the mixed colours, three of the six different fabrics.  This is the resultant heap of chain piecing.

I snipped the paired squares apart and had a bit of a tidy up.  Here are the paired up squares stacked on the treadle table prior to pressing.  I production lined my pressing.  Pressing all 27 pairs as sewn and then open with all seams away from the cream squares.  I tried letting all my pressing cool on the ironing board before moving the units.  I'm told it helps the pressed seam allowances stay put.

My next step was to add the remaining nine cream squares to the opposite edge of the red ones.

And then the remaining 18 mixed colours to the other pairs.  Selection of the mixed prints at this stage isn't too crucial.  The reason for this will become clear next time.

Much more pressing and the nine patches are starting to take shape!  From winding the bobbin to taking the last photograph took just under three hours.  A nice way to spend a blustery Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Oliver + S: Family Reunion Dress

This is a dress I made around the end of 2014 in readiness for Christmas of that year.  I never got around to blogging about at the time.  I did however take some photographs during making up.  I bought the digital version of the pattern, printed it all out and stuck it together with tape.  I don't mind the process too much.  My version is sized to 24 months.  At the time the recipient was only 16 months but I pictured this dress getting more wear during the following summer and as it was intended to be a surprise I allowed lots of margin for growth.

I had a nice pale blue 100% cotton print in the stash, a little fusible interfacing and some reused shirt buttons.  The apparently simple, short-sleeved, A-line dress has quite a bit of detail.

The dress is shaped by tucks over the chest and back.  I sewed the dress using the Singer 201K treadle and used a vintage tuck marker to help me form the tucks.  Using the vintage attachment was fun but I would imagine that with careful measurements and thread marking one could easily manage without.

The dress buttons up the back.  I made the buttonholes on the Singer 201K fitted with Greist buttonholer.  The neckline facing is interesting in that it is turned to the right side and edge stitched in place.

The pattern has nice deep seam allowances and gives the usual modern instructions for finishing them with a zig-zag, serger or however else you might wish to.  I cribbed Muv's flat felled shoulder seams from the child's dress pattern she drafted and made.  The sleeves are hemmed, gathered and attached to the armscye before the side seams are closed.  I finished the sleeve head seam allowance with a zig-zag using the Singer 401G.  This was quick but if I made the pattern again I might make matching bias and use that to bind this seam. 

I used good old reliable French seams to close the sides of the dress which just made my zig-zag short cut on the armholes look even sloppier.

The pattern made quite a feature of what Oliver+S calls its signature hem.  This consists of a deep hem facing, worthy of the 1840s, turned to the inside and edge stitched.

The facing is then decorated with an additional five rows of topstitching spaced at quarter inch intervals.  The result is a good looking, firm hem which hangs well and is suggestive of hard wear.

This was a a very sweet little project to sew.  I would definitely make it again and would look at using Oliver+S patterns again in the future.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Simplicity 1960: French Back Boxer Shorts - Pt II

Here are the finished boxers.  I added the buttonholes using my new toy a Griest #1 template buttonholer for low shank machines (this means YOU Mr Singer 201K).  I was very happy with the results.  I am planning a full photo-tour and review of the new (to me) buttonholer in a future post.
French back boxer shorts

Front and back there are seven half-inch buttonholes and one additional thirteen-sixteenths vertical buttonhole which allows the waistbands to cross at the back.  It's a lot of work but we all get a buzz out of using an automatic buttonhole attachment right?

The position of the buttons at the back give a range of adjustment for expanding and contracting waists.  I think this design must have arisen from wartime and post war shortages of elastic.

The half inch (12mm) buttons I used were saved from shirts I cut up last year to turn into my first quilt.  There a total of nine so I think can be forgiven for sewing them on with the Singer 401G.  I used white thread to match the buttons rather than pink to match the shorts.  Sewing buttons on with a vintage Singer is probably worth a post all of its own sometime soon.

I am happy with the way these turned out but.  I will need to forget how much work they are before I am tempted to make them again.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Simplicity 1960: French Back Boxer Shorts - Pt I

I have had this pink and blue striped cotton shirting for months.  I picked it up cheaply on eBay.  I washed it to preshrink it ages ago and then it took me ever so long to remember to take it with me to the shops so that I could buy matching thread.  I no longer trust my memory of colour to buy thread.  Unless it's black or white.  After the fabric was preshrunk I was left with just under two yards.

That's a slightly awkward yardage - not really enough for a shirt.  I decided that the only option would have to be boxers.  I had a bit of spare time on my hands so I elected to make one of the most complicated patterns for boxer shorts in the world: Simplicity 1960 ©1945.

I have made boxers from this pattern once or twice before, retracing and redrafting the pattern to allow for my ample girth ©2013.  I pressed the pattern pieces and fabric in the usual way prior to cutting out.  I cut out using the rotary cutter with the help of Ramses II and Venus who always like to get in on the act at this stage.

The first step is to make two pleats in the fronts of the boxers.  These are clearly marked on the pattern pieces and the stripes on the fabric certainly help.

I secured the pleats with pins.

