"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Singer ONE Sewing Machine - Review

Review of singer 'One' anniversary model in white. This machine was gifted to me.

The Spec

  • ONE TOUCH™ Stitch Selection with 24 Built-In Stitches
  • 2 Fully Automatic 1-Step Buttonholes
  • SWIFTSMART™ Threading System with Automatic Needle Threader
  • QuickView Stitch Setting & Simple Stitch Adjustment
  • DROP & SEW™ Bobbin System
  • Presser Foot Sensor
  • Feed Dog Control
  • Extra-Large Sewing Space (374 mm/14.7”)
  • Extra High Presser Foot Lift
  • Automatic Reverse
  • Free Arm

Included Accessories
All-Purpose Foot, Blind Hem Foot, Satin Stitch Foot, One-step Buttonhole Foot, Zipper Foot, Needles, Bobbins, Spool Pin Felt, Auxiliary Spool Pin, Thread Spool Caps, Needle Plate Screwdriver, Lint Brush/ Seam Ripper and Soft-Sided Cover.

I'm primarily a garment sewer so I was impressed by the number of stitches on offer (My Janome J8-13 only has a few) and the ability to adjust length AND width. I was happy to find the decorative stiches in particular as I usually have to embroider by hand. There's also stretch stitches and overcasting.
I used the auto setting on the tension initially but I'll soon branch out to setting my own tension manually. The stitches seemed even but when using some of the stitches on thin polycotton I had problem with the fabric bunching up.

example of the auto tension giving me the wrong tension

I'm used to a side loading bobbin so having a top loading is something new to me. It all seems rather enclosed so I'm worried about how to clean the machine sufficiantly.
The top bobbin threading confused me with is simplicty. It was when it got to the bit near the needle that (without help of the DVD which I didn't get) and the most ambiguous diagram in the manual that it all went wrong. I kept thinking it'll never stay in the hook when I start sewing it must attach somewhere else. But no it IS that basic. I used the autothreader too. Which only seems to work with the 'official singer needles' that came with the machine. The lower bobbing 'drop in and sew' also threw me, I kept wanting to do the usual pull up the thread thing.
Let me say I've only just got the hang of threading the machine and not having it jam/thread snap/random error message and shouting at it.

The printed manual appears to say to thread the machine like this.
but as you can see from the online diagram below.
it says to thread it like this
When I thread the second way I get an error message/thread keeps snapping. And when I thread the first way its fine?

The machine came with a standard foot, satin stitch, buttonhole (the kind that calculates the button hole size for you...you won't belive how happy I am about this. *shakes fist at 4 step buttonholes*) and zipper.
So far I've only tried standard, satin and buttonhole. Need to test the zipper one next. I didn't understand what the felt disks were for though?!
The pedal seemed a little flimsy compared to my janome one.

This is quite a noisy machine for an electric one. It does a chugging grunt rather than a nice hum.

The machine manual
Was fairly good, but could have been set out in a more logical manner. The threading diagram is appauling...a dashed line?! what does that mean next to a solid line?

What would you change?
I'm not a fan of the auto needle up and the weird reverse button...still not figured out the coordination with that one. I would have liked to have the required foot for each of the stitches offered.

This is a Diva of a machine. She likes to be given the official singer stuff and to be treated gently. If you don't take your time she'll throw a strop *shakes fist at C6 error message* and can take a little adjusting to.
I still have my janome as back up if she decides to throw a diva strop at least. ;)

Monday, February 16, 2015

HSF 2015 - Challenge #3 - Stash

The Challenge: #3 Stash
Fabric: Cotton
Pattern: Truly victorian 400.
Year: 1870s-1880s
Notions: Ribbon, buttons, boning
How historically accurate is it? Well I used TV patterns which are usually accurate, I used the right historical techniques and can get away with using sewing machine for this era. The boning and buttons are plastic so 90%? Closest I've been in ages.
Hours to complete: lost count...it took me a while just to do the fitting before I started sewing.
First worn: For photo's...it won't be worn till later this year.
Total cost: Now the purple fabric was in my stash as I attempted to make a medieval dress with it and failed, the fabric I used for flatlining was donated to me from someone elses stash, same with the ribbon. I only bought the buttons and boning.

So my concept was HA disney and this was bodice for my victorian mermaid. I took the colours that ariel wears and create my outfit.
 I started by tracing off the pattern and doing intial tissuefit.
Before hand basting my fabric toile and tweaking the fit.
I then unpicked the basting stitches and used it to flatline the purple exterior fabric. Making sure I cliped the curved seams and pressed them. I then made the casing for the boning and attached to the inside of the bodice.
I then sewed the peplum with a scaloped edge to give that seashell effect. Attaching it to the bodice.
 Then I attached the sleeves and finished off the neckline with piping.
Laid out the buttons to work out how to space them.
Then after I finished the buttons attached ribbon trim to the collar and a waist stay.