Friday, 1 April 2011


No,  I haven't found a vintage example of the game - you know, the one that passed as 
hi-tech in the 1970s, with its perspex popping hemisphere containing the dice and its trendy oil-drum shaped counters...

Photo courtesy of
Visit this site for a fab selection of vintage toys and games!
I can't actually recall what was so frustrating about this game, but we did love playing it!    Life was full of simple pleasures back then...

The only other 'hi-tech' entertainment available to us was Kerplunk, Operation and the black and white television.  No Nintendos, no Wiis, no computers, no mobile apps...

And none of the frustration of technology gone wrong!

You see, late-ish last night I could contain my excitement at the arrival of my dressmaking patterns no longer, and having failed to make any decisions about fabric purchases (actually I was waiting till pay-day!) I set about rootling through my Victorian trunk full of larger pieces of fabric.  I have a goodish selection of old skirts in there, the ones I've never been able to part with.  Mostly from my student days and early twenties  - only a few years ago then!   ; )   - Liberty lawns, Viyellas, Varuna wools and Rose and Hubble floral prints.  

The skirt I had in mind for what I wanted to make (one of the vintage baby dresses) had already been plundered - the waistband taken off to allow it to be ironed flat and two large-ish rectangles cut out to line a drawstring bag, leaving two L-shaped pieces.  I doubted it would be possible to get a baby dress out of what was left but I was determined to try, as it is such a pretty print, in such a lovely colour-way.  

I think it is called Claire-Aude, from Liberty.  
You can still get it, but in different colour-ways.

Amazingly though, with a bit of jiggery-pokery, I managed to squeeze all the pieces on!

There was even some left!

(Just as well - I later realised I had only cut out half the bodice pieces, having forgotten about the facings.  I managed to get the back facings out of the Claire-Aude, but the front facing has had to be cut from a co-ordinating plain fabric.  It won't really be seen though...)

So this morning I set about the sewing.  I reckoned I could get the bodice done before going to work, then I could probably get the rest done later in the afternoon.  Before work, things went swimmingly, but this afternoon the machine decided to play up.  Skipping stitches, shredding thread, puckering the fabric, breaking a needle...

And none of the usual things I do to sort out such problems worked.  

I cleaned the very crevices of the machine with my little watercolour brush, 
I unthreaded and re-threaded the needle (several times), 
re-wound the bobbin, 
replaced the needle (three times), 
put on a new reel of thread.   

But nothing has worked...

So now I have a pretty little bodice and no prospect of finishing the rest for ages!

If anyone out there has any other ideas of things to try to coax my machine back to full health, do leave me a comment!  I'd be ever so grateful!


  1. Poor you, that's so frustrating.... sorry I know nothing about sewing machine mechanics, hope it's sorted soon though xx

  2. have you changed the stitch length or the pressure foot? does it need some oil?

    what size needle? I use and 80 or a 90 for everything.

    you've probably already done these.

    Josie x

  3. Have you oiled it? That might work. Its so frustrating isnt it.

  4. Sorry I'm a sewing machine idiot. I love the little dress though !
    Tried to comment on your last post several times... mum made her own wedding dress then used it for evening do's in the late fifties.

  5. I don't know how old your machine is but it could be your tension thingy which is something that you shouldn't fool around with on some machines. You may need help.

  6. I loved frustration.....I hate it when the bloody sewing machine plays up, mine is at the moment also. I tried kicking it.....didn't work! xxx