Saturday, August 29, 2009

More than a Featherweight Sewing Machine

I purchased this machine today from a lovely woman in NY who after 11
years got up the courage to clean out her storage and part with her
deceased sister's belongings. I feel blessed to have her sister's
sewing machine for my quilting class. I've missed mine since I sold it
months ago.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's all about sewing machines baby!

I LOVE sewing machines! I can't pass up a good vintage or antique machine to save my life. I love the simplicity, the complexities, the history, the strength and the restorative aspects of these old machines. I can't think of one machine today that is made with the same quality and durability of these old machines. Several of the machines in my collection are 70+ years old and still going strong! Some are over 100 years old! Ever since the introduction of plastics manufacturing has changed: cheaper prices = lower quality. The days of making an heirloom machine that will last several lifetimes is over. A machine today requires professional maintainance and service. I maintain my vintage and antique machines myself, armed with basically a screwdriver, toothbrush and a bottle of oil.

Someone has to save these machines from landfills and scrap metal yards. I believe that someone is me. Its not obsession, its history preservation :)

My Italian 1950s Necchi BU in a Singer
treadle cabinet. Strong smooth and silent.
So many useful attributes: bearings in the oil
points to keep out dirt; 3 position presser foot
so you can raise the foot and maintain the
tension, or not; calibrated adjustment for
the pressure foot bar and the thread tension...
A true workhorse! My favorite machine.
My 1940s (?) Singer 201-2 machine. A solid
machine with drop in bobbin, metal gears,
potted motor and beltless operation. Strong,
but can sew silk to light leather.

Ah, the Pfaff 130. This semi-industrial machine
is Pfaff's first consumer model. It's chain-belted
inside for added strength to sew through anything
in its way! I'm still cleaning up this new addition
to the family but I'm so happy to have
snatched it up for cheap this week. I've been
coveting this model for a long time.

My beautiful New Home/Janome Japanese
machine. 10 built in stitches in a solid all metal
machine. Made in Japan in 1960, its a Centennial
machine which celebrates the 100 years of
New Home. I got this machine down the Jersey
Shore for next to nothing, made some minor repairs
and now she sews like a dream.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Willcox & Gibbs Noiseless Automatic Sewing machine

My latest flea market find. A late 1800s Willcox & Gibbs sewing machine in great condition. However, I do need to replace the cord coming from the motor. It comes in its original box complete with a presser foot and a tucker and ruffler in their original boxes with original instructions. I have the machine's manual as well but the cover is tattered. Its an amazing little machine! No bobbin needed - its a chain stitcher. It uses a single spool of thread to sew. Another interesting tid bit: it has a direct drive motor - no belt! I've seen a few YouTube videos showing how fast this baby can go. It practically flies.

More pics to come - I'm hunting for a treadle base or hand crank for it - I like options :)


Sent on the Now Network™ from my Sprint® BlackBerry

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sweet stuff

Here's a peace offering - a bowl of Rainier cherries. Sorry for not posting much anymore. The ease of social networking apps and sites have made blogging seem more like a chore in comparison. I can express myself and share pics and links immediately via phone no matter where I am (ok, so I posted this via my BlackBerry). But since more people are following me on Twitter or are friends with me on facebook I get more interaction and activity using them over blogging. I'll continue to check in and post on my blog, but the daily grind and meat & potatoes of my life will live on social networks. Hit me up: "beingv" on Twitter or facebook.


Sent on the Now Network™ from my Sprint® BlackBerry