The sewing machine hunt last week started with the loss of a machine. I had answered probably a half dozen ads in the local buy and sell.
2 of them responded.
The seller of the first one was a thrift shop, and had only posted a picture of the back of the machine and called it a singer antique sewing machine. In the picture, there was a price tag that said $150, but i didn’t know if that was current. I emailed looking for the model or serial number and a price.
Looking at the picture, it appeared to be a 3/4 machine with a beige and red carry case.
My guess was a 99 or similar.
The reply was that they couldn’t find a model number, the price was $50, and we should come see it.
Fast forward now to the Wild Rose Antique Show 2012. Going in, I recall muttering to Ryan that if we were going to pay that much for admission and parking, that I was going to have to spend a lot of money to make it worth it.
Saturday was Morinville’s Town Wide garage sale. Every spring, the town has a garage sale, where people can rent a table at the Sports center, or just put their stuff out for sale at their homes. The town publishes a list of the “registered” garage sales, and tons of people show up from far and wide to take a peek at people’s stuff.
This year, with my “new” hobby, I set off around town with my treasure map in hand, to see what I could find. I promised from the outset that I wouldn’t buy any more sewing machines, unless they were exceptionally special. No more rescues for now. I can’t even find enough time to work on the ones I have.
At first it was easy. I kept finding late 70s machines to mid 90s. No temptation at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t detest the button-style or bake-lite foot pedals. I just don’t trust them.
Last night, I was sewing my very first applique. The tedium of the cutting and pressing finished, I thought I’d sit down to do some of the stitching. This is slow speed sewing, especially because I’ve never done it before, and satin stitches on my first machine would spark many colorful arguments between myself and the machine.
I made it about half way around the perimeter. Then, speaking of sparks…
I heard them. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard in a sewing room. bzzzzzzt, pop pop…. a weird sound like rushing water, a hum that got louder, and then crackling noises coming from below my sewing table.
Normally this is a place I avoid, but my recent quest to find all of the books in the “Singer Sewing Reference Library” has me haunting all of the thrift shops I can find. Next weekend’s quest will lead us to the flea markets.
I was really only looking for the books, honestly. Then I decided to wander over to the furniture section, to see if there were any machines there, just for fun. So many of the machines I’ve been finding in the thrift stores are incomplete or “not working”, so I felt not a lot of risk. Besides, hadn’t Ryan and I just been talking in the truck on the way over here about me not looking for another machine? Really, I have all that I need, the only one that I might look for would be a really good “zigzagger”, for some finishing work, but it really wasn’t a priority…
Do you have a Singer sewing machine with the Featherweight style Bakelite Foot Pedal? Sometimes it’s also referred to as a Button Pedal. I’ve seen them on Model 15 machines, Featherweights (Model 221/222), Model 99 machines, Model 128 machines, 400 Series machines, and I’m sure there are others. They’re the most common pedal I have in my sewing room.
One of the most common complaints I see about this pedal is that you press and press and press and the machine does nothing,.. then suddenly it takes off like the winning horse at the races!
Another problem the older ones suffer from is “running on their own”.
What I don’t see a lot of is how to fix either problem. Lots of people suggest throwing that foot out and replacing it with a new one, or a “more modern one”.