yes? no? maybe.

So, I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures lately. This past winter, I have been reading and writing rather than making. I didn’t feel I had the energy to just stay up all night sewing most of the time. And I also did not feel like tackling huge projects. I went months without taking a single nice picture, without even noticing it.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing too many things. Or rather attempting to … and not really getting anywhere with anything as a result of that. But even if my priorities currently are somewhere entirely different, the sewing machine still comes out regularly. And so do my pencils and paint and brushes. Being creative and making things, actually using my hands, is something I need. I just haven’t figured out what all of this means with my life having changed so much in these past 3 years.

But who knows, right? I might wake up tomorrow and start to sew daily again. Or not. probably not, we’ll see.

I’m still not in the mood to take pictures, but I have a new project. I learned how to tie proper bow ties recently, so I set out to sew a bunch of them. Or rather: A friend taught me how to tie those things, and then we made some together. Crafting (or sewing, or painting, or …) with friends are always a wonderful way to spend a day. Or a night. Or, you know, a good excuse to chat and cook and stay up way past everyone’s bedtime. And bow ties have been on my “to sew” list for years, so yay for that.

No pictures of actual bow ties. Because nobody took a singe presentable picture so far. But this is the pattern I came up with.

My method is not perfect yet – I think I will have to just get out of my comfort zone and try sew-in interfacing. While iron on works like a charm, I think it doesn’t make for the most durable end product. But I have a working pattern now. And some prototypes which range from wearable to really great, so I’m considering it a success.

And all bow ties were sewn on Eleonore. She makes the most beautiful tiny little stitches. My new Singer’s stitch pattern doesn’t even come close, so I guess that’s another success. I’ve always dreaded sewing sliders onto 700 layers of tiny slippery strap bits, but the heft of Eleonore’s full metal body made it a joy to assemble the ties.

And you know what? I just remembered that I did in fact sew a spontaneous winter coat in December. That first coat I have been afraid of sewing for so many years because I was so sure I would mess it up (I didn’t). And that I didn’t even end up take pictures of … Oh well. Maybe that’s another post for another day.

Posted in DIY, Life 05.05.2017
Tagged

invisible (perception – an experiment)

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Posted in Life 29.11.2016
Tagged

Elna Supermatic

I have a new sewing machine.

Actually, I have an very old, but new-to-me sewing machine!

Maybe a bit of background information: I have always wanted to get an old sewing machine with those fun little stitch cams. And I always wanted to have/try a sewing machine that uses a knee lever instead of a foot pedal. And I love mint green (not that this would come as much of a surprise to anyone …)

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After a few months of randomly looking at vintage sewing machines, I happend to find this old, mint green Elna supermatic on the Internet. It was quite cheap, it was in good condition and came with a lot of accessoires. So I had to find a way to get it.

The old thing was not a city dweller – it had spent it’s first life in a cozy village at the end of the world. I had to send some people I know (and their parents that live very close to the end of the world) on a quest to test-drive and eventually purchase it for me. But my plan worked out just like I had imagined*. It’s here now.

And apparently, it’s name – her name – is Eleonore now:

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Here she is. And she even matches my decorating. Or rather … She exactly fits into my overall colour scheme. And she feels lovely. All metal, and really heavy.

She came with the original box and a few instruction booklets that I did not take any pictures of. I did, however, take pictures of everything else. Lots of pictures:

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I love how the toolbox just slides underneath the bed here. It’s such an elegant solution.

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The lid of the toolbox was the only part that was a bit unhappy when it got here. But I was able to find all the parts (erm) and glue it back together with two-part epoxy. While it’s still visible – and I am not completely sure epoxy is the right kind of glue for the material – it works for now.

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Totally legitimate attempt at keeping everything from falling apart while the glue was drying.

But now for the stitching! Yay, stitching! This is what it did when I first got it, even before I took it apart to clean and oil it:

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Of course it was in the middle of the night, so the light is horrible. But it was working right from the beginning :)

Using the knee lever for the first time was interesting, but not as hard as I had feared. I need to work on keeping a more consistent speed and generally getting more control over what I’m doing would not hurt … But for a first try it was alright.

And now to the accessories:

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It came with two extra stitch plates, a bunch of feet and feed dog covers, and all the original tools such as the brush, seam ripper and screw drivers. And loads of bobbins.

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Eleonore also came with 26 different stitch cams.

The Elna Supermatic uses what they call Elna Disks for everything that is not a straight stitch: Single-layer cams for stitches that only need to move the needle left and right (Up to #36 on my sample), and double-layer cams for the more complex stitch patterns that additionally use both forward and backwards movements.

