Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Retro Simplicity 7330 Shirt

Practice makes perfect. That is what I have heard anyway.  I decided to make another long-sleeve shirt.  With my Simplicity 7330 pattern.  Just like the blue one I just made.

 However, this is going to be with what I would call an Argyle pattern.  It is some material I bought at the thrift store.  It is a nice light weight blend.  I have it all cut out, and ready to start sewing.

Should be interesting

Sewing this Project with my Bel Air Imperial

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bel Air Ready for Duty

First things first.  Watch the Bel Air sew.

I found a sewing table to fit my Bel Air sewing machine.  This really makes it more convenient than the portable case it came in.  Actually the table had a Singer 750 in it.  I did not want the machine, just the table.  The 750 has some nylon? feed dogs that are worn out and won't feed the material, an easy fix, but since I have so many machines  I was going to chuck it, but being the pack rat I am, I put it in the shed for the future.

When I first ran the Bel Air I thought it sure did sew fast.  Well, I found out why.  If you look at the picture below, that is the foot pedal with the back off.  The coils in there are the resistors that regulate the amount of electricity to the motor, thus regulating the speed.  After some investigation I found one of the resistors had a bad connection, so the motor was only running on high speed.  Once I fixed the connection, the machine sews fast and slow.  What a difference.

Also I had to disassemble the tension assembly, clean it, and put it back together.  The fun part was getting it adjusted.  There aren't any markings on the knob,  so I just kept sewing and  turning the knob until the stitch looked good.  Good thing I have a mechanical background, and I like to tinker.

This Bel Air Imperial is in such pristine shape, I Don't think it was ever used.

Foot Pedal Inners
Snifflebottoms Approves

Just The Right Size.  Sure is a sexy machine.
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sewing Machines Everywhere

I went to the thrift shop last week to look for fabric.  There on the floor were three sewing machines.  A 70s Kenmore, A 50s Bel Air, and a Singer Touch-Tronic 2000.  I looked at all three and decided the Bel Air was missing parts, the Kenmore smelled awful, and the Touch-Tronic was intriguing.  I decided to pass on all three.
But after doing research on the internet and thinking about it overnight, I went and forked over the $9.50 for the Touch-Tronic.
I arrived home with it and started to test it out.  It actually is a very well running machine.  I know from my research it is one of the first electronic sewing machines.  Also it might be long-lived with no problems or problematic.  Growing up in the seventies and eighties, I have always been intrigued by electronic devices, especially the earlier ones like this.  I think this was made between 75 and 77 in The USA.
I sewed quite a few test stitches with it and it sews wonderfully.  It has some interesting decorative stitches.
Now my problem is what to do with so many sewing machines.  I guess I'll just use what ever machine strikes my fancy for a certain project.
Yes, I was hesitant to blog about this machine because of the purists out there. But after reading Male Pattern Boldness last week, I decided to take Peter's advice and be truthful and blog about what ever I want.  Since I started this blog as a diary for myself and maybe for my family to see, I think it is great I have people interested in what I am doing, also a little scary.

Touch-Tronic 2000

Power on

Name Badge 

Fine-tune knobs under name badge

Free-arm flips down
Flat bed

Pretty stitching
                                                    Watch it sew
Sneak peek of my next project
The Touch-Tronic will have to get in line.  The next project is going to be done with my Bel Air Imperial.  Like a blast from the past.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blue Simplicity Shirt Finale

The blue 7330 Simplicity shirt is now finished.  I think it turned out well. It is the first time I used a bed sheet to make a shirt.  I am sure to do it again in the future.

I put french seams and I serged the armholes.  Next shirt I might try to put french seams in the armholes.  

A little peek at my new purchase.  I am not sure all the vintage sewing machine addicts will approve,  but I like it.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Blue Shirt Continued

I made collar stands before, but from McCall patterns.  This Simplicity 7030 pattern is different in the way you sew the stand facing, the collar, then the stand onto the shirt one piece at a time.  With the other patterns I have used, the collar and stand are sewn together than sewn to the shirt in one piece.

I think sewing everything on one piece of at a time like with this pattern was easier to get the collar on the shirt without wrinkles.  I will probably do it this way in the future.

Stand Sewn To Shirt

Stand Sewn To Shirt

Collar Sewn To Stand

Facing Sewn To Collar

Finished Collar

Front Semi-Finished

Time For Cuffs And Buttons
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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Singer 15 Clones

I would like to thank The Bobbin Doctor and Peter Lappin for educating me about Singer 15 clones.
Yes, my newly acquired Bel Air Imperial is a Singer 15 clone.  Once I knew this piece of information, the google searches brought up an endless amount of information on the clones.
I found quite a bit of information at Sew-Classic Blog.    It is very informative,  plus you can download a Singer 15 clone manual there.
It seems they were all made in the same factories in Japan, but the name printed on them was up to what American store or company ordered them.  As you can see in the following pictures.
Star Machine

Standard Machine

Sears Commander Machine
My Bel Air Imperial

The Real Singer 15 Machine
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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bel Air Imperial Sewing Machine

I go to the thrift store about once a week to check for fabric.  One can sometimes get nice fabric at a great price.  Yesterday I stopped in the thrift store and found a Bel Air Imperial portable sewing machine.  It looks like a Singer of the same era.  I can date it between 1945 and 1952 because it is stamped "made in occupied Japan".  I would not have bought it, but it is in superb shape, almost like it was never used.  The case needs a little glue and nails to tighten up.  For $18.50 I thought I coudn't go wrong.  Since I like old cars, especially luxury cars of the fifties, the name grabbed me.  Chrysler Imperials are great cars in my opinion.  Chevrolet Bel Airs are good cars too.

After wiping the dust off and oiling it, I motored it.  It ran smooth.  It has a reverse.  It seems to sew fast and faster.  It really goes.

I think I threaded it properly since it has a nice stitch, but with no manual or a machine similar I have nothing to go on.

I have looked on the internet and have seen Bel Air machines, but not much information.
Bel Air Imperial
Front Angle
Fancy Metal Work
Top Angle
If anyone has some information on this machine please let me know.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Long Sleeve Simplicity 7330 Shirt

I decided to get over my depression of missing out on that vintage Singer machine by making a shirt with my vintage Kenmore.  
The Simplicity 7330 shirt with a collar stand and long sleeves seems like the perfect project.  I have used this pattern twice already, but with the notched collar and short sleeves.
I am making it with a navy blue bed sheet.  Should be an interesting project.  I have it all cut out and the interfacing fused to the collar and cuffs.  Time to get the Kenmore threaded and ready to sew.

Navy Blue Material
Kenmor 158.352

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