Singer 222 Darning and Embroidery Hoop

This is a review of the Singer Darning and Embroidery Hoop.

  • Part number: 171074;
  • Darning Foot Part Number: 171071;
  • Dimensions: Overall length 125mm, external diameter 63mm, internal diameter 50mm.

A two-part metal hoop comprising a sprung bottom section over which is stretched the fabric and a top section into which it snaps to secure the fabric and keep it evenly taut.  The top section also features a long handle with a slot down the middle along which runs a small rivet whose underside is shaped to hook securely into a rectangular hole to the right hand side of the chromed needle plate/bobbin cover of the 222k.

This embroidery hoop is designed just for the 222k – the aperture into which the attachment is secured does not exist on the 221k, which has the shorter, half-moon plate/cover more common to the Singer family.  Of course it is possible to use the hoop without anchoring it but as the correct use of the hoop is to gently guide it with the fingertips it is much easier to control the hoop’s progress with the end tethered securely as it can then, when in use, only describe a small circular movement appropriate for the surface area contained within the hoop.

I tried the darning hoop with a number of different darning solutions including a Hopping Foot 80251 and the one which came to me included with the hoop, the Darning Foot 171071.

I could not try the Spring Needle Clamp as it is not compatible with the needle bar of a 222k, nor with a Stoppax Darning Attachment and a Darning Spring as I have yet to acquire those two items.

The hopping foot did not give me sufficient room for manoeuvre within the cramped confines of the foot so the foot 171071 was the best.

Well, I say it was the best…it was an absolute beast to get the foot attached with the hoop in place but if you put the foot on first then you cannot move the foot high enough to slip the hoop underneath it and into its working position. (Edited to add: Further tests confirm that the tiny 121094 is perfect for use in this context.)

The hoop was, in use, ok and worked well but would require a great deal of practice and some very steady foot control before I would attempt anything like monogramming with it.  For this, I prefer to use hand embroidery and a larger, wooden hoop and for larger machine-mended darns I prefer to use the same wooden hoop as I do for my hand embroidery.  Depending on the nature of the darn, I also prefer to use the normal foot and pivot the work so that I am constantly sewing forwards across the area I am darning.  This degree of freedom is only possible if the hoop itself is free.

But back to the 222k Darning Hoop, what is my conclusion?  Well, if I’m honest I think it’s a bit of a gimmick.  For the size of darn it handles I can do it quicker by hand.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Singer Bias Binder Gauge

This has been on the end of my wanted list for some time; one of those little items which, while I won’t bust a gut to obtain one I would be happy to try out just to satisfy my curiosity.

It wasn’t an auspicious start as it was a little bit bent and I first had to fiddle about a little with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers to open the fold sufficiently to admit the tip of any scissors I possess.

I’d better explain.  The bias gauge is a tiny device fashioned from a narrow piece of doubled-over steel which ends in a splayed section which is bent to form a slot into which fits the end of the bottom blade of a pair of scissors.  The final piece is a tiny piece of blued steel which acts as a ‘stop’ which may be slid up the length of the gauge, controlling the width of the cut fabric. There are three markings on the gauge: F, B & C, marking the suggested widths for using as Facings, Bindings and Cording/Piping.

If you’re having trouble following this, I promise that photos will follow eventually but it’s been snowy today and I much prefer snow to fiddling around in Photoshop®.

Well the first problem I encountered was, as I mentioned, to get the gauge to fit onto the end of my scissors.  Modern scissors are very much thicker in the blade than older ones but luckily I had a pair of vintage ones which fitted ok.  It did, however, keep flicking off which was a bit of a pain, and if I jammed it on harder it interfered with the scissors closing properly.

All became simpler when I realised that the error was born of my own bad habit of cutting small items up off the table instead of flat upon it and as soon as I placed the fabric back down upon the table and cut the strip with the blade (and the bottom of the attachment) resting upon the table, all was well and the strip was cut with ease.

The gauge is a quick and accurate method of cutting bindings and I recommend it.  Just be sure that you have some fairly narrow bladed shears or be prepared to jemmy the gauge open a little.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Pinafore Progress

This is coming along well, although as is usual with me it is developing rather than progressing towards a pre-conceived conclusion.  This is undoubtedly why I’ve never bought a pattern in my life – I can’t rigidly follow a set of instructions as I am too fond of inventing improvements along the way.

In the case of this, the two main “improvements” are reversibility and expandability.  The first I am still undetermined over; much depends on my coming up with a design which I am happy with although again as I write this I think I have reached a conclusion about that.  The lining will be embroidered in blue forget-me-knots I think.  That will give a completely different ‘look’ to the main fabric which is a cool green velvet, trimmed with dusky pink velvet ribbon and whipped running stitch in a glossy, cotton ‘Perle’ DMC thread in seaside-rock pink.

I cannot settle on any of the buttons I have but have have an idea which involves washers so I must head into town today in search of fibre washers.  We will have to wrap up very warmly though because it is snowing here in North Yorkshire and I think I will be grateful for the sensible boots I bought on Monday.  Ugg boots would be a complete waste of money for me; I spend too much time tramping through mud and dampness so these are like an extended galosh; rubber foot section extending up to mid-calf with a draw-string cordura upper and as they are fleece lined they are every bit as snug as an Ugg but practical for puddles and snow and much easier to walk in than wellies.

Right, I’m off to make a shopping list.  I also need a tiny crochet hook.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Pattern Cutting – Morplan Pattern Paper

Thanks to a small but timely tax rebate I have been able to buy myself a big roll of pattern paper from Morplan.  Yes, I know you can use bank paper, lining paper, greaseproof paper, agricultural fleece, the rolls of paper used for examination tables in GP surgeries and yes, I guess I could also sellotape together all that scratchy, ‘Izal’ toilet paper that my mother has kept stockpiled in her airing cupboard since the early ’70s too but the point is it’s all a bit of a pain, isn’t it?  Also, it’s never quite big enough.

If you’re getting creative and want to do your own pattern cutting there are a few things which you really can’t improvise or stint on, however indoctrinated you are by ‘Blue Peter’.