Last Sunday we did some organising in the sewing room so now I can used the Singer 201K in it's No.41 cabinet.  It's the first time it has seen any treadle action since the arsenic green Negroni shirt back in June!  I've rather missed it.  It's now positioned to the right of a window so the light, by day, is good.  I set the stitch length to the longest tacking/basting stitch 6spi.

And sewed about ¼ inch from the top of the boxers to secure the pleats.

The next step is to secure the two fronts together at the crotch seam using a flat felled seam.  This is a little tricky as the seam allowance has a curved taper from ⅝ inch down to nothing.  Careful pressing and folding and a slow but steady foot on the treadle are a must.  Lightly marking the sewing line with a pencil doesn't hurt either.

Here both fronts have been pleated and joined at the crotch.

Knife pleats

I then turned my attention to the seat panel and the questionable pleasure of creating a continuous lap.  The first time I made this pattern I actually had to look up what it was.  Thank goodness for the Internet-o-graph!

The first step is to stay stitch a V either side of the centre back.  The pattern has this V marked on it.  I marked it lightly on the fabric with a sharp pencil.

I then carefully slashed between the two lines of stay stitching - making sure not cut through the line of stitches.

And then (and this is the really silly bit) you have to open the V up until it as near a straight line as possible and pin a strip of fabric along the raw edge.

And then (the silly and HARD bit) stitch it - oh so carefully! - in place in such a way that the line of stay stitching will be enclosed.

Finally the raw edge of the strip is turned under and the fold top stitched to the right side of the seat panel.  This forms a sort of gusset.  I didn't find it easy.  It's well worth practising with scraps.  The pattern instructions call for a one inch strip for the binding.  Make it a generous inch.  I made mine nearer 1⅛ inch and was satisfied with the result.

After all that fuss sewing the seat panel to the fronts and joining the legs (all with flat felled seams) seams like child's play.

Here is where I ran out of steam.  The basic construction is complete with the two part yoke sewn to the wrong side of the shorts, folded over and then edge stitched to the right side.

Yoke front boxer shorts

The boxers still lack a hem, button holes, and buttons but they will have to wait for another day.  At the back the two piece yoke  combines with the continuous lap to form an adjustable waistband which negates the need for elastic.  How's that for austerity spec?!

French back boxer shorts

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Negroni Shirt - Part VI

It's buttonhole time for the Negroni shirt.  I had a grim determination to finish the project on the 201K and I've never used the buttonholer on that machine so I decided it was time to give it a try.  The first thing to do was take the straight stitch presser foot off the machine.

Here is the 201K with the presser foot removed.  There's something really strange about seeing a familiar object with one tiny detail changed - a bit like seeing the cleanly shaven face of a usually bearded friend?

Interestingly the instructions of the buttonholer are to always use the cover plate and never to drop the feed dogs. I cannot imagine why this would be but I am a great one for doing as I'm told so here we are.  I make sure the needle passes through the slot in the cover plate and screw it down securely.

It takes a bit of jiggling to get the presser bar, buttonholer and needle clamp all lined up but here we are secure.

The two red plastic thumbscrews on the right of the machine allow one to adjust the "BIGHT" and "WIDTH".  The flat head adjustment screw for the stitch density is hidden in the triangular window in the body of the attachment.

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the attachment, the other small thumbscrew adjusts the length of the buttonhole.  In a middle position like this one the buttonhole comes out at about half an inch.  The larger screw advances the buttonholer through the perimeter of the buttonhole.

I made lots of sample buttonholes and even tried out the bar tack feature the attachment offers (centre top).  I had to play around a lot it's all fun trial and error stuff.  I found the belt of the machine slips a bit with the buttonholer adding extra drag so I may shorten it.

My finished button holes look okay and they work.  We'll see how they hold up to wear.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Negroni Shirt - Part II

Today has been all about making the collar for my Negroni shirt.  I am echoing the pocket flaps with a contrasting under collar.

I wanted to be certain that the lighter coloured fabric would not be visible when the collar is turned down so I spent a bit of time boning up on "the turn of the cloth".  I trimmed about an eighth of an inch off three sides of the under collar in an attempt to ensure that it would not be visible from the "public" side.

I trimmed the seam allowances and  used a letter opener to gently shape the collar points.  They're not identical but very similar and probably as good as the points on some of my shop bought shirts.

Top stitching: Singer 201K, size 11 needle, 12 stitches per inch, Gütermann cotton thread.  This has to be one of the reasons why that model of machine is still so well thought of

I used the quarter inch side of the foot on my sewing machine to guide my top stitching.  One part is not as even as I would like but was too good to rip out.  Some things we live with right?

This piece of textile madness is the inner yoke and facing assembly.

I have interfaced both facings, stay stitched the curved edges of the yokes and facings, turned back and hemmed one edge of the facings and attached them to what will become the inner yoke.  The green linen look cotton might have been ok without the interfacing but I wanted to do things by the book (for the first shirt at least).  I have a feeling that the interfacing made it easier to turn and press the hem.  Something to remember for the future.

Well - so far so good?  Thank you all for looking at the blog.  A special thank you to those of you who have left comments, the encouragement is great and welcome to any new followers.  I hope you are all enjoying your sewing as much as I am at the moment!