Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Lovely Old Girl

I grew up sewing on my mother's (formerly my grandma's) White machine, sturdy and never complaining.  Later, my freshman year in college, I won Riccar in a cabinet at a drawing at the Ohio State Fair, thanks to my step-sister, who had entered me in the drawing.  I used that for years, then replaced it with a brand-new Kenmore in 1978.  She sewed beautifully, made more children's clothes and doll clothes than I can remember (and sewed over pins!).  When I embarked on my quilting journey, I decided that I wanted a "better" machine.  I now sew on a Brother NX 650 Q, which is fine.  But it doesn't have the horsepower of the Kenmore and doesn't like bulky seams at all.  I do wish I'd kept my Kenmore, more that's water under the bridge.  And now, a chance to rewind...

My wonderful quilting friend, Deb, offered me this gorgeous old machine, as long as I was willing to take care of it.  Well, yes!  How could I resist?  A friend of hers had found it, but wasn't able to keep it, so gave it to her.  I'm sure she'd like to have it still, but she needed space and gave it to me.

The cabinet is in fairly good shape and has a heavy glass plate on top.

Sadly, the wood top had some scratches, but that's what happens to all of us over the years.

The front of the cabinet has a nice size shelf to hold important machine supplies.

Inside the cabinet door was a small bag filled with bobbins (some filled), presser feet, and other attachments.  Clearly, someone had been using it.

Deb and I both think that this was originally a treadle machine.  At some point it was converted, with a foot pedal installed sideways to act as a knee controller.  The wiring doesn't look too bad, but no telling how old it is.  Much of it is cloth-wrapped.  My plan is to have my husband take a look, and if she doesn't look like a total fire hazard, I'll plug her in and see if she works.

She's a Singer, with a motor manufactured by Delco/General Motors in Rochester, NY in 1906 or 1907.  She's so pretty, with elegant multi-colored decals.  Some are worn away, but others just glow.

Aren't they gorgeous?!

Next stop will be the local sew-and-vac, to have her cleaned up and have the wiring re-checked and replaced as necessary.  I'd love to return her to a treadle, but that's beyond my ability.  I'll have to see what it would take and how much it would cost.

Meanwhile, she remains an object of affection rather than use.  And she's had to stay all closed up in the cabinet while four of my grandchildren are in town.  Maybe a good rainy fall day project?