Pattern Cutting Essentials:

  • A proper grader’s square.  It doesn’t have to be  a Morplan “Pattern Master” or a Shoben “Fashion Curve” but it does need to be a decent size (50cm along the hypotenuse) and with a 45 degree angle marked across it for when marking an accurate bias line on pattern pieces.  Morplan sell them.
  • A flexible, transparent ruler marked in centimeters and millimeters across its surface.
  • Proper pattern cutting paper.  Preferably nice and thin – 40 or 45 gsm or thereabouts – and plain.  I know some people like the ‘dot & cross’ or the numbered paper but to me these markings are an annoying distraction and as the paper tends to be thicker too (around 60 gsm) make it harder still to see through and trace lines from pattern pieces placed underneath.
  • A proper, needle-spoked pattern tracing wheel.

That’s it, really.  A cutting mat is good, too, and a craft knife for cutting out the paper pattern pieces.  Not a rotary thing; just a normal, small craft knife.  I discovered this while I was at college: it is much quicker, and a great deal more accurate, to cut with a knife than with scissors.  It’s just like tracing a line with your finger along the line you have already drawn and is much easier to handle than using scissors on such a large and unwieldy piece of paper.

Pattern notchers and a pattern drill are nice, additional extras if you can get them at a decent price.  If not, just use your craft knife and wait for the people who drop out of or graduate from fashion college to put theirs on e-bay.

I’m really pleased that my paper is here – I finally feel I can be properly creative…and free from the guilt at taking paper from the roll I bought at Ikea for the baby to paint and scribble on!

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Mix and Match Separates

Today’s project is the beginnings of an outfit for a dear little girl who will shortly celebrate her first birthday.  It has to come out of my existing stash because I can’t afford any new fabric at present and because 90% of my stash is creams, beiges and white linens and cottons this is a bit of a challenge as I really want to make something which is pretty but also practical and warm.

I’ve decided on a deep jade glazed cotton and a matching cotton velvet and want to make a little mini-dress length pinafore in velvet, to be worn with matching cotton knickers, a little ruffled skirt, or both.

The green is a very pretty, cool shade but as it is quite a strong colour nevertheless I will be tempering it with some cool, mid pinks in my hand embroidery to add a bit of ‘prettiness’ and notch up the good-taste a little but without altering the overall practicality of the garments.

I will post some progress, together with photos, as I get the chance to move forward with this.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

In Praise of Vintage

..and why I hate many modern ones.

It seems that at least twice a week I see a new reason to be grateful for my vintage machines.

While I wait for my infant offspring to grow large enough to attend pre-school and allow me some regular sewing time I am feeding my habit by being a regular contributor on a sewing machine forum.  The cries for help are both frequent and worrying – it’s not the questions that alarm me, but the validity of the answers.

Things which ought never to be a problem somehow are and that makes me so annoyed on behalf of their owners because I see a host of sad sewing machine owners, many of them new to their hobby, ending up so subjugated by their tetchy machines that they spend more time trying to appease them than use them.

This in turn can prove to be such a disincentive that the sewer is forced out of their interest by the downright tetchiness of their wretched machine.  In their modesty they are much quicker to blame themselves and their own inexperience than their machine – even when we the more experienced sewers see otherwise.

Even if it is their fault, it’s usually a small and honest mistake which any decent machine would forgive and get on with instead of hurling itself into a hissy fit of thread knots before breaking the needle, pinging the broken piece up into your eye before burying its own down into the depths of the bobbin case which jams it up entirely, lassoes the thread around the hook, pieces of which thread penetrate the most unfathomable crevices and just as a finale, throws the timing out.*

* Ok, maybe my imagination is running a little wild here but not by much.

I often finish a piece of advice with the semi-playful observation that I am now going to go and stroke and kiss my lovely machines (inferring that they are delightfully trouble-free, which is true; they are).

Sewing machines have just become too complicated for anyone’s good…apart from the manufacturers who use all of this extra fuss to bamboozle us into believing that they are in some way worth their eye-wateringly high price tags.  Now I’m not against paying high prices – the early sewing machines often cost many months and in some cases years’ wages – but unlike their modern equivalents these old ones were made to last and had a beautiful lockstitch – surely the most basic of all sewing requirements – so is it really so unreasonable for me to expect you, the manufacturer to please give me that before you start baffling me with all this faff and gadgetry?

I get really annoyed on new sewers’ behalf that so many of them will never have sewn on a machine with a decent lockstitch and so don’t even know what they’re missing.

I…want…to…sew.  I’ve enjoyed a very rewarding career in computers, thanks and I don’t need or indeed want to revisit that with my sewing; especially as I don’t have, as I had then, a talented and enthusiastic team of experts giving me back-up.  I don’t want to sit there poking and squinting myopically at a touch-screen, one hand on the manual or, worse still, staring at the machine squatting in sullen unresponsive blankness and wondering whether it’s the screen that’s failed or the electrics… or finding some impenetrable error message displayed which I can’t cancel and which means I have to call the helpline only to waste 30 minutes finding that it needs a trip to the mechanic, waste another 40 minutes arranging this with the mechanic, poking around in the loft trying to find the original packaging, boxing it up and then finding and arranging a courier and then maybe waste another fourteen days waiting for it to come back fixed with a note saying there was a half micron of lint which had settled on a sensor somewhere and now I’m so terrified of getting a repeat that I barely dare use it in case I’m using the wrong thread.  So I need a second machine in case this happens again and that will cost me yet more money still and what guarantee do I have that it’ll be any better than this one…and now I’m utterly paranoid.  Why can’t I just have a machine that lets me sew?

Repeat this as a mantra and believe it:

I don’t need sensors to tell me when my bobbin thread is running low: I have eyes and I have common sense.

I don’t need automatic thread cutting: I have scissors.

If I must trade seven scruffily stitched alphabets for a decent lockstitch then so be it: I know which one I’ll use more.

I will cope without automatic threading, the decorative crocodiles and the bicycles.

I need a good, fully adjustable stitch, tension which is easy to adjust and calibrate and to use any old thread I like, top or bottom, whether it matches or not.

I can sit down at my Singers, thread them up and go.  I can set the stitch length exactly as I need it, tighten the thumb screw to the left of it and happily throw the lever up into reverse and then push it back down again, assured that it will stop in exactly the same place as it was previously set.  Now that’s cleverness I can use.

And did I mention I have the attachments to do buttonholes and blind stitch too?

