Amber is put to work …

Perhaps you remember my Singer 421G, a convertible free arm sewing machine made in Germany in 1954.  “Amber” for short!  Since purchasing Amber, she has received a good cleaning and oiling, and I took apart her tension assembly and put her back together again.  She runs smoothly now with a nice stitch.

I love the sound she makes – like a train clicking quickly on the tracks, heavy on my table with no shake – unlike my Janome 3160QDC who whirrs loudly and shakes the table as she sews.  Now it’s time to put Amber to work.  

I have my chocolate brown pants mostly assembled now following McCalls M6901, a Palmer Pletsch pattern, which I just love.  This pattern offers more than instructions, with tips on fitting and sewing too.

This is the first time I have seen fly flaps not being separate pattern pieces.  On the right front the overlap fold is at centre front, but on the left front it is 1.5 cm from the centre front.  This puts the zipper 1.5 cm from the centre.  Tucked in neatly under the right fly flap.  Less pieces, neater work!

When it came time for sewing in the zipper, I dug in the box of accessories that came with Amber and attached the zipper foot.  It was funny when I realized that there were two zipper feet in the box and this one was too short for this machine!

That’s better!  A proper Slant shank foot!  Looks like the previous owner collected a few extra parts and pieces here and there!

This zipper application went together so flawlessly.  The right and left fronts are ready for the zipper.  See the overlap?


The wrong side of the right and left fronts.  One thing the pattern instructions suggested was interfacing the fly flaps, which I did.  Unfortunately I didn’t know what their reasoning was so I applied too much interfacing, which I peeled off carefully after I realized my error.

Here you can see the overlap.  My zipper has Wonder Tape attached on one side to baste it to my fly front before I sew it on.

After sewing the left side of the zipper on, Wonder Tape was applied to baste the fly flap closed.

The right side of my zipper was pinned on.

Wrong side view.

Chalk line for sewing drawn on.

All done.  Easily!

(Remove the Wonder Tape.)

Ta Da!  I do love an flawless pants zipper!


I have a bit of news!  My “Sister’s Sewing Projects” Sister has won an all expenses paid trip to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico!  And … who is she taking with her?  MEEEE!  (Thank you!)  This means there is going to be a slight interruption in my pants sewing to sew up a swimsuit for myself!  A while ago, my younger sister Joanna of J.A.M. Joanna’s Artistic Muse gave to me a white/purple/black stretchy knit fabric (It’s beautiful.  Thank you!  Do you remember what kind of fabric it is?).  I just purchased a black 4 way Stretch Euro Tricot.  I am thinking the purple print for the top of the swimsuit and the black for the bottom.

I would like something in the style of one of these one-piece swimsuits:  The Bombshell Swimsuit from Closet Case Files …

The Sophie Swimsuit from Closet Case Files …

This McCall’s M6569 – without that silly ruffle!!!! – more view C with a strap.


I better get started!  Anyone have any swimsuit sewing tips to share?

Happy Sewing!

12 thoughts on “Amber is put to work …

  1. lovely work on the fly! – lovely machine, wish my singer 328 was a free arm!

    1. Thank you! It certainly is a winning procedure. I was quite lucky to find Amber!

  2. You did so well – as you know,I wouldn’t have been keen on the zip – maybe button fly???

    1. Thank you! I really like their method and instructions. Best I’ve done yet! Button flys are cool – but then I would have to do buttonholes! ☹️

  3. I remember giving you that fabric. It’s not the fabric made from sea shells. Those fabrics were a solid black and solid poppy red.

    Congratulations on going to Mexico. Woohoo! I look forward to seeing your completed swimsuit. Don’t forget the sunscreen, especially on the nose…speaking from experience. 😳

    1. Ok I still have the solid black and the red but I have been using sections of them to block with other prints. They feel lovely! Thanks for giving them to me. Yes there will be lots of sunscreen and a big floppy hat. I don’t really like tanning, although I am looking forward to lying around and doing nothing in my new swimsuit! 😉👌

  4. Wow beautiful zipper insertion! It’s so pristine!

    I personally love the sophie swimsuit, it seems a bit more flattering in the chest area since it has the support, it gets my vote!

    1. Thank you! The pattern had really good instructions. Yes the underwire/cups design is a real plus!

  5. I love the Sophie Swimsuit because of the panel in the front. You made me a dress with a panel like that and it is very slimming. For me though, it would have to be the one piece. I am past the age of feeling comfy in a 2 piece. I also love the purple multi color contrast you plan to use. It is very lively. As far as Mexico, the brochure show big pool side umbrellas so we will be living like queens. Anyone know of a cabana boy who needs work for a week, he would have to pay his own way though?

    1. Thanks for the input on the swimsuit styles. It looks like a lovely resort so I’m sure the service and the staff will be just as lovely! Thanks for choosing me to go with you!

  6. A swimsuit! What a great project! I’ve never tried to sew one, and can’t wait for you to show me how :). I’ve seen quite a few ‘sophies’ on other blogs. They seem to always turn out really cute. But I love the McCalls option too. You go, girl!

    1. Haha thanks for the support! I start this weekend. Fingers crossed! 👙🌞

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