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After inspecting everything that came with the machine and reading the manual, I also made a sample piece to try out all the stitch cams:

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And here it is: All the stitches:

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After the test drive, I also took the machine apart as far as I could. I did some cleaning and oiling and I also got rid of a colony of dead moths that ended (up) inside the machine. Yum.

She is so shiny and pretty now :)

Now I just have to find a new project to play with! It’s been a while … For a number of health and related reasons, I did not have the energy or motivation to sew much in these last few monts. But I really hope that the spring sun will change that sooner rather than later**.

*Insert evil laughter.
No, seriously. A big thank you to the people who live very close to the the end of the world.

**Yes I am aware that it’s snowing again, and it’s freezing. But one can hope for a bit of sunshine, right? It’s almost may -.-

Black flowers

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For this dress, I copied a bought one I have almost worn to death by now.

It was pretty straightforward: The dress has a shirred waist and the straps have a drawstring and close with a little bow.

I made it two years ago, and when I finally managed to take pictures last autumn I ended up forgetting about them. Again.

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And a close up of the fabric. And my hair, that had a really strange colour back then.

I love the in-between seasons :)

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Posted in Hair 11.04.2015
Tagged

knitting?!

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Okay then, I knit a hat. I also lined it with textured purple fleece to match my hair. Now there are slightly lame pictures. But the pictures have snow and I knit a hat …

It’s the first thing I ever managed to knit. I have no pattern because I didn’t use one, but this very helpful site taught me how to knit the textured pattern. It’s the last one, Marguerite stitch.

There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s cozy, it’s pointy and it’s purple.
And the ties are actually usable, so when temperatures drop and the wind becomes a storm … my new hat becomes a real bonnet, bow and everything.

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Here, have some not-so-great-pictures!

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I always wanted a pointy hat and a bonnet … I got the idea to combine both of them after seeing this hat

Posted in Uncategorized 21.02.2015

more pants

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Earlier this year, I was really frustrated as I could not wear any of my regular pants because of that leg situation. So when medication started to wear off after a few weeks, I made pants. It really was the first thing I set on doing when I was somewhat alive again, because I could not stand the fact that this whole ordeal forced me to BUY pants for the first time in years.

They are a modified version of the pattern I drafted for the turquoise/teal pair of pants I sewed last year … Isn’t it great to be able to make something exactly the way one needs it?

Also, I love the fabric. it’s cotton and very light and flowy. The texture is a bit seersucker-like, but it’s a really loose weave, with the white stripes being woven into the fabric rather than printed on. Despite of it’s lightweight, airy quality, the fabric is very durable (I’ve been wearing it so much this summer, and it’s almost like new).

Also it’s not see-through at all, which is great and really made it the perfect piece of clothing for me this summer.

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My stripey pants have a zipper with a hook and eye closure on top. The zipper is really long (I think 28 centimetres, or even 30), because my leg’s mobility was pretty restricted, and it was quite bulky because of the bandages.

But even when my leg was still in a pretty sad state, the modifications made it really easy to get in and out.

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Also, I added slits to the hems that close with black ribbon to make (und)dressing easier.

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Aaand pockets. Because pockets make everything better. I’m kind of impressed that I managed to get the right pocket AND the invisible zipper into one seam.

The only thing I would change in the future is the placement of the side seams: For some reason, they (and therefore the pockets as well) are a bit far in the back, but I think the pain medication that came with the leg-thing is to blame for that. Whatever.

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Posted in Life 11.10.2014

needles

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Some time ago, I saw a sewing machine needle case some genius had posted on craftster and thought it was the best idea ever.

And last week I was about to order a few new types of needles when I got so annoyed by this huge pile of tiny sewing needle boxes that I decided to sew a little organizer as well.

I just took the idea and ran with it, but mine is nowhere near the one I linked to when it comes to execution (straight seams and working exact and actually pinning and measuring things … Well). My version is rather wonky.

I really like that, for the cover, I was able to use a piece of hand printed cotton from one of last winters’ screen printing sessions.

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I thought it would be nice to be able to adjust the thing, and I really didn’t want to spend too much time on making categories I wouldn’t be able to change later. So I bought a piece of this strange plastic tablecloth stuff that’s being sold by the yard and sewed it on to create little windows for exchangable labels.

I really love grey paper.

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Other than preventing a chaos of tiny needle boxes and mystery needles appearing on every surface in the appartment, this system is great to keep track of needles between projects and different sewing machines.

The basic idea is very simple: Fresh, unused needles go to the edge and then move towards the center as they’re being used. That way it’s easy to see how much use the individual needles have seen, and what I can still use them for.

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Thank you person on the internet for this glorious idea!

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Posted in Uncategorized 05.10.2014