Friday, January 22, 2016

New-To-Me Overlocker = New-To-Me Excitement

Several weeks ago, we found a listing for a used, industrial sewing machine on Done Deal in our local area.  It had such a massive harp and was built into a table, so we had to go give it a test run. You see, it was listed by a lovely man whose wife used to make wedding dresses from the back of their house.  She had several high-quality, well loved industrial machines for her business (and a pile of thread!!!).  She recently passed away, so he was trying to find new homes for her machines where they would be appreciated.  As it turns out, it was not the sewing machine for me.  However, next to it sat an overlocker that we could not leave behind.  Total score!  We popped it into the back of the truck and went home delighted with our luck.

I set it up in the kitchen and immediately started making pillow cases and napkins to sell at a Christmas fair.  She is smooth and fast, purring along.  The crazy, rapid fire double needles and blade scare me a bit, but I am starting to figure out how we can work beautifully together.  The only down side?  She's INSANELY heavy, so we couldn't get her up stairs to my sewing space.  She lived in the kitchen for weeks and weeks and weeks...until an unsuspecting friend came over for breakfast last weekend.  (insert evil laugh here...)  The two boys grunted and strained the entire time, dragging her up stairs to her forever home.  

In preparation for my napkin making mania, I started to prep fabric from the shop.  You see, eventually these napkins will be sold via the website or in pop up shops as a way to sell to local fabric appreciators/lovers who don't sew.  It's a super way to bring a bit of color and design to your home at a low cost and with little commitment.  

I decided on sets of four, mostly because it keeps the purchase price reasonable and because I came from a family of four.  In my head, dinner tables are always set with four place settings.  Irish families, though, may have to buy two sets of napkins :)  Anyway, I pre-washed fabrics, ironed them, then cut out 16 inch x 16 inch blocks.  The edges were rounded (for the over locker) by tracing around a cereal bowl, then cutting with fabric scissors.

I was on fire.....overlocking to my heart's content.  Until I realized not every fabric would look great with a white thread edge.  With an overlocker I needed 4 spools/cones to sew in one color, when I'm used to buying and using one spool of each color at a sitting.  I had tons of white thread so it was easy enough to scrape together four spools in the beginning, but when I needed a color like pink or navy, I was out of luck.  Only one spool of each in my thread stash.

While I was in the US over Christmas, I saw my opportunity and jumped.  Joann's (of course!) had an entire wall of overlocking thread at a very reasonable price.  I kind of lost the run of myself and bought white, red, yellow, blue and green cones.  I wish I bought pink too, but there had to be some sense of reason. When I got it all home and dumped my bounty on the living room floor, I think my mother was questioning my sanity (clearly!).  I'm sure it was also a first for Customs to find on a search....made their day more interesting, didn't I?

So, I think I am ready to roll now.  New colored thread - check.  Overlocker in her new home - check.  Fabric washed, ironed and prepped - check.  

The only thing we're missing is a name.  What do we call her?  When I see her, names like Fang, Jaws or Tarantula come to mind, but they're not very feminine.  Any suggestions?


Ruth said...

Mmm feminine but with teeth - how about Mina ala the Dracula story? or Buffy as in Vampire Slayer?

Sarah @ FairyFace Designs said...

I am jealous. Looks like you are having lots of fun! Names wise...No idea! Sorry :-)

Archie the wonder dog said...

What a find! The napkins are a great idea, too! I'm hopeless at coming up with names (but will have a think, just in case!) but wonder whether you should call her something like 'careful', as that's what you have to be when using her!

Lynz said...

Mizz Jaws? *g* What a great find! I've been browsing second hand overlockers myself but need one a bit smaller (and lighter!) than yours!

Paula said...

What a great find and how lovely that this machine has gone to a wonderful new home instead of being scrapped as sadly happens all too often now-a-days. Love your idea for the napkins, and the fabrics you have chosen. From your tarantula comment the first name that springs to my mind would be Miss Muffet.

Tina said...

Lol! I love the image of the customs officers spying your thread haul!

Tomomi McElwee said...

Lucky you! Can't wait to see the finished products.

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