I’m now going to go and hug my machines again.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

More Hemstitching

I’ve been asked to cover hemstitching in more detail so I’m going to cover three of the most common finishes: a narrow hemmed, open hemstitch; a wider version of the same and finally a closed hemstitch which offsets the hemstitch against the background fabric.

Hemstitching done with the hemstitching fork gives a similar result to drawn threadwork although in its method it is more similar to faggoting in that it uses a thread to span two fabric pieces rather than punch and stitch a pierced design through the fabric.

There is more than one brand of hemstitching fork available including the Stoppax, the Nu-Way and one marketed as being for the Husqvarna which is a modern equivalent of the Nu-Way.  Only the Husqvarna one is still in production so if you see one of the older style ones at a reasonable price it is worth snapping it up.

For a bold hemstitch, use a long stitch length and bring the upper tension right down, even to zero.  This will give a widely spaced, deep hemstitch and give a nicely proportioned finish, should be worked with a thickish thread and a thick needle.  If a fine, narrow hemstitching is required, use a fine needle, a slender thread, a smaller stitch length and a normal (or even slightly tightened) thread tension.  If in doubt, just experiment with some spare fabric scraps until you get a finish you’re happy with.

To do a narrow-hemmed hemstitched row, fold the fabric around the hemstitch fork, place it under the foot, looped end towards you and sew down the gap between the parallel bars of the attachment.  When you reach the end, remove the fabric and the hemstitcher from the machine and, taking care not to pull the threads when you do so, slide out the hemstitch fork.  This will leave a loosely stitched tunnel and it is this tunnel which is slashed open and the sides smoothed apart to reveal the stitches.  For best results, press this open before continuing.

Sewing along the gap in the hemstitch fork.

The loose stitch line securing the fold.

Cutting the fold open. Scissors are better than a seam ripper if you have some with sufficiently narrow blades.

Once pressed open, it is necessary to deal with the raw edges.  For the sake of this tutorial I have done a narrow hem, using my narrow zipper foot to get in nice and close to the edge of the hemstitching while still having good access to the fabric.  An alternative would be to finish this with braid or a decorative satin stitch which would seal in the raw edge out of view.

The seam cut open and ready to press and stitch down.

Sewing a narrow hem to neaten the edges.

The finished hemstitch. I have used contrasting thread to better show the detailing but would usually choose thread to match the fabric.

A wider hem can be achieved in just the same way as described above but first sew a line of basting stitches to act as the fold against which the hemstitching fork is pressed when in use.  The fold is then cut open in the usual way, the basting thread removed and the item pressed.  The raw edges can then be turned in and sewn down as before.  In this case I find it useful to also sew a line of stitching close to the edge of the hemstitching to keep the finish crisp and neat.

Line of basting stitches against which to place the hemstitch fork for a wider margin.

The line sewn along the central gap, with the outer edge formed by the line of basting stitch. The basting can now be removed.

The basting thread removed, the fold is cut open and folded back ready to be pressed and neatened.

Topstitching a line close to the edge of the hemstitching. This will be repeated on the other side.

Close-up of the hemstitching.

The wider margins shown hemmed and sewn down. This forms a handy margin into which to place some decorative topstitching.

It is not necessary to cut open the fold after the hemstitch fork is removed.  If preferred it may be folded and pressed back and a line of stitching placed close to each side of the hemstitching to secure the fold behind the hemstitching.  You might like to thread in some braid or ribbon to give a contrast, too.

The folded edge, hemstitched and ready to fold & press back.

Topstitching, worked as closely as possible to the ends of the hemstitching, gives a neat finish and anchors the fold securely behind the exposed hemstitching.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Morplan Notchers

Oh how I longed for my own pair of notchers.  Right from when I started my fashion qualifications in 1983.  Right the way through my degree course.  But, as all things in the student world are ultimately balanced against how much of a night out could be bought for the same money, the notchers repeatedly lost and I gained, in their place, countless nights out and a bunch of friends I count on as such to this very day so I can’t say it was a bad trade-off.

For those of you unfamiliar with notchers, they are typically available in three cutting widths; 1mm, 2mm or 3mm and they do exactly what the name suggests – cut a notch.  They are used in pattern making and block making and are used to create a notch in the edge of the pattern or block which corresponds to an important point which will, on the paper pattern piece be marked with a pencil mark made through the notch which mark will, in turn, be notched and, on the fabric, snipped through to mark the sewing line, the balance marks on the sleevehead/armhole, the outside extremeties of darts and anything else that needs to be marked on to the fabric.

Occasionally I would visit the Morplan website just on the off chance that they had dipped within budget and even e-bay seemed to be stalked by the pattern-savvy so no joy there either.  Then finally, a few days ago providence smiled on me as a “Buy It Now” arose at £5 for a beautiful pair of notchers.  I’m not sure whether they’re the standard or the deluxe ones and nor do I really care – I have my notchers!

They arrived this morning and I am delighted with them.  They cut a perfect 2mm notch and I can now proceed with my current project – that of creating a block for the perfect pair of trousers, but that’s a separate blog entry…

Notchers

Notchers close-up and the 2mm notch created with them.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

My Dad’s War

A bit of a digression from sewing today.  I’m feeling a bit mawkish and missing my Dad so thought I’d share how he spent his war.

My Dad couldn’t swim a stroke.  In some professions this wouldn’t really matter but Dad was a Merchant Seaman, a First Radio Officer.  He said it was the best job on the ship because of all the crew he was the one person without whom the ship simply could not sail and as he was not needed at all during the loading and unloading of the cargo, which took a good few days back in pre-container days, he had plenty of time to go onshore and prove his conviction.

He signed on and off 51 ships 151 times over a career spanning 43 years. He gained his certificate on the 23rd March 1938 and joined his first ship, the “Nova Scotia” on 5th May 1938, just before his 19th birthday.  On his first trip he sailed from Liverpool to Halifax, Nova Scotia; to St Johns Newfoundland; Boston USA and then back to Liverpool.  He left his last ship, the MV “Tipperary”, on 19th August 1981.

Dad left Antwerp on 5th January 1939, aboard the “CID” and went to Chatham to load 3000 tons of ammunition.  The ship left Chatham and went to Gibraltar, Malta and Alexandria.  She then went on manoeuvres with the fleet in the Mediterranean, off Alexandria.

