Saturday, March 27, 2010

Good morning, it's Saturday!

I've always loved ParaNoire's stuff on BurdaStyle, so I was pretty excited this morning when I found her blog: Mademoiselle Chaos. She has posted a heap of free tutorials and patterns there, so it is well worth a look.

There are several crocheted button patterns. Here's the starfish one:

These 'Datasquids' are actually USB covers! So cute!

My favourite ParaNoire creation on BurdaStyle is her LENE top. I love the collar. I don't know why, but I really love it. It's based on BurdaStyle's Lydia pattern.

Check out the rest of ParaNoire's creations on BurdaStyle - there are some pretty amazing dresses and skirts there.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Treadle Machine Excitement.

Here are some dodgy pictures of the Singer treadle machine I picked up for $85 at a Bazaar (my favourite store in the world) a month ago. Both sets of grandparents gave me a bit of money for my 18th birthday almost a year and a half ago, so they're pretty happy I've finally spent it (the easel in the background is something else I bought with the money).

They dated it between 1908 - 1910, although I think it's about 20 years younger than that. I'm actually having tremendous trouble dating my machine, because old Singers are not stamped with their model number. The only thing to work from is the serial number and the manual. Unfortunately, it didn't come with a manual and the serial number only reveals the date of manufacture, not the model:

Here's a shortened version of the steps I've gone through during the uni holidays:
- Researched serial number. EA numbers aren't to be found anywhere. Excited that I may have a rare machine.
- Excited no more. Finally found a Singer site that said they were made in Clydebank, Scotland in 1935. Seems likely, as the cabinet has thistles all over it. Start to feel a little ill. The last highschool I went to was called Scots and it's emblem was a thistle.
- Checked out this site. Am thinking it is a 15-30 model. Have now forgotten the cabinet reminds me of highschool.
- Scanned a few (I mean a million) other sites. Yes, it looks very much like a 15-30.
- Looked at a 15-30 manual. The diagrams match the machine exactly. Feeling quite pleased with myself.
- Found manufacturing dates of the 15-30. They were not manufactured after 1933. *#&%!... Back to square one.
- Repeat these steps a gagillion times.
- Find an amazing site filled with old machine diagrams. One looks like mine!
- Move back to college. Forgot to write the amazing site's address down.
- So far spent 2.5hrs searching for amazing site. Cannot find amazing site. Starting to think I should study.
- Open chemistry book.
- Chemistry is boring. Close chemistry book, and resume searching for amazing site again.

There is still hope, as I have had some success with the cabinet on the International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society site! Here it is - Cabinet Table No. 6 for 15-30s, 66-1s, 115-1s & 127-3s, complete with thistle embossing and 7 drawers! Maybe it is a 15-30 after all...or maybe it's been placed in a different cabinet.

My treadle stand is a bit prettier though :) The 7th drawer is a little tilting thing you can see here. Pretty cute!

Structurally, I believe the cabinet is in pretty good condition. A few little things to fix up - as you can probably see, the tilting draw has a join that needs mending. The silky oak veneer top is in pretty atrocious condition; it looks like it has spent some time in the weather! Some people have very shiny, varnished versions of this cabinet. Ultra-shiny furniture isn't really my thing - I like the simpleness of my cabinet. The machine itself is beautiful, thankfully. I haven't gotten it to sew properly yet (a few tensioning issues), but it does move the fabric through as I turn the wheel and it hasn't made any bad sounds since I oiled it. The decals are a little worn and the paint is chipped in a few places, but I think this gives it a bit of character.

Easter isn't too far away, so I can't wait to get back home and polish it up! I'll need to order a treadle belt, and a new bobbin winder ring (the perished black rubber ring that sits parallel to the wheel).

Have a look at these wonderfully bizarre attachments that came with the machine...

They've been much easier to date than the machine itself! There are two feet on the top right - not sure what they're for yet, because they aren't labeled. Now I can't quite remember which is which, but I know I have a tucker, an adjustable hemmer and a binder. The biggest gadget in the middle and the bracket-looking thing on the bottom left are unlabeled as well. I have a feeling the bracket is not actually for the machine...

Wow, long post. But I'm so excited! I'm pretty confident I can get it working, and it'll make a beautiful piece of furniture as well. If anyone knows anything about treadle machines, please let me know. I'd love to hear from you :)

On a completely unrelated note, I drew 3 pigs last night. A quick search revealed to me that several other people had called their pigs 'Beardy' like I had. Astonishingly, only one of these pigs actually has a beard.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Procrastinating Fun

Take a look at this amazing online sketching site called Odosketch. I especially love the colour palette - the skin tones are just perfect!

It's probably the best creative outlet I've found on the net so far. Other than Draw a Pig of course - another excellent way to procrastinate. Just hit the 'Create a Sketch' button and enjoy! The really nifty thing about this site is that it saves every step of your drawing, so once you've finished you can watch your sketch emerge from the blank canvas (or computer screen I guess!) Here are some still images of my favourites from the gallery (plus one of my sketches that wouldn't save on Odosketch for some reason):

Ok, back to some study. Or maybe Odosketch...


Draw a Pig

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Nancy Drew is a Demon.

Is it just me, or do collector's dolls usually have a slightly odd look plastered on their faces? Have a look at this Nancy Drew doll from Tonner Doll Company:

I'm not sure what it is exactly, but her face worries me slightly. The outfit is gorgeous though - especially the shoes! This grey pinafore is certainly worth a squiz too...

This style is perfect for autumn and winter. Just a shirt underneath and a pair of sandals in warm weather, and a long-sleeved blouse and thick tights for the cold!

Return to college life.

I'm back in Brisbane for my second year of uni! I'm very excited, however I will be without a sewing machine for a few months. Very sad stuff, especially considering I've left my gorgeous 1930s Singer treadle machine at home (a recent purchase, but more on that later!). If anyone knows anything about treadle machines, let me know because I'm eager to get mine working :)

To fill the crafty void in my life, I'm teaching myself crochet. It is very addictive and is a good way to make my hands sore. I also have no idea what I'm doing. My first project is this chain mesh beret by millionish. Halfway through I ran out of the ugly pink wool I found in the back of the cupboard at home. So now it looks like a clown collar! I'll go searching for some other pink wool - I think it will soon find a home in my little cousin's dress-up box :)

I've moved into an ensuite room at college this year! It's massive compared to my old room, so I am enjoying it a great deal!

I also have a little art station now...

Despite my room being quite large, there isn't a great deal of storage space. This means my textbooks are left balanced precariously on this little dresser...

More sewing posts to come soon - I feel compelled to show off my treadle machine :D