Humph. The end of the sentence I left hanging was .....reist buttonholers. I stumbled across not one but TWO on Trademe by the sneaky technique of trying Google instead of looking through the Tradme listings for machine accessories under sewing. For some reason both were listed under antiques and collectibles, and I was the only bidder for each! (Another case of bewilderment that I'm not fighting off other bidders with big sticks). I got them both, and the first arrived today. I paid $30 (plus postage) for it and it was described as being "in good working condition". I was very hopeful, but have enough cynicism to be a little wary of such a claim not backed up with "when I tried it this morning". I put it on my machine and gingerly pressed the foot pedal. The needle went up and down and the buttonholer did nothing. I said a few colourful words and took off the case to have a look inside. There is a thick treacly coating of very old lubricant preventing certain parts from moving freely. As I type it is sitting in David's shed having been carefully sprayed with CRC, which should remove the gunk so I can re-oil it and hope that this time it will work. The instruction manual suggests lubricating with petrolum jelly once a year. I think I now know what 20 year old vaseline looks like. There is no other indication that anything is broken or wrong with it and I suspect that the seller did not wilfully mislead me, but took his mother's word that it worked perfectly when she last used it - at a guess 20 years ago. I will send him a polite email, but I see no need to be too annoyed. I may be more annoyed when my second one arrives (end of the week probably) for which I paid the grand total of $5 plus postage, and about which no claims of being in working order were made. It appeared to be in extremely good condition and may well be in good working condition. If I paid $30 for a non-working buttonholer and $5 for a working one I may not be overly impressed. If it doesn't work either I'll probably take them both to my (retired-engineer-and-all-round-very-clever-bloke) Dad to see if he can make one of them go. David probably could too, but Dad has more tools.....
Just to give you something cute to look at after that long-winded grumble, here's Isabella modelling her new dress. I wish I'd taken her cardigan off so the dress isn't obscured, but you get the idea. If I'm very lucky I get three shots before she loses interest and wanders off. (And just for the record, I'm really glad I did go over All That Topstitching. And even more glad that it actually makes a difference.) She has a real thing for shoes - she is constantly wandering around in any pair she can get her feet into!
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