My Dad

From Alexandria, they were sent to Cyprus, (Famagusta) for a rest and then went out again on manoeuvres with the fleet.  The “CID” was sailing as an ammunition ship – others were sailing as store ships etc.  Ammo ships had an escort, and the “CID”’s escort was HMS “Sea Lion”, a submarine.  The submarine travelled in the wake of the ship so as to avoid creating a separate wake that could be detected from the air – all aircraft being treated as enemies.

HMS “Sea Lion” veered off sideways and created a separate wake and this was seen by an aircraft, reported to HMS “Ghurka”, a destroyer on the enemy side who arrived to ‘sink’ both the ship and the submarine.  SS “CID” took off the navigator from the submarine and returned him to Alexandria.

Later on in Alexandria, Dad met up with the crew of the seaplane who had sighted them, and from them learned about the extra wake.

The “CID” left Alexandria and entered the Suez Canal.  She anchored in the middle of the Great Bitter Lake while the decision was made whether to send her to Aden or to Alexandria.  Alexandria won and on the day war broke out the “CID” left Great Bitter Lake and dropped anchor at the harbour entrance at Alexandria.

The ship stayed swinging around the anchor, never lifting her anchor until July 1941, when she went on to Bombay.  Dad finally left her on 23rd Aug 1941.

My Dad

During the period in Alexandria Dad was enjoying himself, including a good –and indeed memorable – night out with an Australian RNR Lieutenant who was stationed on a Minesweeper, HMS “Bagshot”.  The “CID” was anchored all the way out at the harbour entrance so when, walking back to their respective vessels at 3 or 4am, “Bagshot” turned out to be closer, Dad accepted an invitation to bed down there for the night and return to “CID” at a slightly more conventional hour.  As it happened, he woke at 6am to find himself out minesweeping at the harbour entrance, finally arriving back in harbour at 2pm in the afternoon.  Dad got a boat back to the “CID” and never had any trouble from it, but when he later met up with his friend he discovered that he, the lieutenant, was transferred from HMS “Bagshot” to HMS “Maidstone”, (a submarine depot ship) and confined to ship for three weeks.

The “CID” was due to be dry-docked so she was emptied of ammunition and filled up with empty shell cases from the evacuation of Crete.  She then set out for Bombay, without a convoy, to be laid up in dry dock to have her hull cleaned of barnacles.

After Bombay she sailed on to Suez, where Dad was transferred to the “Foreland”, another ammunition ship.  He sailed down to Massawa in Eritrea, on the Red Sea and spent another 14 months swinging around the anchor, doing nothing.  Eventually the ship set sail to Mombassa.  The ship had insufficient coal for the journey to Mombassa, as the maximum speed was 8 knots so they had to go via Aden for bunkers (coal).  The ship then returned to Massawa from Mombassa, again via Aden.

On the way to Mombassa the ship ran aground, so dry-docked in Mombassa to check for leaks.  Luckily there were no leaks; only some bent plates.  This trip was repeated twice more, sometimes with a convoy, sometimes alone.  If a convoy was present, the escort (a whaler) left the ship after 500 miles so the rest of the trip was done without escort.

The “Foreland” next went to Cape Town for dry-docking.  She arrived there in mid November 1944 and Dad spent two months living ashore in Cape Town, including Christmas and New Year.

When she left Cape Town, “Foreland” sailed for Mombassa, via Durban for bunkers.  From Mombassa she proceeded to Aden with no convoys at all, took on more bunkers, headed through the Suez Canal and then up through the Mediterranean to Gibraltar.  She was still without convoy and was still carrying ammunition.

In short, Dad left home with a full cargo of ammunition and also arrived back with a full cargo of ammunition.  The ship left Gibraltar 3 days before the end of the war in Europe, still with no convoy.  Dad arrived in Preston on 15th May 1945, came home on leave and whilst there, the war in the Far East finished too.

Dad joined his next ship, the “Samindoro”, on 15th November 1945, bound for the West Indies.  He left the ship on 14 Jan 1946.

During this period Dad saw neither a ship sunk, nor a shot fired in anger at sea, nor a depth charge dropped.  An air raid conducted every Friday night on the harbour in Alexandria represented the only enemy action encountered.  There were a couple of dramas which Dad recalled: firstly, a small coaster (to carry 500 tons) which was at anchor near the ship was emptied of ammunition and once emptied, had half her stern blown off by a small bomb.  Then, some time after Dad had left; a ship was sunk in Alexandria Harbour.  Dad said they felt safe in the harbour as the fleet had erected a box barrage above it.  The navy did not engage; it was left to the army on shore to shoot down the planes.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Facelift for a Featherweight

It’s not exactly that I don’t like the striated, deco-style face plates but I’d be lying if I said I preferred them so as she is in every other respect perfect, I recently weakened and purchased a scroll-faced one for my little 222k Featherweight so she could match her big sisters, the 201ks.

Like all things to do with vintage Singers, it was extremely simple to change it: simply undo a thumbscrew and lift off.

Singer 222k old faceplate

Singer 222k new faceplate

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

A Little Cotton Shirt

This is the little cotton shirt I made for a friend’s baby boy for his first birthday present. The fabric was cream poplin, the buttons were vintage linen laundry buttons from my stash.

The pintucking on the front bodice section.

Shaping the front neck by eye.

Shaping the back neck.

Piecing the shirt.

Pinning and basting the collar.

The finished shirt.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Embellished Wedding Shoes

Here are the shoes I embellished for my wedding. With the help of hand stitching and a glue gun I secured pieces of guipure lace across the tops and the tongues of the shoes, added a few tiny little clear and pearl beads and added some colour accents in pale salmon pink Pearsalls silk floss from my step great grandmother’s stash.

My Wedding Shoes

The shoes with a small drawstring bag I made to match them using tulle over wide satin ribbon, organza ribbon and more of the lace, embroidery and beading.

Detail of the lace, embroidery and beading.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

A Handmade, Linen Christening Outfit

This is my son’s christening outfit. It was totally handmade from approximately a metre of pure, white linen, ten matching mother-of-pearl baby buttons from my grandmothers stash (Dad’s side) and embroidered with ivory and grey Pearsall silk floss from my step-great grandmother’s stash (Mother’s side).

