Friday, 11 May 2012

Sewing: late 1940s Dress & My Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Well, with no costuming to do for the near future and due to the fact I now have a limited resource of vintage and repro clothing (sold loads when I lost weight) I have decided to bit the bullet and make this dress. 


I bought it on ebay and it's an original late 1940s pattern. I'm guessing the age but think it's pretty close due to the hairstyles on the illustration. I've had the pattern for well over a year but am a little cautious about making it up.

It's made by Economy Design and is  number 212. Something I've not been able to find as yet on the net anywhere. 

I have never made anything from a vintage pattern before but this one looks quite straight forward, I'm making the short sleeved version. In fact I haven;t made anything since I went on the two day dressmaking course a couple of years ago (apart from costume pieces from my own patterns)

I bought some lovely red cotton fabric at the weekend and plan on starting this next week (I have cards to make in the meantime). 

I thought it might be a good start to clean and oil my sewing machine. This is something I haven't done since I've had it and I have no idea when the last time my Nana did this was! My Nana gave this to me around five years ago, she can't sew, embroider or knit now because are eyes are no good for fine work.


It's a Singer 328K and dates from 1961 (or so the manual says). It's got it's own table that it can be folded into (there's a trap door type affair underneath it) and it detaches from it if needed and a lovely carry case (although you need big muscles to pick it up, it's super heavy!).


I love the manual illustrations!

I did contact a few places about servicing my machine but I only got replies of "I wouldn't bother if it's that old, buy a new one".  Pah! And give up my lovely 1961 singer, with all sorts of amazing attachments, that was made to last, that can do heavy duty work, that I've never had a problem with? Methinks not. 

I was ever so cautious about unscrewing the covering plates and removing them, but oh so enthralled when I saw what lay beneath, I'm not sure if it's just me but cogs and pistons and such are very exciting to me.  The intricacies of putting something like this together are completely beyond me but I appreciate them very much. 

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I cleaned the lint and dust from the machine using a little brush my Nana had given me and oiled the innards at the points I was told to in the manual, along with ensuring I put a drop in the holes that are on the top cover (sorry, no pic). I also cleaned out the throat plate and oiled where indiciated (again no pics, sorry)

When I got to taking the top plate off though I realised I'd need sewing machine grease, which is something I don't have. The machine is not bone dry though so I'm currently watching some on ebay, only problems being Singer don't seem to sell it in the UK so I'm watching some vintage tubes, one is full though so fingers crossed it comes my way.

Machine well oiled I ran it for a couple of minutes and it seems to have done wonders.

So I begin with my dress making adventure next week, I shall update as I go......wish me luck! 

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