Sunday, November 22, 2009

things happen for a reason

I don't want to get all yoga but sometimes things do seem to happen for a reason. I HATE what I do for a living and have been desperately seeking something that involves using my creativity and skills.

My grandpa did upholstery for a living, he had his own shop at his house. About 8 years ago he gave all his equipment to my mom, she kept it in his shop and did some furniture and a few cars for my dad and I. My grandpa passed away about 4 years ago and the stuff has not seen much use since then. I often think of moving up there just to use the shop and learn to make bicycle panniers. I mess around on Monica's machine at home sometimes. I've made a couple small bags and done some repairs on my xtracycle bags.

A couple weeks back we were visiting my mom and she said she needed to get the stuff out of the shop before it was ruined and asked if I wanted it. I of course accepted the offer and quickly brought the sewing machine home and made room for it.

My plan is to practice sewing with it every night and work on some bag designs. In the last few days I've already made two dog beds and one pannier. I'm learning how to set the tension on the machine and sew small stuff without running my fingers under the needle.

My next step is to sell some of the stuff we have been collecting for the past 16 years and use some of the money for supplies. Hopefully by then I will have enough practice to make bags and sell them.

Here it is singer 16-188, no zig zag, no reverse, no embroidery, no button hole option just straight strong stitches. I'm not sure of the year but the parts book that came with it is dated 1923. My mom said it belonged to my grandpa since before she was born(1949)


  1. That sewing machine is awesome! I wish I had access to a machine like that, and somebody that could to teach me properly sew. I'm looking forward to seeing the gear you come up with.


  2. Thanks. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! I'm practicing a little everyday, my sewing is improving fast. I wish I would have shown an interest when my grandfather was still around, he spent alot of time with the machine and knew all kinds of tricks. I'll post some pictures on here when I make something that looks good enough. - Brian

  3. I found this blog the other day. Lots of useful info on making bags.

  4. Thanks for the link. There is some very useful stuff on there. I found a couple of things I was looking for on one of his links.