Thursday, August 28, 2008


I seem to have got the industrial machine working!! I found a service manual for it online and after a few hours of cursing and breathing in the awful fumes from the oil that sits in the reservoir underneath, it seems to sew. The timing was all out of whack but after reading the instructions for fixing it about a thousand times, I finally worked out where the timing marks on the needle bar was, and then what the sewing hook was and the problem was a little arm that's meant to hold the bobbin in place. I couldn't unscrew it to move it, but after hours of trying, I got the chisel out and bent it a little today and the bobbin seems to be staying and I just sewed a piece of fabric and the stitches look good. Hopefully it stays like that. Man it's scary fast when it goes!!

Actually just went back and tried again. It sews 16 layers of calico without blinking!

Got a few little things to adjust. Looks like I may be able to slow it down a little by adjusting the foot pedal which would be nice. The upper tension is a bit loose and the tension dial is broken, but I'm hoping I can steal the one that's on the other Singer I have which doesn't like me.

Here's what she looks like... (complete with most of the tools I own)

And what she does...

Am back an hour or so later to offer a word of advice to fellow wanna-be sewing machine mechanics. Fixing the tension dial is not something to be undertaken unless absolutely necessary. It's easy to break. I think though that with some tricky threading* I've got it working. It doesn't help that it's missing a bit, or two. Oh and the foot pedal adjustment idea worked. I can get it to just sew a stitch or two at a time now instead of about 5cm of stitching before I've even started!

*Now, I don't actually know how to thread the machine (just taking a guess), so what appears to be tricky threading, may actually just be the correct way to thread it... Who knows?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Quite the day...

So I've been to see the dept of housing. I think they can help. Still don't want to move, but it's not so traumatic if the money bit is mostly sorted.

Got some cat food that the devil seems to like - YAY! And the lovely Ali didn't charge me for it since I got ripped off at the other store last week.

Posted my order that was due today. The fabric for the next order still isn't here, so I still have an excuse to have not started that, though I could cut the rest out.

Then after a long day running around to dept housing etc, I find half the suburb is closed for some reason and there are police. So it takes an extra 10 minutes to get home. But I drive in the driveway and see my neighbours have just put an INDUSTRIAL SEWING MACHINE out on the footpath to be collected by the council. They tell me it doesn't work properly but I take it anyway. A random guy walking past helped bring it inside cause man it's heavy. So in a minute after I've had lunch etc, I'll go look at it. I already found a manual for it, so maybe it's easily fixed and will be a gem.

Oh and I have to look this up but the awful back/hip pain I've had for months might have a name - bursitis.

Lunch. Now. 5.07pm

Argghhhh I may be pushed

I've been toying with the idea of moving for months. The main reason is the rent here is so expensive. I need to share to afford it and I hate sharing. The options for moving aren't a lot and I figure the best place would be the blue mountains. It's vaguely affordable, nice enough and not TOO far from my current life.

I've kept putting it off though because I like it here. I really like it here, despite the rent.

This morning didn't start well. The kitten was up before 7 and refused to go back to sleep so every 5 minutes I got woken up. That wouldn't sound so bad to some people, but I didn't go to bed til around 2, or after. Then I'd been up for 10 minutes and I hear a loud voice at the door. There's a strange man and a woman. Turns out the woman is the owner of this house and the man is extra loud, but I think he was here because his english is better than hers. They want to inspect the house. I tell them they can't right now, but tomorrow will be ok. Maybe this way something will get done about the leaky roof. Anyway, then they tell me that the owners family are thinking of moving up from Melbourne, so they might need me to leave.


The hardest part is actually coming up with the money to move. I have to pay the bond at the next place before I'd get the bond back here. Then there's a few other expenses and the actual moving part, but the big one is the bond. Better talk to the dept of housing...

Argghhh better think about it all tomorrow - supposed to be finishing a job and sending it today.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

That was fun!

