Posts Tagged ‘Sewing’

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

Features:
~ 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!

WHERE TO BUY
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.
Juki
Janome
Singer

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

Big Box Stores – These big box stores and online stores also carry sewing machines and sergers. Even Costco!
Target
Walmart
Costco
Amazon.com
Ebay.com 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 :)

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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 – KnitKnit.com.

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.

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iPhone & Cross Stitch Fun!

Jul 13

DIY iPhone Cover Kit by Connect Design

DIY iPhone Cover Kit by Connect Design

For all you crafty Sewers slash Do-It-Yourselfers here is a lovely and fun way to dress up your iPhone! iPhone posts are few and far between on my blog but this one was adorably cute and interactive. Here is a nice little cross-stitch kit you can buy to make yourself an iPhone 4 case! The kit includes the cover itself and a few designs to choose from but it looks like you can customize it any way you’d like! A fun little needlepoint project for those who would like to try Cross-Stitch. So check it out! Get your cross-stitching on and have a lovely new case for your iPhone! Kit $18 USD. Needle Arts FTW!!

Some other nerdy fun + cross stitch here on Sprite Stitch. A community of people dedicated to handmade arts and crafts with themes centered around the video game industry. Check out their Super Marios!

Thanks John for sending this in.

DIY iPhone Case by Connect Design

Update: Apr 13, 2012 – Purl Bee has a lovely post featuring this iphone case! See their Sweet Stitching blog post for more info! They’re also selling the Leese Design iPhone 4 & 4S Cross-Stitch Case on their website! Price $24.20

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Dove Chocolate & Knit Sew Crochet!

Apr 19

Dove Chocolate - Flaws are Fabulous

Shout out to Knitting, Sewing & Crochet in the above chocolate commercial!
I love chocolate and I love to Knit, Sew, & Crochet!! Mind explosion.
Check out Dove Chocolate’s latest commercial on their Facebook page.

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Knit, Sew, & Crochet Class Mania

Mar 19

Spring is here! It was 74 gorgeous degrees outside yesterday in NYC! Nothing like nice weather to chase away the winter blues (and all the seriously heavy stuff going on in the world right now). So I’m ready for Summer. I’ve been dreaming up some fun ideas to get into gear and decided to celebrate by taking some Knitting classes. I’ve so far only been interested in classes for Sewing. I’ve never taken a formal course in Knitting or Crochet before. So this time around I decided to try some out. Perhaps those who prefer to try Knitting or Crochet for the first time with a class can find this list helpful too! I’ll be trying 4 classes this Spring. 3 Knitting, 1 Sewing. From Lion Brand Yarn Studio, Purl Soho, and Sew Fast Sew Easy. With a special mention to 3rd Ward and Etsy Labs. I’m super excited! Read on for full details!

Toe Up Socks by Melissa Morgan Oakes

Lion Brand Yarn Studio
The above book by Melissa Morgan Oakes is one of the classes I’ll be trying here. LBY Studio has a wealth of Knitting and Crochet classes for everyone from the beginner beginner to the rabid fanatic. Beginning Crochet or Knitting, Crochet or Knitting Brush-Up courses for those who just need a refresher, Toe-Up Socks, Top Down Knitting, Tunisian Crochet and many more wonderful courses. I saw quite a few I’d like to take. But I settled on two to start. Toe Up Socks 1 session. 7 hours! $95. And Top Down Knitting. 3 sessions. 2 hours each. $75! They often have wonderful special classes and events by anyone from Nicky Epstein – if you knit it’s likely you either own or have come across one of her books before. I personally own Knitting on Top of the World and Crocheting on the Edge. To Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. And many more. The only drawback so far is that you must choose a Lion Brand Yarn for your project. I didn’t love that but don’t mind it too much yet. Not too bad considering it’s easier to cover more ground if everyone works with standard materials. It’s also a common practice for most classes. But you will get 10% off all yarns and supplies you purchase if you’re taking a class.

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Going Solo: Sewing Style

Jan 31

HOLY CRAP! I just found the sewing book of my dreams. I went to the bookstore on a lark (as per usual) to check out the sewing books. I wasn’t expecting to find anything to write home about. Instead I found something to write to the world about! Ha. Ok. I kid. But seriously.

The Sewing Book by Alison Smith
The Sewing Book by Alison Smith – $40

So far it’s got everything I’m looking for. Everything I’ve learned in my previous classes (all the beginner topics like Sewing Machine, Tools, Fabrics, Stitches, and Reading Patterns) to what I’m looking for now, Alterations! Along with much more like Button Holes, Pleats, Pants etc.

All with clear gorgeous and very descriptive photographs (not illustrations). And in a very digestible format great for beginners or as a very handy reference for the more advanced. Comprehensive yet easy enough for beginners to digest, expansive yet organized, beautifully laid out all in a giant pink hardcover textbook. IT’S A GEM!

