Category Archives: my new Sewing Machine

My new sewing machine – It’s 1969

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So, welcome to the first post in my serie “My new sewing machine“. As you might have already imagined, I was eager to sew something with my new Bernina. I won’t talk much about the machine again, as I have already written a whole post about her.

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The attachment list of the Bernina dates from 12/1968, the machine itself was made in early 1969, according to the serial number. So, what was 1969 like?

(all information from the above linked Wikipedia-page)
Looking back 1969 seems to have been all about space. In early  January  the Soviet union sends probes to Venus and Soyuz spaceships  into the sky, the US sends Mariner probes to mars only weeks later and uses Apollo 9 and 10 as test runs for the lunar mission. The hightlight of course being the moon landing of Apollo 11 on July 20, followed by the moon landing of Apollo 12 already in november.

While the Beatles give their last public performance in January and John Lennon marries Yoko One in march, Elvis is in the middle of his comback and Led Zeppelin release their first Album. In August the famous Woodstock Festival  turns three days into an immortal part of music history. “The Godfather” is published and the “Sesame Street” comes to american living rooms, both influencing pop culture until today.

Technical progress can be marked by the first implant of an artificial heart, the maiden flight of the Boing 747 and the first test flight of the Concorde in France, while inMoscow the Tupolev TU-44 had had her first flight already on New Year’s Eve of 1968, two months earlier. These two are the the only commercial supersonic aircrafts until today.

Politics: Richard Nixon becomes president of the USA, Georges Pompidou of France, Willi Brandt chancellor of West Germany (in the same year, Muammar Gaddafi takes over power in Libya, imagine how long all the other politicians had retired and how recently Gaddafi was ousted). The Vietnam war is present age as still is the Cold war.

Born in 1969: Michael Schumacher, Marilyn Manson (interesting side note: the Manson Family was very active later in 1969 and Charles Manson arrested for the crimes he had commited), Dave Grohl, Alexander McQueen, Cate Blanchett, Steffi Graf, Oliver Kahn, Jay Z, Richard Hammond and so many more

Died in 1969: Boris Karloff, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Judy Garland, Walter Gropius, Otto Dix, Rocky Marciano, Ho Chi Minh and so many more

So, this would be in your mind or in the near future if you had got a new sewing machine in 1969. While history knows no copyright, magazines do, so I won’t be able to show you a bouquet of 69’s fashion, but limit myself to some links: here’s what you find when you search the V&A’s online database for fashion from that year, see it as a little “défilé de mode”. The seamstress might be more interested to sewing magazines of the said year, here you can find the Burda issue of march 1969, the issue I made today’s project from.

First I thought of this project as a complete fail. I mean, when you get a sewing machine that can do so many interesting and decorative stitches, my project maybe wouldn’t be your first choice. But on the other hand, maybe I first wanted to test the sewing before I headed towards the more fancy bits, no-one said I can only write one post about each sewing machine 😛

So, this is the project I went for:

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I don’t wear trousers that much, but if, I mostly wear jeans. simply because that’s all I have, I didn’t own one single pair of trousers made from another fabric when I started this project. So I thought, why not sew something I could use better than a fancy late 60ies dress I would most probably never wear. In my stash I found navy blue trouser-fabric, a polyester-viscose-spandex-fabric with a little stretch.

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I can’t tell you much interesting about the sewing itself. The hips were much too round and I had to alter them more than once, I am still not happy with them, but it’s ok. The trousers close with a zip in the front, the belt is completely seperate and optional to wear. I lined it with some patterned Ikea-fabric, the same fabric I used for the facing inside the waistband. A leftover of plastic boning gives it the stiffness it needs, I assume the original was made from sturdier fabric.

The pattern was surprisingly short. I am shorter than the average woman and the hem was even higher as you see now and I still would like it to be a little longer.

Well, not the best fitting project, but wearable.

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And to save the best for last: Each day you can pick up a free newspaper on Switzerland’s stations (not very high journalism, but well, it’s for free), each friday the same boxes contain a fashion and lifestyle magazine. This friday said magazine told me, that the 70ies will be very “en Vogue” this year. And look what was featured in the photo gallery: Navy blue flared trousers in a polyester-acetate-cotton-fabric by miu miu. Price? 650€. Considering that my fabric cost me 15CHF I still have plenty of room (meaning money) to produce the perfect fitting navy-blue-trousers for this season and will be, for once, totally fashionable.

