Sep. 8th, 2017 10:58 pm
elsewhence: (match)
man i'd forgotten how fucking tedious it is to work with lining fabric. and how there's really nothing we can do about that because the reason it's tedious (slippery as hell) is also the reason we use it in the first place...

please take a moment to thank the underpaid, overworked garment worker who sewed the lining into your jacket

Aug. 7th, 2016 10:50 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 surprised)
i didn't think i needed another old sewing machine, but then i looked for a manual and this one can chainstitch. and for 13.14€? i'm sold. they're selling it as defective even though it sews because some parts don't move easily, but that probably just means "the poor thing hasn't been cleaned or oiled for decades"...

(have fun carrying that thing home, self.)

(also i don't think i've mentioned the amusing thing my other old machine shares with this one: they can be converted to treadle power.)

Aug. 1st, 2016 12:15 pm
elsewhence: (Default)
these stays are lovely and i want some

my next sewing-related project is to pad a dress form, though...

Jun. 26th, 2016 08:35 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 fail)
bought a bunch of supplies for a skirt yesterday (except the fabric, already had that), cut out and fused everything, started to sew, ran out of the one thing i hadn't bought: more thread in the correct colour. i had some left over from another project and thought it'd be enough, so i only got topstitching thread. i constantly overestimate how much thread overlock seams use (seriously, it's something like 13.5 m/m of finished seam if the machine is set to 4 stitches/cm). probably the real reason people don't tend to use regular sewing thread in overlockers, not because it wouldn't work...

Jun. 5th, 2016 05:35 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 surprised)
overlocker works! experience get. honestly, it had gotten to the point where i took the notion i'd have to pay a sewing machine mechanic to fix it as a personal insult. it just seemed so trivial. and it kind of is, once you understand how this kind of machine actually forms stitches. and people are too scared of a simple lockstitch machine's timing to even consider touching it? there's only one moving bit involved in that, that can be adjusted in one single way! just don't step on the pedal when you're not sure you have the right setting yet and you'll be fine.

(or do i just have to much faith in the average person's ability to think themselves into processes like this. i don't want to think that i do, i mean, i'm human, they're human, we're not fundamentally different! but there's so many people convinced that there's concepts that they just plain out can't understand, not because they're unwilling or unable to put in enough time, but because their brains are somehow fundamentally incapable of it, and i just don't get how they reached that conclusion...)

the fact i don't remember how to guide curved edges through the machine and get even stitching is entirely my own fault. there's no skipped stitches anymore, obviously, but the raw edge crumples up under the stitching in some places what it should just lie flat. i think it may be partially because of the cutting width, considering i don't actually want to cut off anything beyond maybe a few stray threads. i kind of need to work that out, considering i'm making a circle skirt!

May. 17th, 2016 12:33 am
elsewhence: (stars)
my motivation to fix my serger just rose exponentially! i actually think i'm pretty close to getting it right, but just saying so might be jinxing it.

May. 11th, 2016 05:59 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 fail)
back to old fabric, back to old problem: the tension settings that result in no slipped stitches do result in loops at the bottom of the needle thread. and the problem obviously is that the needle sometimes fails to catch the thread of the upper looper. which would suggest that the thread loop forms just a little too early. i may have to learn how to adjust serger timing. ugh.

EDIT: open bottom of machine, loosen two setscrews, you can now move the upper looper. have moved it back a tiny bit, since apparently the thread was arriving and withdrawing too fast for the needle to be able to catch it. haven't tested it on fabric yet, but the machine still forms stitches and the needle doesn't hit anything, so that's a success right there. experience get! don't tell me to never attempt to repair my own sewing machines, i'm a fully qualified tinkerer.

(there is a running joke that i can't accomplish anything because i've invested all my experience points in capacitors, though...)

