Sunday, September 11, 2011

Recent Graduates of the DragonPoodle School of Anarchic Sewing

School Motto:  Patterns?  We don't need no stinkin' patterns.

You met Michael back in July.  He came over for a third and final studio session, in which he proceeded full speed and I puttered around the studio.  He reports that he completed a third pillow at home.

Patterns were never an option.  He brought a pillow form and knew what he wanted to do.

btw, this is another post that was written earlier in the summer.  That ole Life has been acting up again, so I haven't spent much time in blogland recently.

The Totally Out Of The Blue Surprise Student:  DD Emily

Em was here for a visit and because she is a good daughter she lets me talk about my sewing machines.  I think the whole family is bemused by the sheer quantity of machines that have come to live here.  Em tried sewing in high school and did not fall under its spell.

She spotted a little Singer 99 with the crinkle or "godzilla" finish and was immediately attracted to it in the midst of all the shiny black ones.   She walked over to it and turned the hand crank and was a goner.

She spent the next two days sewing (amongst the family visiting) and she left with a lovely tote bag.  She also, needless to say, left with the 99.  And its cabinet.  Mother love is a powerful force, more powerful than sewing machine love.

We did briefly consider using a pattern but that didn't last long.

The fabric she choose was one she had given me years ago, a plush upholstery weight fabric.  Because the tote was for her kindle and netbook she wanted padding, so she lined it with a prequilted solid yellow.  The straps are a repurposed metal belt.  All of these were thrift shop finds.

And if you are thinking that it was a crazy thing to do to take a formerly sewing averse person and encouraging her in her desire to make a tote bag with upholstery fabric and a quilted lining as a first project on a new machine, well, this IS the DragonPoodle School of ANARCHIC Sewing.

Emily did almost all of the sewing.  We broke a couple of needles, probably because I never remembered to upgrade the needle size from a 14.  The last seam, in which we encased the raw edges of the inside seam in bias tape, was a toughie and at the end Emily turned it over to me.   The Singer 99 lived up to its reputation as a small workhorse. 

This is why I collect old Singers: 1) they are wonderful and 2) reading about them and experiencing them are two entirely different things.  The feel of the 99 as it tackled the multiple layers of heavy material will stay with me.  I now totally get the 99 and especially get why people love to hand crank a 99.  Awesome experience, awesome machine.

Prior to all this, in preparation for Em's visit, I took a break from sewing machine repair to do some cleaning.  I announced to the DH that all the sewing machines and tools were gone from the top of the workbench (aka the dining room table).

His response:  Will you give me a map?
Me, with my usual verbal elegance: Huh?
Him:  Without the usual landmarks, how will I find my way through the house?



  1. Love this! I had a recent similar experience with my 2 young adult daughters and a 99 and a 185J making Di from TN's snap bags from the TN TOGA. D'Nise

  2. That purse is really cool - the handles and fabric are perfect. After she gets about a hundred compliments she will be back for more lessons. Why stop at bags when there are skirts to make?

  3. I am thrilled! The machine is gorgeous, and so is the bag. Your husband is funny too! ;-)

  4. My daughter follows your motto, "Patterns? We don't need no stinkin' patterns." She would be right at home with you! I love the purse!

  5. My dining room table is also covered with sewing stuff, but the machines are on the floor. I took my Spartan HC to Texas with me and showed it off over the last 2 weeks. FUN! I have to find at least 2 machines to convert to HC's for friends now. Emily's bag is great. I wonder how long it will be before she starts looking at other machines in the wild.


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