Sunday, January 17, 2010

More Fiddly Bits

This week I worked on more items for the shop ... sewing machines and embroidery floss. I found photos of sewing machines on Google images and carved four from contractor's foam board. It's a type of styrofoam with a fairly dense quality. I used an X-acto knife to carve them and an emery board (split lengthwise) to sand them relatively smooth. They got a couple coats of gesso with very gentle sanding between the coats. Bits of dowels held with superglue formed knobs and wheels.They were painted with a satin finish white paint and detailed with craft paint and markers. The photo shows some irregularities in the surface that are not that apparent when seen with the naked eye. I didn't try to put needles and presser feet on them. When set up in the workroom, they'll have bits of sewing in progress that will hide the fact that they're not anatomically correct.

With the machines finished, I turned to embroidery floss. I saw some on one of the miniature shop websites. It didn't appear to be in scale, especially the black paper wrap label. I tried to make some with 1/32" detailing tape but it was just too small to wrap back on itself. Or more precisely, the tape was too small for my big fingers! I switched to tying off the skeins with two threads from real life floss. A square knot held it. This is the jig I rigged up. (That's a scrap of contractors foam.) The pins are 3/8" apart and being wrapped with a single strand of floss in a figure eight -- about 9 inches works well. I cut a tiny slit in the edge of the foam to hold the two tails while I tied the black floss. It's tedious but far more workable than the tape challenge. One piece of floss makes six skeins.
This is the result of a couple of hours of work. They must be glued onto some kind of display rack or in a box, as they are so tiny that the least breath of air sends them airborne. For scale, the yellow lines are one inch apart.


  1. OMG!!!!! Your sewing machines are AWESOME!!!! And your embroidery floss is wonderful too!

  2. Those look wonderful!! You would never know that they are foam. The embrodery floss looks great also. Yours looks alot more in scale then the ones I saw in catalogs.

  3. I was amazed by the thread- but now the floss is even more amazing! I love the sewing machines too- I would never have thought to use the contractors foam for carving items! Wonderful job:)

  4. esas maquinas estan muy bien , y los hilos muy realistas



  5. Love the sewing machine. Just found you and can't hardly wait to go through the rest of your site. Phyllis

  6. So happy to see the sewing machine. My scale doll needs a modern machine!