Pretty Little Vesta

This little antique sewing machine was sadly in need of some TLC!

P1010924The base and case were suffering from damp and the machine itself needed a complete overhaul and clean.   Dating from 1913 or earlier  (it is stamped ‘Made In Germany’) the little Vesta is a 3/4 size handcrank sewing machine with a long bobbin and transverse shuttle.

P1010926The decals are floral in red and gold and the crank handle is lovely white porcelain.


I think what most attracted me to this machine though was the wooden base which has inches and centimeters markings inlaid along the front and a tiny red velvet pincushion on the lid of the accessories compartment.


It took a couple of days of dismantling, cleaning, oiling and rebuilding to get the machine ready to sew, but only 20 minutes to get the tension and stitching adjusted.   It sews beautifully and the bobbin winder works perfectly too.


I used my little Vickers to make Harris – the patchwork pin dog and I’ve also used it to make wool braid at the upholstery class I’ve been attending.

Last weekend I finally got around to repolishing the carry lid and it has come up beautifully.   Luckily this little machine came with all its original attachments and the original key (these are so often mislaid) so  I decided to attach the key to the lid handle with some black grosgrain ribbon.


Now – this really and truly is my very last antique machine refurbishment –  well apart from the old Vickers still hiding in the garage!!!


The Red Jacket

The Red Jacket!

Ever since I made this jacket in Harris Tweed for my Sister I had an urge to make it again, in red, for myself.   So – nearly two years later!



The pattern is Burdastyle 7321 which is very fitted with a curved front, inseam pockets and a slightly fish tailed vent in the back.










I used a red ex Prada tweed fabric purchased from Ditto Fabrics online. This is a fairly heavy woven and textured tweed, lovely to work with, though inclined to fray.






To line the jacket I used a patterned polyester stretch satin (as for my Sister’s) which again came from Ditto and is just perfect for this project.







I just love the oriental print of red, blue and orange flowers and fans. The fabric feels soft and luxurious and the added stretch makes the jacket so comfortable to wear.

P1010852 I piped the lining seams with satin bias binding which just adds a little extra detail to the finish and also lined the inseam pockets.   This jacket was my first attempt at bound buttonholes.   To be honest – they didn’t turn out quite as well as I had hoped (hence no close up shots) but I did enjoy the process, so I’ll try harder next time.


After the jacket was completed I thought choosing buttons would be easy.   How wrong could I be?   Four weeks later and after visiting every button shop I could think of I nearly gave up on buttons altogether.

P1010850The problem being that both fastening and cuff buttons i.e the same button in two sizes were needed and not so easy to find.   Finally I chose these rose gold, beehive shaped buttons from Totally Buttons online.   These are plastic buttons, with a metallic finish and I really had my heart set on metal buttons, but so be it.   I’ve worn this jacket to work frequently, usually over a plain black shift dress or trousers but it’s also great with jeans and a white tee.