Swing 'N Sew

Hi! New here, and I just had a question for the group.
I just got a nifty Penncrest Swing 'N Sew machine, circa 1970 model, on
Freecycle. Had all the accessories, and even the manual - yay!
I'm wondering if anyone has any special hints and tips on this
particular machine, or even on older/vintage machines in general. I'm a
very bad seamstress but thought it would be good to have a basic
model for simple projects, mending, hemming, etc., and I know people
tend to feel the older, sturdier machines are preferable to the new,
lightweight plastic models.
The person who gave it to me said she'd kept it up in good shape over
the years by keeping it cleaned and oiled, and that the only problem was
that the tension was off, and to take it to the local sewing machine
shop to have it adjusted.
I'd also love suggestions for a good, easy-to-understand book on sewing
basics for beginners/novices. Sewing For Dummies looked like a good
one, but would love any other suggestions. Realistically, I know I'll
never get into anything complicated like highly-tailored clothing
(jackets, etc.) so I'm mainly interested in the basic stuff.
Any ideas would be much appreciated, thanks! :)
Reply to
Diva Magenta
Welcome!
I've been sewing for over 67+ years. I always recommend this one to newbies (and I own a copy):
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Check your library to see if they have a copy, so you can browse before buying, then buy a *used* one. The older editions are most useful IMHO.
NAYY,
Reply to
BEI Design
Thanks for the suggestion! I've heard good things about the Readers Digest book, and I found a used mid-90's edition cheap on Amazon, so I went ahead and ordered it. Just looking at the preview pages online, it looks like a good, straightforward book. Looking forward to getting it and checking it out!
I think one of my first projects will be to use the hemmer foot on my new (to me) machine to shorten a beautiful full shirt I bought on clearance that was a petite, but still too long for me - I get that problem a lot LOL! It looks like it should be an easy, quick way to do a nice hem, but I'll practice on something else before I actually do the skirt, so I can get the hang of it and feel comfortable with the process first.
Another quick question: I could also probably use a new pair of sewing scissors. I want something of decent quality, but reasonably priced. We do have a Michaels, which has the 40% coupons quite often. Any good brands to look for?
Reply to
Diva Magenta
Welcome to the group and let us know how you do with your hemming. I have several pairs of scissors. I particularly like these because the are easy on my hands.> Fiskars 8-Inch Softouch Spring Action Razor Edged Scissor. I got them drom amazon for about $15.00.I also have a pair of mundials.
Scissors are like sewing machines though. Every one has a favorite. The big thing though is to keep them away from the rest of the family. I hide mine when I'm finished using them. Juno
Reply to
Juno
I advise buying the best scissors you can afford and KEEP THEM SECURELY HIDDEN. Too many folks treat scissors as toys, or for crafting, or as garden tools. :-(
My best sewing scissors are Ginghers, I have six pairs in three sizes, with two different edges: Classic 4" embroidery, two pairs 9" bent knife edge, two pairs 8" bent serrated edge, one pair 3.5" stork embroidery, one pair
I love my Mundial pinking shear:
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I have three pairs, but everyone here knows I'm a nut about pinking shears.
For clipping machine embroidery threads, I use Littauer (suture)scissors:
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I hold the thread with a hemostat then catch the thread with the tiny hook on the end of the blade and snip. I do own an assortment of Fiskers which get lots of use around the house but not for sewing. I have a rotary cutter which gets very rare use, but that's probably just me.
Reply to
BEI Design
On Tue, 04 Dec 2012 18:05:57 -0500, Juno wrote:
And make sure that there is at least one pair of dollar-store scissors in every room so they won't be tempted.
And a cheap pair in your sewing kit, for cutting paper.
Reply to
Joy Beeson
-------------- Beverly has a great collection. The Fiskars are a good inexpensive choice, relatively speaking--for sewing. (Some hairdressers are rumored to spend $2,000.00 and up on their scissor s, which puts prices in perspective--). I've worn out three pair of Fiskars. Sometimes the plastic breaks, and t he cutting hinge gets out-of joint. As a comparison, the old all-metal Ging her scissors could be re-set in the hinge area, and you could count on them to last two or three lifetimes. One of the reasons I use Fiskars is that they are easier on arthritic ha nds. They're lighter weight, and the plastic handles are kinder in the hand if you cut a lot. They also come in a style like old-fashioned grass shear s, where you squeeze the handles to cut. Just don't drop them as often as I do, and they'll last longer. And do hide them,and deploy decoys, as recomm ended. One cut of paper will ruin the cutting edges. If you are going to be quilting or cutting long runs and/or heavier fabr ics, I highly recommend, in addition to regular shears, a lithium-battery c utter called 'Zipsnip'. I bought mine at a hardware store for about $30.00 US. It's self-sharpening, so much cheaper in the long run than cheap rotary cutters. It has a blade-guard attached. I'm all about speed when I'm cutting and sewing. This cutter works wonders on drapery, upholstery, quilting strips, and I use it on long pattern cuts like pants, robes, etc. It's fun to use. Speaking of speed, once you are fully addicted to sewing, you might wan t to start looking for a good used serger. Some modern fabric blends almost require a serger. Cea
Reply to
cea
Thanks for all the suggestions on scissors! Since I am a badly-skilled novice who will not be sewing a whole lot, I think something in the middle is best for me - not a cheap, flimsy pair that will break in a month, but not a pricey top-of-the-line pair, either.
And no, I'm not being modest or self-deprecating when I call myself "badly-skilled." The home-ec semester of sewing I took in school is the only time I ever got a D in a class It just always was so overwhelming, complicated, and frustrating for me.
Reply to
Diva Magenta
My rotary cutter gets a lot of use -- particularly the old one that I use on paper!
I use the new one mostly for cutting precisely along a drawn thread. A small cutting mat is sufficient for cutting along threads, because I keep shifting the fabric to keep it right under my nose.
A pair of dollar-store "reading" (magnifying) glasses worn over my prescription glasses are a great help in cutting between two threads. For the last few months, I've also used them for threading needles.
Reply to
Joy Beeson
Late to the party again. My favorites are Kai scissors, which are light and well balanced in my hand, and very sharp. Adjustable pivot, free sharpening if you send them back to the plant in Tualatin, OR. The "regular" scissors are lighter than their "pro" line.
Whatever you choose, choose a pair that you can easily open almost all the way to the pivot. The longest blade you can do that with is going to give you the cut that's the least likely to have the jaggies. The style of blade you want is called "dressmaker" or "bent trimmer", because you want to leave the lower blade on the table as you cut for the most accurate cut.
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a British tailor cutting -- watch how he keeps the blades down and doesn't "chop".
As far as "badly skilled" the cure for that is practice and asking questions. My grandmother pronounced me much too ham-handed to learn to sew -- and yet I'm the only one of her grandkids who can sew, and I sew better than she did. So please don't be too hard on yourself. If you want to learn, there are plenty of people willing to help.
Kay
Reply to
Kay Lancaster
Welcome to the group and let us know how you do with your hemming. I have several pairs of scissors. I particularly like these because the are easy on my hands.> Fiskars 8-Inch Softouch Spring Action Razor Edged Scissor. I got them drom amazon for about $15.00.I also have a pair of mundials.
Scissors are like sewing machines though. Every one has a favorite. The big thing though is to keep them away from the rest of the family. I hide mine when I'm finished using them. Juno
I also like the Fiskars 8-inch Softouch Spring Action, but am not certain they are Razor-Edge; mine are some of the oldest ones on the market. I have 2-pair of Ginghers, which are good, but too heavy for me now that my arthritis is progressing as I age. Juno said something that makes good sense, scissors are like sewing machines, or cars, everybody has a favorite.
Emily
Reply to
CypSew
Just got the Readers Digest book in the mail today, was surprised at how quickly it arrived from the Amazon seller. Looks like a very comprehensive book, with lots of good information. Some of it just makes my head spin LOL, but I just have to remind myself that most of the complicated stuff I'll never be doing.
Haven't went out to look for scissors yet, but will probably after the holidays, along with getting my machine's tension adjusted. We don't have kids, so as long as I let hubby know not to use them for paper, it should be fine
And speaking of scissors, I dug out my little sewing box and I'd forgotten I had a pair of pinkng shears in there. They're a little dirty or rusty (can't tell) but they feel nice and hefty. The brand is Wiss, it also says CB7 USA. Don't even remember where I got them. I read you can sharpen them by cutting aluminium foil, or is it best to have them professionally sharpened?
Reply to
Diva Magenta
. We don't
Don't be so sure about your husband, mine decided that my $50.00 paring knife was perfect for trimming the top of the Christmas tree and cutting a piece of cardboard off of a cardboard box. He's lucky he survived the experience, he didn't exactly survive my tongue.I was furious and he knew it. Hide those scissors. Juno
Reply to
Juno
:Just got the Readers Digest book in the mail today, was surprised at how :quickly it arrived from the Amazon seller. Looks like a very :comprehensive book, with lots of good information. Some of it just :makes my head spin LOL, but I just have to remind myself that most of :the complicated stuff I'll never be doing.
:Haven't went out to look for scissors yet, but will probably after the :holidays, along with getting my machine's tension adjusted. We don't :have kids, so as long as I let hubby know not to use them for paper, it :should be fine
:And speaking of scissors, I dug out my little sewing box and I'd :forgotten I had a pair of pinkng shears in there. They're a little :dirty or rusty (can't tell) but they feel nice and hefty. The brand is :Wiss, it also says CB7 USA. Don't even remember where I got them. I :read you can sharpen them by cutting aluminium foil, or is it best to :have them professionally sharpened?
Have them sharpened by someone who knows what they're doing, and who does pnking shears. Wiss might still employ such a person, but probably not. Pinking shears are a right pain to sharpen, and are done differently from regular shears.
Reply to
David Scheidt

