Thursday, 19 February 2015

Dishonest eBayers

I sold my 29K58 a few weeks ago to a guy who sounded nice enough on the phone. He said it was for himself and he was short of money so could I let it go for $230 (was advertised for $250).
Of course I let it go. I like to help people out and at least he wasn't a lying dealer, right?
Yesterday I noticed a strangely familiar 29K58 on eBay

Yes that's definitely my machine. The decals I applied a few weeks ago, the fresh paint, the take up lever I accidentally broke in the car last year.
I really hate being lied to. Everything this guy said to me was a lie.
This says "

This has been a great feature in our home for many years. We have never used the machine.
It looks complete. May need a service to operate it.
Pre purchase inspections are very welcome. I am located in Hawthorn Victoria for collection.
Would make a great feature in any home.
**Please View My Other Singer Sewing Machine Auctions**"

It's not an antique, it's not complete, it doesn't work (that's how it was advertised), and it has never been in his home until he bought it as a broken machine a few weeks back. He knows the take up lever is broken and there is another part broken at the back. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do via eBay: Dishonesty isn't against their rules.
Now I know not to let a valuable machine like this go without repairing it and selling for at least 80% of the going rate. So thank you jamesvk3 for giving me a reality check. Your ridiculous level of dishonesty for your fellow man will ensure I'm more vigilant and no more bargain selling. Lying and ripping people off (I mean the buyer, not me) isn't on.
I assume that if some poor sucker buys it, he'll shrug and tell them he knows nothing about sewing machines (which he sells a lot of) and did offer pre purchase inspections. If you buy it, I'm willing to testify that he sold it under false pretences.
Justice would see it fall on him.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Bernina 730 Record and oscillating vs rotary hook

Bernina 730 Record

I won the 730 on the auction site last week and only bought it because it was cheap (they usually go for much more). When I got it home it was way better than I expected. It hadn't seen all that much use, particularly for a machine made 49 years ago. This is commonly described as identical to the 830 Record but with an all steel body. Not sure why they aren't worth as much as the 830 but I've had the latter and this machine felt better, smoother and generally nicer. Also heavier of course but that shouldn't bother me for another 20 years or so.
This machine came with an adaptor for short shank feet (so I could use Singer feet if necessary) but it came with nearly every standard and optional foot. I stole one from the 530-2 and it seems to now be complete. My friend described her Bernina (a 740 Favorit) as "just very pleasant to sew with".
The machine has the same 20 built-in stitches the 830 has. 
Oh, and she's a keeper: Just too nice a machine to part with.

It's a free arm. Table removed with simple lever.

Amazing condition and very shiny

Accessories swivel and don't have to be removed

What's with all this hook business?

The 740 has a full rotary hook (the hook keeps going around in the same direction) but the 30 somethings (530, 630, 730, 830) are all oscillating hook machines. I used to think the rotary hook must be better since it didn't have to keep stopping and changing direction, but that's not necessarily the case. Industrial machines nearly always have rotary hooks because going continuously in the same direction means they can go faster. However there are exceptions: The domestic 201 Singer has a full rotary hook while the 31-20 industrial (the tailor's machine) has an oscillating hook. Also, all model 15s are oscillating hook, and the 115 has a rotary hook. The 15 is widely considered to be a better machine than the 115, mostly due to the heavier components but the rotation of the hook seems to have no bearing on its abilities. The 115 was dropped about a hundred years ago, in case you were wondering. My conclusion is this: Rotary hook is fantastic for speed but tailoring and flexible domestic machines seem to favour oscillating hooks. The 201 is pretty hard to beat, but it only stitches in a straight line (and it does this perfectly).

Monday, 9 February 2015

Dressmaker dummy for collars and sleeves

I've been making a few shift dresses lately and noticed that one of the really hard things in dress making, putting in sleeves and collars.
It's lining everything up on a flat surface that's difficult, but with a dummy you can set the correct size for your dress and pop the sleeve, collar or facing on quite easily. All of the marks line up perfectly. Dressmaker's dummies are available new or from collectable shops, garage sales etc. This is Diana: She's fairly old and English. I had to lubricate all the dials (they were quite rusty and some seized).
The pattern is Simplicity 8775 (1970) "designer fashion".
The only thing I wasn't completely happy with was that I used an invisible zipper. They did exist in 1970 but weren't very common. The fabric is old too so it's a brand new old garment.
Sewn on my 320K2.
Here are some pictures:
Pinning the neck facing - easy!

And the sleeves - also easy!

Needs a press but isn't it lovely?

Arm facing. The white fabric is to prevent pins from catching.

And the back, with the invisible zipper.