The shirt is made entirely from squares and rectangles, the sole exception being a slight slant put on the shoulders. The shoulders themselves have a yoke, from which hangs a placketed front and back bodice worked with pintucking, fastened with small rouleaux loops and tiny, mother-of-pearl buttons. The collar is, like the bodice, exactly the same front and back and is set across the shoulders to fold back down upon itself across them. The sleeves are square set, with diamond gussets to allow the arm some movement and there are small, triangular gussets strengthening the bottom of the side seams also. All visible seams are made by the French Seam method. Top stitching was done as a whipped running stitch in embroidery floss.

A little pair of shorts with turned-up cuffs decorated with whipped running stitch completed the outfit.

Being dunked in the same font as Grandad gives a boy an appetite to match.

View of the back of the bodice.

Side view showing the yoke.

Wider side shot showing also the triangle gussets at the bottom of the side seams.

Basting the placket openings and the collar pieces. The underarm gusset is clearly visible as is the whipped running stitch on the bodice and tucks.

close up of pinning and basting the collar.

Sewing the rouleaux into the placket front.

The completed outfit.

The cuff buttons.

The finished neckline and collar.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Singer Hemstitcher & Picot Edger

The Singer Hemstitcher and Picot Edger is often mooted as one of the rarer, ‘must have’ attachments but in truth my experiences with it were disappointing. It’s not that it doesn’t work; it does. The difficulty lies in obtaining easily a result which is both neat and evenly tensioned on both sides. Because only a single needle is in play, it is necessary to make two passes at the hemstitched row; the first one pierces the holes and zig zags a row of stitching which enters each hole and pulls back and secures it open on the right hand side. When the end of the row is reached, it is essential to stop with the piercer depressed through the fabric so that it acts as a pivot around which the fabric is swivelled through 180 degrees. The second pass is then sewn, again forming the same zig zag, with the needle now drawing back and securing the second side of the hemstitching. The piercer should reenter the same holes as it made on the previous pass.

That’s the theory. In practice it is difficult to get the zig zag to form an exact mirror image of the one made in the previous pass so the holes often appear a little skewed and there are often stray threads snaking diagonally across the corners of the holes formed (insomuch as a circle can have corners). The result is not as neat as the rows sewn on a proper, dedicated hemstitching machine, the majority of which use twin needles.

The attachment is not very adjustable; because of the necessity for the piercer to drop at a predetermined point in the zig zag’s passage it is not possible to adjust the stitch length. It is possible, however, to fine tune the zig zag width by adjusting the position of the piercer in relation to where the needle falls although the primary purpose of this adjustment is to allow the needle to fall exactly in the right place – to the right hand side of the pierced hole. The piercer can also be adjusted forwards/backwards to properly allow it to pass through the hole in the throat plate, which is a raised plate screwed in place over the feed dogs, replacing the usual feed dog plate.

When finding these attachments it is essential to make sure that you have the right throat plate for your machine. If, however you have a 99/66, a 201/15, a 127/8 and a 221/222 then you don’t need to worry because unless your 66 is a 66-1 whatever you get it’ll fit one of the above.

The attachment itself is part number 121387 and is the same for all the models listed below.
The extra long thumb screw is 51347A and is the same for all models listed below.

The throat plates vary and are numbered as follows:

Class 15 & 201: 121388

Class 66* & 99: 121389

Class 101: 121390

Class 127 & 128: 121391 (including screw 202J)

Class 221: 121392

* with the exception of the 66-1.

I tried this attachment on a double layer of stiff calico and a double layer of a cotton twill. Both gave less than perfect results, even after as many adjustments as I was able to make. I don’t doubt for a minute that the fabric might better behave if it were starched stiffly first but I cannot guarantee that the result would, after washing, be any better than had the fabric not been starched as the untidy result seemed firmly lodged in the ability to get the stitch rows catching the hole in the same position rather than the ability for the needle to catch and draw back the hole.

One more hint if you are still determined to buy and try one for yourself: the rubber sleeves which feed the fabric are often perished or at best shiny and not able to feed the fabric. These can be easily replaced by the same heat-shrink insulation tube used to improve the safety of old wiring.

Me? I’m going to stick with my Stoppax Hemstitching Fork.

New rubber soles for the feet. My husband shrunk on a double layer of heat-shrink insulation tube and this works very well.

Hemstitcher on the machine, showing the piercer correctly positioned in line with the hole in the throat plate.

Photo showing the correct position for the piercer in relation to the turned and pressed hem.

Photo (blurry, I’m afraid) showing the resultant hemstitched rows.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Singer (Non-Template) Buttonhole Attachment

This is a review for the non-template Buttonholer; the old type with the bight, zig zag and buttonhole length adjustable by wing nuts. The stitch length is adjusted by using a screwdriver to turn a pointer from short to long.

The attachment (in its completed state rather than constituent parts) has the part number 86662.

I bought this attachment as I was curious to compare it against the Griest template type attachment I already owned and I further justified its purchase by the additional versatility it offers by allowing you to change the cutting width.

Ideally this should be just wide enough to allow the buttonhole to be cut open without cutting the stitches but not so wide that there is sufficient fabric to fray once this is done. The template style buttonholers do not allow this to be adjusted so on thin fabrics especially it is certainly an advantage to be able to adjust this.

Having said that, because the attachment is indeed so adjustable it is essential to do some test buttonholes on some scraps until you are happy that the cutting width, the bight (zig zag width) and the stitch length are all correct. Having the stitch length correct is worth taking your time over as this is the one which controls how densely the zig zag stitch is created – for thick fabrics which will fray easily you will probably want to have this set to a fairly close stitch but a long zig zag width but for fine fabrics you will need to have the density reduced so that the button hole is soft and not like a solid mass of thread. Unlike the other adjustments which are made by sliding a wing nut, it is adjusted using a screwdriver to move a pointer between L, N and S (long, normal, short).

Once you have made a buttonhole with which you are happy, these adjustments will stay put until you change them so there is no need to recalibrate the settings ahead of each in a long row of buttonholes but it is definitely worth taking the time to do some test pieces first and get this right. It is not idiot proof and if you are whack the bight size right up to maximum and the cutting width down to minimum then the two sides of the buttonhole will overlap and you won’t have anywhere to cut the buttonhole open at all!

Use the right needle and thread for the fabric and this will give you as nice a buttonhole as any I’ve seen. The maximum is about 1 1/16″ (the same as the Griest template ones) but it is possible to make them longer by moving the plate forwards before the attachment sews the end bar – there are increments marked on the plate to make it easy to measure by how much you need to move the plate forwards. Full directions for this are given in the instruction leaflet.