EDIT EDIT: okay i think that the skipped stitches were caused by a very slight horizontal misalignment of the upper looper. it scraped against the needle a little bit with every stitch, which certainly sounds as if it could've messed with the way the needle and upper looper thread connect. now to address the way the tension on the lower looper is permanently too low. when i was playing with the vertical position of the upper looper there was one point then the lower looper tension was permanently slightly too high, so i think it probably has to do with the timing of the lower looper relative to the upper

May. 10th, 2016 09:00 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 surprised)
it's not a tension problem anymore, it's a cutting width problem! yay! no breaking threads or skipped stitches! somehow turning everything down to 0 and starting from scratch helped even though i've arrived at almost precisely the same settings i'd tried before. sewing machines, man.

May. 10th, 2016 07:11 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 fail)
tension settings that produce a perfectly even-looking stitch: lower looper thread tends to break when machine speeds up too much or when sewing off the edge of a piece of fabric. tension settings that don't result in anything breaking or any stitches being skipped: loops in the needle thread.

the certainty that there's people who'd think that "just sew slowly then! :)" constitutes a solution to this makes me puke. having to coddle a machine like a baby to get it to properly do the one thing it was made for isn't a solution to anything.

May. 9th, 2016 07:05 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 fail)
man, the internet is useless when it comes to sewing machine advice beyond "put in a different needle and check whether you've threaded the machine correctly! :)". maybe something about cleaning and oiling the machine, if you're lucky. oh, and people saying to check whether you've inserted the bobbin properly, when you're talking about problems with an overlocker. either you haven't actually read the post or you don't know anything about overlockers. in either case, you shouldn't be replying.

May. 8th, 2016 10:12 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 fail)
no seriously, i was really looking forward to sewing some clothes again, but if i can't get this fucking overlocker to behave, i can drop that plan right now. because there's no fucking way i'm putting on something as unprofessional as clothes with zigzagged seam allowances. who the hell do you take me for.

May. 8th, 2016 02:18 pm
elsewhence: (Default)
man, overlock sewing machines. thread them in slightly the wrong order and all hell breaks loose. even if they appeared to work perfectly before and you just accidently unthreaded one looper while pulling a new colour through. i'd attempt to solve the problem by buying one that's like 50 years old, since that clearly worked for regular sewing machines, only i'm pretty sure that overlock machines for the consumer market didn't become a thing until the 1990s or so, and that would not bypass the "everything is plastic and shit now" issue, so i'm stuck. >:|

Apr. 26th, 2016 10:35 pm
elsewhence: (look out of the window)
things i learned today: there's different kinds of clear plastic bobbins and using the wrong one can, somehow, mess up your machine's hook timing. hook timing's easy to fix though, as long as it hasn't caused the hook to smash into the needle (it hadn't, the hook was arriving in the needle's position too late and not too early), and cheap knockoffs of the kind of bobbin i need are available, so that's okay.

Apr. 20th, 2016 10:15 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 fail)
i am not especially impressed with this book. some of the example garments aren't even fitted properly, others use fabrics that i doubt are correct for the period in question. all patterns have modern armscye and sleeve cap shaping, and what's up with that regency bodice that has a shoulder seam in the usual modern position in addition to the historical backwards one? and with the so-called 1740s dress that has a zone front and engageantes? and the regency dresses that have modern bust shaping, resulting in the waistlines being too low? it's pointless to include a pattern for short stays if the fit is all wrong and doesn't push the bust nearly as high as it should be! claim whatever you want, someone who does that kind of thing isn't a professional in my eyes. if i'd bought my copy directly from amazon and not from a marketplace seller, i'd probably return it straight away.

Jan. 27th, 2016 05:51 am
elsewhence: (invent the universe)
hey self. you have an overlocker. it can sew, finish and cut knit fabrics in one go. you could probably finish remodeling that cardigan in as little as three seams, with two of them only being a few centimeters long each, if they're needed at all. sure, a few basting seams with a regular sewing machine would probably be a good idea, because sewing over pins with an overlocker is not a good idea, but it still won't take very long at all...

