Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Do You Know a Feed Dog from a Golden Snitch?


Okay, I think it's time to lighten the mood around here and yesterday the lovely Sal of Already Pretty sent me just the thing. How utterly stupendous is this sewing machine diagram from Regretsy? (The original R-rated version is here. Both versions are available in poster form here because you know you want this on the wall in your sewing nook!) I can't decide what my favorite feature is on this machine: the "horn of gondor" or the "cryhole." I also have a feeling "bobbinator" will be making its way into my regular vocab.

Aside from delighting me to no end, this image also made wonder how well we sewists really know the terminology of our machines. Would you know a tension disk if it hit you in the head? How about a shuttle race? If you've read the book Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp, you'll know that she's adamant that sewers should know the names of each part of the machine. She takes you through it all very well - there's even a quiz at the end of the chapter! Being the dutiful little student that I am, I took it seriously (and I totally aced the quiz, guys!) so I have a pretty firm handle on the major exterior parts. But I would be pretty much useless were I to be confronted with a . . . motor, or whatever else is inside there. It could be magical gnomes running the thing for all I know.

How about you? Do you have the technical lingo down? Or are you all about the "spinny thing" and the "wheel of numbers"? Are you going to order this poster? Admit it, you totally are!

50 comments:

  1. I think I'll print the poster and tape it to my door :).
    You know, I am from Serbia, and I taught myself to sew, hence I lack Serbian sewing terminology. Avoiding using sewing pattern instructions doesn't help expand my sewing related vocabulary. The odd thing is that, thanks to internet and the sewing community, I've learnt many English terms for many techniques, tools or pattern parts, while I'm completely paralyzed when expressing myself in my native Serbian. The other day I went to some sewing machines and notions shop, and I really had difficulties explaining what I wanted to buy. I had to describe to vendor the things - tools, sewing feet I needed, and I think it was the most confusing experience for both of us. How odd is that?

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  2. I love that poster!! I'm afraid my sewing machine is made up soley of thingamebobs and whatchmacallits!
    I love the idea of it being worked by elves though - someone to blame when it gets cranky!

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  3. I'm pretty sure that I had to take a quiz on the industrial straight-stitch machines before I was allowed to use one, but once you take the test there's not a real reason to remember the names of the bits. Although I was always surprised how often someone would mourn their machine not working only to find they were trying to use a plastic bobbin or the like. I do love the term "feed dog", and bobbinator sounds like a super villain.

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  4. I'd really like to know more about how my sewing machine works. I feel really stupid not knowing how it works. Sometimes ppl ask me and I really can't give them any clever answers. It also annoys me that even if the tiniest thing is wrong with my machine I just have to bring it down to the repair shop because I have no clue whatsoever how to fix it or which part could be at fault. Do you know any good resources to learn about the mechanics of a sewing machine? I'd really like to learn more.

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  5. Hilarious diagram and the perfect addition to my new bulletin board behind the sewing machine repair table!

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  6. I love the cry hole! So apt. I can just imagine someone resting their forehead on the table and crying into that little hole in frustration. I haven't a clue what any of the bits and pieces of my machine are called.

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  7. I saw that on regretsy a while back too and thought it was hilarious (but then, I'm one of those people that find that whole site pretty hilarious....!)

    I much prefer the original, R-rated version though, but I understand why you don't link it here... :)

    That being said, I know virtually nothing about the actual terminology of my machine....to paraphrase one of my favorite movies: I don't know what it's called, I just know the sounds it makes when I sew!

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  8. So glad you liked it, lady! The cryhole is my favorite. I recall a sewing lesson during which that sector of the sewing machine drew tears of frustration.

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  9. Haha! I loved the ruder version on Regretsy too! Such a great website. I love your blog too - taught me how to make an elasticated waist skirt! Thank you

    is this the part where I say "long time reader, first time commenter"?

    xxx

    Lauren Loves...

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  10. The bobbinator! Snort! I'm so going to use that term from now on. :D

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  11. I learnt to sew at school but because it has been a few years since then I find myself using english termynology in my head instead of estonian. That's what following too many sewing blogs does to your brain:D

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  13. Where is this R-rated original? I'm happy to link to it, I just don't know of it!

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  14. Never mind, I found it! I'll update the post.

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  15. That is so funny! I love the cry hole. I have cried over that hole many a time.

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  16. Hey, I am also from Serbia and know more about English terminology than Serbian. Buying fabric is especially funny. Like 'felt' - I have no idea what it is called.

    Thank goodness my grandmother's sewing machine serves me well, I would probably have to take a picture of what I need to the shop.

    But explaining to somebody else what I am doing (knit/purl/half-double crochet), very hard, I have to apologize, say I learned from youtube and give them a link.

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  17. I love that diagram. I laughed so much when i first saw it on Regretsy.

    She is selling the print on z-shirts and stuff on zazzle.com. proceeds go to charity. Am seriously considering getting one...

    http://www.zazzle.com/regretsy+gifts

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  18. Oh, that is HILARIOUS! Love the arc reactor! Off to look at the R-rated version and order some wall decor, stat!

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  19. Love it! Just last week I was forced to take my machine apart because my second spool spindle thingy (for stitching with a double needle) somehow got pushed into the machine so I couldn't grab and extend it. I never knew the machine was so complicated. I needed about 47 different screw drivers to remove all the different sized screws. And it was built it layers. When everything was back together I was left with two screws plus a third rattling around inside a place I couldn't get to. My machine seems to be running fine but I'm just waiting for it to explode. I'd love a post about how the machine actually works!

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  20. Oh, I'm soooo ordering the poster. That is hilarious!

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  21. hilarious! I know the lingo quite well in Hebrew, a little less in English.

