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Leia's joining the Picnic (a.k.a Vera's Meadow Gown Build)
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got both my samples done:



I used 3 ply embroidery floss for both. The chainstitch by hand took 95 minutes (the pattern is larger than the picture). The stitch by machine took 55 minutes with the added bonus of my back and neck wasn't KILLING me after. Now that I see it next to the original, I think the machine method will work just fine! Once I pick my fabric and start doing tests, I think I'll try some rayon floss and different stabilizers, because I was getting some puckering. I think maybe water soluble.
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Sothis ()
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vera, your samples are great! And yeah, hand-embroidering kills neck and back.
I hope, it's OK if I add one more possibility to make a chain-stitch! I, personally, hand-embroidered the front panel but the back was another story. I was running out of time and my grandmother suddenly told me that she had an old children sewing machine. Which make a chain stitch and a chain-stitch only.
Probably some of you have it somewhere in the closet! You can google it and even buy somewhere… As far as I could be very cheap.
It took me about 6 hours to finish the back panel with it! Of course, I needed to hand-sew the sequins, but the vines were done really quickly.
These are the machine and the chain stitch made by it!
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooh, I've heard about those, but the cheap child's chain stitch machines I've seen now don't do a decorative chain stitch. Is there any name or model number on that one? I'll keep my eye out for one until it comes time to start mine. What type of thread did you use?
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Sothis ()
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine was made back in USSR, its name is "Children's Sewing Machine - 1B", Moscow Toys Factory.
I've seen it several times at different auction sites.
By the way, I searched ebay and there are a lot of items by the name of "vintage kids/child/children sewing machine". Some of them look very similar to my soviet one. I’m pretty sure they work the same way, too. Well… you can have a look there anyway, when time will come!)
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RebelSenator (Raychel Enck)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would be a fantastic time saver if one can be found!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, those machines exist. Search for "chain stitch" on Ebay worldwide (including description). What you're looking for is a "single thread" machine, just to say that very clearly - two thread (upper and bobbin) don't quite produce a real chain stitch.

However, one thing isn't quite true.
If you're not extremely lucky, you won't get them cheap. Note that 'cheap' would, in my words, be anything that's under $50. But those old chain stitch machines (be it children's or adult chain stitch machines) rarely go for under $150, often more.
So you'd have to be extremely lucky to get one for cheap. I know they often start at $1, but they'll not end anywhere near that range.

There are "modern" handheld chain stitch appliances (which I refuse to call 'machines' for a reason!) - they look more or less like a stapler. Those come cheap but believe me, they're NOT worth spending a cent on them.

Some of the 'old' machines use a hooked needle (looks like a really tiny crochet hook).
That one is difficult to sew with because the hook will often tear at the fabric once it's passed through it and comes back up.

Another possibility is a machine that has a 'bow' needle - it looks like an extremely bent needle, shaped like a bow (that thing that makes arrows fly, that is).
If the machine still has that kind of needle when you buy the machine, you're lucky and want to protect that needle with your life since it's NOT easy to find a replacement, and trying to bend an existing straight needle into the bow shape is pretty much impossible.

At any rate and no matter which needle system the machine is using:
IF you buy such a machine, make SURE that the machine you're buying comes with a working, unbroken and non-bent needle, just so you know WHAT needle to search for if you have to replace it!
Be prepared for higher needle prices too - just saw a packet of 10 replacement needles for a Singer 20 go for $12.50; and a Singer S20 is NOT a rare machine, neither are its replacement needles rare parts.

Last not least keep in mind that those machines are often manually operated. That means you have to keep one hand on the wheel to turn it, and just have one hand free to handle your fabric.
In case of the huge half circles of the picnic skirt that can be difficult, to say the least, since the space you have on the (really small) children's chain stitch machines is, well, REALLY small.

Just thought I should mention all this - not to discourage anyone from finding such a machine but to explain why "no one" came up with the idea of using a "cheap" children's chain stitch machine for this embroidery so far.
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Naergi: I know Wink

I've been searching for a chain stitch machine for years but what I was missing was 'vintage'. All the cheap plastic ones I have seen, I am not sure of the quality of the stitch. I've been looking at them off and on since seeing a vintage industrial one at the theater I worked at (one drapers personal machine that no one else could touch, unfortunatly) but have since learned they are out of my price range unless I get lucky at some estate sale by someone who doesn't know what they're selling.

