Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

The theme for my birthday this year seems to have been “Everything Old is New Again.” My mother, knowing my new passion for sewing and quilting, gave me this lovely antique silver thimble:


It is made of Chester silver and dates from 1923. My mother bought it this summer when we were in England for my sister’s wedding and she visited Chester with my sister’s new in-laws.

On Saturday, t! and I went to our local flea market to look for a few things, and found this gorgeous treadle sewing machine for $75. It is a “New Williams” machine, built by the Williams Manufacturing Co., in Montreal, sometime around 1906. The factory building it was made in is still standing on the corner of Bourget & St. Jacques streets, in St. Henri.


It is in absolutely excellent condition, it looks for all the world like it was well used, and then taken out of someone’s grandmother’s front room one day in the mid 1950s, carried up to a dry attic, and left there undisturbed for 50 years.


The amazing thing about it, though, and one of the big reasons I bought it, is that in the cabinet drawers were all the original attachments (in the box they came in), a glass vial containing 6 original needles, an old plastic pill bottle containing needles and pins, and two original bobbins (the scrap of cloth they are sitting on was pinned to the arm of the machine to serve as a pincushion):


and the original instruction manual (which I plan to scan to digital format so that I can make a less fragile print-out to refer to as I’m learning):


Oh, and it also has its leather drive belt. All it needs is a thorough (careful) cleaning, and for me to read the manual to learn how to thread it, and then I’ll be able to start sewing with it!

Post edited (on August 25th, 2011) to add: I’ve had so many requests for the PDF of the scan of the instruction booklet, that I have put it up on a separate page of the blog, here: Downloads. Enjoy!

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Needle and thread

On Tuesday I came home from my regular visit to my father in the nursing home with a half-dozen of his shirts. He hardly has any mobility left, so the nurses/aides have to dress and undress him. I’ve been asked to modify his shirts to make this easier on everyone involved. So I spent a good part of this afternoon slitting the shirts (long-sleeved cotton sweatshirts and polo-style shirts) up the back, stitching a couple of rows of zigzag stitch to reinforce the newly cut edge, and fixing velcro fasteners to the new opening. I also zigzag across the top of the slit, to stop it ripping further. The result looks like this:


The back opening makes it much easier to feed my father’s long arms into the shirt first, before they pull it over his head. I hope my alterations survive the wash, for a while at least.

I also had some adventures with my window quilts today, and learned a couple of new ways not to accomplish what I was trying to do. Further updates soon.

In other news, t! took this gorgeous picture of the sunrise yesterday morning:


And in still other news, we’re meeting another rescue dog this weekend, on Saturday after market. He’s currently being fostered by a couple in Ottawa who have very kindly offered to bring out to our place, so that we can see how he reacts to our cats, and how they react to him. Fingers crossed.

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