Thank Goodness for a rainy Saturday!!

Well, it has been quite a learning curve! having been thrust into the role of Blog Administrator because Beth, our previous administrator is busy with a new adventure.

So on this rainy Saturday with nothing else pressing to do, I spent a few cozy hours with Google working out what I have to do…and here I am!! Yeah!

I’ve been doing quite a bit of sewing over the summer, which is unusual for me. My sewing room is usually too hot to tempt me in the summer, but this summer has been pretty low-key (polite term for rotten) and I have been sewing up a storm.  I am pleased to be diminishing my stash a little!

I have updated a number of things here, so look around.

I have also been having an electrical adventure with my vintage Elna Lotus sewing machine.

She had an electrical fault. She turned on fine and the light worked, but when I tried to sew the light would go out. Everything else worked fine, I could sew with it, but there was no light which was not helpful.  At first I thought the lightbulb filament might be somehow dislodging itself when I was sewing (electrically capable people – do not laugh at me!!) so I changed the lightbulb. The new one was much brighter which was very nice…when it was on. So nope…that didn’t solve the problem.  I took it into a sewing machine repair person (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) and it came back clean and shiny with a clean bill of health, but when I plugged it in and tried to sew, I still had the same problem!! I was NOT pleased. I procrastinated for some months and finally took it to Sewing Workshop, a repair shop in Avondale. The repair person was not there at the time, but the counter person plugged it in and THE LIGHT WORKED!! I was so pleased to see that the light would actually work, I rushed home and plugged it in, started sewing…..NO LIGHT!! I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t understand what was going on but I knew the light worked so I must have been doing something different from what the sewing repair shop person did. The only variable I could think of was the way the plug was inserted into the machine, so I reversed it…and that solved the problem. This is an old machine, back in the day apparently you could plug things in backward… with poor results.  I am very pleased to know there is nothing wrong with my Elna and I can take her to meetings again.

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Is anybody there? What has been happening at the SCA blog?

Everyone gets crazy busy, and yes, the ball was dropped big time over the past months on getting out the news about the Sewing Connection Auckland Group, but that is not to say that Big Things haven’t been happening.

There is a fabulous new Convenor, Leslie, and the 2017 meetings kicked off with a hiss and a roar!  There are plans and upcoming events galore, so I’ll let the new Blog team tell you about that soon.

Please contact Leslie at leslieginnever@gmail.com if you want to join the Group.  If you have some news or want to add your comments, praise or otherwise, just do it below.

So, for just a little longer, here is the standard message, but done just a little bit differently.

This Blog is currently being revised.  Watch this space for updates.

Signing off, Beth x

Hand woven textiles in Oamaru!

Earlier this year, the SCA group co-ordinator, Diane was browsing through a North and South magazine and this advert ‘jumped out’. Hand woven textiles in Oamaru!

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Here’s what Diane wrote:

I visited Rod and Sue McLean’s website and blogsite and found out the weaving was done on historical c.1918 Hattersley looms using locally sourced wool and alpaca fibre. Sue tells about the history of the looms, their own weaving journey and how helpful it was to Rod’s recovery, on The Radio NZ interview and in the magazine article (on their blogsite).  The photos on the website are excellent.

Thanks Diane for sharing this wonderful [and unknown to this blogger] New Zealand resource!

2 new sewing machine service and repair shops added to our directory

If you happen to live or work near to Sandringham or Manukau City, check out the two new additions  to the “Auckland Sewing Resources” page here sent to us by SCA group member, Sally P.

Thanks for the information, Sally 🙂

Remember if you have any information to share with others that is sewing-related such as any new fabric shops, textile fairs or markets or sewing machinery repairs that you’d recommend, please leave either a comment below this post, or email sewingconnectionauckland@gmail.com.

 

Investing in your sewing future – servicing your machines

Regular servicing ensures optimal performance from those trusty machines so that they keep on giving us the best stitch, seam, buttonhole and tension that we need to make our sewing look the best it can and less like something that is obviously sewn at home.