(Also, after hand-embroidering my Alice in Wonderland skirt for 7 months, I don't really want to do that again any time soon)
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a working draft put together. I still have to put boning in it for a proper full test, but I think I just have minor shape changes and seam placement tweaks.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a battery operated Ideal (Zig Zag Sewette) toy sewing machine and it is really lovely Smile You can hand crank as well but the batteries make it a really nice smooth stitch. Works well on fine fabrics too Smile I used it on lace Wink

I got mine really cheap because I waited until I found one find my price range. There is one I really want with my name on it (literally!) Wink But it is about 100 euros Wink

You can look for vintage toy or child's sewing machine. Sometimes they can be found under both or one or the other. Unfortunately it's getting harder to search worldwide on ebay, there are plugins and other sites that will allow you to do so though.
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found a bunch on the evilBay that I'm watching and have bids on Smile There's enough listed that I'm sure they come up all the time, plus I'll start hitting the antique stores here regularly.

The only thing that concerns me is when non-sewers post them, I can't be sure it'll deliver a quality stitch so I'd be taking a chance. I think I did see that Sewette one. I also had my eye on a not quite as vintage power kids machine that has the look of a vintage singer, I asked the seller to post some pics of the stitch from the sample. I see several on buy-it-now or etsy that I can get a guaranteed purchase but can't be sure of the quality :p
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Mieal Deneb (Rachel Orange)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found vintage cape material on eBay that would be perfect (probably would need a bit of dye)! However, I'd need 4 other ladies to go in with me to buy it (it'd be $47.50 each +shipping to you) since it is 6 yards for $237.29! Sad

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Six-Yards-216-by-56-Embroidered-Floral-TULLE-Fabric-Vintage-Finished-Edges-/160942463656?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2578eb1aa8
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mieal Deneb wrote:
I've found vintage cape material on eBay that would be perfect (probably would need a bit of dye)!


...which could be a problem.
Usually that netting is woven from nylon, while the embroidery threads are rayon. Rayon takes dye much better than nylon; which basically means that if you try to dye the netting, the 'white' parts of the embroidery (and conclusively all other colors in that embroidery) will take up a shade of yellowish / beige too - in case of the red in the embroideries, that can result in a 'rust' color....

Discharging the embroideries after you've dyed the fabric won't work either because usually the dye in the rayon threads (which means: also the *original* dye, like the red!) will come off very quickly.
Which, in the end, would leave you with beige-ish netting and all white embroideries.

Now... with that result you could also try and actually paint the embroideries with a very fine brush and silk paint back to the red/white/etc. embroideries; but it's a TON of work and remember, if you goof just once with that brush, your nylon netting will take up whatever color you're currently painting as well.

Just thought I should mention this; not to discourage you.

Also, do I read correctly that the scalloped edge is NOT along the selvages but just across the shorter two 56'' wide sides of the fabric? That's weird Shocked

BTW, corset looks great! :-)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it says the scalloped edge is along the width. Didn't the people with the Walmart curtain have to dye it? How did they manage not to ruin the flowers??
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mieal Deneb wrote:
Yeah, it says the scalloped edge is along the width.

That would be a bit small to divide between four people, wouldn't it? Hooray for ombre-dyed sewing threads in that case Wink
Quote:
Didn't the people with the Walmart curtain have to dye it? How did they manage not to ruin the flowers??

I can imagine that on a 'shower curtain', a supplier wouldn't use rayon threads for embroidery because that embroidery would fade and disintegrate very quickly - remember, rayon is the fiber that becomes weakest when wet (which is one way to distinguish it from other fibers - try to tear it while it's wet).

You could always ask the seller for the fiber content of that netting and the embroidery first - make him / her do burn and tear tests if needed.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following a pattern similar to the one Kay-Dee made, it would take just a bit over a yard for a cape, but you wouldn't be able to utilize the scalloped edge. If this won't be dye-able, then it's not worth it.
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