Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The Plot Thickens
I've decided to throw a little twist into my Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing project. (It's just like Project Runway!) From now on, all the garments will be made on a Singer Featherweight from 1952, the very same year VoNBBS was published. Oooh, the drama!
I've been intrigued by vintage Featherweights for quite a while since some people say they're the best machines ever produced. I finally took the plunge when I saw this shiny 1952 model on eBay for a good price.
Now, believe me, this is going to take some getting used to. I'm accustomed to my Brother PC-420, which is a computerized machine with all the bells and whistles: an automatic thread cutter, a needle which can be programmed to stop in the up or down position, and a gazillion different stitch options and amenities. This Featherweight is bare bones. As embarrassing as it is to admit this, it feels a little strange having to cut the thread tails on my own and check the position of the needle when I finish a seam. I'm just spoiled, I guess!
So, this could get interesting. An evening gown and a tailored suit, all on this little machine? I'll need a lot of gumption. And a buttonholer attachment. (The 1948 model, naturally.) Because, due to prior traumatic experiences, there's no way I'm going to work my buttonholes by hand.
Also, to further ensure the integrity of the VoNBBS project, I've decided that there will be no more serging of seam allowances for me. I'll stick with pinking, overcasting, or binding from now on. The one thing I'm really worried about is setting in sleeves - there's no freearm capability with this machine. Goodness, I might need to do them by hand! (Hold me; I'm scared.)
I'm really hoping this new twist on the project will give me an even better sense of what home sewing was like in 1952. It's one thing to use the book and the patterns, and another thing entirely to limit myself to the equipment from that year. I'm excited! And, truthfully, a little apprehensive. (Okay, a lot apprehensive.)
The red satin sheath will be my first project on this machine. Wish me luck!