Vintage week on the Sewing Bee

I think I'm enjoying this year's Sewing Bee even more than in previous years; the contestants are better, the challenges are harder and the judges and presenters are a good as ever.

Last week's episode was vintage week, and the contestants were all equipped with a vintage sewing machine. But not just any vintage sewing machine, a Singer Featherweight - just like the one my dad gave me for Christmas!

In the first challenge they had to make the Butterick Walk Away dress (B4790), a dress that was so popular when it was first printed in the 1950s that Butterick apparently stopped printing all other patterns to fill the orders for this one. It's main selling point was that you could 'start it after breakfast ... walk-away in by lunchtime'.

All of which make it an ideal pattern for the Sewing Bee and their time challenges. The amount of bias binding in the pattern also makes it an idea pattern for using the bias binding foot which comes with this sewing machine.  This dress has been on my wish list for a while, and I think inspired by the Sewing Bee, I will make it and I will be using my Singer Featherweight, and its bias binding foot.

In related vintage sewing news, I was recently sent the following extract from a 1940s Singer sewing machine manual, for what looks like a machine just like mine!

As I don't have a husband, I can't comment on the need to keep myself looking neat and tidy for him, but I do  agree with the need for mental preparation before sewing. I know I can only sew when I'm in the right frame of mine, and I certainly think it goes better if I'm working on a project I'm happy with. Today, I did my ironing before starting the sewing, but did this make for a better sew? Well my sewing went well today, but I don't know if the two are necessarily connected.