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It's a keeper

The Burley failed to sell on e-bay. I’m not exactly heartbroken, however. Joel and I talked it over, and going lower than $600 would be beyond ridiculous – it would be lowballing the sum of its parts. Besides, in last winter’s makeover of said bike, we kept it a drop-bar setup, it just had shorter-reach levers and bar-ends, and I still wasn’t really happy on it. We’re going to try a flat-bar setup, like all of my other bikes, and then it should be fine. It’s a damn fun bike anyhow, and having a lightweight geared bike around won’t exactly hurt my feelings.

The other “keeper” is my old Singer 401A, which I already knew was worth keeping around. It’s a fine old sewing machine with many advantages, not least among which are its complete collection of accessory attachments and the owner’s manual which tells how to use them. I took it upon myself to learn how to use the hem-rolling foot today, because I am working on making myself a silk blouse which has a tie at the neckline which would look best with a very narrow, rolled hem. I decided to practice with the rolling-foot on the armhole facings:

I’d like to point out right now that this fabric is just knockout in person; a featherweight charmeuse with an all-over millefiore print. I’ll post pictures of the blouse when it is finished.

I’d like to note that sewing with fine silk in the winter when my hands are all dry and scratchy is actually pretty unpleasant, and I am sick of the pieces of the blouse sticking to my rough skin.

Anyway, the hem-rolling foot is an amazing time saver and convenience, especially when you are working with extremely delicate fabrics. For lingere or scarves it would be indispensible. I thought I would post a few pictures of it in use, as well as the instruction sheet for using it.

The instruction sheet – in case you have a similar machine and presser foot and no manual.

The foot!

Test fabric, prepped per instruction.

Feeding it in

Steady she goes!


This is so simple and efficient and turns out such tidy, attractive hems, I cannot think why I have not used it until only today. I have had this sewing machine since 1996, I do believe, so it’s not like I never had the opportunity!

3 Responses to “It's a keeper”

  1. Thanks for that. I too am still discovering things about my 10 year old machine. Imagine……….. some of the new machines have over 400 stitches to explore.

  2. I can’t imagine living with some of the new wonder-machines. They do just way too much stuff. Also, I think they are a bit delicate compared to the old Singer which has handily sewn everything from pleather to silk chiffon without problems.

    I’m more than a bit wary of all the computerized machines, also, because of obsolescence. One of my mom’s friends jumped on the computerized Bernina bandwagon back in the 1980s and of course that machine is no longer being serviced and the electronics have gone all haywire. Vi (my mom’s friend) still has her old Singer which is akin to mine and is still working great for her, long after the computerized Bernina gave up the ghost. I think she has another more modern machine, but I think she’s avoiding the computer-chip machines these days, too.

  3. […] I was trying to sell this bike. Nobody wanted to buy it, however, and Joel convinced me that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep it, and that it could probably be fixed up to be a better bike for my […]

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