Monthly Archives: January 2017

Create a Sewing Space: Your Little Corner of the World

Now that you have decided to take the plunge into the sewing world, you’ll want to have a small area set up for your sewing machine and supplies.

Not all of us have the luxury of a room all to ourselves, so becoming creative in finding ways to set up easily, and then store away conveniently can be very helpful when your sewing area is the dining room table.

I sewed at my table for many years, and developed a simple system to set up my machine and supplies quickly and easily. I cleaned out a closet that wasn’t being used, and purchased a Rubbermaid 3-drawer rolling cabinet. I placed all my sewing supplies in the cabinet, and placed my sewing machine on top.

This all fit neatly into a corner of the closet, along with my folding cutting board, and ironing board. When I was ready to sew, I simply rolled out my cabinet and set up on my dining room table. Since I had little ones at the time, I also installed a simple hook and eye latch at the top of my closet door that kept out curious hands.

If you can spare a room to set up for sewing, there is a great book on the market that covers this very topic. It is entitled, Dream Sewing Spaces, by Lynette Ranney Black and Pati Palmer. It touches on every possible combination for every type of sewing venture, from garment construction, to home decor, and quilting.

When I moved my portable sewing setup to its own room, I used this book as a resource to set up my sewing space. Being on a tight budget, I purchased 3 folding tables, and used one for sewing/serging, one for a general workspace and bookshelf, and the third for a cutting and pressing table.

I raised the workspace table as well as the cutting/pressing table to a more convenient height by cutting 4 appropriate lengths of 1″ PVC pipe per table, and sliding them over the ends of each of the table legs, raising the tables up to a height that was kinder to my back. I made simple tablecloths and covered the tables, draping the tablecloths to the floor, allowing for some hidden storage space under all three tables.

I purchased a few more plastic cabinets and some plastic storage bins, and slid them under my tables. I visited a used office furniture store and picked up a great rolling, ergonomic office chair for a song. My biggest investment besides my sewing machine, were two Ott Lights to improve my lighting situation. Although they are pricey, the investment has been well worth it, as the lighting is color-true, and allows me to match my colors accurately, as well as providing enough light to sew into the wee hours of the night.

Sewing Machine Review: Singer 221

The Singer 221 sewing machine is one of Singer’s older models and is no longer being manufactured by the company. Nevertheless, there are still owners who sell these Featherweight models to collectors. Just make sure that if you purchase one, it is still in good running condition as the model is already quite old. Despite Singer’s non-production of the 221 model, parts are still available in the market. There are still plenty of accessories even making it easy for you to maintain its components.

The Singer 221 is beautifully finished, non-crinkle machine and very simple to use making it a very valuable collector’s item. The standard version of the 221 model has a very shiny ebony black finished known as Japan with a scroll design. The face plate is chrome-plated giving it a polished look. It possesses a silver-colored hand wheel with its serial number embedded onto the body. The variant to the 221 model is the one with an AG serial number. The only difference is that you can buy one with black hand wheel instead of silver.

The 221 model is operated manually therefore adjustments on length and width of stitches are manually done, too. It does not have the modern LCD screen that allows you to see your patterns and change them. Threading and bobbin winding is also manually done. So if you have never used a manual machine before, this may appear to be a great challenge to you. But despite its manual operation, the featherweight Singer 221 sewing machine is known to be one of the best so far because of its incredible finish and superb stitching functions. The machine belongs to the featherweight Singer models because it is indeed very light in weight making it portable and easy to carry even during sewing classes or workshops and even while you travel.

The Singer 221 can last for decades as it is made of very durable materials. Like all other Singer-manufactured sewing machines, they are built to last a lifetime. Not only the machinery itself is made durable because of the materials used to sustain strain and constant use but its manual operational parts also last a long time. This allows the machine to function in its most efficient condition even after years of use. The Singer may already be considered a vintage machine and may be sold at a higher price during auctions or you may want to pass this on to your grandchildren as an heirloom. Its design and functionality surely makes the Singer 221 a treasure to be kept over the years.