Archive for August, 2011

Contest: We Have A Winner!

Aug 31

Win A Free Knitting Book!


Rosrin W. from Stafford, Texas. Your prize will be sent out shortly. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks to Melissa Knits! for including me on her blog tour and providing a free copy of her new book, Teach Yourself Visually Circular Knitting by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. And thanks to all those who entered the book giveaway! Happy Knitting!

My Singer Tiny Serger

Aug 25

Singer Tiny Serger TS380A
Tiny Serger, Model No. TS380A
Circa 1980s – 1990s

I GOT A SERGER!! I’ve been wanting a serger for awhile. They are great for sealing raw fabric edges and working with knit fabrics. But they cost more than I’d like to invest and they take up a lot of space. Plus for a home sewer like myself, a serger is sometimes more a luxury than an essential. So it was just a pipe dream until now!

It came all the way from Bushwick, Brooklyn somewhere near Hart Street in mint condition with almost all the original accessories including the extra needle, spool caps, and threaders! I don’t know exactly when it was made but from looking at the box and pictures on it my guess is it’s from the 80′s or 90′s.

It’s more of a junior serger or kids-type hobby serger but this means it’s also extremely compact and the perfect beginner machine for someone who might just like to try it or have it around for when in a bind!

Singer Tiny Serger TS380A
Singer Tiny Serger TS380A
Singer Tiny Serger TS380A
Singer Tiny Serger TS380A

~ It’s compact and light, about 6in. x 12in.
~ The foot pedal has a switch for 2 speeds
~ There is a handy sewing light
~ Hand wheel
~ It’s super cute!

Overedge vs. Overlock
It’s actually an “Overedge” machine rather than an “Overlock” machine so it works basically like your typical serger except it does not trim or cut off the fabric edges. This can be a benefit for beginners who need practice working with a serger because the fabric does not get cut. So if it goes crooked you can simply rip out the thread and try again without the risk of losing fabric!

3 Spools vs. 4 Spools
A typical serger for home use usually has 4 spools. But the Tiny Serger only uses 3 spools. When you see a typical serger with 4 spools it will most likely be an Overlock machine that also trims the fabric as it stitches.

Resources and Manuals
The Singer Co. website is normally full of great information on all their products. But I could not find much information on the Tiny Serger. But I did find the full instruction manual!
Manual – Singer Tiny Serger, TS380A

I’ve been googling around and read mixed reviews about it. Some people say it’s difficult to work with but given its size and function it’s definitely noteworthy. Since it’s more a novelty item it may not be suitable for more serious sewers but perhaps for a budding sewer or hobbyist crafter it can be perfect!

❤ I got this as a present from Craigston Yip III, Esq. and it’s not even my birthday! My first project on this little serger will be a surprise present for the treasure hunter himself! Heart it so much and thanks. It’s perfect! ❤ ❤ ❤

What’s the difference between a Serger, an Overlock, and an Overedge Machine?
All the above are sergers. Sergers create a different type of stitch that wrap around the sides of fabric in order to join them. Unlike sewing machines, sergers only do a single stitch. This stitch cannot be reproduced in a sewing machine. Therefore a separate machine is needed for this stitch.

An Overlock machine traditionally uses 4 threads at once to create the stitch and it trims the fabric edge as it goes. An Overedge machine typically uses 3 threads at once and does not cut the fabric edges. Wikipedia has a nice intro article on sergers, overlock, and overedge machines.

I have yet to practice threading it and taking it for a test drive but will soon, so more about the Tiny Serger in action later. I’ve also only ever used the serger (overlock) featured in a previous post, so don’t have that much experience with a serger but now I’ll have a great opportunity to get comfortable with one!

I have received many emails about where to buy a mini novelty serger like this one. Unfortunately, I have yet to find one available on the market today. This is a vintage serger :(. However, many standard serger machines are available today. Here’s some info on where to buy:

Brands – Brands that make full-sized, full featured sergers with 4 spools. Prices usually start around $200 per machine to start though, a big investment for hobby homesewers.

Craft Stores – These hobby and craft stores should carry sergers along with sewing machines.
Hobby Lobby

Big Box Stores – These big box stores and online stores also carry sewing machines and sergers. Even Costco!
Costco may have some vintage tiny sergers for sale too.

