Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Another London story

I don't know if I have mentioned that my husband is a very persuasive fellow. I know I didn't reveal his fascination with Elizabeth's vintage sewing machines, but it was a severe attack. My husband collects and uses vintage woodworking tools. The sewing machines seemed to fit into this category and to arouse his collecting instincts.
When Elizabeth kindly offered me her featherweight, he mendaciously agreed that it would make suitable handluggage (come on guys, a featherweight weighs more than 7kg) and mentioned about 50 times in the next few days that he would carry it for me. I was strong (thinking of my sorrow, should a featherweight be stolen from me by the security people at Heathrow) and resisted the offer. I was very tempted, I admit. I was quite enarmored of the ruffler foot in particular.

After I failed to buy a scarf at Liberty, and failed to spend my fabric budget at Goldhawk Rd, my husband insisted (my story, and I am sticking to it) that we return to Goldhawk Rd after our day of sightseeing in order to buy more fabric - Liberty silk in particular.

Gratuitous sight-seeing photo

Did I mention that my husband is very kind to me?
We caught a double decker bus from Shepard's Bush station (very pleasing again), which dropped us off at the opposite end of the fabric section of Goldhawk Rd. There just happens to be a sewing machine repair shop here - and there was a vintage Singer in the window. My husband went into this shop whilst I dashed up the road to A-one fabrics, and bought some delectable pieces

When I wandered back down the street to meet my husband, he had a coffee ready for me, and a good line of talk. He had been researching the prices of Singer sewing machines on Australian ebay, and felt that it would be economical for me to purchase one in London, and to ship it back, by air.
I bought it.
The parcel weighed over 20kg. I didn't carry it.

I made this scarf for my mother on the floor of the guest flat at Elizabeth's with my 1950's 15K and a piece of Liberty silk. Mum liked the story.
Beats a 290 pound scarf IMO.
The machine unfortunately spent its trip to Australia standing on its head, and using the ruffler makes the needle fall out and break, but I think we can fix it. Otherwise it will make a lovely ornament on our hall table. It co-ordinates nicely with the brass blow torches from the mid 1800's - I don't think anyone will be putting our decorating ideas in a magazine!


Gail said...

I am literally salivating over the liberty prints. Now that seems unnatural!

Janine said...

Gorgeous fabric. Love the machine story :-)

Carol said...

I love this story. It's far more interesting for your mother to tell.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha. Why didn't you come use the table at our house? Your husband is quite a fiend, I could see that in his little beady eyes. I knew he would help my evil plan.

I would be shipping you the featherweight anyway, if it weren't for the irritating electrical fault. Now i have to fix it and then ship it.

Regarding the ruffler: mine have broken needles previously, having to do with the cloth pulling the needle back somehow so it hits on the plate. I would check the following: needle seated properly, facing the right direction. Ruffler seated properly. Not pulling the cloth yourself. A different type of fabric? (though a quilting-weight cotton should be easy peasy for this thing). Ruffler oiled. Cloth seated properly in the ruffler. That's all I can think of - let me know if you can see why it breaks if you do if with the handwheel. Oh, also, Sew4Fun had a great link to a ruffler manual for free, here:

Hope something works. And where is the picture of the machine please?

Melissa Fehr Trade said...

ooh I know that sewing machine shop by Shepherd's Bush - Johanna from The Last Stitch and I visited on her trip to London last year. The guy who runs that shop is amazing and SO knowledgeable! I hope you can get it back in service...

Digs said...

What a sweet story! Bravo to you, and it sounds like everyone in the family won here. (btw: supportive hubs are worth a gazillion!)