Jan. 24th, 2016 04:56 pm
elsewhence: (jawa harmless)
man i've got a vintage cardigan that would be a better match for my four costume, but i dunno if i feel like altering that too. it currently has a shawl collar and i'd have to trim that down into a band the width of the button stands. doable, i wouldn't even have bought it otherwise, but annoying. and i mean, the beauty of season 12 four's outfit is that it's so thrown together to begin with that small differences don't really stand out...

Jan. 24th, 2016 01:54 pm
elsewhence: (ten science bitches)
have owned an overlocker for about two years, just actually used it for anything beyond testing it for the first time. this is pretty typical.

how to rethread an overlocker: don't, you will regret it. meet your new friend, that one awful bit on the bottom looper that has to be threaded backwards without much of a way to see what you're doing. just do your damnedest to never unthread it in the first place. if you want to switch to a different colour, cut off the old threads and tie on the new ones. and if you sell an overlocker, don't be an asshole, leave it threaded.

thing i'm not sure most hobbyist sewers know: there's really no reason to use special thread for overlockers. the stuff that's sold as overlocking thread is usually thinner, which makes for a somewhat flatter and neater finish, but there's no reason you can't use the same stuff that you'll use to assemble the garment, if you want to. especially if your fabric is on the heavier side and a bulkier finish won't make a real difference. won't kill the machine or anything. might have to adjust the tension a bit, that's it. you don't even need to buy multiple spools either, you can just wind a couple of bobbins and pop these on the overlocker. only minor inconvenience is that bobbins don't hold that much thread. but hey, if you wind too much, you can just use up the rest in your regular sewing machine (did i mention there's also no reason not to use bobbins for the needle thread). there's no need to buy huge cones at all.

(unless you're like me and do the reverse and use overlocking thread for regular sewing because it was cheap. that's also fine unless you want to sew something where the seams will actually take a lot of strain - say, a corset - or out of very heavy fabrics.)

Oct. 25th, 2015 08:36 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 surprised)
hey wow, the first animation of a lockstitch machine's stitch cycle i've ever seen that's actually accurate! they almost always show a hook that completes a single full rotation per stitch, but no real machine actually does that! but lots of machines do what this one does. namely, almost all household sewing machines. wonders never cease.

Aug. 5th, 2015 01:51 am
elsewhence: (arkanoid and vaus)
man after seeing the amount of shitty old grease in that machine i'm kind of surprised it still did anything at all. and it probably hadn't been oiled for years! i have a new appreciation for the way things used to be made.

oh and i discovered there's even still a manual. i just kind of assumed it must've gotten lost after so many years, and who needs a manual for a sewing machine anyway, but it was right there in the carrying case. amazing. i also learned that i own all of the attachments it lists as being for sale, haha. i still kind of want a monogrammer though. not sure what i'd even monogram with it, but if it works anything like the buttonholer, it's really cool to watch, so there.

Aug. 2nd, 2015 06:28 pm
elsewhence: (r2-d2 surprised)
i haven't installed the new gear yet because i'm not sure how i'm supposed to get it into the correct position (though i did get the old one out, somehow), but i got the dial that's supposed to let you drop the feed dogs to move! it was stuck on setting 1 and only able to move a tiny bit towards 2 and trying to take pliers to it only damaged the dial so i stopped that attempt pretty quickly, and now it effortlessly moves into all three possible positions! and it actually has an effect, too! i figured i'd have a look since the base of the machine is already open anyway and turns out that after almost 50 years, sewing machine lubricant does the precise opposite of what it's meant to...

seriously, tinkering with old stuff like this is so rewarding

i also learned that you can download manuals for old singer machines right on their page, here. according to the one i got, my machine shouldn't be able to drop its feed dogs at all, but that's a minor difference. must be a different variant. and i mean, they also think that serial numbers starting with EZ were never used at all. here's the database on these, by the way. i dunno it looks pretty solid and real. other pages think so too.