Saturday, September 14, 2013

Elna TOP 300 for more machine fun...

Machines. They are so siren song loaded. I have just been gifted with two more of the type of machine I love - the bottom line of a good brand. The first one is an Elna TOP 300, which proves elusive to find info and pictures of here in the US, as all the pics I can find are in Europe or Australia and New Zealand. I think the Elnas were not sold here nearly as much in the early 90s, or late 80s. This machine does date back to the early 90s, and looked like a wreck in the thrift shop. I saw it is the Seattle area in May, but passed on it due to the looks and felt it wouldn't be worth taking home. But my hubby returned from his trip out West with this in tow. Apparently all the parts that they could remove they had removed and had at the counter, including the bobbin area cover and the feet. It was missing the regular sewing foot - Zigzag foot. And the original owner had never removed the protective film from the from as you should upon opening the box and removing the machine! SO it had a ratty look from bits of the film coming loose and so on. After some work with Goo-Gone and warm moist dishcloth the looks were improved radically, and then I saw that someone had somehow crimped the shank oddly and I needed a ZZ foot anyway. Having a family of machines of the same general manufacturer comes in handy, as I had an extra shank or two I wasn't using from Janomes, and a foot as well. Luckily one of the shanks and feet fit and I don't need them for other machines, so now she has a new foot and a new shank. As to sewing. The stitch selection dial is a bit wonky, as the detents are no longer lining up perfectly with the numbers, but that isn't relaly too much of a problem. You can, and I always do anyway, do a test stitching first, so if you didn't put it on the correct stitch you will soon realize that. It sews nicely and with the correct shank uses Janome feet of course, as it is a Janome made Elna. Janome shanks do differ among models now too. This one use the red button shank as does my Janome 11510 (Kenmore 19110). I tried all the stitches and made a buttonhole. I do like 4 step buttonholes and this baby does a nice one. I may rehome this machine in months to come, as I have plenty of machines, but it is really an appealing machine with useful stitches. If you should come across one in the St. Vincent De Paul store near you, don't be afraid. This one sat on the shelf there for almost a full 5 months unwanted and unloved. Now she is clean and working and much happier. I may not have mentioned that the little wick under the bobbin case needed a drop of oil. That's it, although there are two places inside the cover in the workings as well, and those are now oiled too. This is an all mechanical machine.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cloned McCalls 2208 from Lutterloh Shirt...

My modification of a Lutterloh basic shirt pattern to emulate McCalls 2208. Unfortunately the pattern itself was so difficult to try and alter to fit me that I just decided to modify the neckline of my TNT Lutterloh shirt to look like the McCalls. It didn't take too much. I cut a nice facing for the entire neckline after folding back the neckline of the Lutterloh pattern and tracing the resultant neckline from the bottom of one edge to the bottom of the other. I had to make a back facing and two front to shoulder facings. Made them nice and wide and that was a good idea. Sewed up well and fitting was good. I wanted it high enough to wear as a shirt or as a jacket. The buttons are nice shaded grey-brownish ones I got on sale at Joanns last year.
The fabric is postage stamps I got on sale several years ago at our wonderful local fabric shop now gone. A print like this requires a plain no-nonsense pattern if you don't want to look really busy. Here is the picture of the McCalls again to compare.  The neckline is a bit lower than I wanted mine to be, and I think the whole project turned out well. I have also finished the tropical print skirt but no pictures yet. I am behind in my pics-for-blogging. Have been working on the quilt as well, and finished all the blocks.