A Sneak Peek at my Civil War dress & a Side Winder Review…

You’re not going to believe this… well, maybe you will! I made it back to my sewing machine today! Yes I did! It has been wonderful! I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but it’s a start and I’m even going to share it with you… just one picture, because it all fits in one shot!


I didn’t get my sewing table area finished yet, but hey, I knew I could still cut out Rebecca’s Civil War dress on one of my dressers and that’s just what I did. I used a piece of cream silk dupioni for her collar and some vintage lace on her sleeves. I’ll see what I can get done tomorrow when everyone leaves.

I also wanted so show you something I forgot about. Back when we had the church yard sale, I bought this little white plastic box called a Side Winder.


I knew what it was, but hadn’t ever used one, and was always kind of intrigued with them. When I got it home and put a battery in it…phooey… it didn’t work. So I asked my hubby if something like this was “fixable?” He asked me what was wrong with it…and I told him I had put a new battery in it, but it didn’t work. He took his hands and smacked the side of the box, pushed the green button and it buzzed like it was supposed to. He smiled and I walked away happy.

Since Susette just sent me all those pretty colored bobbins, I thought I’d give it a try winding some bobbins.


Now grant it, most of the time, you just wind your bobbins on your sewing machine, but this could be something you do while you are watching TV or talking on the phone to someone, (who doesn’t mind you “buzzing” in the background) or even take it on a trip in the car and wind bobbins.

It’s a pretty simple gadget… You open it up, put your thread on A, loop it under B, around C, across to the peg where it will wind on, D, run your thread through the little hole from the inside to the outside of the hole, pull the lever E down to touch the bobbin, and push the green button F.



Make sure you pull the thread up when you start or the end will get all tangled around the bobbin.


When it starts, and you have a little bit of thread wrapped around the bobbin, flip the little V shaped lever (E) back up to stop the winding process, and clip the thread you are holding up off. Then pull the lever back down, and push the green button again to continue winding.

It winds a very nice and even bobbin and I did 3 in just a couple of minutes.





I put them in the case they came in. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the whole case full of filled bobbins? I thought so too!


Does anyone have a Side Winder already?

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Joy Kramer says:

    That is one neat tool for winding bobbins. Love the colorful bobbins, too. I used to have a Singer machine that wound bobbins in the machine and I was so spoiled by that since now I have a machine that doesn’t. This tool would be a neat way, as you say, to watch TV and be productive (also can knit or crochet). Don’t watch a lot of TV but I do like this idea. Thanks for sharing it.

    • HI Joy,
      I actually thought ALL machines wound bobbins, but I guess that’s not the case… hmmm…
      The Side Winder is a pretty quick and efficient little gadget. You should check it out… I think Joann’s sells them… catch it off sale sometime and use your 50% off coupon…
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Rebecca is looking lovely already. I love the double puffed sleeves. I put some on my sister’s wedding dress. I also like the contrasting silk collar. I’m waiting impatiently to see which pin looks prettier on the dress now that we can begin to see it.

    Not only would a whole case of filled bobbins be great, they’ll be neatly arranged in the nice case they came in. Your organization seems to have attracted still more organization, just as chaos attracts chaos, as my living room currently demonstrates.

    • HI Marilyn,
      I never did let everyone know which pin won, but it was the star shaped one. I’ve pinned it on the dress, and “think” it’s the one I’m going to use, but I’ll have to wait and see what kind of scarf she’ll have with this dress. I thought the squares on the dress needed to be broken up a little bit on the sleeves so I added the extra poof on them.

      Oh, dear, speaking of chaos… you should see my kitchen… it must be kin to your living room! :o(
      Thanks Marilyn,
      blessings, Jeanne

  3. I love having a Side Winder. It saves time. Rebecca’s dress is looking lovely so far. 🙂

    • HI Christine,
      So you have a Side Winder already, huh? They are a fun little tool and I think it will save time. I could think of lots of times when I could wind bobbins… it’s pretty neat.
      Thanks Christine,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. I have had one for several years now. When I do machine embroidery I wind up a bunch of white or whatever color I need so that I don’t have to stop and disrupt the machine to wind the next bobbin. It will handle all my bobbins except the ones for my commercial embroidery machine, that has an independent winder that works when whether or not I am sewing. I like to be able to take it where I need it. Batteries can be a pain so I use an adapter with mine.

