A beautiful old mystery machine…

On a recent trip to Canberra, I visited the tourist-y area Gold Creek with my family. We had a lovely day of wondering shops and afternoon tea. On our way back to the car, there’s always one last shop to look in…

image

And look what I found! The shop lady said it was still in working condition, thought the electric cables need to be replaced for safe use. We opened the case and the little box of goodies that came with it all over the shop floor…Β I was in love… but how much was it? $50?? OK then…

It came home with me.

I was determined to carry this extremely heavy ‘travel’ model back to the car myself, but it turned into a shared family experience as they took pity on me taking a break every 20 metres. So we all took turns taking it back to the car together.

image

image

image

Back at home I took all the bits our to see what I had collected with more time and a glass of whiskey.

image

image

image

Complete with operating manual! Check out those illustrations!

image

image

image

Certainly it’s not a Singer, but a pretty machine nonetheless. With the little research I’ve done so far I think it’s a model from the late 1930s or mid 1950s.

image

image

image

I haven’t gleaned much about the manufacturer of the sewing machine motor yet, Warner Drayton Co. of Australia Pty Ltd operating from Footscray, a metro suburb in Victoria. Although I did find this advertisement in the National Library of Australia archivesΒ which shows the company was still going strong in 1963, with electric fans just in time for the summer heat!

image

At the moment my new old sewing machine awaits patiently in Canberra. Once it is serviced and it comes home, I’m thinking it will be my dedicated corset-sewing machine…

Oh the joys of my craft hobby.

Stay creative!
xx

Advertisements

Mug Shots of Pencil Skirts #08: Nick Swing

Here’s one of my favourites! However I’m not sure if I’ll ever wear it…

This one gets its name from the swingin sixties design of the fabric combined with the putrid smell of cigarette smoke (NICotine!!!) and old man that terrorised my nostrils when steam pressing it.

Nick Swing Pencil Skirt

Nick Swing Pencil Skirt: Back Detail

Nick Swing Pencil Skirt: Back

Other than that, this skirt is awesome. After I finished making it an before its final press, I tried the following:

  • washed it normally.
  • washed it with eucalyptus.
  • soaked it.
  • dried it.
  • soaked it in vinegar.
  • hung it out in the sun.
  • forgot about it.
  • left it in the rain for three days.

I’ve yet to steam pressed it again to see if my efforts worked, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the illusion of having a larger wardrobe.

Mug Shots of Pencil Skirts #06: Clydette

Clydette is the more feminine of two skirts cut from the same length of wool I found in an opshop.

I’m pretty much nailing all my pencil skirt dreams so I figured it was time to shake it up a bit. Having tried a few portrait blouses from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, I decided to try one of the pencil skirt modifications.

Clydette Pencil Skirt

Clydette Pencil Skirt: Front Ruffle and Seam Detail

I couldn’t tell you how I managed to pull that peak off. It mystified me.

Clydette Pencil Skirt: Back

Clydette Pencil Skirt: Side Zip Detail

Clydette Pencil Skirt: Back Ruffle Detail

Look at the ruffles!

Mug Shots of Pencil Skirts #05: Cause for Trouble

I knew when I made this into a pencil skirt it would have to be named with a reference to hot librarian teachers who don’t take silliness from students.

Cause for Trouble Pencil Skirt

Cause for Trouble Pencil Skirt: Zip

Mug Shots of Pencil Skirts #01: Bat

Happy New Year! I hope you’ve all had happy holidays and settling into another year quite well. I am. This year I have only one ambition and that is to Be Relaxed.

Whatever else that I happen to get done and achieve is a bonus. Yay!

2013 saw a trend of batch-crafting on this blog. Months of intense crafting followed by months of intense nothing. I was much happier in 2012 where the crafting and posting was timely and consistent, before things went wacky. But 2014 is an even number with only one odd number in it so as always things are already different this year.

As a result I have a batch of Pencil Skirts from the end of 2013 that need posting about! What I have planned for you now is an onslaught of Pencil Skirt posts in the form of Mug Shots, one per day until we are done. The Final Post will be Something Rather Different, then we will start on 2014 projects. Hooray!

First up: The Bat Pencil Skirt.

It seems this fabric will never end. I got it from an op shop years ago now and made the Batface DressΒ from it with tons to spare. So it went in the Pencil Skirt Party pile and I still have enough left over for something else.

Bat Pencil Skirt - Front

Bat Pencil Skirt - Back Vent

Bat Pencil Skirt - Waistband

Bat Pencil Skirt - Back waist fastening and zipper detail

Bat Pencil Skirt - Back waist fastening and zipper

Nice job 99, if I do say so myself.

However, a plain ‘ol maroon pencil skirt wasn’t enough for me and I’ve started embellishing it with black sequins. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Stay happy!
πŸ˜€

Completed: Dreams Come True Pencil Skirt

Here we are, the last item from my day in the sun camera in hand. We are now officially up to date with sewing projects.

Completed: Dreams Come True Pencil Skirt

This is another opshop-found fabric, but this one was long enough to make the below-the-knee length skirt I like. I love the satin stitch diamond pattern!

This fabric has been in my stash for nearly two years – when I started sewing I didn’t imagine I’d be the kind to have a sewing stash with fabric that old in it! Somehow when buying the little roll at the thrift store, I thought this skirt might never be made. I must have been having a bad day as I do believe in unicorns and dreams do come true.

Completed: Dreams Come True Pencil Skirt

I wanted to try something different with the waistband fastening here, a pretty lone button from my collection was perfect! Please disregard the pink chalk lines… I promise I washed it off before wearing πŸ™‚

Completed: Dreams Come True Pencil Skirt

Such a lovely vent.

Sewing dreams do come true πŸ™‚

Completed: Jersey Hippy Swing Skirt

Yay! Modern Hippie Happiness.

Completed: Jersey Hippy Swing Skirt

In all honesty I don’t like this fabric. I got 2.5m of it from an opshop one day as I thought it would be good practice sewing with knits. I thought of making a wrap dress with it but the idea of being wrapped in this pattern was sort of off-putting so the sewing of the wrap dress kept being put off.

Completed: Jersey Hippy Swing Skirt

Here is the wind demonstrating the drape.

Completed: Jersey Hippy Swing Skirt

That aside, check out those seams! Pretty happy with it πŸ™‚

I’m more likely to wear this now it only covers the lower half of me, but I don’t think it will be one of my favourite skirts. The sewing pattern however, I hope to make many more of these in other fabrics!

Stay happy
πŸ˜€

Completed: Jersey Hippy Swing Skirt