where we shop

rummage

We went to a rummage sale over the weekend.  Thank goodness Rona was there.  She too, enjoys sorting through junk.  We didn’t find what we were looking for, surprise surprise.  But we found some cool fabric, wood and metal parts that we could turn into something neat.  We’ve been to garage sales, flea markets, sample sales and all that… but this might’ve been our first time at a rummage sale.  It was as organized as it could be, piles and stacks of stuff sorted into departments like housewares, men’s clothing and gardening.  We left the place feeling like we needed to bathe and our hands had gray sticky film over them, but we had fun looking for treasure.  It’s possible we might be on the hunt again this weekend.  Maybe this time we’ll find what we’re looking for.  And maybe this time we’ll wear rubber gloves. 



Rage against our machine.

It’s so hard to find a nearby place that can fix your sewing machine and offer friendly advice.  We thought we found a trusty one, but we started to second guess once they told us to buy an entirely new machine.  Thanks to Aaron our MANLY quilting, sewing and needlepointing co-worker, we checked out a family owned business in our neck of the woods.  We weren’t sure what the root of the problem was, all we knew was that we’ve been breaking needles regularly.  Is our material too thick?  Is our machine too weak??  Is it the operator’s fault???  Combination of all three????  We called The Sewing Machine Place, talked to Angi and told her we we’re looking for a walking foot attachment (that’s what Aaron told us to ask for).  Angi said they don’t make that attachment for our machine, but maybe all we need is a Teflon foot.  Sticky materials like leather and vinyl won’t stick to a Teflon foot, she said.  “Hmmm… how much is a Teflon foot?”, we asked.  “$29.99”, she said.  Beats spending a couple of thousand on a new machine, so we asked her to hold it for us until Saturday.  We walked into the store while they were having a sewing class of about 6 middle-aged ladies.  Angi was busy so we had to wait for her to help us, but decided to ear hustle in on the sewing class and picked up a couple of useful tips:

* Rayon thread will ball up eventually and cotton will wear down faster, so use polyester.
* Nothing lasts forever. That goes for thread, too. It has a shelf life!
* BEWARE of cheap thread.  Found a great bargain on thread at super deep discount prices?  It might be old… pass.
* Use quality thread to get quality results (true with with most things).  Like Gutermann.  By the way, Gutermann is what we use =)
* Do not use those compressed air thingamabobs on your machine to blow out the fuzz.  Lint balls can clog up your motor, better to use a mini vacuum.  What?!  This was news to us because we’ve always blown out the fuzz, so we asked Angi about it.  She’s always done it too, and  sees no harm in it.  Some are just more cautious than others and everyone has their opinion.  Sometimes we use a toothbrush.  The bristles actually lift up the lint, so all you have to do is clean the brush.

Since we’re on the topic, we want to share this link to a YouTube video on how to thread an industrial sewing machine. Maybe you think we’re lame for needing a tutorial on how to thread a machine. But really, you should see the crappy worthless ‘manual’ that we have. The pictures are awful and the detail… well, there is no detail! So we did a search and finally found a really great how-to. Even though we’ve been doing just fine without it, we keep the link handy should we ever forget. That must mean we’re not alone, if a tutorial actually exists, right?