This is my first ever time actually sewing on a Necchi.
I knew it when I saw it that if this machine RAN at the antique mall—that I was going to buy it, justification or NO justification, just because of what I’ve heard from other vintage Necchi owners ---- They run smooth, they run quiet ---they run fast – much like an Italian sports car!
Besides – Y’all! She is AQUA!!
And then when DH told me the price of a dozen golf balls…..and the price of that ONE BOX of golf balls was about $10 more than I paid for this aqua girl…..it was NO CONTEST.
This afternoon in between everything else, I found a manual online, printed it out, and got right down to the cleaning and oiling diagrams. She’s purring now!
Do I feel ridiculous with this many machines? Not if I can keep them in good working order and adopt them out to homes that need them at some point. I'm saving them from the landfill. It's a noble calling! :c)
I really firmly believe that for good patchwork all you need is a nice straight stitch, a reliable machine that doesn’t eat triangles ((And I know some expensive brands that eat them regularily!)) and a machine that holds its tension.
You also have to be able to get a really good 1/4” seam--- and that’s what I want to talk to you about.
Because I sew on lots of machines, and use many machines for the same project, I’m often asked how I manage since people have been told this “Old Wives Tale” about how a project started on ONE machine needs to be finished on ONE machine.
Think about it. Why would that be? What is your answer?
I can hear you thinking it in your head --- even if you aren’t moving your mouth, I can hear you! “Because not all 1/4” seams are the same.”
Think LOGICALLY here. 1/4” is a finite measurement. That seam either is --- or isn’t --- a 1/4”. The 1/4” itself does not change.
What DOES change though --- is the foot. And I NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER trust a 1/4” foot to give me a 1/4” seam. There are too many variables. The thickness of the thread, the thickness of the fabric, the direction you press your seams, etc. YOUR CUTTING!
Another culprit I’ve found – is the position of the needle within the foot. The 1/4” seam is measured from the needle out --- not from the foot to the needle. So if the needle bar position is a bit off --- and you are sewing by the edge of the foot…you can’t blame the foot, right?
For instance --I used the same 1/4" 37 foot on my Bernina 1080 and my Bernina 1008. The seam is chunkier on the 1008. I think the needle position is a bit off to the left. It's the SAME foot -- but not the same seam.
I also find that many feet with the black 1/4” guides make it hard to see the edge of the fabric, and because we can’t SEE the edge of our fabric, we can over shoot the 1/4” by making SURE it is up against that guide so we get a nice straight seam. The fabric can even curl up a bit against that guide, making it wider than the 1/4” we are looking for.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because. I need a benchmark to be sure that no matter which machine I’m sewing on, I am going to get the same seam allowance consistently from machine to machine to machine. To do that ---I need to measure from the needle OUT, not from the edge of the foot IN.
How do you like this ad?!
This is Ms. Sophia Loren draping her sexy self over a pink Necchi Supernova Ultra! Circa 1956-58 Cool! SO guess what I’ve named MY new Supernova Ultra? Say hello to SOPHIA!
And you see a bit of my Sew Adjustable table fitting right up against her box…I took the back wrap around portion off ((Cuz I can do that – love that table!) so I can just fit it up against the box she is already in.
Sophia doesn’t have a 1/4” foot yet – I have to order one ((Anyone have any ideas on sources for me? Is this just a regular long shank machine? I want one WITHOUT that dumb black guide!)) so I need to be able to sew a 1/4” seam with the regular foot on. It’s pretty easy to do. You can use either an index card, or –find a nifty guide like this one at a local quilt shop. It’s got needle holes for 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, and if I turn it around, I can measure 1/8” seam with it just by putting the needle in the proper needle hole.
((I do sell these in my classes for $3 to students, but I don't do them mail order...it's too hard to keep them in stock! The guide says "Sewing machine seam guide" with no brand name listed. The postage would double the price of the item, so I haven't offered them for mail order ---plus the added order filling isn't something I have time for right now with being gone so much.))
I set the needle in the hole….used some of that purple sticky seam guide stuff right up against the edge of the guide…. (($5 for a 5-pack of this? Ridiculous….is there anything comparable on the market that won’t take us to the cleaners? I’d rather spend the money on FABRIC!)) Then I removed the guide from under the needle and did a test run.
**Note** if you are using an index card, trim the margin off of the card first. Use a rotary cutter and ruler because scissors are not so accurate and accuracy is important here. Now, sink your needle in the 1st line….the edge of the card will be your 1/4” to set your tape. You might have to monkey with it a bit to get it right.
I sewed two 2” leader/ender squares together with my “new” seam allowance --- and then here is the tricky part:
What a dirty finger nail! Can you tell I was busy cleaning this machine?!
Don’t measure JUST the seam allowance! Measure your unit across the top from side to side. These 2 squares sewn together needed to give me a measurement of 3 1/2”. IT DOES! Good Girl, Sophia! She’s ready to be sewn on ---but which project first?
Several pages of book editing have been completed. One load of laundry has been done. I ran a load of dishes. But there is so much else to be done in this house that I don’t think any sewing will happen until after I mail out all the mail order tomorrow morning!
Oh, and I still have to finish the pattern instructions for Midnight Flight BEFORE TUESDAY. Maybe there won’t be sewing time yet. *SIGH* But I’ll be ready when there is!
Ah! Bella Sophia!