Overview of the attachment showing the adjustment screws for bight, cutting width and (the screw in the triangular aperture on the side of the attachment) the stitch length.Photo showing the plate in which the buttonhole is sewn and the small ‘pusher’ which helps push the fabric back flat after each stitch is formed.

Photo showing the buttonhole length adjustment and the wing nut by which the attachment is turned through its stitch cycle.

Photo showing the plate in which the buttonhole is sewn and the small ‘pusher’ which helps push the fabric back flat after each stitch is formed.

Photo showing the resultant buttonhole sewn with an average cutting width on a double thickness of cotton twill curtain lining. This buttohole has been worked around twice and judging by this photo the machine would have benefited from having the top tension loosened a bit.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Griest/Greist Template Buttonholer Attachment

Griest buttonhole attachments were made in the following model numbers, each for a different style of machine:

#1 Side Screw Clamping – Singer, White, Brother, Morse, Atlas, Kenmore, Domestic, Free Westinghouse and most all imported straight stitch sewing machines.

#2 Top Clamping – White, Kenmore, Domestic, Majestic, Franklin, Worlds, Dressmaker and all Rotary machines made by White & Domestic Sewing Machine Corp.

#3 Top Clamping – Kenmore (49, 71, 76), Free Rotary, Free-Westinghouse, New Home (Rotary), Stratford, Most all machines made by Free & New Home Sewing Machine Company.

#4 Top Clamping – Eldredge, National, Montgomery Ward, All machines made by National Sewing Machine Company.

#5 Slant Needle – Singer only.

#6 Low Bar (1/2”) – Left Needle Position Zig Zag and Automatic Machines.

#7 High Bar (1”) – Left Needle Position Zig Zag and Automatic Machines.

#8 All Pfaff Sewing Machines except models 139, 239, 1221 and 1222.

#9 All Necchi Straight Stitch and all Low (1/2”) Centre Needle Position Zig Zag and Automatic Machines.

#10 All Necchi, Pfaff (Models 139 and 239) and High Bar (1”) Centre Needle Position Zig Zag and Automatic Machines.

Low and High Bar are different terms for low and high shank.
Left Needle Position and Centre Needle Position refer to the resting position of the needle before it commences a straight stitch. In other words, is the needle at the centre of the slot in the needle plate or is it to the left of it.  The model numbers are printed on the end of the box.

In use, these are definitely the easiest button hole attachments with which to achieve a well tensioned and nicely balanced buttonhole.   The attachment comes with five templates, one of which is already in place in the machine.  These standard templates are 5/16”, 5/8”, 13/16”, 11/16” for straight buttonholes and 11/16” for the keyhole type.  Additional templates are available as 3/8”,  1/2”,  15/16” for the straight type, 5/8” for the keyhole and an eyelet style.  Each template has a guide on the back of it so that the button may be placed against it to reckon the right one to use.

The stitch width may be adjusted by moving the slider on the side of the attachment to “N” for narrow, “W” for wide and any point in between.  It is usual to use a narrow setting for small buttonholes and a wider one for longer buttonholes as this is generally more in keeping, visually, with the overall proportions of the finished buttonhole but you may, of course, adjust this accordingly if your fabric is, for example, thin and your button large.

A feed dog plate is provided with the machine but as this affects the amount of clearance under the attachment, do just dispense with it and drop the feed dogs if this is possible on your machine.

It is possible to make a larger buttonhole than the size of the template will allow.  This is done by twisting the adjustment knob which moves the template through its cycle and stopping when the needle position is in line with the second line from the front of the cloth clamp on the left hand side as you face it.  This is now your new starting position and when you have run the attachment through its cycle until it reaches the same point on the opposite side to where you started, stop with the needle down in the fabric, carefully raise the presser foot lever.  1″ of your buttonhole is accounted for in what you have already done so you need now to decide how much bigger it needs to be.  Each line on the cloth clamp represents and extra 1/8 “ on the buttonhole.  If two lines will suffice, move the adjustment knob clockwise to cycle around the open end, down the left hand side (as you look at it), around the bottom and then take care to stop when the needle is level with the chosen guide line on the clamp.  Drop the presser foot lever and continue to sew.  This will allow the correct extra length to be added to the resultant buttonhole.  That may sound fiddly, but is an excellent way of achieving an extra-long buttonhole where some modern machines would certainly fail to allow it, guided (and limited) as they are by the diameter of the button which  will fit in the buttonhole foot.

The Griest Buttonholer and templates.

The standard templates supplied with the attachment.

The buttonholer in use.

The finished buttonhole.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Hemmer Feet

This is a set of hemmer feet which, along with a quilting guide, may be attached to a side-clamping, low shank machine using the cording foot which accompanies the attachments but which features a thumbscrew at the back of the foot which secures the hemmers in place.  The cording foot itself attaches to the side-clamp in the usual way.

The hemmers themselves work much as you would expect, and whilst they are a bit fiddly to get started, a bit of spare thread knotted to the fabric at the start of the proposed hem edge gives something to hold on to when initially coaxing the fabric around the curve of the attachment.  Once started, they are wonderful and give an excellent, neat finish.

The Hemmers and Quilting Guide lined up on the 201k machine bed.

One of the hemmers in place on the 201k, ready to sew.

The hemmer in use.

The finished hem.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Stoppax Hemstitching Fork

This is by far my favourite way to create hemstitching.   I also have a Singer Hemstitcher & Picot Edger attachment but this is far simpler to use and gives, to my mind a much more predictably neat result.

The Stoppax Hemstitching Fork

The hemstitch fork positioned and ready to sew.

To use it, the hemstitch fork is inserted into a fold of or between two layers of fabric with the closed end facing the user and the needle positioned to stitch between the parallel bars of the attachment.

The fabric is then folded and pressed back (slitting the fold open if necessary) and then narrow-hemmed down on either side of the topstitched row or else finished with some ornamental topstitching as shown here.

Pressed open and finished with some decorative satin stitching from the Bernina 830.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Vintage Singer Feet Identification

These are all feet used by straight stitch Singer sewing machines.

