Felt much better today, so most of the day was spent at work. On my return, however, I decided to have a bit of a play with the ruffler.
A bit of a recap: two and a half years ago I helped my family clear out my grandparents’ house after my Nan died. My grandparents liked to hoard things, so this was a pretty big job. Whils cleaning out her wardrobe, I came across this little contraption,. It was small, made of a silvery metal with navy blue bits on it. Instantly I was intrigued, but I had no idea what on earth it could be. It had two little metal cutter-things on it – like the cutters for tape dispensers, but it didn’t seem to have anything to do with that. I was allowed to keep it, and even though I had no idea what it could possibly be, I decided to do so.
In the intervening time, I occasionally wondered what the little device was, but mostly put it out of my mind. I worked out that all of the parts moved (once it had been oiled slightly) but still, I couldn’t work out what it was *for*
Fast forward to this weekend and my purchase of Alice, and a good bit of research into singer attachments, and voila! I finally worked out what the little whatsit was! A ruffler. And theoretically one that should fit on my new machine!
Anyhow, this evening, I decided to see whether my theory was right, and whether the ruffler *actually* worked!
First job: unscrewing the standard foot on the machine. When I tried this yesterday, it was definitely NOT going to budge. Today was a similar story: stuck hard. Eventually I borrowed some pliers from my partner and used them to undo it.
Aha! gunk! It was instantly quite clear that the screw was just dirty and had gotten stuck. I cleaned the gunk out of the screw hole as best as I could with some cotton wool buds and slightly-oily felt scraps, and likewise cleaned off the screw itself. Much better.
The foot itself had gotten stuck to the presser bar as well. A gentle tug downwards with the pliers soon pulled it off though, and that was de-gunked too.
Right: time to attach the other foot. This was slightly fiddly, but not too bad – pretty obvious once i looked at a photo of a ruffler on a machine. It was obvious where to attach it to the presser bar and the little fork goes effectively around the needle clamp – so that the bit you twist to release the needle is in between the two tines. It needed a decent bit of tightening (with the pliers actually) because the ruffler needs to be really tightly pressed into place. If not, the needle hits the metal of the darned thing and that’s not pretty!
I gave it a quick runthrough without thread, Slightly noisy, but it looked like it was doing what it was meant to do!
Next job: thread everything up properly. Note to self for future: do this BEFORE you attach the ruffler – it’s far easier.
A quick youtube search showed me how to put the fabric in, and after a couple of adjustments to the size of the ruffle, I managed to produce some passable ruffles. I had a few fail ruffles though to begin with, but my final ruffle was pretty decent if I do say so myself! (apologies for the terrible photo!)
I also ordered a black buttonhole foot ( Simanco 86662), some other feet ( including a few really cool-looking ones I’m eager to try) and a set of 5 new long bobbins so that I can actually get to work making something. I have a feeling that my first make on Alice might end up being a short petticoat with many, many ruffles. I could wear it under one of the knee-length skirts I have to floof it out a bit. I’ve been considering making one for a few months, but the thought of hand-ruffling isn’t really my idea of fun! Once the ruffled skirt is done, I might venture onto playing with the evil suedette and making something useful to use it all up. Maybe I’ll make a new one of the burda bodices, or perhaps I’ll splash out on another Truy Victorian Pattern!
Either way, I’m very, very pleased with Alice. She’s a beautiful machine and so much fun to play with!