As with a number of areas in our lives, we tend to put off some things because we are too busy just doing stuff.  For example, checking your tyre pressure and oil when you go the the garage – no longer known as a “service” station for those of us of a certain age – to fill your car with fuel, or cleaning and oiling the sewing machine when you just want to get that garment sewn.  Periodically, a repair or a proper service is called for and then you may phone or drive back to where you bought the machine and the shop is GONE!

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In my perfect world, what I’d like to see is every neigbourhood having a butcher, a baker, a full service sewing centre … but with the increasing demise of bricks and mortar stores for specialised sewing machine sales and service businesses, there is often even greater likelihood that servicing with be ignored or put off.

So the new reality is that we now may need to take our machines to the fabric/quilting/craft shop which is the agent for our brand and leave it there.  If that isn’t available, you’ll have to find another technician who has the expertise and experience with your particular type of machine.

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How you can help…

What I’d like to compile is a comprehensive directory of servicing businesses and agents for machines we own in our area – whether is be a suburb in Auckland or any other town or city in NZ.  Local knowledge is invaluable and worth sharing.  One day, you might be on holiday in Fjordland and have to find a repair shop…you’ll thank me later!

So to get things started, you can check out the 2 service teckkies listed on our other page https://sewingconnectionauckland.wordpress.com/sewing-shops-and-services/.

Also below is an excerpt from Diane Parton’s friend’s email. She’s recently had her Bernina serviced in Mt Wellington, Auckland:

I can remember in the past people having problems with Bernina servicing.

Tell any Bernina owners to go to The Ribbon Rose. The machines get sent to Wellington to be serviced by Colin, #1 Bernina man in NZ until he trains Steve Forlong who owns the Ribbon Rose shop.

Machine home and purring like a kitten!

So, please feel free to leave a comment below about any servicing business or person that you’d recommend to others and also what brand or type of machines you’ve had repaired.  Then it can go onto the list for others to refer to.

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It’ll certainly pay dividends in the end!

Vanuatu’s Mamma’s Laef Washable Sanitary Pad project

At the meeting on Saturday 12th March, I circulated a New Zealand Woman’s Weekly article about Belinda Roselli, a Nelson business woman, who was sending fabric to the ladies in Vanuatu to make sanitary pads.

The article is in the February 1, 2016 edition but is not easy to source online.  There may be copies available via the Auckland Libraries system.

If you have pieces of printed cotton that you could donate, bring them to the next few SCA meetings and I’ll post them to Belinda. (I am at the Delicate fabrics workshop so will miss the April meeting.)

Here is the link to Belinda’s blog post.  If you wish to find out more or sponsor this project, all the details and contacts can be found there.

Thanks in advance.

Joanne.

Advance notice of the 1st Challenge

No prizes for guessing… it’s dungarees, jumpsuits, onesies, overalls or playsuits of course! For work, for play or just for plain fun!

Jason has rather a bit to answer for as the inspiration for this challenge, and those of us that have been carefully following his progress on his dungarees can attest that slow sewing is a virtuous thing to behold.

We’re encouraging everyone that wants to get on board to get planning and sewing (if you’re not already) on any particular version of this versatile category of garment that you fancy.  You may not necessarily need one for yourself but you may have kids, grandkids (below right is so cute, isn’t it!) or even a spouse, partner or friend that could be looking for that extra “something” to complete their wardrobe?  Who knows?

I have a summer rayon bohemian version (see above left) planned but a part of me thinks that doing a traditional “old school” pair in denim would be a really good excuse to develop my skills on patch pockets, topstitching, flat felled seam,  utilising ‘hardware’ items such as buckles and domes or even practise my machine applique on those funky star patches!

The date for showing and judging will be Saturday 14th May and the lucky winner (chosen by popular vote) will receive a very generous gift voucher to the tune of $50 courtesy of The Fabric Store in Auckland – Thanks you guys!