1: Four-position Ruffler (Simanco 86642)
2: Two-position Ruffler (Simanco 120290)
3: Tuck Marker (Simanco 36583)
4: Stoppax Hemstitching Fork
5: Rolled Hemmer (Simanco 35857)
6: Hopping Foot (Pfaff 80251)
7: Gathering/Shirring Foot (Simanco 121441)
8: Low shank, multi-slot binder with guide pins (Simanco 160359)
9: Standard issue binder (Simanco 121464)
10: Multi-slot binder (Simanco 55414)
11: Quilting Guide & Foot (Simanco 35932)
12: Adjustable Hemmer (Simanco 35931)
13: Zipper Foot (Simanco 121877)
14: Hinged, narrow zipper foot (Simanco 161127)
15: Cording foot and for use with 16-21 (Simanco 25510)
16: Quilt Guide (use with 15) (Simanco 25515)
17-21: Hemmers (use with 15) (Simanco 25509, -11, -12, -13 & -14)
22 & 23: Seam Guide & bed screw (Simanco 25527)
24: Underbraider (Simanco 121547)
25: Hinged straight stitch foot (Simanco 45321)
26: Darning foot (Simanco 171071, cannot be used with Featherweights unless thread cutter is removed)
27: Edge Stitcher (Simanco 36865)

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Singer 222k Featherweight

This machine is perfect where space is at a premium. 9 ½ inches long (15” with the extension flap down) it can be picked up and moved with one hand, weighing only 11lb. It is made, I believe, from cast aluminium (or similar, light alloy). It packs away snugly into a very compact 14 x 10 x 8 inch case, making it very easy to transport and the hard case, leather-bound, is smart and offers excellent protection against knocks and bumps.

Because it is a low-shank, side-clamping machine it uses standard Singer feet. The 222k has a shorter distance between the face plate and the needle bed than say, a 201k (2” compared to 2 ½ “). It also features the twin thumb screw holes in the bed which allow it to use industrial attachments.

Unlike its elder sister the 221, the 222k can drop its feed dogs, allowing for free-form embroidery. The other main difference is that the 222k has a free-arm facility. The free arm circumference is an extremely dainty 7” (that of my Bernina 830 Record measures 9”) making it perfect for setting the relatively small cuffs in childrenswear.

Stitches are restricted to straight stitch only, plus reverse, but are of a quality and evenness which is scarcely seen in modern machines. Stitch length may be anything between 6 and 30 stitches per inch, with increments marked at 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20 and 30.

The bobbin is mounted vertically across the end of the machine. It is very slim, so holds less thread than a standard one.

There are two levers on the front of a 222k; one to switch between “sew” and “darn” (to drop the feed dogs) and the other to alter the stitch length with increments as previously noted. The free arm is obtained by loosening the thumb screw at the base of the pillar and gently easing the flat bed section to the left.

The standard foot pedal is the Singer button type, which is not particularly easy to control so we have, on mine, rewired the plug to a new, clam-shell foot pedal. We also replaced the main flex and checked the wiring in the motor (well ok, I say “we” – my husband did it).

The 222k uses standard, domestic needles. The harp is 5” long by 4” high. For comparison, my 201k is 8” x 5 ½ “and my Bernina 7 ¼ “x 4 ½ “). In use, the machine is both smooth and quiet. It has an extremely good lamp, mounted at the front of the machine that takes an easily sourced, low-wattage bulb.

I wouldn’t recommend the 222k for heavy, frequent use but as a machine for domestic dressmaking, general repairs and light upholstery such as piecing together patchwork then I can’t think of another machine which is so small and gives such pleasure in use. Mine dates from 1957 and I have owned it for a couple of months now.

Dimensions: 15L x 7D x 10H inches (9 ½ “L when using as free arm). Weight: 11lb (5kg).

The 222k in freearm mode, shown next to a 201k for size comparison.

Like its stable mate the 201k, the 222k gives a wonderful straight stitch, evenly tensioned and consistently formed.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Singer 201k, electric

Reputed to be the best machine Singer ever made, I find it hard to argue. I own three; all electric, although I suspect that one of these has been adapted to electric from being (I suspect) hand-crank. This third one also features a knee-lifter bar which the others do not. They date from 1949, 1952 and 1954 and were acquired between four months ago and last weekend.

A real workhorse, the 201k is all cast metal, a standard low-shank, side clamping machine which uses standard machine needles, bobbins and Singer feet. It has an unusually long harp, measuring 8” long by 5 ½ “high which makes it particularly sought after by quilt makers. It is a straight-stitch only machine, plus reverse. The stitch length is changed by a sliding lever on the front of the machine, with increments marked at 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20 and 30 stitches per inch. If the lever is pulled above the centre line (which is marked) the machine sews in reverse.

The 201k also features a varnished wood extension flap which neatly clips onto, and folds down from the wooden base in which the machines are housed. The machine tilts out of this base to reveal the thumbscrew which, by two possible positions, controls dropping or raising the feed dogs.

The stitch quality is exceptional; perfectly formed, even and straight. If you do a lot of top stitching, then you should be settling for nothing less than this.

Usually a fair few accessories, feet and attachments are included in the sale of these machines but spares and replacements are extremely easy to source and also very cheap. Twin screw holes in the bed also allow it to use industrial attachments such as hemmers, bias binders etc. The quality of the original, Singer attachments is exceptional and they are well worth seeking out in preference to their modern counterparts. Indeed some do not, to my knowledge, have a modern counterpart; the tuck marker being one example. The ruffler, in particular, is very smooth and not at all clattery (as I believe the modern ones sometimes are) and there are three different types of bias binder foot. There are also buttonholers and zig zag attachments available although I have read mixed reviews on their efficiency and would suggest that they (like the monogrammer attachments, for which the pattern cams are difficult to obtain) are for purists only as most of us would have a second, more modern machine with zig zag and buttonholes included.

The addition of a new, clam-shell foot pedal is an improvement as it is easier to regulate the speed than with the original, button activated one.