Do you know where to find novelty mini sergers like this one? If so, please let us know :)

Mass Market vs. Handmade + Crochet

Aug 23

Comez Crochet Machine via
Comez Crochet Machine via Crochet Concupiscence

I discovered something new about Crochet! I came across a heated-ish discussion on Twitter the other day about Mass Market vs. Handmade which led me to the discovery above. And the question – Is there such a thing as machine-made Crochet? Knitted items are easily mass produced without a human hand in sight. And are commonly found in many goods and apparel. But what about Crochet? But before we get into that…

At What Point Is Something Mass Market?
It’s an awkward question in general because it really depends on the context. There are also generally accepted industry and business standards on how mass-market is defined in order to provide rules and regulations for how that business is to operate. But the thread itself got me thinking where the line was drawn for me. I wished I could link to the actual conversation but Twitter sucks. It’s also an interesting topic these days especially because Handmade and Handcrafted has been having a resurgence or renaissance of sorts. Partially in part to the Internet which ironically enough is also responsible for making many a good and service more “global” and more one-size-fits-all at the same time.

@spacecadetcreat, @mk_caroll, @lornaslaces, and @glamsmitten were debating the line between mass market and hand-crafted. Where is the line drawn? (more…)

Loom Knitting: Fluid Dress

Aug 09

Fluid Dress by Casual Profanity ~ Song, Cherry by Ratatat

The above dress is indeed KNIT! While it does not use traditional yarn nor does it use traditional knitting, it was newsworthy for knitting inspiration with a tech slant. What’s extra cool is it uses an oldish, sort of outdated, form of knitting called Loom Knitting. It’s a fun modern marvel with an old school twist!

The above dress is hand knit using a knitting loom. At first I could not figure out if it was knit and if so what kind? But I checked out the Construction of the Fluid Dress post on their website. The photos showed what looked like a flat ring with pegs and a great shot of the dress being knitted. It’s knitted in a tubular fashion! Not unlike Circular Knitting however it just uses a loom. She also crafted the knitting loom itself!

O yeah and there is indeed fluid coursing through the dress! I didn’t read too much into the mechanics of the dress itself. But from what I gathered, colored mineral oil is being pumped through the clear plastic tubing that is being used for “yarn”. The rest of the dress is simply being backlit to appear tinted. Find out more about the Fluid Dress, Casual Profanity, and Charlie Bucket (who I think made the dress!).

Loom Knitting is basically any type of knitting that uses pegs that are mounted on a board called knitting looms. They can be round or long boards or any shape! Sometimes they resemble toy railroad tracks but with pegs instead of tracks. The easiest way to describe it is with pictures! It’s a whole new ballgame in a sense, the knitting is done with a different perspective and mostly produces tubular knits but this form of knitting has been around for as long as needle knitting.

Knitting Looms Sock Loom

Knitting Loom Knitting Looms

Here’s some resources on Loom Knitting I found with a quick google:

Via The Mad Scientist who sent this while in Toronto. Merci Buckets! Good lookin’ out!

Uncommon Goods Jewelry Design Challenge

Aug 06

Uncommon Goods T-Shirt Necklace Uncommon Goods Woven Earrings Uncommon Goods Woven Earrings

Check out the above woven jewelry featured at the Uncommon Goods marketplace! They are T-Shirt Necklace made of recycled apparel, Jasmine Woven Earrings, and Feather Woven Earrings. All handmade by local artisans.

Uncommon Goods is having a Jewelry Design Challenge that is open to all disciplines including Knitting, Crochet, and Sewing! Anyone can enter to win a $500 prize and a vendor contract with Uncommon Goods. The only rule with any entry is they ask that the handmade goods do not use feathers, leather, pearls, or any methods that harm animals. They are looking for unique pieces and fresh designs so again, all you fiber and textile artists with a hankering for making some jewelry can REPRESENT!! The items featured here in my post were the only handmade textile jewelry I could find on the site.

Uncommon Goods Design ChallengeContest Rules:
Entry: Up to five of your unique designs
Enter Here: Entry Form
Rules: Full Contest Rules
Deadline: August 31, 2011

~~+~ ~+~ ~+~

Uncommon Goods Design ChallengeUncommon Goods is an online marketplace that seeks out creative handmade goods with a focus on eco-conscious! They are based right here in Brooklyn, NY. Many artisans and vendors like Green 3, who made the T-Shirt Necklace above, also focus on community and local resources including partnering with non-profit organizations. The T-Shirt Necklace above was made with scraps collected from apparel factories by Green 3 who partnered with Aspiro. Aspiro is a non-profit in Green Bay, Wisconsin that specializes in teaching job skills to cognitively disabled adults. The necklaces are cut and sewn by adults in the program, giving them an opportunity for independent living. You can read all about Uncommon Goods and their mission here.

Uncommon Goods Power Cord Necklace This knitted power cord necklace is handmade in Brooklyn by artist Nguyen Le from a cotton/wool blend yarn made by a family owned & operated yarn company in Mitchell, Nebraska. Find more about Nguyen on her website –

Crochet Hoop EarringsAlso check out my Hoop Earrings, Crochet Style as seen on the left for some inspiration if you’d like! The pattern is free!

Check out some other online marketplaces for handmade goods in my list of handmade marketplaces.