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dooley's Blog

Sewing Machines can drive you to drink

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:26 pm

Sewing machines can drive you to crazy sometimes. I was sewing along on a farm apron and sewed the last tie and only had about a six inch piece of velcro to finish it. So, what did the sewing machine do? It fell apart. They couldn't repair it at the shop. They would have had to send it somewhere and it would have cost an arm and a leg. So, no thanks! The sewing machine had served it's time. I sewed a lot of teddy bears, quilts and other things on it. We let it retire.
We bought a new sewing machine. The lady at the store went all through the parts and showed me how every thing worked and I thought "I can do this." We brought it home. I plugged it in and got out the instruction book. dr insists I read instructions!!
I sat down and read through the instruction book. I've been sewing most of my lifetime and all sewing machines work the same. Right! I wound the bobbin and threaded the machine and got a piece of material and put it under the presser foot, stepped on the treadle. It sewed just fine, right! Nope! It didn't sew at all. The feed dogs wouldn't feed the material through. So, out came the instruction book. dr came and read the instructions and I checked it and it didn't work. Why? I re-threaded the bobbin and the machine and it worked just fine. I did it the same way as the first time so why didn't it work the first time?
This morning it was making a clacking noise when I sewed. It's not supposed to make a clacking noise. So, out came the instruction book. It said if the machine makes noise it needs the feed dogs and bobbin area cleaned. So, I took it apart and cleaned it. There was nothing much there and it didn't matter because when I started to sew the noise was still there. I re-threaded everything. It didn't work this time. The clacking noise was still there. I thought maybe the switch that lowers the feed dogs might have gotten bumped. I took off the part that makes the sewing table and took out the little storage drawer and checked the switch. Nope, the switch was right where it was supposed to be. I switched it off and back on and tried it and it worked just fine. No clacking noise. Put everything back together, started to sew. Clacking noise is back. Took it all apart again. Tried it and it worked just fine. So, I put the things back on one at a time. When I put the little storage drawer back the noise started up again. The little storage drawer is for the extra parts they give you for when you need a different presser foot or quilting guide or some such thing. I dumped the parts on the table, put the drawer back in the machine. I tried it and WOW! It worked just fine. I put the extra parts elsewhere. Now, those extra parts were in that drawer all week so why did it just start it's clacking today?
I did a bit of sewing and finished a garden apron but needed to make a button hole. Now, with various sewing machines over the years I must have made at least a thousand button holes. I know how to make button holes and it's sure easy with a handy dandy button hole attachment. But, you don't have to use the attachment. The attachment is for if you want to make 103 buttonholes and have them all the same size and looking quite wonderful. I only wanted to make one buttonhole. In the instruction book, it gave directions for one button hole. I took a piece of scrap material and tried it and it made a good buttonhole. So, I put the apron in the machine and lowered the presser foot and sewed. Did it make a wonderful buttonhole. Nope! It sewed a zigzagged line clear across the material but didn't stop when I told it to go back. So, out came the instruction book. I may just wear that instruction book out one of these days. I wonder how much they charge for a new one? I read the instructions and I was doing it the same way so why wouldn't it make the second buttonhole. Went back and read about making the automatic buttonholes. Wow! There is a reset switch that you have to turn to do another buttonhole. But, where did it say that in the instruction book. Not under the instructions for one buttonhole. You had to read all the instructions for making their automatic fancy 103 buttonholes to find it. I only wanted to make one buttonhole so I read the instructions for making one buttonhole.
Sewing machines are a wonderful invention. They can save you lots of time to read the instruction book. They can also drive you to drink. It's a good thing I keep a pitcher of tea in the refrigerator.


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Update on totes and aprons

Category: Daily Happenings | Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:16 am

I've been thinking of doing an update on here about my aprons and totes. I've been doing okay selling them at the farmer's market and business is picking up. One of the produce gardeners asked me about making him an apron with a large pocket that he could put tomatoes in when he picks them. We started to work out the details and the other people at the market came over (there are five of them) and a lively discussion ensued and the result was two different aprons for picking produce. One for the man who wanted to pick tomatoes and another for the two who wanted to pick peas and okra and other produce. They wanted an opening at the bottom to empty the apron when they got to the end of the row. They are made on a reworked bib apron with a sort of tote pocket with a large entry on both sides and fastened under the top pocket with velcro. It went over great and I have made three of them and have orders for a couple more for the feed store. Then, Gaye and I were talking on Friday about a garden apron for ladies since the men had a farm apron. So, we looked at the bib aprons I had already made and reworked one on paper and I came home and sewed it. The men, of course, had their say in the design, too. It has three pockets across the middle for garden tools and gloves, a cell phone pocket at the top and a larger pocket that fastens with a button to hold herbs, flowers or kitchen garden produce. This and the farm apron are made with a slightly heavier material than the regular aprons. The farm aprons are denim and the garden aprons are from pink khaki material or duck. I'm not sure what you would call it. I bought it at the American Legion sale. Lots of it. That's what got us onto the subject of ladies aprons. I'm also making Halloween totes and Christmas gift bags. There is a mushroom festival in Madisonville on Oct.17th. While I am not going to set up at the festival the farmer's market is only a few blocks away on a main highway through town so we are bound to get some strays. The guy who runs the farmer's market has flyers out and has ads in the paper that we will still be there that day.
That's the good news. Now for the bad news! When I was sewing the denim farm apron this morning my sewing machine fell apart. I did the last tie for it and went over a thicker seam and the part that hold the needle came off of the shaft and it won't go back on it. Well, it goes back on but it doesn't stay. When you let go, it falls right off.
So, tomorrow we will go looking at sewing machines. It is not in our budget but we will look anyway and see what is available. Maybe? We'll see what happens! That's it. dooley

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