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Auf Deutsch:

So, es hat ein Weilchen gedauert, aber endlich, willkommen zur ersten Folge meiner Serie “My new sewing machine“, was wäre wenn meine Nähmaschine neu wäre?
Da mein letzter Neuzugang die Bernina 730 war, lag es nahe, mit dieser Maschine zu beginnen. Viel zu ihr sagen muss ich glaub ich nicht mehr, sie hat ja bereits einen eigenen Post bekommen.
Während die Packliste im Koffer von 12/1968 datiert, ist die Maschine laut Seriennummer vom Anfang des Jahres 1969. Also, was passierte denn damals so? (ich habe als Grundlage für die Daten die englische Wikipedia-Seite genommen, daher verlinke ich hier zur englischen Version ).

Das Jahr 1969 stand ganz im Zeichen der Raumfahrt.  Während die Sowiet Union Soyuz-Kapseln startete und Sonden zur Venus schickte, machte die Nasa ähnliches mit Mars-Sonden und startet die Apollo-Missionen 9 und 10 als Testläufe für die Mondlandung. Die Landung der Apollo 11 auf unserem Trabanten am 20 Juli ist wohl allgemein bekannt, bereits im November landete dann die zweite Mondmission, Apollo 12, ebenfalls dort.

Im Januar gaben die Beatles ihren letzten Live-Auftritt und John Lennon heiratete Yoko Ono, Elvis war mitten in seinem Comeback und Led Zeppelin veröffentlichten ihr erstes Album. Das Woodstock-Festival im August ging in die Musik-Geschichte ein.  Mario Puzo veröffentlichte sein Buch “Der Pate” und  die erste Folge der Sesamstrasse flackerte über amerikanische Fernsehbildschirme, beide haben bis heute ihren Einfluss auf die Popkultur nicht verloren.

Auch technisch tat sich einiges. Das erste provisorische künstliche  Herz wurde implantiert, die Boing 747 hatte ihren Jungfernflug und die Concorde hob das erste Mal zu einem Testflug ab, zwei Monate nach dem ersten öffentlichen Flug der Tupolev TU-44, beide bleiben bis heute die einzigen kommerziellen Überschall-Flugzeuge.

Jaaa, Politik: In den USA wird Richard Nixon Präsident, in Frankreich Georges Pompidou. Westdeutschland sieht Willi Brandt Kanzler werden (um sich mal über die Verhältnisse klar zu werden: Alle drei Politiker sind schon so lange Teil der Geschichte. Im selben Jahr übernahm Muammar  Gaddafi die Macht in Libyen und dass er entmachtet wurde ist ja nun wirklich nicht lange her). Der Vietnamkrieg gehörte ebenso  zur tagtäglichen Wirklichkeit wie der kalte Krieg zwischen den Blöcken.

Wer wurde geboren:
Michael Schumacher, Marilyn Manson (interessant übrigens, dass 69 ebenso das Jahr der Manson-Family-Morde und der Verhaftung von Charles Manson ist),  Dave Grohl, Alexander McQueen, Cate Blanchett, Steffi Graf, Oliver Kahn, Jay Z, Richard Hammond und viele weitere.

Wer starb:
Boris Karloff, Dwight D Eisenhower, Judy Garland, Walter Gropius, Otto Dix, Rocky Marciano,  Ho Chi Minh und viele weitere

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So, das wäre also die  Gegenwart bzw. die nahe Zukunft Anfang 1969. Während Daten und Geschichte kein Copyright kennen, tun es Zeitschriften durchaus, so dass ich euch keinen bunten Bilderbogen der 69er Mode zeigen kann.  Als kleine Modenschau soll euch diese Auswahl der Mode-Sammlung des V&A dienen. Für die Hobbynäherinnen natürlich interessant, was nähte man denn 1969?  Hier ein Link zur Burda-Ausgabe vom März 1969, der Ausgabe aus welcher das heutige Projekt auch stammt.

Am Anfang dachte ich,  ich hätte eine totale Fehlentscheidung getroffen. Wer so eine Maschine mit Zierstichen bekommt, näht doch keine Hose?! Nun ja, vielleicht mag ich sie erstmal kennenlernen, die Zierstiche kommen dann später 😛 Sagt ja niemand, dass jede Nähmaschine nur einen Post bekommen darf.
Da ich nicht viele Hosen trage, aber wenn dann Jeans (einfach weil ich nur Jeans habe) , dachte ich es wäre an der Zeit für eine Stoffhose.  Einen dunkelblauen Polyester-Viskose-Spandex-Hosenstoff hatte ich noch da und los ging es.

Über das Nähen kann ich gar nicht viel spannendes verlieren. Die Hüften waren viel zu rund, ich musste die Naht mehrere Male ändern, inzwischen geht es, auch wenn perfekt was anderes ist. Die Hose wird ganz normal mit Reissverschluss in der Mitte geschlossen, der Gürtel ist optional. Mit dem gleichen Blümchenstoff  wie innen im Gürtel habe ich auch den Beleg in der Hose gemacht. Damit die Ecken nicht umknicken ist er mit einem Rest Plastikkorsagenband verstärkt.