    • HI April,
      I always hate to stop and wind a bobbin too, so having a bunch already wound would be a great thing for me.
      I forgot to mention about the adaptor… mine didn’t have the adaptor, just the outlet for one to be attached, but I’m sure it’s just a universal adaptor… I might have to check one out…
      Thanks April,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Rebecca’s dress is looking fabulous so far. Can’t wait to see more. I love to hear you use the elegant words of certain fabrics. Like dupioni. I am not familiar with many fabric names so it’s neat to hear you talk about them.
    Way to go, George. He is such a talented man as both of you are.
    That side winder looks like a good idea since you can take it anywhere to use. Helps pass time, non? How perfect for the bobbins Susette sent you.

    Enjoy your time with family, Jeanne. Have a great day!

    • Thanks Paula,
      It felt good to have a seat in my sewing chair yesterday and my new lights really made a big difference, even across the room to my sewing machine. I think it’s going to be great in there now!
      The Side Winder is sort of a mindless little tool that really works! I was happy that it wound the bobbins so evenly. I was concerned that it might not…

      I will have fun with my family… it’s like we are going in “batches” of family time lately.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Like Joy, I too had a Singer Touch N Sew with the bobbin winder in the machine. Wore out the gears on that one. I so hate on my current model to have to unplug the foot pedal, and put on a bobbin, pull out the thread on the machine, and wind a bobbin, then plug in the foot pedal again, rethread the machine, and finally continue sewing. Exhausting! Guess I need a side winder with an adapter like April’s.
    Loved how your husband “fixed” the winder.

    • HI Joy,
      It sounds like you need the Side Winder more than anyone here! You should check them out… use your Joann’s coupon and get it for a lesser price than what it’s listed for.

      Yea, gotta hand it to my hubby on this one… he “really” worked hard to fix this one! :o)

      Thanks Joy,
      blessings, Jeanne

  7. oops …forgot to mention…my niece sent me a notice that Toys R Us is going to be carrying American Girl Dolls? Has anyone else heard that? Boy that would be a bit more convenient.

    • Hi Paula,
      I’m on AGPT and according to a thread there, it is just the WellieWishers at this point.
      It certainly would be great if AG were there. Toy R US is about 35 minutes from home and JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby are there, so it would be easy to stop in *smiles* .
      The AGP is an hour and a half away and in the completely wrong direction for where I ever am. It’s been here for a few years and I haven’t found the time to get there yet. My daughter and I did get to AGP Chicago about 12 years ago when we were near enough on vacation.

      • HI Paula and Laura,
        Well, even if it’s the AG Wellie Wishers, I’d still like to see them in person. We have a Toys R Us about 15 miles from here… I may have to keep that on my radar…

        I’ve never even been to an AG store before…that’s more on my radar… there is one in St. Louis, 2 hours away, and I’ve yet to make it there either…

        Thanks for the info ladies,
        Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Lovely beginnings on Rebecca’s dress, Jeanne. And, George to the rescue again! What a blessing to get that little machine working in super fast order.

    So happy that you’re back in your “studio”.


    • Thanks Becky,
      I’m glad you like Rebecca’s dress so far… I did enjoy being back at my sewing machine yesterday. It felt like “old times!”
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Rebecca is already looking lovely in her new dress. The magenta and forest green are very becoming colors on her. The inset of lace on the sleeves is a wonderful touch. I can’t wait to see what you have planned for this one. Rebecca is smiling broadly, so I’m sure she is pleased you found your way back to your sewing. What a lucky girl to be the first to model in the new “Dressmaker’s Dossier”
    Hmmm that is a nifty tool for winding bobbins. My mom’s machine (which I borrow) winds them on the machine, but this way you can do it anywhere.

    • HI Laura,
      Thank you for the sweet compliments on Rebecca’s newest dress. I hope it doesn’t take me forever to get it finished. It’s nice working in my new sewing studio knowing where everything is… (well knowing where “most” everything is…) I think I’m really going to be more efficient in there now.
      I can just see it now… a rush on Side Winders at Joann’s! :o) My aunt just emailed me and said she has one and loves it…
      Thanks Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Thanks for the tip about the bobbin winder and using the coupon at Joann’s. Good for George on the slap to the side of the machine. I once thought: “How hard can it be to rewire a ginger jar lamp?” The three-way switch lit the normal bulb, just the little one inside the cutout lattice on the jar for a nightlight or both at the same time. I drastically overestimated my ability on that one. Ended up blowing an outlet, circuit breaker and setting the cord on fire. So $60 apiece to have the lamps professionally rewired didn’t seem too expensive after all. Lucky I didn’t burn the house down!

    Rebecca’s dress is beautiful already. You’re in seamstress heaven. Question: Where did you find the smooth, what look to be about 7 mm buttons which you sewed on in a flower design with embroidery thread? I also have trouble finding little silver snaps. Even eBay and Amazon don’t have much and they seem very expensive.

    Have fun with your family. Answer questions at your leisure, not the next few days for sure.

