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pgf

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Reply with quote  #1 
I keep my antennae tuned for attainable sewing projects around the house.  (Where "attainable" equates to "doable by someone whose sewing skill might have peaked in his junior high "Home-Ec for Boys" class.  As a metric for the level of what we learned, in the cooking segment of the class they taught us to make...  sandwiches.  My mother was pissed:  "They should have been teaching you a cream sauce!  Anyone can make a sandwich!")

Anyhow...   My wife needed an apron, and I was up to the challenge.  I even made the neck strap adjustable.  In return she got me a new coffee mug.  Both the apron and the mug work well so far.

paul

p.s.  I used my 1875 W&G treadle for the apron.

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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #2 
Paul, great apron and mug!  I know what you mean about a project being "attainable."
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #3 
Awesome straps and edge finishing work and you are well on your way to garment construction!  It's great to see what can be done with an 1875 machine.
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #4 
The edges were hemmed with the W&G hemmer attachment.  (The big one.  The small one is perfect for hemming something like a bandana.)  For the straps I picked up a bias tape maker at JoAnns.  It works great.

So as long as the wearer doesn't mind their fanny hanging out, you're right!  I'm well on my way to garment construction!

paul

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Amatino

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Reply with quote  #5 
Love this! I've been looking at aprons just recently. After I found a "naughty" apron panel for Valentine's day. 
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VintageGalKim

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Reply with quote  #6 
Great apron, Paul! Love that your wife found that mug for you - it's perfect!  Yay for using the W&G! I am especially impressed that you were able to hem the apron with the hemmer attachment! I don't have a W&G hemmer to experiment with, but based on my experiments with other hemmers they can be fiddly and difficult to get good results with so kudos to you! (also hoping that maybe W&G hemmers are less fiddly than Singer ones - that would be awesome...keeping my eyes peeled for one on ebay...[biggrin] [wink]
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #7 
There are three W&G hemmers.  I was referring to the ones called "Narrow" and "Linen or Flannel".  Those both form a complete, fixed-size hem by folding the fabric twice -- one very narrow, the other about 1/4".  The third is called the "Wide Hemmer", and it allows for variable sized hems -- it only folds the fabric once, i.e., you iron in the first fold, and it takes care of the second -- the one that hides the fabric edge.  (I've only used the first two.)  You can't really turn corners with them -- you have to leave the corner unfinished, and do it "manually".

paul

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VintageGalKim

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Reply with quote  #8 
Yeah, I have a friend who has the hemmers - she too uses them successfully. (which gives me great hope! LOL) So you used the linen/flannel one? 
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yup.  I've also used the narrow one, on what was essentially a giant bandana that my wife used as a sunshade/wrap/scarf on a recent vacation.
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Nelliesews

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgf
There are three W&G hemmers.  I was referring to the ones called "Narrow" and "Linen or Flannel".  Those both form a complete, fixed-size hem by folding the fabric twice -- one very narrow, the other about 1/4".  The third is called the "Wide Hemmer", and it allows for variable sized hems -- it only folds the fabric once, i.e., you iron in the first fold, and it takes care of the second -- the one that hides the fabric edge.  (I've only used the first two.)  You can't really turn corners with them -- you have to leave the corner unfinished, and do it "manually".

paul
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Nelliesews

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Reply with quote  #11 
I love folders and despise ironing. I have been contemplating meddling with the wide hemmer and will need to experiment. Typically, (for hems) I turn over and stitch at the fold then do the final hem. Ruler for depth and very seldom pre-iron Unless someone will be inspecting. I do iron flat before I start. Wonder (hope) it will work with the side hemmer.
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #12 
One thing about a chain stitcher that I realized while doing the apron:  because the stitch is different on the two sides of the fabric, you, or rather, "I" sometimes need to sew on a different side of the cloth than I would with a lockstitch, where the two sides of the stitch are the same.  I noticed it while sewing the simple hem at the neck of the apron -- I had to sew on the good side, which meant I couldn't see and follow the folded edge.  I'm sure more skilled sewers than I do this all the time -- it's almost certainly the right thing to always do -- it just surprised me a bit.

paul

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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #13 
Using a chain stitch machine is definitely a learning experience. They have their pros and cons, as you have found, Paul. Having the chain on the upper surface when not intended is one of them. That's fine if decoration is desired, but can be problematic if the upper - or outer- surface needs to be a smooth straight lock stitch look. Use of a seam guide and accurately folded edge material can help with this, but it takes a bit of practice to get the seam totally even on both sides visually. 

Years ago, when my wife and I were doing living history displays, we picked up a couple of WW2 American Red Cross nurse's aide ward bags, olive drab waist bags with the Red Cross patch on them, which were used for carrying duty supplies on the job. We found a couple of them and were surprised when one of them showed up sewn with a chain stitch. These were mostly all made at home by the Red Cross Production Corps, and I always wondered if some little girl helped by sewing one on a Singer 20 "toy" sewing machine, or a Stitchwell or Mueller, or if it was done on a Willcox & Gibbs or some other large treadle machine with chain stitch conversion parts like my Standard and White Family Rotary machines. 

- Bruce
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Mrs. D

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgf
I keep my antennae tuned for attainable sewing projects around the house.  (Where "attainable" equates to "doable by someone whose sewing skill might have peaked in his junior high "Home-Ec for Boys" class.  As a metric for the level of what we learned, in the cooking segment of the class they taught us to make...  sandwiches.  My mother was pissed:  "They should have been teaching you a cream sauce!  Anyone can make a sandwich!")

