My Sewing Machine Story

It’s no secret that I love to sew. Of course, I haven’t been sewing much the last 2 years, as I’ve been out of state attending grad school, but we won’t focus on that *wink*

A few years back, I decided that I wanted to learn how to sew. I’d never taken home ec in school, so I had absolutely no idea how to use a sewing machine. My amazing and patient mom taught me some sewing basics and let me practice on her machine. I made some pretty rough projects, but I enjoyed learning and started to get better at it over time. A few weeks before Christmas, my mom and I were wandering around our favorite flea market when we spotted a vintage machine with a sewing table and all of the accessories included. It looked to be in great shape, and after contacting the owners to see if the machine worked, my mom bought it for me for Christmas.

 

My Sewing Machine Story via Imperfect Chevron

a (very old) picture of me practicing with my Husqvarna

Why I’m Glad I Bought Vintage

I think we purchased all of it for about $40, which was an amazing deal, and after doing some research I found out the machine (a Viking Husqvarna) was from the 1960s, which gives me all the feels. Now, truthfully, the machine needed repairs after we bought it, which ended up costing $100 — I probably could have bought a good quality, brand new machine for that. But I really feel that my machine is the perfect one for me at this time in my life. It runs smoothly and makes the most neat little stitches I’ve ever seen, and I know that I’ll have it for years to come. It’s first owner took really good care of it, and I plan to do the same!

My Tips for Buying a Vintage Sewing Machine

Just because I got really lucky doesn’t mean that every sewing machine you see at a flea market or thrift store will be a good purchase. My mom and I carefully inspected my machine to make sure it was in good shape. We contacted the seller and asked about it’s condition. Plus, it came with a great sewing table and lots of accessories. If you’re considering buying vintage, I would recommend a few things:

  1. Figure out how much you’re willing to invest in a machine. If the machine ends up needing costly repairs, it may make more sense to buy a new machine instead.
  2. Check to see the condition. Contact the seller or ask to test the machine to check that it works, and make sure you look it over really thoroughly. My machine was in near pristine condition, and I could tell it had been taken care of.
  3. Look for a complete set. You’ll want the manual for sure, and a lot of the vintage machines have specific “tool-kits” that you might need to be able to adjust or fix it. I loved that my Husqvarna also came with several bobbin spools that fit it specifically (because not all bobbins fit!) and oil to keep the machine running smoothly.

Those are some of my tips. I know that I’ve been lucky with my sewing machine, and if you’re considering purchasing vintage I hope that you will, too! Good luck hunting for treasure.

xo

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Paintbrush Scroll

I have a little confession to make…

I love sewing!
You thought it was going to be something wild and crazy, didn’t you? Well, it’s not. Or maybe it is. I guess that’s up to you to decide. Anyway, sewing is one of my favorite hobbies. I decided I wanted to learn how to sew a couple of years ago, and I fell head over heels for it! I love picking a project, choosing the perfect fabric (OMG, fabric stores are my favorite places!), and creating something. Plus, you can make some really fabulous gifts for people (and make them realize how cool and talented you are, because a lot of people don’t know how to sew!). Bonus.

I made this great paintbrush scroll (I slightly adapted the instructions from this book) to hold all of my paintbrushes. I loved it so much that I made one for my mom’s birthday!

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If you don’t paint, you could definitely make this work for other items. Just make sure you measure how big of pockets you’ll need for said items before you sew them!

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It’s perfect for protecting my paintbrushes and keeping them all in the same place, plus it’s portable! Once folded up, I could easily slip this in a tote bag and take it with me.

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DIY Felt Garland

I am absolutely in love with garland and buntings. I guess it’s just one of those things, but every time I see a bunting my crafting heart is bursting. One day this fall I was in my favorite thrift shop and one of the vendors had a beautiful circle felt garland in her booth. I gushed over it, and couldn’t stop thinking about it! So recently, I decided to create my own felt garland. But instead of just doing felt circles, I wanted to use felt animal shapes! And it turned out amazing! I ended up crafting 3 different garlands. Here’s how I did it.

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DIY Felt Animal Garland

What You’ll Need:
1. Felt. I bought a package of assorted colors in the 8×11 size, but you can buy felt by the yard, too!
2. Cookie cutters. I used a circle shape, as well as animals–I used a bear, a hippo, a rhino, a kangaroo, a cat and dog, and an elephant. If you’re really artsy, you don’t been need cookie cutters: just draw your own shape! I wanted all of my animals to be the same, so I opted for cookie cutters.
3. A sewing machine. To string all of your shapes together, of course!

Let’s Get Started:
1. Pick a pattern of colors and shapes that you want to use. For my cats and dogs garland, I used 5 colors. My shape order was: circle, dog, circle, cat, circle, etc.

2. Trace and cut out your felt shapes, one by one. I used pen, because I couldn’t see the shape well enough with pencil. I used fabric scissors to cut out the shapes one by one.

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As you trace and cut each shape, start stacking them in order. When you start sewing, it’ll be very helpful to have your garland organized the way you want it!

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Cut out enough shapes to make the garland long enough to hang. My cats and dogs garland has 30 cut outs and is about 4-5 feet long.

3. Sew! I didn’t pin my garland together because it gets out of control pretty fast. So basically, I fed one piece through the machine, lined up the next shape, and then sewed it on. I would recommend backstitching each new piece, to keep your garland from ripping.
And, there you go! Your garland should look something like this:

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So pretty, right? You can hang these on the wall, on your mantle, or anywhere else! Here’s where I hung my garlands:

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I hope these felt garlands make it onto your crafting list; they’re easy to do and so beautiful to look at. They can really spruce up a room! Happy sewing!