Saturday, September 20, 2014

Singer 66 Treadle: Cleaning the machine head

We are finally finishing up the table this weekend, and I realized that I never posted about cleaning up the actual machine. To recap: I bought the table last September, and Andrew sanded the wood and metal base down in the fall, over weekends in October and November. We almost go to the staining and painting part, but then last (brutal) winter caught up with us. The back porch is uninsulated and unheated, so we gave up for the winter...and then some!

I was able to take this into the dining room and clean it, however. Excuse the crappy pictures that were taken in the dark, early evenings in November- January. 

The machine was cleaned with an old toothbrush, Q-tips, cheesecloth, copper wool, screwdrivers and sewing machine oil. It took a LOT of elbow grease, but not everything is perfectly shiny and new. That's okay as it's almost 100 years old. I got out all the old grease and lint and greasy, old lint. Everything moves smoothly and functions!
Base before cleaning. 

Not perfect, but way better and missing a ton of old grease.
Base after cleaning.

I forgot to take a before of the head. Machine oil is best for cleaning because it doesn't take off the decals. You still don't want to rub very hard. The N and G are missing because the owner had a piece of fabric wrapped there to use as pincushion. I have seen that on many old machines at estate sales.
Decals after cleaning.
 Cleaning the bobbin area was very time consuming and gross. What looks like poop in the picture is actually a hard mix of old lint, dirt and lubricant that had to soak in machine oil until it loosened up. This took me several evenings to finish. I do know how to take apart the whole thing and put it back together!

 After, with the bobbin out. Not all of the silver would come back to "shiny", but it at least clean and it spins smoothly.

After, put all back together.
I was on a roll here and forgot to take a before picture. It looks gross, but the shiny black is just the cast iron. This part (the tensions?) was completely full of dust/lint. This one made the biggest impact after cleaning it; the whole machine starting turning really easily and smoothly!
With flash

Without flash. 

 After cleaning the turning parts in here. It was black with old grease.
 The round plate on the back and this plate on the left have that raised texture and I really had trouble cleaning them. In the end, they are not completely clean and shiny, but they look better. It looks much worse with the flash on than in real life.
 In real (winter), daylight.
 This was just a day's amount of cleaning stuff. I used a million Q-tips on the bobbin case and to get into all those little areas. I think the toothbrush was the perfect tool for most of the scrubbing; it can fit into a small area, but still is abrasive enough to take off most of the grime.
It looks a million times better and is ready to be used, as soon as the table is done. I'm excited to see it all refurbished and put back together!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Estate Sale Loot: Max Factor Make-up Kit for Students

I bought this two weeks ago at an estate sale near Skokie and forgot to take pictures of it with the rest of my loot. It is deserving of its own post because I think it is cool and interesting. I saw it on top of a dresser and decided to buy it after opening it up; it was unique and since I always read /r/makeupaddicts on Reddit, I thought I would buy it for the low, low price of three dollars.
 I did some lazy internet "research" and it seems that these date from the 30s to the 50/60s. There are male and female sets, and I have a male. It look like the main difference was that the female one had mascara and another blusher. Older versions of the male one included a fake mustache and nose putty! I guess this would be closer to the newer end, but nothing is dated.  A few have sold on etsy and I saw another incomplete one on ebay that sold for $95!

 It is supposed to have some eyeliner pencils and a big powder puff, as well, but those are missing.

The cold cream has been used up completely, but there is still a small, flat powder puff and a lot of face powder in a light skin tone.
 There are four cream liners in yellow, black, brown and blue. The brown and blue are very dried out, but the others are fine. There is also Moist Rouge, which is a cream blush. I swatched all of these using q-tips onto printer paper, as I was kind of skeeved out at the thought of putting 60+ year old, used make-up on my skin. Shocking, I know.
 There is a nearly untouched powder blush, which has its puff and you can even still read the Max Factor stamp on the top of the rouge. It has a nice black and gold metal tin.
 There are four grease paints in various skin tones, but it seems it was sold with five. It seems the box comes with directions (now missing) on how to make yourself up into various characters like "straight", elderly, "Hindoo", Chinese and Spanish, which seem a little random. Mine is missing the instructions, though.
 Here is it all laid out together.
 I repacked it incorrectly. All the liners go in the center rectangle. The top left would have been the pencils and the top right would have been a big powder puff, if it had them still.
I thought this was a cool find and wanted to share it with you! What do you think?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Simplicity 1810- Transition Dress

