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Thread: Does anyone remember?

  1. #1
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    Does anyone remember?

    Just read a thread about cutting -vs- ripping fabric. Had a flashback after reading it. Our local 5 & 10 cent store had fabric in the basement. The way they measured it was to pull the fabric through this metal gizmo that was attached toand elevated a little above the counter. On the top of the gizmo was a gauge with numbered increments and a hand on it similar to a clock. The hand would spin and tell the clerk how much fabric had passed through it. When she got to the yardage requested, she'd pull down a lever that notched the fabric. If memory serves me right, she would either rip the fabric if it was light weight cotton, or use scissors if she was dealing with corduroy or the heavier fabrics.

    Does any one else remember this? Any idea of what the gizmo was called?

  2. #2
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    I remember that machine, I wish they were still used. Here that machine was in Woolworth's and Fabric Bonanza- that I remember.

  3. #3
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    Yes I remember it, but I don't know what it was called

  4. #4
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I remember them but do not know what it was called , a fabric meter maybe? They had one here when mom bought Frabric at one at JC penny's that I can remember

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gramma B's Avatar
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    I remember them too,but don't have a clue what they're ccalled!
    Kathleen
    Retired, and love quilting!

  6. #6
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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  7. #7
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    Yes, I do remember, but I don't know what it was called. I always thought that this was a great way to measure fabric very accurately.

  8. #8
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    At least with it you get the exact amount of fabric not short on fabric when you got home.
    DonnaR
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  9. #9
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    We had one of those at our local fabric store, back in the day :-)

  10. #10
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I remember them as well, but of course I was just a kid (cough cough)
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

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  11. #11
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    Thanks for bringing this up. I haven't thought about those little machines in decades. I used to love watching them measuring fabric.....they were so entertaining. I guess that I'm simple-minded. Never knew that they had a name to them tho. And yes, I was a child when they were popular. No, really, I was a child!

  12. #12
    Super Member TerryQuilter's Avatar
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    When I was in college, I used one of those machines. I worked in a small fabric department of a store. Can't remember the name of the store, but I loved using that machine.
    The Trike Riding Quilting Diva

  13. #13
    Senior Member SharonTheriault's Avatar
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    My Mom worked in the fabric department of a local department store. She used one of those machines to measure fabric. I had to smile when you were describing the machine. It brought back lots of memories. I was a child then too and it was a small town where things for safe for kids to go around the shops.
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  14. #14
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    Yes...I remember that machine too. Our Woolworths had one and so did J.C. Penney. When I was little...about 8 or 9...my friends and I would take our quarters to Penney's to buy 1/4 yd. of different fabrics. We thought we are so grown up. Then we would come home and start handsewing clothes for our dolls. We all had Muffie Dolls...remember them? We would use the gathering stitch at the top for a skirt or dress...hem the other 3 sides and put snaps on the back. For dresses we would attach small squares...one for the front and the other for the back. Put it on the doll and then figure how far up and then down the side seam we had to sew so her arms would go through them. We all had way too many "summer dresses" for our dolls. As we got older and had Barbie dolls we had to make those top squares a bit bigger...LOL.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  15. #15
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    I remember them-I think they measured in inches-don't know what they were called. But they were great-doesn't seem it was THAT long ago they were still in use. I wonder if they still are at some places.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I remember those. When we had a Woolworth's they used this machine.
    Sadiemae

  17. #17
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Yup. Sew-Fro Fabric had them when I was a kid. Our local Hancock's uses something like it on the table roller where they cut upholstery fabric.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  18. #18
    Senior Member misscarol's Avatar
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    I remember those. I was actually thinking about them the other day.

  19. #19
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    Yes, I remember them. I always doubted the accuracy. First of all, who knew how reliably they were calibrated? Secondly, if the fabric was not pulled through straight, but was pulled through in a wavy fashion, I felt I would be shortchanged (am I paranoid?). However, at least when the clerk was finished measuring, she/he could see the number of yards instead of trying to remember how many she had counted.

    Dayle

  20. #20
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    I own one of those machines...it is called "trade mark" measuregraph! it still works great!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylesewblessed View Post
    Yes, I remember them. I always doubted the accuracy. First of all, who knew how reliably they were calibrated? Secondly, if the fabric was not pulled through straight, but was pulled through in a wavy fashion, I felt I would be shortchanged (am I paranoid?). However, at least when the clerk was finished measuring, she/he could see the number of yards instead of trying to remember how many she had counted.

    Dayle
    yep paranoid..it was VERY hard to mess up measuring with these machines..the fabric fit in so well..BUT they did away with them when poly became the norm...harder to pull through without stretching it, hard to rip, etc....sad...I would put my machine up against any clerk these days!

  22. #22
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I was just talking to a lady at the LQS about this very thing over the weekend!!
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  23. #23
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    I remember them at Penney's and at a local Dry Good store in Texas but didn't know what it was called. I do now thanks to UP North.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  24. #24
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i remember it too. i wasn't aware that there was a name for it. i was just telling my local fabric shop manager about it last week. she's a few years younger than i am, and she doesn't even remember it.
    Nancy in western NY
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  25. #25
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    what fun...thanks for sharing and thanks for the link.... it would have driven me crazy if i couldn't remember the name all weekend!!! the brown one is the version i remember... i seem to remember them usually asking "5 yds? Right?" before they would use the little cutter...... just in case they heard it wrong or you changed you mind before they cut the fabric...

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