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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Keeping things moving

First of all Thank You!

I needed a reminder about Ottobre patterns. And Jemilyea that link to Chez Ami is just what I was looking for in fabric.

We will see how we go with dressing Miss Scarlett. I don't know about you but I clearly remember my favourite clothes from my childhood and the outfits that made me feel special. 

Every girl, of any age, needs that.

I have been cleaning and thread changing my machines and this has reminded me about my daughter's industrial. 

This is my daughter on her industrial as an illustration of how they sew differently than a domestic machine.

The things I would like to share about an industrial are this:

  • Obviously they are fast, my daughter says she finds her old machine annoying to work on now, waiting for it to finish seams.
  • The straight stitch is just beautiful. Like all single function machines it does what it does and does it well. You really can't compare the straight stitch.
  • It is weird. The motor gets turned on and she lifts the knee lever and turns the fly wheel to engage it. The foot pedal is the size of a phone book (remember phone books?). It winds the next bobbin while you sew.
  • Compared to a regular sewing machine it is a deal. This is a reconditioned model from a very reliable industrial dealer who delivered and installed it to her house. He has sincecome back to add on a walking foot and adjust her foot pedal angle (because yes she is tall) and all this service is no charge. The total cost of the machine was $500, and yes it is single function, but still, I think a bargain.
There is also something amazing I have to show you:

You probably wonder what you are looking at but this is the machine tilted up to show you the oil pan - yes that thing that looks like a sort of metal cake pan is totally full of clear oil and the whole metal mechanical bottom of the machine sits right in it the whole time.

This reminded me of something my technician friend, who was trained in Europe on industrials, told me.

That machines, metal moving parts, love oil. With use and heat metal parts swell and start to wear away against each other, oil prevents this. 

He was particularly keen on oiling the metal hook that holds the bobbin. He showed me how to put a piece of paper towel in front of the door, remove the bobbin, squirt a whole bunch of clear proper sewing machine oil (if it is coloured or thick it is the wrong stuff) into the bobbin area and run the machine for about 5 minutes. 

All the hidden lint comes flying out - he called it washing the hook.

I think sewers are oil adverse - bad experiences with bad oils and lint that got caught in those oils and made black marks in the fabric. Much like so many of us don't change our needles enough.

The oil pan in my daughter's machine made me really think about this, and as I write this you can be assured that all my machines are currently newly oiled.

Oh and one other thing.

My mechanic friend told me that in a factory if the machines that were not in use were not covered ( to prevent dust and lint getting into them) they were not insured.

Digest that one.

Up sometime soon are going to be some spiffy sewing machine covers. 

I have decided my whole life in general could do with some major spiffing up and the sewing room seems the obvious place to start.


Texan said...

I have been keeping my ears open for a commercial straight stitch machine. I used to sew on them all the time back when I worked in Interior Design. I could not agree more they are a bargain!

annie said...

Okay. I have just found I LOVE my Bernina 801. And the price was right. Don't get me started on something else ;).

Barbara said...

Annie I love my 801 too and probably won't be buying an industrial - and my daughter lives 5 minutes away ...

annie said...

Best of all possible worlds!

Catherine Daze said...

Fascinating! My machine's supposed not to need oiling at all, and I've always wondered a bit about whether that's actually going to work long term.

Julie Culshaw said...

About ten years ago, I bought a Bernina 950, which is a semi-industrial. It does zigzag plus one buttonhole. And you are so right, the straight stitch is the best I have ever seen.

Lyrique said...

Wow, that's interesting about insuring only covered machines, and the picture of the oil pan was certainly enlightening. Thanks for the info, Barb. It was a very long day at work, and sitting down to read this while sipping a bit of wine has removed me totally from the work world and put a smile on my face! Cool! Ya know...I think sewing is positively addictive!

jemilyea said...

I'm glad the ChezAmi link worked and that you find it useful.

Anonymous said...

I think we need pictures of that oiling the hook bit!

patsijean said...

I too wonder about the inability to oil newer machines and the instructions not to. I put a little on the needle bar anyway as there has to be friction with all that up and down motion.