Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dial a Stitch

Since we had our big yard sale last month we just haven't had enough useless junk around the place, so I decided to check out some yard sales today as I was out doing errands. I did not see much of any interest and saw a lot of really dismal stuff. Here's my one purchase. (It cost me $1)

Know what it is? It's a rudimentary sewing machine! It came with a decent needle and an old wooden spool of very dusty thread.

This is how you use it. You position the fabric under the guides and under the needle, then squeeze the spring-loaded top and bottom parts together and it forms a chain stitch.

After a little practice I was able to get a pretty even looking stitch going. Here's how it looks on the top.

The back is where you see that it is a chain stitch, not a regular machine stitch.

It really is a pretty useless little item. The way it is made only allows you to stitch about a half inch from an edge and it's rather awkward to use. The name "Dial A Stitch" implies options that don't exist. What looks a bit like a dial, where the name is printed, is really just the screw device that holds the thread on and turning it one way or the other doesn't affect the stitch in any way!

The first sewing machine I owned was a toy that also made a chain stitch. I wish I still had it because it was such a cute little machine, but it was very frustrating to use. I didn't really learn to sew on a machine until a friend of my mother gave me her mother's old treadle machine. I still have it and have been in love with sewing machines since. I have recently gotten rid of several machines, but I still own a few. This is the silliest. But I think it was worth the $1 just for entertainment value.


  1. It is one of those "See it on TV" gizmos that is "perfect for fixing hems". I always wondered how many of that sort of thing they sell - now I know they sold at least one of these Dial-A-Stitch. Only a dollar? That is a bargain.

  2. Anonymous9:07 AM

    I think this gizmo is designed to sew the tops of heavy paper bags together, the type that hold seed, fertilizer, etc. That's why it only sews half an inch from the edge.
    -Connie in AL

  3. I love the gadget I too am a huge fan of sewing machines if i had a large studio I would have many set up. it is a fun thing to see.

    Now I must tell you I have perused this amazing blog of you as a out of this world artist....I love your doodles??? look like art waiting to be framed and sold for mucho dinero.

    and i have a earring story too my oldest daughter was turninf 16 and made me go get my ears pierced for her bday present so i could wear my jewelry I was designing at the time.

    Keep blessing the world with your talent...

  4. Right. Not available in stores and must order before midnight tonight! Yes, it is certainly worth a dollar. Too funny.

    On another note - your Passion piece looks intriguing - can't wait to see the whole thing.

  5. And this makes how many sewing machines? I would say it was definitely worth the price. My guess is there are more dormant sewing machines in the world that machines in use! What a shame. I personally own 4 and use one exclusively.

  6. hmmmm, what would it do with something like perle cotton for decorative edge stitching on a piece or a postcard? Makes you wonder.

  7. Every home must have useless junk. It is good to see you are building your collection back up.

  8. I think it's funny that it is obviously years old (by the thread alone) and yet they still sell them now for 19.95. It didn't work all that well as a 'sewing machine' way back when, and they don't really work now. And yet there are people out there who buy them brand new.

  9. I was just this evening struck by a most foolish notion for the November Artist in residency, back in the desert -- thought of some kind of fabric installation on the poles that make weird grids in this place that should have no human sign at all. So your little gadget looked quite wonderful to me, although I might have a bit of carpal syndrome after a couple of miles of stitching. The notion is fading as the day faded, but it was fun to contemplate for a while. Sort of a desert version of Christo.

  10. It’s a good machine for small stitching work. This gizmo are used for stitching a fertilizer bags, cement bags, seeds bag and plastic bags.

  11. This gadget looks easy to use. Maybe I can fix some of my old threads while still working out on one of my ab machines!

  12. Dial a stitch is a company name. This machine was ment to be a portable emergency sewing machine not a regular sewing machine.