Continental Electric sewing machine

I’ve been working on a couple of projects so I haven’t had much chance to update. I’ll post the results as soon as I finish.

Meanwhile, let’s talk sewing machine.
Since all of my work-in-progress projects require sewing, I have a handy little Continental Electric.
sewing machine
I picked up this gem at a garage sale. It’s about the size of two stacked loaves of sliced bread, only half as long. I was cruising the streets on my way home and spotted it among art decor and electronic refuse. The $8 price tag made this a steal.
At the time, I didn’t know how to sew. I spent long hours deciphering the manual and Youtube instruction videos. Eventually I learned the basics, like how a sewing machine interlocks two threads to sew, one from the top of the sewing machine, and one from the bobbin below.

I really pushed myself to master this device. I carted it around in my backpack to and fro when I was taking a creative fabrics workshop. Eventually, from this tiny beast, the Dandyweeds Dress was formed.
Dandyweeds Dress
I highly recommend this sewing machine, as one novice to another. It’s super portable! Just plug it in and sew! It’s incredibly sturdy and has held up well to my abuse.

I do have a few complaints. The sewing machine only sews straight stitches, which makes it difficult to work with knit fabrics (knit fabrics are stretchy and straight stitches do not allow fabrics to stretch much). It’s really light, so when I’m applying a lot of force, the sewing machine may shift a little on the table. I usually put a large jar candle behind it to give it more support.

There’s also no back tack. Back tack is when you sew forward, back, and forward again over the same spot. This allows for the thread to be locked in the fabric, similar to knotting it at the end to prevent unraveling. Unfortunately, on the Continental Electric, I have to manually rotate the fabric, to get the back tack effect.

I’ve recently spotted it for $17.99 on Amazon. That’s still an excellent buy. It will enable you to dip your toe into the world of DIY fashion. Think custom shirts, custom dresses, custom everything! With a few practices, you’re only limited by your imagination!

You could even make a seriously cool kimono jacket designed by Alexander McQueen!
McQueen kimono jacket
I’m definitely going to attempt the McQueen jacket. For now, I’m midway through two projects.
Here’s a teaser:

Project 1:
starry sky
Edit: click here for Project 1

Project 2:
dances with daffodils
Edit: click here for Project 2

    • Jenny said:

      thanks! 😀

  1. Trina said:

    How on the heck do you thread it! I bought one today because I THOUGHT it would be easier than hand sewing…..not the case at all. 😦 I thought I had it (because it looked perfect from the top) but it jammed and when I took it out and flipped it over it was a pile of threads on the bottom. As soon as I cut the knot that jammed it, the bottom thread was no longer on place and now I can’t figure out how to put it back. (It comes pre threaded) Though it was only $7.50, I am ready to return it….and its only been 5 yrs. Please please please help!

    • Trina said:

      Sorry, that’s supposed to be ‘5 hours’ not yrs.

      • Jenny said:

        This might help:
        Try taking all the thread things out.
        Put the top thread/bobbin by following in the instructions.
        For the bottom bobbin, put it in, turn the side knob, and the bottom thread will catch (eventually) and appear though the hole under the sewing foot.
        You may have to fetch it out, but once you do, take that, and the top thread from the needle and place both of them under the sewing foot.
        If you need more help, I can make a Youtube video.

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