Hoo boy!  Lots to talk about today.  I hope you don’t mind, but I might have to do a pseudo power point prez here because to write all that prose is overwhelming me and I will end up just not writing anything.

  • Thank you to Robin and Karen who nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger award!  I will address this award and it’s attendant responsibilities in a later post.  But for now, a heartfelt thank you to both for their compliments and for the award.
  • I’ve been playing with my “new” Singer Featherweight 221 and it’s been fun and frustrating at the same time.  I love how fast it sews, how evenly the feed dogs feed (compared to my Emerald 183), and how good the stitches are (when the tension’s right), BUT, I am having serious problems with the bobbin and needle thread tensions.  I have to fiddle with it for about an hour each time I use it.    My current theory is that I need a new bobbin case because the one that came with the machine might not have the ability to maintain tension.  Anyone with some ideas, please give me a shout in the comments.  Here are some pretty pictures of what I’ve been doing with my FW:

Testing thread tension settings

Playing with the binding foot

I made a new tote bag!!!

close up of fabric and topstitching

My lining fabric -- recognize it?


  • I wanted to do a simple project on my FW to test run it.  I needed a new tote bag, so that’s what I made last night.  It’s a really simple bag, based on the one I made from the PURL class I took a lifetime ago.  The most complicated thing about it is that it’s lined.  No fancy interior pockets or nuthin’!  But it really fits the bill and I love it so.  🙂  
  • I think I am going to use the FW to make my fall coat.  How exciting is that?!?!
  • Confession: In order to actually sew the bag last night, I had to clean off my dining room table, I mean my sewing table.  Folks, it was do or die.  You couldn’t see the table.  It was piled at least 1 foot high with sewing detritus, months of mail, and random stuff.  I was ruthless with throwing out UFO’s (pregnant clown shirt muslin anyone?).  I put all of my patterns away, cleaned up all my notions, etc.  It took me 4 hours, but I can see my table again and I know where everything is.  Phew!!!  I wish I had taken some before pictures, but trust me when I say it was not pretty.  Here’s how it looks now…

  • Now, isn’t that sewing nirvana?  Hey, I could actually eat there too now.  😉   Oh and did you notice anything?  Do you see my Emerald 183 on the table at all?  No?  Well that’s because my Singer FW is taking precedence right now.  I put the Viking under the table.  We’ll see what happens to it after I play with my FW for a while longer.  If I get the tension issues worked out, I might have to “make arrangements.”
  • Oh, and I can’t forget to tell you of an impromptu coffee I had with Marji this morning before work.  Her boat is docked across the river which she posted on FB last night.  I told her I was a ferry ride away and we made plans to have coffee.  I have to say it was minor miracle that I got out of the house before 8:30am much less arrive at a destination by 8:10am WITH TODDLER IN TOW, I might add.  I am impressed with myself.  We talked for what seemed like 5 minutes, but 40 minutes later, I had to go to work sadly.  I could have talked with Marji for hours!  I hope we meet again.

Marjorie and me!

  • I hope to start my coat muslin tonight.  I bought heavy muslin so I would have a more accurate idea re: fitting issues.  Wish me luck!

Happy sewing everyone!

10 responses to “Housekeeping

  1. Great idea to use heavier-weight muslin to test the coat fitting! Bullet pointed posts are A-OK, too, BTW. And yeah, I made arrangements for my Viking – posted it in the PR classifieds. No takers yet so I may go the Ebay route.

  2. I empathize about having to clean the sewing space in order to find things. (Keep in mind that my place is much smaller than yours!). I have no clue about the FW issue but hope someone else will chime in. It’s great to see that you are enjoying the FW. Glad you got to meet Marji – I should have been a fly on the wall :-).

  3. Does the FW have a drop in bobbin (the 66) or the standard vertical (the 15)?

    When you loosen the the top thread as much as you can, is the bobbin thread still too tight. Email me directly if you want to.

  4. I am doing almost no sewing and I still have to tidy the sewing desk twice a week. I just cover it in unpaid bills and other assorted rubbish…

    Been catching up with your blog (I am behind with everything): Purple Trench! Very exciting – will watch your fitting with great interest. Simplicity Sheath dress! I’ve been looking at that too. I never wear dresses much, but I like them. I think I don’t wear them because rtw in a dress doesn’t work for me – does it really work properly for anyone? I can’t see it.

  5. I’m so happy that you got to meet Marji! Isn’t she just awesome!

  6. There is a great Yahoo Group called “Vintage Singers”. It is very active and has TONS of really useful information. Your Featherweight is one of the favorite models, so there might be info there on your tension problem.

  7. I have a vintage Singer 201k. I had the same problems when I first brought mine home. It really just needed a service (about AUD$100) and then it has run like a dream for about 7 years, really worth the money to me!

  8. Congrats on the clean up and the meet up. I’m so glad you wore that dress to meet Marji.
    Isn’t the FW great? When I learned to sew on my mother’s when I was 10, I didn’t realize how small it was. It will go anywhere, fit anywhere, and weighs next to nothing–at least compared to it’s modern brethren (what’s the female equivalent of brethren?).
    And I just have to chuckle about how sewing can “consume” living areas. It’s sneaky that way. 🙂

  9. It’s worth getting your FW serviced, I was having similar problems with the tension when I got mine and as I’m not mechanically minded I had it serviced. I’m glad I did because the timing on my FW was out of sync and they had to do refile the rotary hook. (I really don’t know what this actually means, I’m just repeating what the guy told me!). I am now absolutely loving my FW, it’s so quiet and it stitches beautifully!

  10. You are so brave to be honest about your sewing area. Regarding your FW, have you seen this site – it has some great info about your old machine.

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