Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Help Tornado Victims

Recently while doing my regular scrolling through Pinterest, I came across a pin that could make a difference in a young child's life.

Sewing to Rebuild

"Sewing to Rebuild" is an effort by several handmade businesses to clothe the children that have been affected by this terrible tragedy brought about by the recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. Being a hurricane Katrina survivor, I can well relate to no electricity, water or readily available food. I cannot, however, imagine what it would be like to exit a storm shelter or worse yet have hidden in a "safe" area of the house to see my worldly possessions tossed around like matchsticks.

By utilizing your sewing skills these businesses have made it possible to contribute handmade clothing that will be distributed to the young victims of this terrible storm. Once you visit the link, you'll see all the necessary information regarding the distribution and all the instructions to get these items into the right hands. They have even provided free PDF patterns to get you started if you need help with younger sizes.

For my local readers, I am planning on sending a box by the end of the week with a few items I have appliqu├ęd as well as a stuffed animal or two. After all...these children might need a little extra TLC after what they've been through!

Check it out and make a difference in a child's life!

Happy Stitching!

Renee

Friday, May 10, 2013

Antique Sewing

I can remember seeing my "Mammaw"'s treadle sewing machine in the back bedroom of her home.  As I laid in bed, giggling with my sister, the value of all the "old" things and quilts surrounding the machine wasn't appreciated.   The summers I visited her in Bedford, Indiana I always learned something about sewing as she worked on doll clothes for a bisque doll-maker.  I remember her lining one of my bathing suits as a pre-teen with an old slip she had because we discovered it was see-thru when wet!  Her patience as she allowed me to jam up her machine numerous times as I sewed on the un-airconditioned "back-porch".    Now, as an adult, I appreciate the articles of times past and  I have begun a quest for all things vintage and dealing with sewing.

Remembering that machine in her back bedroom made me want an antique treadle sewing machine.  My children have been with me on numerous antiquing and flea market trips (they appreciate the old....maybe I influenced them??) as I hoped to find the "perfect" machine.

After a day of antiquing with my daughter, the  car was packed "to the gills". Our last stop was an antique mall on  Hwy 280 in Birmingham.  I FOUND IT!!!!  A Singer Treadle Sewing Machine that looked fantastic!  I have to admit, I don't know much about them, just my memories spurning this desire to "find" the perfect machine to remind me of my Mammaw and her love for sewing.

Singer Sewing Machine

We quickly paid for the machine and wrote down the serial number, eager to do some research about the "story" of this machine, and promised to come back the next day with an empty car.  That night, I got on the internet and went to a site that could identify my machine.  My machine was a 1920 "66" model produced in Elizabeth, NJ on April 28.  My mammaw was born in 1911, so, that means my newly acquired machine was produced when she was 9 years old.

Singer 66

After reading up on some sewing machine history, I learned that there was a patent war between Isaac Singer and Elias Howe and Singer ended up losing and having to pay royalties to Howe.  Singer's machines were the first to sew front to back instead of side to side and had the treadle to power it instead of just a hand crank like Howe's.  Interesting, huh?  But back to my machine....

I've ordered a belt and need to find a bobbin case (anyone that has advice on getting an antique machine to work is appreciated) . The hand-wheel will move the needle and feed dogs so I'm in hopes that it will work!

I also picked up a few antique buttons and hankies that day in hopes of embellishing a sweetly smocked dress.

Antique Hankies

As Mother's Day approaches, I'm very thankful for the love of sewing I inherited from my grandmother and her daughter, my mother.  Now, when I see my "new" antique Singer treadle sewing machine sitting in my sewing studio, I smile and appreciate the "old" things sitting over in a corner.

Happy Stitching,

Renee