Der Schnitt ist auffällig kurz. Ich bin ja schon kurz geraten, aber die Hose wie ihr sie seht ist schon unterhalb der eigentlichen Saumlinie umgenäht und ich hätte sie sogar gerne noch ein Stückchen länger gehabt.

Im grossen und ganzen nicht perfekt, aber tragbar.

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Und das Beste zum Schluss: Jeden Tag gibt es hier in der Schweiz an den Bahnhöfen eine Gratis-Zeitung. Nicht grad die hohe Kunst des Journalismus, aber dafür eben gratis. Freitags liegt anstatt dessen eine Mode-Lifestyle-Zeitschrift in den Verteiler-Boxen. Diesen Freitag sagte mir das bunte Papier, dass die 70er in diesem Jahr absolut im Trend wären. Und was war auf einem der Fotos zu sehen? Dunkelblaue Stoffhosen aus einem Polyester-Acetat-Baumwoll-Gemisch von miu miu. Der Preis? 650€
Der Sitz von meiner Variante mag nicht perfekt sein, aber da ich für den Stoff auch nur 15 Fr. gezahlt habe, bleibt mir reichlich Spielraum um  das Höschen zu perfektionieren und nur ein einziges Mal komplett auf Höhe der Mode zu sein. Wahnsinn…

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blouse: Nine Bird (via Fizzen) – trousers: made by me using Burda magazine 3/1969 – shoes: vintage (via Fizzen)

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Soviel für heute, alles Liebe

So much for today, see you soon,

ette

My new series – My new sewing machine!

For quite some time I have had a little idea working in my mind. I mentioned it very shortly in my post about my new old Bernina 730, but I wanted to be prepared for the series to start before I really announce it. But finally here it comes.

As I have said in the above-mentioned post, I love old sewing machines. I love to imagine how the previous owners worked with them, what dresses were created on them, how the rooms they stood in looked like and so on. My Singer Featherweight had a little handwritten note attached to the sewing table with some old adhesive tape, I was so sad when the mechanic who maintained it last year removed it without even asking me.

Now, my idea: I don’t want to leave it at speculating what could have been back then, but try to re-imagine the original environment of my sewing machines as accurately as I can.

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First step would be to narrow down the manufacturing date, the older the machine, the more difficult this will be, I fear. Next step is to find information about this time period. How would the world look like, which people were famous, are there important dates in history connected to it? What did the first owner possibly wear, what was eaten at lunchtime, how much did she (or he) pay for the sewing machine. And, third step: What would be sewn on it when it was new? What pattern styles were popular, what fabric would have been considered modern, what could have been the first project made with the new helper.

I plan to make a little series, including the ideas above, featuring each one of my machines. I don’t plan to make it a regular feature, but will post it whenever a project matches.
If you own a more or less old machine yourself and want to participate, I would love it! Please feel free to use the icon above and link back to my blog. There are no period restrictions, I am equally open for late 19th century creations or early 1990ies projects.
You can include whatever you want. Dates, facts, photos, recipes, everything you consider helpful to create an image of the time given. But you will have to include a sewing project and it has to be made on the sewing machine presented! Yes, this is the mean part. Feel free to create a breathtaking art-nouveau-gown, but create it only on your period machine, no serger, no zig-zag-stitching, no computer-backed embroidery, you get it 😉

So, are you with me?

And if someone is interested: This cute but hilarious image above I cut from a sewing machine add found in the Burda-issue of march 1956. I just love how she hugs this presumably quite heavy machine.  The add is for Frigor-Sewing machines, a brand I had never heard of before. It seems as if they produced radios and things like that until 1952, then went bankrupt. From 1953 what seems to be the same enterprise, produced sewing machines. I found Hague (Netherlands) and Munich (Germany) as production sites, but one machine on ebay had a plague saying “licensed in Switzerland, produced in France”.  My otherwise always helpful book on old sewing machines can’t add any more information and even the world wide web proofed not fruitful at all.

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The machines have a very distinct, “atomic” 50ies style and are very reasonable priced if you want to buy them today, something around 50€ if you find one. Back in the 50ies this was in fact a comparably expensive machine. The add from 1956 names a price of 712 Mark, this equals nearly 1700€ today! But it seems to have had some fun features, too. It was already able to sew straight and zig-zag, to darn, to make buttonholes and attach buttons and even had some decorative stitches. But the best thing, look at the upper picture on the left:You didn’t have to change the needle as we know it today but, to prevent confusion on how it should be placed, you could just throw the needle into a little hole on the top and it fell into the right position all by itself, magic!

I hope you will like this little series and I would love if someone decides to join me. Stay curious for the first post, see you soon,

ette