As I stared to gain weight, I looked through my patterns for something loose, or with an elastic waist. I found Simplicity 1810A, particularly view B with the knee-length skirt and no sleeves. I thought it had an elastic waist, until I looked over the instructions and realized it is basically a sack with a waist tie. Perfect!
Simplicity 1810A
I cut out my normal size, XS, since these patterns have a huge amount of ease. And I was correct. Even up 10+ lbs and with new, 2x as big boobs, it is pretty huge and nearly too low-cut to wear!

My fabric is from my spring trip to Mood, it is a cotton knit with a brown and off-white giraffe-ish print. It is thin, but not translucent. It has served me well for the last month or so, being perfect for the hot weather yet also cute with a little cardigan. 

Unfortunately, the fabric had these black marks on it. They were right in the center in two places, but I didn't notice that until I had cut out the dress. Of course they ended up about waist-high, dead center on both of the main body pieces. Luckily the print is busy and with the waist tied, the blend in for the most part. 
Mood fabric with marks
Here it is on my beautiful assistant, untied. It has little tucks on the shoulder below the yoke. Otherwise, potato sack.
Ties not tied
The only mildly interesting thing about the pattern is that the ties are sewn into the back darts. This is because the back is cut on the fold, and it is only one piece. It looks nice and then I can't lose the matching sash, like I am always doing with my Alma blouses.
I wore it to estate sales last Saturday, in hopes that we would happen upon a cool place to take pictures. We drove by this mosaic mural and I yelled STOP!! We took some pictures and then I looked across the street and saw the fox; I love foxes!
The ties give it some shape, although I am rapidly losing mine

I like how the dress' print kind of mimics the man to the right.
  Sorry for the bra straps, I know you are deeply offended! :) I am busting (hahaha pun) out of all of my bras and that is one of the few that fit.
Thanks for looking and I am happy with this dress on many levels. It will help me transition from summer to fall, from secretly pregnant to huge-belly pregnant and I can wear it causally or at work. Yay!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Today's Estate Sale Loot- Vintage Lingerie

Thank you for all your well-wishes and pregnancy pattern suggestions! We are very excited, as are all of our parents for the first grandbaby on both sides. I have lots of sewing plans, so hopefully that will motivate me to post more often!
Andrew came with me to four estate sales, and then was immediately filled with regret (I think). They were all fairly close-by in NW Chicago and the other neighborhoods that pretend to be small, independent towns. Then we ate hot dogs. It was fun!

All of my loot came from two of the four; the other two were just junk that did not interest me. It cost a grand total of 8 dollars, 4 of which were for a cast iron skillet that Andrew wanted. I forgot to take a picture, but you can use your imagination!

I bought this masterpiece of a dress for $1. Maybe I will be a fortune-teller for Halloween! The waist is ruched and the skirt has panels made of two different, bright prints. Plus the peasant-style bodice.
 Coral gloves, $1.
 White slip with blue embroidered flowers, to sell on Etsy. 50 cents.

 Nude slip with sheer ruffle and flowers. 50 cents. For Etsy.

 Sexy lingerie featuring ruffled panties and a dress. It was impossible o take a picture of very well, but the top has a double layer to the bust and the under layer has bows over the nips. $1 total, also for Etsy.

So that was fun! I think someone on etsy would like the vintage clothes. Hopefully I can sew around my brother and Andrew as they bottle their latest beer today!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Exciting NEWS!!!!

Hey guess what?!?!? Andrew and I are expecting a baby, due to arrive at the beginning of March! 

We are so excited and now that I'm four months pregnant, I can share the news!

Look at that alien head!

