My aunt and uncle gifted me a Singer 127 several months ago and after a thorough cleaning and oiling, belt replacement, and many hours of research I got her running. Being a vibrating shuttle, it’s a completely different system than I’m used to (one example: the thread goes through the needle from left-to-right, not front-to-back!) but I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s the first machine I’ve used (out of a grand total of three others – a later edition Singer, a Kenmore entry-level, and a vintage Bernina) where I can keep the speed steadily slow. This ability to maintain a relatively consistent speed has already improved the quality of my cornering.
The treadle has been replaced by an electric motor with a knee bar but the machine still gets a fair bit of independent momentum and doesn’t stop immediately after cutting power. This is actually kind of great because it’s almost like it has the ‘needle-down’ feature. The bobbins won’t wind perfectly evenly but it hasn’t seemed to affect the tension terribly.
These little gentlemen were the inaugural project on the new-to-me machine. I made up a pattern after seeing pictures of projects made from Fiona Dalton’s book ‘Hop, Skip, Jump’. Shipping from Australia is prohibitive so I will have to wait for a second printing of the book and hopefully wider distribution (I gather it sold out very quickly the first time) before I can get my hands on it.
I used scraps for everything: a slightly nubby poplin for the black, flannel for the bellies and underwings, and a peachy orange cotton for the beaks and legs. Bodies stuffed with recycled Polyfill, legs with flax seeds. As usual with stuffies, the eyes were the hardest decision, so some got 1/4” and some got 1/8” black safety eyes (reinforced with lightweight interfacing, the first time I’ve done that, but certainly not the last).
Instead of using a sweater sleeve cuff, I knit the toques from scrap wool. I surprised myself by opting to knit them flat instead of in the round. They’re really quite tiny and it’s just one seam up the back…I think that negotiating DPNs or a magic loop would have actually taken longer. Pompoms made with Clover pompom maker (total convert!).
The blue one was made from chambray scraps and instead of flannel, I used the wrong side of the fabric for contrast. After it was ‘pointed’ out to me that the penguin beaks could be a hazard to the extra wee ones, I opted for a simple triangle.