Tag Archives: supplies




I gots a Pfaff! For more information about the Pfaff 1222E, check out my follow-up review as well as my tips on threading with industrial cones. Also you can replace the pedal if you have a “runaway” vintage sewing machine.

Pfaff 1222 e Pfaff 1222 e

Jason got me this fantastic 1982 Pfaff 1222E, and it’s better than any engagement ring out there (engagement bobbin?). It came with a bunch of feet, the carrying case (which, oops, I already broke the bracket off, but I don’t think I would ever use the case), and an extension table.

We got it from a friend’s dad who restores machines, so I don’t have any qualms about the quality of this 30 year old German beauty. And let me tell you, it sews beautifully. I’ve been using it for a couple weeks now, sewing knits and wovens. This machine demands having the right settings for each stitch, but the results are worth the slight learning curve.

I find that I get better stitches with a high tension setting (5-7 rather than the recommended 3.5) and 100% poly thread on a spool, which necessitated replacing my random collection of blended serger cone threads with simple Coats & Clarks. For my old machine I would wind the cone threads onto bobbins, but the bobbins didn’t seem to have the right resistance on the Pfaff. Luckily Joann was having a thread sale last week, so I stocked up.

Pfaff 1222 e stitch selector Pfaff 1222 e

Pfaff 1222 e stitch settings Pfaff 1222 e

Also another large plastic piece, that seems to be broken or missing another component. I’m not too concerned about this, because it would get in the way of my free arm. In the interest of simplicity I’m tempted to chuck the strange piece into the recycling bin, but what if I need it in 30 years?! Suggestions?

Pfaff 1222 e Pfaff 1222 e

Conveniently, the 1222E paves the way for the Pfaff Coverlock 4.0 (don’t tell my precious Juki, but yes, I still want the $1700 serger). The 10-year wedding anniversary is traditionally a serger, right?

Pfaff 1222 electronic

We knew we made the right decision when we saw the lithium sign on the machine. A week earlier Jason gave me a necklace with the same symbol, and it’s also on Jason’s jumpsuit.

Meanwhile, I paid $50 to have a brand new motor put in the Singer 7444. This puts me in the luxurious position of having a back-up sewing machine. Maybe I will sew coiled bowls only on the refurbed Singer.

Juggling between three machines on my tiny desk inspired me to rethink how I store my notions. Before, I kept everything in my gorgeous gold sewing box perched on a shelf, but I had to stand up to get notions drawer anything out. So I put an extra tray from another vintage sewing box in my side drawer, and I feel a little dumb for not doing this years ago. The gold box is still in use, but my everyday tidbits are now below eye level.

From there I was inspired to clean out the hall closet, but I have to draw the line on bloggable activities somewhere.

Thank you to Peri, Lark, and of course Jason for helping make this happen!

For more information about the Pfaff 1222E, check out my follow-up review as well as my tips on threading with industrial cones.


rainbow fabric bowls


I whipped up these bowls the other night after seeing this post and I love them! They were fun to make and are satisfying to hold in your hands. They’re sturdy enough to hold things but flexible too, a wonderful combination.

fabric bowls

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One of my favorite parts about this is that I was able to use up most of my scraps, including long strips left over from a rag rug project I took on a few years ago. I used rope I found at Big Lots that was $.50 for 20 feet. Jason’s bowl (with the goodies in it) used one 20′ length of rope. I’m excited about making more and seeing how big I can go, but first I need more fabric scraps!

Another thing I think is awesome is how the thread color changes the tone of the bowl. I used yellow thread for the first two bowls but used a pink bobbin for the last, and it completely changes the attitude of the bowl. The other side of the pink bowl is sewn with yellow thread and the bowl can be turned inside out, making it a very adaptable object!

I love the things Jason keeps in his bowl: a fancy key to our New Orleans apartment, a king cake baby, a necklace from Lorraine’s wedding, and a peppermint!


get your gear in order!


Talent and know-how play big roles in any project, but supplies are also important. At the very least, the appropriate tools make a project easier and more fun!

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My dad recently sent me a new foot pedal for my machine, and in the box there was also a pair of Gingher shears. I love these scissors! I thought the scissors I was using before were pretty nice, but since working with these shiny babies I’ve come to realize what crap I was cutting with before. Spring loaded, stainless steel, with a lovely gold snap to keep the shears closed…oooooh! I’ve developed a habit of whipping them out and snapping them open and shut to hear the sharp metal sound, and I swear I walk around with them like a gunslinger.

I also love my snap pliers. It’s quicker than sewing in snaps, but more than that, it gives the snaps such a nice touch. The grommet snaps are more expensive than their sew-in sisters, but totally worth it. Another fun resident of my sewing box is my extra-long needle set. Admittedly, I don’t use the 12-inch needle too often, but every once in a while the perfect project comes up, usually in the form of upholstery or pillow making. At the very least, whipping out one of these can be quite useful in impressing a point on someone.

sewing box

Speaking of sewing boxes, I love mine! I got it years ago at a garage sale and can’t imagine parting with it. Vintage sewing boxes are so much roomier and functional than the new ones I see at the fabric store. There’s space in the bottom for shears, stabilizer, patterns, notions, and so much more (I always keep hand creme with my sewing supplies). The top tray has so many little compartments that help me keep my space organized. Plus, I love the gold quilted exterior. They don’t make ’em like this anymore, too bad for the future generation of seam masters.

One last bit of wisdom! Every couple weeks I like to clean the lint out of my sewing machine. My machine always works much better when it’s lint free, and yes, I also like to clean things. I remove the bobbin plate and get in there with the little brush that came with my Singer, but today I grabbed Jason’s can of compressed air and with shining eyes blasted all the little linty bits out of the machinery. It was glorious! I even unscrewed the top of the arm cover and cleaned in there, which I usually do every few months. Now my machine is as clean as ever!

Happy making everybody!