February: What I've Been Up To This Month and a bit about Morse.

2/27/2013 10:39:00 PM

I found an ad for my Morse!

Work-in-Progress Wednesdays... they just weren't working out for me.  Only 2 weeks into it, and I decided to move to "What I did this Month!".   I think this will be much more practical for me, less annoying for you, and a more achievable schedule!

Amidst shoveling the driveway, freezing in the Alberta cold, dressing Jace in hockey gear for games and practices 2 or three times per week, an out of town tournament, and missing my husband to the point of gaining another 5 pounds, I managed to do some sewing!

I published a bag Tutorial here on my blog:

The Great Granny Bag Tutorial

I worked on two Block of the Month Quilts.
"Lucky Stars" from Don't Call Me Betsy:

and "Sister's Ten" from Gen X Quilters:

I did some mending (coveralls) and... I worked for hours and hours and hours on my new bowling bag pattern.   Part of that was designing and constructing some really awesome handbag straps that I'm pretty proud of.  My new pattern will show how to make these in vinyl/faux leather, as well as decor cloth, canvas, wool or any other fabric.  I got some fantastic vinyl from the Online Fabric Store, and thrifted a men's leather jacket, which made some awesome leather straps.  I'm really happy with how they turned out - no raw edges, no bulky seams and nice and firm in your hand.

"Pinky" my Morse Superdial R-5L, born April 1 1956

I fired up my 1956 Morse Superdial for the leather and vinyl stitching.   I should have called her "Hop-a-long" instead of Pinky, she sure does jump at the start!  I think The Brain (pictured behind) could manage the leather and vinyl sewing, but I have Pinky and I'd rather not stress The Brain with hard physical labour.   After I learned how to thread the needle from left to right instead of right to left, I didn't have too many issues.  I'll save my adventures with Pinky and The Brain for another post...   I actually LOLed when I found this ad for my machine.  Have a look at how she is holding this "lightweight" machine in her fingertips!  It is about 35 pounds!  Seriously, it takes two hands and a groan to lift it.  Very interesting advertising.   Love it!

There is something else interesting about this advertising.   Morse sewing machines, as well as many others, are actually re-badged Toyota machines and at the time, buying anything imported, especially from Japan was frowned upon.  I have read somewhere in my internet surfing, that there was actually a complaints and legal proceedings against certain sewing machine companies (not sure which ones) because they weren't telling buyers that machines, or parts of machines, were actually imported and not American made.  I find it interesting that here Morse is making sure their customer knows that the machine is imported, and you should buy it because it's advertised in many leading magazines!  "The ONE and ONLY imported straight-stitch which is nationally advertised and promoted in all these leading magazines!"  It's better, because it's advertised so much!  Well they sure did stand the test of time though didn't they, mine is 57 years old.  Impressive metal parts.

Here's a look at the leather straps Pinky made:   (They are pictured on some amazing, amazing Premier Print decor fabric I ordered from the Online Fabric Store.)

Handmade Leather and Vinyl Straps - in the Bowling bag pattern.

Fabric!  I received my Tula Pink Saltwater order for the Anchors Aweigh quilt a-longs, but... I haven't started cutting yet.  Maybe this weekend.   I am really trying to focus on this bowling bag pattern.  I'm not sure why it's taking so long, it's pretty easy.  I just want it to be perfect!   No, that's not it, I'm easily distracted by other projects, to be honest.

As many of you know, I reached 1000 fans on Facebook last weekend, which prompted this post, advising of a flash sale and bag giveaway contest (which ends midnight tonight, Feb 28th).  So if you haven't entered or taken advantage of the sale - do it now!  Needless to say, I've also been busy filling hardware orders.  Thank you so much for your support.  I love it that I am enabling your handbag addictions!

I would love to hear what you all have been working on.  Leave a comment and let me know.
Thank you for reading,

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  1. You are working it!!! I just love vintage ads, especially sewing ones. I am on the hunt for a Singer 301A, but have yet to find 'the one'. They remind me of my grandmother, but I can tell you they do not have them in snazzy colors!

    I have never ordered from Online Fabric Store. How do you like their service? You may have just enabled me LOL

    Congrats on 1000 FB fans :-)


  2. Fascinating post! Your machine is certainly a beauty!!

    1. Thank you, Deborah!! Yes, she is a pleasure to look at. I admire her daily. She isn't as smooth sewing as I would have hoped, but ones she gets moving - she's hard to stop! I need to spend some more time with this sewing machine. I'm learning that with leather and vinyl sewing, I need to push/pull the fabric through to help it along and I've just added some scotch tape to the bottom of the foot to help the fabric slide. I hope this does the trick!

  3. Ok, those are some awesome straps!

    And sewing with vinyl leather is of much interest to me so looking forward to hearing how you make out with the machine.. can you still find feet for it.. maybe a roller foot, or teflon foot would help.

  4. LOVE the Morse machine, LOVE the old advertisement. Nice handles made!!!! Cool post - keep it up! Happy sewing! Lisa

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  6. Wow, just came across your blog post about your Morse Super Dial machine! SO cool! May I ask you where you found it, and if the pink color is the original finish? On a hunt for a Morse Super Dial, now!

    1. Hi Patty! Pink is indeed the original colour. I found it on ebay. But I can't remember where. A sewing shop out of Quebec, Canada.

  7. Thanks, Janelle! What a coup! I am on the hunt for a pink Morse and a baby pink Atlas. Tough to find, but I'd love to add one of each to my antique/vintage sewing machine collection!


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The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to Emmaline Bags & Patterns. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too! Please do not ever republish an entire post, any tutorials, or post photos of my family. Thank you, Janelle