Yesterday I went to the Stitches and Craft show and met the lovely Nikki of Nicole Mallalieu Design fame! I had a great time and it was great to see all of Nikki's stuff up close. As soon as I have some spare $$ to my name I think I'll get me one of her purse frame kits. Not sure which one though cause they all look great!

I didn't look at too much else at the show cause a. it was a long day and b. I have no money so looking at pretty things makes me sad cause I can't have them. But it was great to go to the show and nice that it wasn't nearly as crowded as I thought it might be. I think we can thank the rain for that. But I'm not so thankful to the rain for the mud we had to traipse through. But we survived.

I also survived a little 'incident' in the carpark at the supermarket. Basically I had a little stack (yes, next time I will pay attention to the drain on the road) and landed on my groceries and then my ass on the bitumen. But the good news is that not only did I not break any bones, but I also didn't break any of the eggs that were in my groceries! Had I not landed on the milk and the bag of kitty litter I think things may have been different. I have a rather large bruise and a slightly sore arm, but all is well!

It's my Mum's birthday today and she got her totel bag and reports are that she "loves her new favourite bag!". She also wants another one and gave me a good idea for a design variation. So I think that it was a good choice! The one I made her was very similar to this one, just different (not pink!) lining.

I'm almost through my orders - just two day trippers to go and I'm waiting on the fabric for one of them, so I DO have an excuse for not doing it right now. Instead I'm making a new totel bag. Something a little different colour-wise this time. Better get back to it - if it's not finished today I'm not allowed to touch it until at least one of the day trippers is done because I promised that that particular one would be sent on Monday, so I'd probably better make it tomorrow! Here's a little sneaky preview cause this blog doesn't have enough pictures:

Oh and I've set myself a small challenge - to not go to the fabric store unless it's ABSOLUTELY necessary (eg I can't make an order without it). I stocked up recently on enough fabrics and zippers to make quite a lot of (totel) bags. I am also trying to use up fabrics that I already have. It's going well so far. The red striped upholstery fabric on the bag pictured above came from one of the piles on the bookshelf. It's been sitting there for a good year and today saved me from going to buy something new with money I didn't have. Looks good too!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is it bedtime yet?

Please someone tell me it's bedtime? I'm exhausted. And still have 3 bag orders to do before I can make anything new for the shop(s). I really want to put some new ones up, but got to finish these orders first. It's going to take a good few days. The good news is that I got mum's birthday present AND dad's fathers day present done and sent yesterday - early for a change!

Anyway, I'm going to bed. No point working when tired and sick. I already stuffed one thing up tonight. Luckily not too badly!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A dilemma...

I just made a nappy bag using an amazing echino print. There's a teeny bit left and I've decided I need a new bag for myself. Afterall, I am a bag maker - I should have a good bag to show off. Now, what's the dilemma? The girl who makes bags doesn't know what kind of bag to make herself!! It must be practical but it must show off the most amazing of fabrics at the same time. I think it's best to make it the same as my others, but hmmm, maybe I should add a gusset so it's bigger? Ahhhh life is tough.

Oh and the nappy bag took about 4.5 hours less than last time I counted! It wasn't a particularly quick one to make either, on account of a few dumb mistakes and also a pattern that only has one way up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Progress! And a new shop!

It looks as though I've been neglecting this, but really I've just been very very busy! I have lots of bag orders to get through at the moment, as well as a totel bag to make for my mum's birthday next week, and a present for dad for fathers day which is very soon and I'm trying to get organised enough to send his present with the one for mum.

I've also been busy setting up my new shop! What? Where? This, here: There's not a lot there at the moment, but as soon as I get through the current work, I'll add to it. Fingers crossed I get some sales!

A few other plans in the works as well and a few decisions made and a little maths still to do. Currently timing how long it takes to make a nappy bag. It's looking like quite a lot less than last time I counted which is good!

Now, it's time to try to get some sleep.