    • HI Susette,
      I was just at Walmart and saw the Sidewinder there… all by itself, on a shelf, so I didn’t know where it came from and don’t know how much it cost. I never saw them there before.

      Yikes, I’m glad your wiring job didn’t do too much damage…

      I’m not sure which buttons you are referring to… but I’ll look back and see if I can’t find the picture. I usually get my snaps at Joann’s when they put their notions wall on sale… I pick up as many as have good holes. Yes, I still put a pin through a few on each card to make sure they are the “good” kind to use when sewing on.

      I will have fun with Bob and Deb this weekend. It’s kind of fun to “spread” them out and visit separately… but it would have been fun to have all been together at the same time.

      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Linda Doyle says:

    I guess you are wondering where I am, Jeanne! Well, here I am, been outside on this beautiful no-humidity day! The first one is a loooong time! Just so refreshing to be outside and not stuck inside for one!

    Sidewinder? My sister lives on a street in Arizona called Sidewinder Drive, and there a sidewinder is a snake!! That’s what I thought you were referring to! Well, like several others have mentioned, I too, have a Singer Touch and Sew”, which makes winding bobbins so easy, since it does it by itself, but my bobbins are two separate pieces that screw on together. I cannot use just any bobbin in my machine, but I really like being able to take out the thread if I need to, and having it wound up in a tight circle. It’s a breeze to rewind a bobbin on my machine. I thought they all did that!

    Oh yes, the AG Truly Me dolls will be sold at Toys R Us, along with the Wellie Wishers, that are there currently. I believe some clothes will be sold too. I wonder if this is just for the holiday’s though. The Truly Me dolls will be sold sometime in October, but not every Toys R Us is going to get the AG dolls, just certain ones. If there is any store I do not like shopping in, it’s Toys R Us!!! Just crazy there, especially during the holidays! The only thing I go there for is the Thomas the Train things, since they have quite a bit, oh, and Legos too. I may go sometime when I am shopping for the boys, but not to see AG stuff, because I can see it all the time at the store.

    Rebecca looks so pretty so far! I’m glad the star button/brooch is the winner. I can’t wait to see hwat you will be doing with the rest of the dress!

    • HI Linda,
      I figured you might be outside working…it’s beautiful here too… Too bad I’ve got to clean house and do dishes… I knew I should have done them last night, but I wanted to sew…

      I think the majority of machines do wind the bobbin on the machine. Some do it on top with the threads looped all around and some do it down below in the bobbin case. I’ve got one of the easy kinds that does it on top but it’s a breeze.

      I’ll have to keep an eye out at my Toys R Us store in a month or so… I haven’ t been in the store in ages… now I’ll have a reason to take a peek in there every so often.

      Rebecca is waiting patiently but I think I heard someone calling, “MOM” just a few minutes ago. It was a nice call, but a bit long like… M-O-M!
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Anne Johnson says:

    Look at all those colorful bobbins, and to think you now can wind them so quickly and easily with your nifty Side Winder! I agree with Marilyn; you are becoming an efficiency machine, Jeanne! Soon you will be sewing doll dresses in the blink of an eye! As a widow, I have resorted to George’s “smacking” technique many times myself, and it has a pretty good success rate! Bless him for his help!

    Rebecca is looking pleased as punch for her first dress fitting. I hope the honor of being first to receive an outfit from the new “Dressmaker” studio isn’t stirring up any jealousies among the other girls! ;0 ) The puff sleeves with lace insets are lovely, as is the silk dupioni collar. Looking forward to the progress on this one, as well as the final brooch accent. Glad to see you sewing again, Jeanne!

    • HI Anne,
      Since I saw my hubby smack that Sidewinder and get it to work, I might find myself smacking things before I take them to him from now on…

      I think the other girls are okay about Rebecca going first. They like the way they are facing on the doll shelf…they can look out across my sewing room and see everything I am doing, and I even catch them watching TV when I have old movies on! :o)
      Thanks Anne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  13. Anne Johnson says:

    P.S. We have a large AG store with a bistro here. If any of you ladies happen to be passing through Columbus, Ohio, I would be delighted to make a visit with you and have lunch!

    • HI Anne,
      Oh, I hope you get some “takers” for lunch some time… :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

    • Hi Anne,
      I have a sort of connection to Columbus. Our son in law’s great grandfather was Joe Arzonia/Ursone who lived in Columbus in the early 1900’s. He was part of the early music scene. He played the harp but also wrote music. He is attributed to the song The Preacher and the Bear. Appears he bought the rights to the song from a friend. Anyway, we have never been able to find out what happened to Joe Arzonia/Ursone after about 1914. Just one of the missing pieces in our family history.

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