Sunday, April 25, 2010

vintage Greist low shank attachments.

Vintage ca. 1940s Mail Order 2254 Sewing Pattern Misses' Apron

while the bodice sloper is still in time out,  i've been having some fun with the vintage Greist attachments i bought on ebay for Miss Burton.

Mail Order pattern #2254 is a 1940s bib apron that needs 35 inches of 1 1/4" ruffling. the ruffle attachment is on the left, the 1/8" hemmer attachment is on the right--

the general rule of thumb for total length of fabric needed to ruffle is 2 1/2x the length you need.  i wasn't sure if it mattered whether i cut my strips with or against the grainline, but i found a reference that said cutting with the grain gives you a more ordered ruffle, while cutting against the grain gives you a more bouncy ruffle.  i didn't really want to live on the edge, so i cut the strips with the grain, about 100" total, & i cut the strips 2" wide to accommodate a 1/8" hem along one edge & a 1/2" seam allowance on the other edge. 

before sewing the strips together, i hemmed one long edge of each using the 1/8" hemmer.  it took some practice to figure out how to feed the fabric into the attachment correctly so that it curled under the swirl thing correctly, but once i figured it out, it worked great. here's a test on some scrap fabric--

next i fidgeted around with the ruffler attachment. there are a lot of parts to this thing & i read about each one, but all anyone really needs to know about it is that it is awesome.

it's noisy, because it hitches when the little saw tooth blade catches the fabric up to make the pleat & it clicks according to what you set the 2 numbered pieces at. the top piece determines how many stitches go by before the attachment gathers & stitches the pleat (1-12). the other dial determines the fullness of the ruffles or width of the pleat - 1 is no pleat, 8 is deep pleat. you really just have to play around with it until you get the level of fullness you want in your ruffle.

here's the finished ruffle. i love the tiny, even pleating. once the ruffles are complete, you can sew them together into 1 long strip. i tried sewing them together before hemming & ruffling, but the seams kept getting caught in the attachments, so it's best to sew them together afterwards.

1 1/4" ruffle for apron

i also made some bias tape for finishing the underside of the apron. sadly, there is no Greist attachment for making bias tape but there should be, because making your own bias tapes sucks even if the finished product is a lot more stylish than the plain stuff you get in plastic packages at the fabric store.

custom bias tape

here are my supplies--


the green & white geo print fabric is a vintage feedsack i found on ebay. i had to use tiny scissors to remove the stitching on the sides and bottom of the bag. i should've measured it before i cut out the pattern pieces. if i had to guess, i'd say it was probably a 37x44" feedsack, which is just barely enough to complete this apron. i checked my layout thrice before i cut.

now i'm ready to sew it all up.