Thursday, 11 October 2012


I never knew the following could happen to something so... so... vintage and special!

Couldn't wait to get the lid off!

andi knows a bit about sewing machines... after leaving school my 1st job was as a sewing machine mechanic. After woking on modern machines I discovered the limits on longevity due to ever larger amounts of plastic being employed. This gives the machine a shorter life span and for the price we accept it... Like most things these days... not built to last and often not repairable as the manufacturer doesn't carry all the parts after 5-10 years. Hmmm.. I'm sounding like an old fuddy duddy (boy! that sent the spell checker into a spin) It's a bit true though. I feel things like vacuum cleaners, cars and sewing machines should last longer, unlike toasters and kettles.

Wow! It looks brand new...

Back to the surprise purchase (unseen). The sewing machine was a famous turn of the century (1902-1903) Singer Model 15 . Wow!! Morgie was in Sewing Nirvana! 

Couldn't wait to whip the gorgeous rounded wooden lid off! (never new they lacquered the wood work... Hmmm) and there it was..... A COPY... A RETRO... A REPLICA... A NOSTALGIC VERSION!... all the way from being manufactured in Taiwan circa 1985 and featuring the “lightning bolt” or “RAF” decals from the 1930s 

The Replica Model 15 (left) and an original Model 28 
Replica with plastic knobs and latch (left)
Not bad though, it looks real enough, it weighs a ton, as Gran would say to Grandfather "Please lift my Singer onto the table for me..." The casting was good and the machining not bad as are the paint work and decals but the attention to detail is not quite there.

Back cover detail
OK lets see if it works.. and after repairing the hand crank she turned very stiffly in places and wobbled a bit. The needle eventually jammed in the bobbin case and broke off! Sad to say the quality of the mechanical bits just isn't there. :(

Bobin winders 
I went no further as there would be no way I'd let any fabric near it! unlike the beautiful 1921 No.28 Singer owned by Grandmother which I still use for heavy duty work and has sewn a complete heavy canvas cover for a ski boat and repaired many a tent etc. But that's not why it's been purchased though. It's for the boutique as a prop and will do that job better than the real thing... why? it looks loved and brand new, very eye catching!!

Thread tensioners 
I guess the thing is we don't think twice about putting that 8 year old sewing machine onto the grass verge in readiness for the council collection but that machine once used by my meema and my mummy is now 91 years young and still not missing a stitch! 

Friday, 31 August 2012

Dresses from China...

Front before hemming
back before hemming belt complete

China is such a great place to source that special dress! The price is to die for! andi can't even buy the material for that cost... BUT... there is sometimes a down side which keeps us busy... The fit! and even the quality of fabric?

Recently a very sweet workmate of mine was invited to be a bridesmaid at her besties wedding. The bride-to-be chose a gorgeous bridesmaid dress from an online shop (China).

Adjusted hem line 
Old hem lots of ups & downs!
Pretty on the day 

The design of the dress was great but the fit... ummm not to good! Lucky they seem to always be too big! Great for the dressmaker as a re-cut is easy, as is the hem. 

I guess the warning is to be prepared to spend some extra money on a garment to ensure a perfect fit. Problems fixed included: Re-hem lining and overskirt, adjust yoke as was not sewn in straight, adjusted ruche under arms to reduce bulge, re-fashioned sash to be ruche at front and flat through the bow and tails, removed belt loops from sides as were set too high and not required. The bridesmaid dress is just as important as the brides dress (ask any bridesmaidzilla!) even though it maybe worn only once... the photography lasts forever!

The quality of the fabric can also be a let down at times too! So be aware and remember to add a few dollars for alterations.

The saying 'you get what you pay for' is so true, and that feeling of disappointment when you try on that ill fitting garment for the first time leaves a bitter taste... don't lose hope... just call your local dressmaker!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Music Fashion Revealed - IKON fashion management

andi attended a Fashion and Music show held by IKON recently in Haymarket Sydney.

The night was not only a great showcase of designer talent but the young generation of models and singers. These youngsters (Circa 14 - 18 years) demonstrated not only great passion and strength over the entire evening but also excellent professionalism way beyond their years!

Fashion is a tough and highly competitive industry with the new emerging talent raising the bar higher and higher.

One such fashion designer caught my eye on the night, Rathenart Artworks and Design by Rebecca Anne Brady. The short skirt seen to the left is a hand painted fabric and looks sensational! The ability to create your own fabric design gives the designer the ultimate ability to produce the most bespoke garment. Rebecca an accomplished artist has created a unique clothing range where 'art meets fashion'.



Monday, 13 August 2012

Thank You Jennifer at Pintucks

Visit Pintucks -  goto links page
I added Pintucks link to my link page
and asked Jennifer if that would be okay?

Her reply:

"I think your website is fun and interesting, and I wonder why you don't have your own blog. You obviously have alot of interests and your projects would be fun to read about. It's also a great way to keep in touch with your international friends."

So Thanks Jennifer for the push it seems 
like a lot of work but I hope the readers will enjoy it! andi