Anyhow...   My wife needed an apron, and I was up to the challenge.  I even made the neck strap adjustable.  In return she got me a new coffee mug.  Both the apron and the mug work well so far.

paul

p.s.  I used my 1875 W&G treadle for the apron.


Hi Paul[wave]  Love the apron you made and the fabric is beautiful.  Enjoyed your story about Home-Ec class.  When you come visit us, will you bring sandwiches?  Yummmmmmm.

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Bags

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Reply with quote  #15 
Paul, cool apron (and mug)!  So fun to see projects made with these lovely machines.  I like the "attainable" projects too.  Even though I tend to stop midway and think "what if I did it this way instead? …"

Carol
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #16 
Another apron!

So, Julia has hers, but I'd also been wanting one for myself, to wear in the shop, so that I can worry just a little less about how I'm dressed when I go down there to tinker with something.

I was about to throw away some hole-in-the-knees jeans when I realized denim was the obvious material.  It turns out you can just barely make a decent apron from the back of both legs of a pair of 30/31 Levi's.  If the knees hadn't been blown out I could have made the tie straps too, from the fronts of the legs, but instead I cut up a spare tie down strap.  I did make the neck strap from the waistband of the jeans, and managed to preserve the Levi's riveted button.

The long center seam down the middle of the front was sewn on my 1875 W&G treadle, but as soon as I started working on the other edges of the fabric, where the denim was already piled up 2 or 3 layers, I remembered that that wasn't going to cut it.  So the rest was done on my 1916 29-4.

shopapron1.jpg 

I'm pleased with the result, but also really annoyed.  When I pinned the pockets in place, the outer edges were too thick for the pins, so I pinned just inside those thick edges.  What I didn't realize until after I'd sewn both  (!) of the pockets in place is that the 29-4's walking foot had pulled harder on the pockets than on the apron, and so had twisted the pockets on their pins.  I started in the upper right of both pockets, and you can see the results.  If I'd at least started one of them in the upper left, they'd at least be symmetrical!!  I'm not about to go to the effort of ripping those seams, and the bar tacks I added at the top corners.  Julia says I should tell people it was by design, because I'm right-handed:  it's easier to get stuff in and out of the pockets this way.  ;-) :-)

shopapron2.jpg 

So:  what should I have done differently?  More pins?  Magic wash-away stickum sheets?  Practice?

Somewhat ironically, my first apron-equipped dirty shop project has been tearing down my Davis VF.  If Id waited, and used that machine to make the apron, it might have prevented the twisting.  (But I don't know that it could have handled the thickness.)

paul


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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #17 
I do lots of jeans repair and regularly have to remove at least one side of a back pocket to do the repair. I usually use one of my vintage Brother machines(no surprise there lol) and don't recall any issues with sewing the pocket back down. It's gotten a little dicey sewing a belt loop back down over a heavy repair once or twice though. I use the heavy gold jeans thread and a 16 or 18 needle.

Cari

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #18 
Great design on the apron and creative work as well.  What a practical use for old jeans!
You did an amazing job with your crafting and sewing of the apron.  Whenever I sew on patch pockets I always baste (by hand).  I'm a big baster in general and don't like to sew over pins and I find basting always gives me better results to keep the fabric where I want it.  I don't think I could sew a patch pocket on precisely without basting and only using pins - just my way of doing things.
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Mrs. D

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgf
Another apron!


shopapron1.jpg 

paul


Round of applause.  It's wonderful.

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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #20 
Way to go, Paul.  That's great!
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #21 
Thanks all!  Okay, so it sounds like I either need to learn to baste, or keep my eye out for a vintage Brother.  Got it.  ;-)
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #22 
Also - just to mention, many use iron-on basting products to temporarily "glue" fabric layers together.  This could possibly be a solution.  I have not compared this method with hand basting for patch pockets but have used iron-on products in smaller applications.
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #23 
Thanks Chaly. I'll look into that, for the future.  I guess it's made to wash away?

I should add that my 29-4 doesn't have a sewing table attachment.  So when I was sewing those pockets, the material was being dragged over that long narrow snout.  I suspect that had something to do with the layers being unwilling to be sewn in perfect synchrony.

I think once I get the Davis to a running state I'm happy with, and can convert the shop back to a dusty woodshop, I'll try to make a table for the 29-4 -- I'm not sure I'll find an open lumber store, but I think I have enough scrap lumber around to at least do a prototype.  I do a surprising amount of sewing on the 29, so it's clear I should make it easier on myself.

paul

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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #24 
Paul I think if I had done pockets the way you did they probably would've turned out the same. Having a flat surface really does help with things like that, it's one of the reasons I like my machines in a cabinet for most sewing. You did a great job on that apron BTW, very inventive use of your old jeans.

Cari

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VintageGalKim

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Reply with quote  #25 
Great looking apron, Paul!!! Love the pockets!
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ttatummm

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Reply with quote  #26 
Paul, your aprons turned out really nice.  The shop apron is a great idea.  If I ever stop playing with my machines, and finish the two quilts I have in progress, maybe I'll break out my box of old blue jeans and try something similar.

Your mom was right everyone should learn how to make a couple of great sauces.

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