Monday, October 15, 2012

Two months--part two

It may be shocking to some, but knitting has been put on the back burner lately. I'm still working on things, but not very quickly. I've been:

Sewing. As I mentioned two months ago, I've been itching to sew lately, but needed a better place to put my sewing machine. A hunt for a good vintage sewing table led to the discovery that antique sewing machines are plentiful, usually work as if they were new, and really cool. One thing led to another and I have my sewing table for my sewing machine and also a beautiful antique treadle machine from 1923. I got this machine for a really good price because it wasn't working. All it needed was to be oiled well. The cool thing is that Singer set the standard for sewing machines a hundred years ago, so this ninety-year-old machine takes the same bobbins, needles, bobbin cases, and even presser feet as my BabyLock sewing machine that I bought new seven or eight years ago.

Obviously, the table top is not antique. I bought the sewing machine on Craigslist and the treadle irons at a flea market kind of place here in town. The top is a remnant piece of laminate countertop. It came with the irons, but you can get them for really cheap from home centers. I kind of like the granite look, but I wish it had some drawers underneath.

I love sewing with it. There is something nice about the rhythm of treadling, and it's fun to make something and realize that it didn't take any electricity. Well, except for the lights and the iron. But the actual making-up part of it cost nothing. I still have to break out the other machine when I need to do zig zag stitches, but 90% of the time, this will work.

My project this weekend was organizing my pantry. There's a company out there called Shelf Reliance and they make these fancy-schmancy shelving units that organize tin cans so that you can easily use the oldest ones first. But they're really expensive.

I signed up for a food-storage newsletter a month or two ago. Every couple of weeks they email you something simple you can do to get food storage started or more organized. Two or three weeks ago, they sent a link to a pattern that you can use to make rotating can-storage racks from cardboard boxes.

I can get good quality boxes free from work, so all I had to pay for was a utility knife (box cutter) and glue (I used hot glue). The boxes work well and I'm pretty pleased with them. I made a couple following the directions as they were, and then started making them with one rack more. It makes better use of my shelf space, but also means that I can load the boxes from the front instead of the back. I did find that the instructions for the vegetable can size seem to have the back panel about half an inch too wide, but that was an easy fix.


Anyway, I could blather on and on about the things I did--a quick, unexpected trip to Salt Lake to say goodbye to my grandpa, a weekend trip to St. Louis to hang out with my besties for Time Out for Women, for example--but I don't want to give ALL my secrets away.


  1. Byron thinks your antique sewing machine is really awesome, and I have to admit, ever since I was a little girl I've thought they were beautiful. I think it's awesome you're USING it though. Go you! And I like your can organizers too :)

  2. i'm a little late to commenting here! (thanks for hopping in to my blog!!!!) But----I LOVE LOVE that sewing machine!!! (It's as old as our house!) I think it's totally awesome that you are using it---as the saying goes, they just don't make things the way they used true!!! hope you are still sewing with it----and still loving it!