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  22. I'm going to do a tutorial on my blog on how to actually thread my Janome - I didn't realize I didn't know anything about my machine (I had a singer previously) - until I took a class.

    Very poignant - the quality of your sewing is actually very very related to your understanding of the mechanical operation of your machine. Turns out I had even been threading my wrong!

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  23. I have a PhD in theoretical physics. That's a big joke to my experimentalist friends and husband. I don't know the name of anything.

    Fortunately, my late local hardware shop owner had an engineering degree from Caltech and worked as an inventor and prototype builder for decades.

    I would go in there and describe what the thing did, and he would patiently teach me what it's called and where he stocks it. I was so sad when he died.

    His son is a historian, and very nice to my daughter who goes in with her mad invention plans. But I can't help but wonder how it would have been if his father was still at the shop.

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  24. Ha! That's really quite excellent. I know the name of most of my machine (although not the overlocker, which is still a work of deep mystery to me) but the bobbin winder is now and shall henceforth be the bobbinator. Love it.

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  25. Love this, made my day! :)

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  26. I can't believe how many movie references they've got all on one poster. Hysterical...

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  27. I haven't made a thing requiring buttonholes in years because my old machine required scary "cam" attachments to do the holes. About a year ago that machine died and I was thrilled to buy a new one with a modern buttonhole maker. After a year with the new machine I have yet to do buttonholes because I STILL haven't read the directions out of the manual. Sad.

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  28. Hey AnaJan and Seeker,
    If you ever happen to learn the words in Serbian, let me know! I'd love to learn them too :)
    I don't have the vocab in my native Dutch either, I think about sewing in English!

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  29. I never do anything without first learning the terminology. Diagrams like this remind me that I have a stick in my you-know-what. Thanks! Very funny:)

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  30. I used to work at a fabric store and often demonstrated sewing machines or helped people figure out how to use their new ones (and sometimes their old ones) and I can say that whenever I referred to the doo-hickey, most people knew exactly what I was talking about. Especially when I told them it was proper sewing terminology. :)

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  31. The "cry hole"! Yes, absolutely. When I got a new machine awhile back the #1 feature I HAD to have was a top-loading, drop-in bobbin case (love, love, love it; much less crying going on now). And "bobbinator" it shall now be.

    I think I need this on a T-shirt, to wear while sewing...

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  32. Bobbinator! Haha, it sounds so evil!

    As for terminology, I don't know much. I've only recently purchased my first sewing machine so I am still learning all that stuff.

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  33. That is just SO funny! Someday, when I have a sewing room (nook?) of my own, I will get me one of those, frame it, and hang it on the wall!

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  34. I love the idea of becoming more aquainted with all the various knobs and switches on one's machine! I do have a pretty good grasp of mine, just because it's the one I learned to sew on, and then inherited. But, I'd love to know more about the inner workings... one day. ;)

    Love that poster--it is just too perfect!!!

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

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  35. Great diagram, would love to meet the author. Just found a vintage pinky beige Singer cleaning out garage ovet the weekend, that looks like it has some additional snazzles and booncrackies. May have to add to make my own poster! Thanks.

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  36. Hilarous!!! Yeah, I'm pretty good about knowing the names of my sewing machine parts, although I've never taken a quiz!

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  37. Yes! I found out many years ago it was much, much cheaper to fix my own old machines if they broke. There are great lists of vintage sewing machine manuals online which help no end...

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  38. So funny! Thanks for sharing, I know the real names of all the parts but this is more fun..I hate when thin fabrics get munched into the cryhole!

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  39. Gertie I absolutely love your blog! I am reading it at work and when I saw this poster I had a laughing fit. The flux capacitor! the uppydowny! love it, love it.
    Our sewing machines are beautious to behold and wonderful to use, but sometimes instruments of torture as well. I'd like to add that I've been stabbed by pins more times than I'd like to mention, oh and has anyone mentioned the sheer frustration of knocking the pin-box to the floor scattering them far and wide?

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  40. This is hysterical.

    However, they've got some of these wrong.

    Energon cubes should be the feed dogs; the dilithium crystal should be the foot pedal.

    Don't get me started on where they've got unobtanium and the Golden Snitch -- it makes no sense.

    ;)

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  41. Like Farah said, the proceeds go to charity!! She has really done some great deeds with these crazy items!

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  42. What a funny poster! "Uppydowny" is my favorite term :)

    We have a series of "Sewing 101" video lessons on our site that might help some of you with the terminology associated with sewing... and they're also a lot of fun to watch. You might want to check them out! The first one is here: http://www.chicaandjo.com/2009/10/20/sewing-101-finding-your-way-around-the-machine/

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  43. Ohmygosh, I am in love with this!! So many of my favorite geeky things in one diagram... I'm especially cracking up over the "horn of Gondor" and "flux capacitor". And "bobbinator." Heehee! Thanks for sharing!

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  44. My favourite part is "hoo-ha".
    Maybe because it's one of my favourite exclamations. I don't use it very often, but certain situations call for it, and then it's PERFECT.

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  45. CRYHOLE!!!!!!!!

    LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!

    It's funny 'cause it's true!

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  46. OMG! the cry hole! what a wonderful name.....this is where all my problems lay. I'm a seamstress by trade (curtains and stuff), my Dad was a "singer" fixer man, and I still hate that "cry hole"! wonderful!

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  47. Cry hole? Are you talking about the cuss box? :)

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  48. In addition to the cry hole (which has been filled to overflowing more than once!) mine also has a fistmark for when I pound it in frustration!! It's right next to the bobbinator!! This is glorious!! Thanks for sharing, and I shall definitely be ordering the poster!!

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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