I have not yet grown out of my clothes, but I have been looking at elastic waist-ed patterns that I already own. I made one tie-waist dress and am currently wearing it, but haven't taken any pictures yet! If anyone has any good pattern suggestions, I am all ears!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Estate Sale Loot featuring Vintage Clothes!

These are from last Saturday's estate sale-ing. I have been on summer break/laid off, so I do very little during the week. So on Saturday, I wanted to go to estate sales. Andrew, on the other hand, worked all week and wanted to chill. So with the help of my handy, talking Google maps app lady, I set off alone to three sales in N/NW Chicago. And I wasn't even murdered. Wow.

This is everything from all three and I think I spent 5/3/7 for a total of 15 dollars. I love estate sales because it combines many things I enjoy: snooping through people's stuff and homes, judging people, buying old crap I don't really need, and being very cheap. Yay!

I have been trying to drink more liquids, so I wanted some small glasses that actually show me what 8 oz is. And a tiny llama mom and baby wooden figurine, cause why not?
 I also bought a set of rainbow striped sheets, or as we call them, "dead people sheets." Also a nice drink shaker with a little screw off spout, for really violent shanking shaking.
 Now to follow are some very taken-with-a-potato quality pictures of me modeling my new 70s clothes. There was a trunk in the basement of one of the houses of a woman who was clearly my size in the 70s. The clothes all fit, even the pants are the right length. So nice. Andrew and my brother were drying some of their hops and said it was disgusting that I didn't wash them first. So prissy. I showered afterwards because they did have that old house stank, which transferred to my skin, but I couldn't wait to model them.

I plan on wearing this sexy muumuu all winter long!
 A scarf blouse that is also a bodysuit? Shazam!
 Like a diaper. So sexy. I actually really like the blouse, so I think I will just give it a new hem and take off the diaper part, which was very obvious under pants. Aren't you glad I shared this dumpy picture of my butt with you? Heh.
 The full ensemble with green polyester pants. They are a bit snug right now, as I have gained 9 lbs (ek) but I will save them and wear them in the future. No wrinkles! Don't need to hem them!
 Same pants, but in white. Oh la la! Je suis tres a la mode!
 I call this picture Ebony and Ivory. T-Rex really loves being picked up in the air, lol.
 My final polyester blouse. Andrew and Luke's groans and cringes could not phase me, look at my smile! It is really a conversation starter! I said I will wear i when we go bowling next time. It seems like a great bowling shirt!
 Wow, those cuffs!
Now that you are uncontrollably jealous of my awesome new clothes, have a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Rae skirt goes to Rome

I was a pattern tester for the Sewaholic Rae skirt several months ago. I kept forgetting to take pictures, so I threw it in my suitcase to take some pictures of it in Europe. We drove from the Amalfi coast up to Rome and spent a day in Rome. This was due to flights: all the flights from Naples to Corsica were around 700 euros, and if we flew from Rome to Corsica, it was something like 77 euros total. Plus we already had a rental car, and Andrew loves driving, so that was an easy decision. 

Sewing the skirt is super easy, as it meant to be a very very beginner's pattern. It is just an easy skirt to make and took me an afternoon. My fabric is some random knit from JoAnn. Probably the worst part of pattern testing is due to the time constraints, I always end up using some less-than-ideal, shit fabric from Jo-Ann. I don't think the pattern suggested knits, but all of the other prints were hideous. 
My crappy knit fabric
From our hotel room balcony on the Amalfi coast. 
 Later that day at the Coliseum:
 If I had actually made it for vacation, I would have chosen a brighter and more fun print. And maybe hem it a little shorter too. It's kind of a frumpy length, I think. For me and my short legs.

While in Corsica, it rained and then we got to see a double rainbow!!
 I also surprised Andrew with a pig pastry from the patisserie! So cute and it was chocolate on the inside and cake.
Any suggestions for online photo albums? I think I had a flickr account many moons ago. I would be very happy to never put anything on facebook ever again, but my mom wants to see our vacation pictures. Ideas? :)