Friday, March 18, 2016

New bags & Machines

I've been making some bags for a functional bag exchange with Treadle On.  These bags have to be made on a people powered sewing machine (treadle or hand crank).  Not a problem for me.  My problem is which machine to make them on, since I do have quite a few options. 

I made one of the bags, a grocery bag, at the quilt show last weekend.  I used decorator weight fabric, and stitched it on the 1914 Singer 66k with lotus decals. 
stitching on the bag, during the show
I didn't have a pattern, I just copied one of the grocery bags that I use.  I did make the straps go all around the bottom of the bag, instead of just attaching them to the top.  I figured it would be stronger that way.  It made for 9 layers of fabric, where the ends meet, on the bottom of the bag.  Not a problem for this machine. 

This is the finished bag.
grocery bag
I made a bottom for this bag, to give it extra support.  I used plastic mesh, then covered it with matching fabric.
plastic mesh

bottom bag insert
I can make up to 5 bags for the functional bag exchange.  I decided to make another bag, and a matching one, for hubby.  I used the Box Bag pattern that I got from the Sewing & Quilting Expo 2 years ago.  This is a simple pattern.  I do find it easier to make, if the zipper is much longer than what the pattern calls for.  That way, you don't have to stop, and move the zipper while sewing. 

I made this bag using silnylon, that I'd found a while back, at the thrift store.  I've been meaning to make hubby more stuff sacks, but, he requested this bag instead.  My son had made him one, a couple of years ago, and it is his favorite bag.
Box Bags
Hubby wanted the green zipper, since he is a BSA Venturing Crew leader, and, green and yellow are Venturing colors.  The one with the brown zipper will be for the functional bag exchange.

I doubt I'll make any more bags for the exchange, simply due to lack of time.  I found that sewing on this silnylon was pretty easy.  I figured it would be more difficult, since my son had had some trouble with it.  We both decided that it is easier using a hand crank, instead of a motorized machine, since I could go slower, and leave the pins in (less slipping that way).  I don't have zig zag on my hand cranks, so, I just stitched each part 3 times, to make sure they were reinforced. 

When I recovered my sewing chair, I had some scraps of quilted fabric left over.  I didn't want to waste it, and, yesterday, I figured out what to do with it.  I made a glasses case.  It was my 'leaders and enders' project while making the Box Bags.
glasses case
Last night was quilt guild.   A lady from the guild gave me 2 sewing machines.  Woohoo!  I hadn't gotten a new, vintage machine since January.

The first machine is in a cabinet.  The top of the cabinet looks like it has been refinished.  The machine is a 1922 Singer 66 with Red Eye/Red Head decals, made at the Elizabethport factory in Elizabeth, NJ.  It is a back clamp, and is missing the bobbin slide plate (easy to get).  It is electric, but, when I clean it, it will be converted to a hand crank.  Someone else from the guild may have claimed the cabinet already (if it fits her vintage Pfaff).  If she doesn't get it, then I'll keep this cabinet.  It's nice.
1922 Singer 66 #G9279616 back clamp

top of cabinet
The other machine is not in good condition.  It is a class 15 machine (copy of a Singer 15), made in Japan after WWII.  The presser bar is totally stuck.  It is also missing the foot.  The wires have been cut to the light and the motor (scary wiring).  Lots of stuff has been taped to the machine.  I'll try to clean this and see if I can get everything moving. 
Japanese series 15 machine

with all the electrics out of the way
This machine came with 2 manuals, neither of which go with this machine (Singer manual, and Kenmore accessories manual). 
The case for this machine is in very sad shape.  I'll see if I can repair it, and make it sturdy.  If so, then I'll recover the outside of the case, to make it pretty again.
case is coming apart
Saturday is National Quilting Day!  I'll be at the church Ladies Craft Day, working on a quilt.  What will you be doing?


  1. Nice bags! Two new machines! I bought a black 301 locally a quilter had but never used. I cleaned it and tried it out yesterday. Amazing something could sit gunked up for years and sew flawlessly when cleaned! I have a couple of LBOW which I prefer.

  2. Nice work! I also do straps that go all the way around and it is amazing how much weight the bags will take. Beautiful Red Eye too.

  3. Love the bags. The mesh in the bottom is a good idea. You must have lots of machines. Perhaps today would be a good day to work on my quilt. I haven't touched it in ages.

  4. Great bags...thanks for the link. I, too have been on a bag you saw from First Saturday Show. I have designed what I call the "Piecemaker Deluxe' bag...designed especially for quilters who travel to retreats and classes. Love how you are fixing up the old machines...hand cranking them is such a good idea. Good job all around!

  5. The bags are great and I hope you can keep that machine table as it looks so nice. It may be a challenge but that poor machine is going to be a happy camper before long.

  6. Cute bags. I have a grocery bag pattern that I use as a go to pattern my daughter who lives in a downtown area loves it because it fits great on grocery racks. Nice machines. I have a couple of the Japanese clones but I do love my Singer 15-91

  7. I used to make bags out of screening with the handles going all the way around, I would do machine embroidery on the screen, pretty and sturdy. Nice to get two new machines, I hope you can fix that second one, he's another understated one.

  8. The Commander is a good machine, and will make a fine treadle for FM, and possibly a good hand crank, depending on the exact dimensions of the shaft allowing for a repro spoked wheel.

  9. I really like the material on the 1st bag. Being a guy and engineer I have to work at fabric choices so my bags are less utilitarian. I also tend to sew bags like they were rated to haul rocks. Learning is fun.

  10. I really like the material on the 1st bag. Being a guy and engineer I have to work at fabric choices so my bags are less utilitarian. I also tend to sew bags like they were rated to haul rocks. Learning is fun.


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