Seconded! The idea of trying to sharpen *any* scissors by cutting foil with them made my teeth ache. I have all of my done by a trusted pro.
Reply to
BEI Design
On Fri, 7 Dec 2012 19:09:52 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Diva
That's a good way to make them NEED sharpening -- or replacing.
Reply to
Joy Beeson
---------------------- Pinking shears are used for a specific purpose, too--trimming edges that fray. You probably won't want to use them to actually cut the garment out.(Or it's the kind of thing you'll only do once.) When I bought my pinkers they were fairly costly. Another nice thing about Fiskars is that you can buy, for a few pence, what is termed a 'toning' tool. You draw the scissor blades through it, and it rolls a tiny bit of the blade edges off---in effect, honing the blades. I just turned up, from the rubble, a new pair of $1.00 scissors, and they are cutting quite nicely, so I'll supplement the Zipsnip, (which I saw for $19.99 this week), with the cheapos until they dull. Then they'll be paper scissors. Old pairs go through a progression, and eventually wind up in the garden, cutting dry brown iris leaves. Otherwise known as fabric, paper, scissors, rock. Cea
Reply to
cea
What kind of cord??? Joining is accomplished by introducing yourself, post questions and participating . That means answering or commenting on other folks posts. all are welcome. We invite all to stay. Please read my post about what I hate. don't pick our brains and then disappear. Juno
Reply to
Juno

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