I always had the idea, that straight stitch machines were ‘better’ to sew on and had better control. Sometimes when I am making, I am often on a race to the finish so I can get extremely slap-dash, and I thought a straight stitch machine could help me get the neater finish (spoiler alert – it didn’t). Anyway, there were three potential straight stitch machines – a 99k, a 201, or a 221/featherweight. As the 201 and 221 were too expensive, I got a 99k.
Its made in 1953 according to the serial number and for a 3/4 machine, its plenty weighty – lord only knows what weight a 66 or 201 would be. I really like the mock alligator case – seriously these old sewing machine cases are like air-hostess luggage – so cute!
The first job the machine had was to remake a mock-suede bag. I made this last year, but the singer excelle didn’t really ‘get along’ with the mock suede and the final finish was a bit rough, and either way I didn’t even use the bag as the pink didn’t really tie in with anything. The other side of the fabric was plum so I just took it apart and turned it all around. The second time I did not do as much top stitch, but what the machine had to sew, it did very well.
I also ran up some more purses and bags in an effort to use up scraps, and old belts and zips. These purses are from Noodlehead.
The back pack is still a work in progress – I had a raincoat last year I was remaking and it was quickly going south as I didn’t have enough fabric, but I did manage to use it up in this back pack along with some old belt pieces – I will probably make a fabric strap or use old belts as the shoulder straps. I think its slightly too big and also could so with some interfacing so I will be tweaking it over the next few weeks.
I also made a bag from some denim scrap and used a belt cut in 2 to make the handle. the machine even sewed through this thick belt. I was turning the wheel by hand for going though the belt, and even then I was beginning to feel like a person that was deliberately cruel to sewing machines…
I then got a bit carried away and started on this butterick blouse and used some of the white fabric. I was a bit quick and overconfident and the top-stitching is rather nasty so I have put it to one side and will redo it next week- reverse engineering my bad sewing habits will take more than the singer 99 I think.