Compare that to the $430 I’ve spent on 2 classes (and that’s with major shopping around and a half price class!) I still think beginning Sewing for the first time requires a class. But once you get that and the basics down it’s easier to choose which way to go from there. After no real luck looking for a decent comprehensive sewing class and then finding this book, I’m going to forego my next sewing class. And self-learn for a bit like I did for Knitting and Crochet. I can get more done on my own time in this fashion too. If you’re in the same boat as me, then I highly recommend flipping through to see if it’s for you. If so, you can save some money on classes!

The Sewing Book by Alison Smith The Sewing Book by Alison Smith The Sewing Book by Alison Smith The Sewing Book by Alison Smith The Sewing Book by Alison Smith

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Pattern: Circle Top by Papercut Patterns

Jan 29

Papercut Patterns - Circle Top Papercut Patterns - Circle Top Papercut Patterns - Circle Top Papercut Patterns - Circle Top Papercut Patterns - Circle Top

OMG! HEART how this top came out. Here’s my Circle Top by Papercut Patterns! I chose a wool jersey knit (Gorgeous!) fabric with pleats that I found at Mood Fabric. $14 per yard! It gave it an Elizabethan-ish style. Yet modern. The pattern and the fabric together gave the piece this accordion looking edge. Such a lovely detail. No fancy tricks required. Some Nap wrangling is required though! It’s my ode to Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please!

Papercut Patterns - Circle Top Papercut Patterns - Circle Top Papercut Patterns - Circle Top Papercut Patterns - Circle Top Papercut Patterns - Circle Top Papercut Patterns - Circle Top Papercut Patterns - Circle Top

Knits! This was my first project working with knits and it was actually not bad at all. The fabric was not at all that difficult to work with, all you have to watch out for is not stretching or pulling the fabric. Let it do its thing. Keep the fabric flat, in fact avoid lifting it as much as possible. I even pinned it while it was flat on the floor. The raw edges stay flat enough to work with as long as it’s not overworked while handling or sewing. When in doubt use lots of pins. Go slow and handle it gingerly. That’s pretty much it. The only difficulty I had was in getting it on grain in the very beginning because it does have weight and does stretch on its own. Once it was flat with no wrinkles or bumps I just left it there. Cut around the pieces and only picked them up when ready to sew.

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FOTD: Purple & Green

Jan 28

FABRIC OF THE DAY: Purple & Green Chevron Herringbone

Purple & Green Chevron from Mood Fabrics

Purple & Green Chevron from Mood Fabrics Purple & Green Chevron from Mood Fabrics Purple & Green Chevron from Mood Fabrics

I went gaga over this fabric. It’s going to be made into a mod-style shift dress, Simplicity #2568 from the Sew Stylish Collection by Simplicity! Coming soon! I originally bought it for my Papercut Patterns Circle Top but I’m using a gorgeous wool jersey for that! That fabric post coming soon too.

Wool Polyester Blend – Knit
58″ wide – $18 per yard from Mood Fabrics

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Beginner Sewing @ The Sewing Studio

Jan 26

The Sewing Studio
Our teachers Jonathan (L) and Gertie (R) with Alvinna

Every Saturday for the last 8 weeks, once a week, for 2 hours each week, I’ve been heading across town to The Sewing Studio for my Beginner Sewing Class. Some time last year I found it online while hunting for sewing classes. Although the curriculum was really appealing, I didn’t sign up right away. But a few months later, by lucky luck, Denise Wild who runs The Sewing Studio tweeted a special discount in celebration of her birthday. I happened to see the tweet (!) and took it as a sign to try it out. I later saw it advertised on Groupon as well.

Although there are a variety of options in New York for sewing classes, I still had a hard time finding just the right one. So here are some details on my class. Hopefully it will help anyone interested in Sewing decide if this is the right class for them!

The Sewing StudioStudio Space and Equipment
The studio itself is pretty spacious, bright, and clean. Made up of one main room, a sitting area, and a smaller room for holding another class. The main room had good table top space for preparing your pattern, a serger station, and 2 ironing stations. The sewing machines were set up in 2 long rows on opposite sides of the room. The smaller room was also similarly set up. We worked on Janome Sewist 500s and also had access to 4 sergers (also Janome).

Janome Sewist 500 Janome Sergers

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Pattern: Ruffle Skirt #7462 by Burda

Jan 23

Burda Skirt - Front Burda Skirt - Side Burda Skirt - Back

Finally! My class project is done. I made the Rock Skirt #7462 Pattern by Burda. It’s a two-tiered ruffle skirt. I love the skirt but it was much more difficult than I thought it would be. The gathers were hard to make because the gathers go through 2 layers of fabric and I chose a thick fabric. Le sigh. I also did not love the fit. Somehow it turned out slightly too big!

I liked the length but it was too wide. I’ll have to try it again with a slightly less thick fabric and work on fit. But here it is! The pattern itself was also a little bit difficult to follow because it was European and layout out slightly different from standard American patterns but not too bad if you persevere. See here for full details on my Beginner Sewing Class at The Sewing Studio.

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