The Singer 201k was also manufactured as a hand-crank and a treadle. A conversion in either direction is easy, a conversion to hand crank being especially easy if the machine already possesses the larger, spoked fly wheel although hand conversion kits are hard to source in the UK they may be obtained from a US seller on e-bay. It is my intention to eventually convert one of my three into a hand-crank. There are also two distinct styles of casting. The older one is the typical, antique Singer style, black with gold decals and a large, spoked fly wheel. The newer models were much more streamlined in shape, with a smaller fly wheel and no decals. They were available in black or a pinkish tan. The end plates may differ too, being embossed either in scrollwork (which is my favourite) or else with art deco-style vertical stripes. The newer models vary only in the casting; both offer the same functionality and smooth, even stitches. It has an extremely good lamp, mounted at the rear of the machine that takes an easily sourced, low-wattage bulb and provides very good illumination at exactly the right position.

When not in use, the 201k packs away into a 21 ½ x 14 ½ x 9 ½ “ suitcase, formed of bent ply and covered in mock-crocodile ‘leather‘ with metal reinforced corners. It is certainly designed to withstand knocks although with the machine inside it you may need to engage the help of a strong man to carry it out to the car!

The 201k remains my favourite, all round sewing machine although it is very heavy indeed and therefore not easily portable. It astonishes me that they can be obtained for so little money. When I next make curtains or loose covers, of all the machines I own, this will be the one I choose for the task. It is smooth and quiet to use and like my 222k, a joy to run.

Dimensions: 20L x 8 ½D x 12H inches. Weight: about 26lb (12kg).

A 1954 cast alloy 201k and a scroll-fronted 1949 cast iron 201k, both electric.

The 201k gives a beautiful, well tensioned and accurate straight stitch.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Bernina 830 Record (circa 1980s)

I chose my vintage Bernina 830 Record because it offered exceptionally good value for money. It dates from around the late 1970s/early 1980s and I have had it about four months. Bought to replace my faithful, metal-bodied, 25-year-old Brother Compal Ace whose circuit board had become corrupted I had a clear view of my needs and wants but despite trying quite a few modern machines I was not satisfied with the quality of either the machine or the stitch. Even the Bernina 220 did not offer, in my opinion, the stitch quality I expected from that name so I decided to follow the vintage route and buy a Bernina whose stitch I could trust to be exceptional.

I was not disappointed. For £200 less than a new 220 and half the price of a new 1008, I got exactly what I expected: an enormously satisfying attention to detail with the build quality – smooth lever action in attaching the flatbed, a ball bearing snap-fastening for the bobbin cover and absolutely no sign of a plastic presser foot lever. There is a metal knee-lift lever too, which slots into a hole below the bottom of the pillar. The machine is mainly metal bodied; the cover for the motor (which is mounted at the back of the pillar) is plastic, as is the end plate, the fly wheel, the knobs and the section at the back holding the spool pins but in all the parts which are functional rather than decorative, this machine is cast metal which gives both longevity and stability when sewing. This machine won’t judder off the table when you’re sewing a fast seam.

Extremely intuitive to thread and to use, the controls are simple and self-explanatory. Stitch length (0-4mm) is controlled by sliding a lever on the pillar and then twisting the lever knob to secure it in position. Above this are twin dials; one for selecting the zigzag width (0-4mm) and the other for choosing the appropriate stage on the five-step button hole. There are five different needle positions (chosen via an inner knob on the zigzag dial). Tension is self-adjusting but may be manually overridden using a wheel on the top of the machine. The feed dogs are dropped by simply switching a dial at the base of the pillar. The harp measures 4 ½ “ high by 7 ¼ “ long.

As well as the usual straight zigzag and buttonhole, the 830 offers 5 utility stitches, named “overlock”, “stretch”, “universal”, “running” and “blind”. Universal and running are both a variation on a zigzag. In addition to these, there are 15 decorative satin stitches which may be worked in a continuous row or else as single motifs. There is a small window in the machine body which displays the point in the stitch cycle so one can get ready to stop when the cycle (and thus the motif) is complete. The switch between straight and decorative stitch is made by pushing a lever on the top of the machine next to which is a second lever which switches between the different pattern cams by pushing the lever to the right to release it, sliding it up or down before releasing it to spring into position alongside the appropriate pattern icon.

The stitch quality is exceptional; neat, well-formed and perfectly straight. The machine takes standard, domestic needles and as it is a zigzag machine is also capable of heirloom-style stitching using twin and also wing needles.

There is a small hole in the needle bed through which may be drawn up a cord (or gimp) for corded pintucks, and also the twin screw holes to the right of the needle which allow industrial hemmers, folders and binder attachments to be used. These give a much better finish than the foot versions and are easier to control.

On the subject of feet, the authentic ones are indeed expensive but are very good quality and it is usual for these machines to be sold with a good few feet along with it: 7 is usual; 9 a real bonus. In any case, it is possible to re-use existing feet you may possess simply by purchasing a shank adapter for about £7. This will allow you to use both screw-on and snap-on feet. I believe that both high and low shank versions are available. Care should be taken when buying new Bernina feet to be certain that those purchased are compatible with the vintage Berninas. The newer models take a different foot but a good stockist such as Bambers will always be happy to advise and offer support.

This is the machine I use for fine finishing on my baby and toddler wear garments as the stitch quality is fantastic.

Dimensions: 388L x 182W x 315H mm. Weight 20lb (9.15kg). 1200 spm. 85W motor.

 

The straight stitches on the Bernina 830 are consistently even-tensioned, well-formed and (most important of all) straight.

 

The range of stitches for the Bernina 830 is just right for the serious sewist.

 

The satin stitches are extremely nicely formed.

 

Copyright of the blog owner 2010

Bernina Bernette 334D 4-thread Overlocker

 

 

The faceplate, fly wheel and knobs are plastic; the main body is all cast metal, which gives excellent stability in use.

The 334D takes normal sewing needles, which is useful.

It has differential feed, adjustable foot pressure and cutting width is adjusted by a knob to the right and beneath the edge of the cloth plate.

Stitch length and differential feed are adjusted by knobs on the right hand side of the machine and subject to the usual tweaks and trial runs I have achieved extremely good results on both heavyweight and light, dress-weight cottons. All in all it is an extremely amiable machine; a pleasure to use.

 

Stitch length is between 0.8 and 4mm. Seam width is between 3 and 7mm on 3-thread and 5 and 7mm on 4 thread overlock. It sews at up to 1500 spm. Dimensions are 300W x 325D x 300H mm. It weighs 16lb (7.5kg).

 

Bernina Bernette 334D

Colour photo showing the colour coded thread paths and diagrams which make this such an easy machine to thread up.

Copyright of the blog owner 2010