Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sewing crazy

Astra commented last night on my de-cluttering, as did Betty - thank you and Good Morning Ladies. Betty is evidently a force to be reckoned with as she has one outfit for each day of the week. Wow! Astra is going the other way and has lovely pictures on her site of her new Retro sewing machine. This reminded me of my first sewing projects, undertaken in my teens. Fabric was much cheaper then and it was far cheaper to sew clothes than to buy them. I used a machine my mother had inherited from my paternal grandmother which was manual. If my older brother was feeling charitable, he would come and wind the handle at incredible speed while I steered the material. We both laughed! It was just like this one:

There are family stories of my grandmother saving this from its route to the pawn shop on occasions in the arms of my grandfather who certainly liked a tipple. It was a good solid machine and the bobbin was a little shuttle that went back and forth, unlike the round ones of today. It only did the one stitch which sufficed back then. My father died when I was 21 and with some money I was gifted at the time I purchased my first New Home machine. I stitched my way through university making clothes for myself and friends, and then sewed for my four children when they arrived. I remember making lots of all-in-ones with poppers around the bottoms, which were so practical and made in lovely cottons. We lived in Sheffield at the time, where I met Mr Thrifty at university, and there was a great fabric market where you could buy wonderful fabrics for really good prices. I remember being very impressed with the zigzag function! I made a beautiful christening gown for my niece.

I knitted a lot then too. This is a little cardigan which has stood the test of time and was worn by Numbers 1 to 4 as well as by Pie. There are now, sadly, some yellow stains and I'd love advice from all you wonderful home makers as to how I could remove them - washing hasn't helped.
It was a cute Phildar pattern and if I still had the pattern I would knit it again - I loved it so much. It has little pants to match with paw prints stitched on!

After nearly 30 years, I decided it was time to invest in a new machine and bought this one, which does a phenomenal array of stitches including letters.... hence my output of towels and pillowcases! I find it very exciting. Jaymay is the new name for New Home, so I am hoping this machine lasts as long as my last trusty one.

So, what have you been up to? Do you have treasured things that you have crafted? I'd love to see......


  1. Hello! Thanks for following my blog.. it led to me finding yours which is lovely! We have almost the same new sewing machine.. mine is a tiny Janome Platignum 760.. I'm a bit scared of it at the moment! I also just got an old manual one... now I jst need to stop crocheting long enough to use them! Where are you in Suffolk.. I live there part-time! :)

  2. Hi Stocki - thank you for joining me. I was looking at all your wonderful crochet - I started learning last week and I am hooked! Some of your work is so beautiful. I am definitely more 'able' on the sewing machine, having done that for years. I used an old pillowcase to pracise stitches and I just love it! I noticed too that you spent time in Suffolk; we are near to Beccles :)

  3. If any of you read my blog earlier you might have either wondered or laughed at my blunder - writing 'porn' shop instead of 'pawn' shop and one of my dearest and oldest friends, Mrs Shakespeare, an English teacher no less, pointed out my error. My grandfather was, I should point out, trying to pawn the family machine for beer money x

  4. Wise words on your blog! I shall look forward to reading more.Fliss.


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