Preparing fabric for resist dyeing
I'm doing a little fabric dyeing for some art journals and thought I might do some faux shibori. Instead of hand stitching or hand tying resist areas I sometimes like to just use my sewing machine to add stitching that I pull tight. I can also add some hand wrapping to it as well. It's fun and fast to do. I have found that my Bernina baste stitch works great for this. That stitch sews every other stitch so it is long and easy to pull out after dyeing. If your machine doesn't have a long basting stitch just set it to the longest stitch you have. Sometimes a gathering foot helps but with this stitch I don't need one.
There are so many ways to experiment with your machine and doing various resist techniques to fabric. Chain Stitch is another that is very helpful because it pulls out easily but you have to make sure you knot it so it doesn't pull out during dyeing. The only machine I have right now that does chain stitch is an old Singer 626 Touch-N-Sew. That is why I bought it for the chain stitch set up. If you look for one of those make sure you get a model that has metal gears. You don't want those old plastic ones. The Touch-N-Sew 600 series had metal gears but it's always best to look inside the machine to check before buying one. If your doing Craig's List or Thrift Shops just bring a screw driver with you. Here is an article about the 626 if your interested.
I purchased mine for the chain stitch but it does a lovely satin stitch as well and a beautiful straight stitch. I heard someone refer to this series of machines as "Stitch and Throw" once. I think many people might have had issues because they were not winding the bobbins correctly and you must keep the bobbin area clean. It has that wind in place bobbin system. I have never had any issues with it. But you know I love Vintage Sewing Machines as well as my Bernina and Juki. All of my other machines are Vintage. The thing I love most about Vintage machines is that I can work on them myself because there are no computer parts. Also they are just cool. The look and the sound that they make and the stitch quality is really outstanding. Ok, I got off on a rant about Vintage Machines. Anyway, if your getting into resist dyeing or Shibori looks give your machine a try for some interesting effects. I'll post these after dyeing. Here is a little video clip of the basting stitch. Catch yo later.
Today was about cleaning up the studio and doing some maintenance on my Singer Featherweight. I had some new parts delivered months ago and just now got around to putting them on. She got a new needle throat plate with seam markings. The new one is not of the same quality as the original but I think it will be ok. I wanted the seam lines but if it doesn't perform as well as the original I will change it back. The little hooks underneath were loose and one of the tiny screws seemed a bit stripped out. I got it tightened up as much as possible. New parts these days are never like the originals made back when manufacturing in the US was supreme. I also got the new thread holder for spools that perform best with a horizontal feed. And she got new lubrication and new rubber feet underneath. The old ones were completely flat and disintegrating. So now she is sitting on my table nice and even and proud. What a beauty she is. I love her!
Artist and maker living and working in the beautiful state of Pa.