Tag Archives: Sewing

Quick Laptop Sleeve

I noticed I was scuffing up the not-my-laptop that I’ve been carrying, so I did a little “30 minute” sewing project (that actually took over an hour because I’m apparently retarded) after I burnt out on other things for the evening.

The intention is a little sleeve that will be snug enough to retain the laptop, and let me slide it between [note]books, etc. in a bag. That means a little long, with thick hems on the open end for retention, and no flaps, fasteners, or protrusions to hang up on other things in the bag.
Basically, I measured the wrapped length and width of the machine (to accommodate for thickness), cut a piece of fabric I had around to the full wrapped long dimension (+1.75″ for hems and clearance) and half the wrapped short dimension (+1″ for seams), hemmed the short ends, folded it in half, ran a seam down the sides, half-assed wrapped the first 2″ of each side seam, and called it adequate.


  • I can still sew well enough to go from conception to part on something trivial almost instantly.
  • My neglected sewing gear is still in working order.
  • My vintage sewing machine got her recommended periodic exercise and lube.
  • The finished product is functional and looks fine.


  • I initally cut the circumference of the machine … in both directions. 1.9 sleeves worth of fabric!
  • One day, I will sit down in front of a sewing machine and thread it the right direction the first time. That day was not today. Bobbin thread/direction? -Easy. Complicated path through the tension and take-up? -Easy. Passing the right way through the needle? -Derp. I’ll claim it’s the Singer vs. White thing if challenged.
  • I had to look it up and still managed to use the adjustable hemmer wrong in two different ways, one hem failed to fell, the other is not really straight.
  • I added allowance for generous 1/2″ seams intending to cut after … then sewed 1/4s and had to redo the side seams to make it snug enough.

Using my venerable old machine always makes me feel like it and 3 generations of my family are judging me when I do something inept or half-assed on it, which probably makes my projects better.

I think I’m satisfied. I’d like it to be just a hair snugger, but the fit is pretty good and snugger would have run the risk of finishing then not being able to get the machine in. I think I want to make some kind of companion pouch for the power brick, but I’m not sure how, an attached pocket would ruin the slip-between-things-in-my-bag functionality.

Posted in Computers, DIY, General, Objects | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Singer no. 42 Cabinet Swing-Arm

One of my previous posts about my Singer attracted an email conversation with another owner about the swing-arm mechanism on the no. 42 cabinet. Unfortunately, the end-of-semester insanity struck before the matter was settled, and I am still unsatisfied with what I’ve been able to figure out.

Now that I’ve had a bit of time, I pulled apart my mechanism and took photos, shared below. I’m reasonably certain that if the mechanism is complete and correct, the arm will automatically deploy when the leaf is lifted. Unfortunately, I’m also quite sure that the pieces I do have are inadequate to support that functionality, and I can only guess what the other bits might be.

The larger diameter end of the part I do have matches the diameter of the holes in the hinge, and the smaller-diameter end matches the hole through the swing arm and base.
My best guess is that there are several objects similar to the pictured pin, one of which protrudes below the table into the catch hole of the swing arm through the holes in the hinge mechanism, springloaded “up” such that it retracts when the leaf is out, and is depressed by something protruding from the hinge-hole in the leaf pinning the arm when closed. The pictures sent by the other owner show what looks like the end of a similar pin protruding into the bracket, but it does not extend any where near far enough to retain the arm.

Posted partly in the hopes that my pictures will help other folks with their cabinets, but also if anyone with a no. 42, especially if it has a working swing-arm mechanism or parts that are not pictured, sees this I’d love some more information about how they’re supposed to go together.

Posted in DIY, General, Objects | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Singer 201-2 Restoration

My 1947 Singer 201-2, S/N AH040755

I wrote about this machine once before a few years ago, but only brought it down to Lexington to work on it at the beginning of July. I’ve had a delightful time cleaning restoring it over the last couple weeks, and just wanted to post some pictures and musings. I did have it correctly identified before – it is a 1947 Singer 201-2, in good mechanical and OK cosmetic condition. The machine’s story from the family has settled on it being my great grandmother’s machine down the matrilineal line, but I don’t know if they were the original owner, or what exactly has happened to it over the last couple decades. My grandmother noted that she remembered her mother doing upholstery work on it, and my mother remembers using it as a child, and it was in my grandmother’s basement three years ago. Descriptions follow pictures below.
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White Family Rotary

My parents were travelling over UK’s spring break, and I was watching their cats. This meant I had some idle time waiting for the indoor/outdoor to do whatever it is he does outside, and generally keeping the cats company in their house, so I wanted a project to play with there.
What I settled on was poking at the old sewing machine my mother had in the attic, because old sewing machines are cool in every way.
White Family Rotary Sewing Machine
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