Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sewing Machine & Things

I decided, after going through some of that stuff last night, that it might be better to just make a new post with the pictures I was going to put in the last post. Two reasons: the last post is plenty long enough, without pictures, and I'd really like to dedicate a post to this because getting a good look at that sewing machine, and all the things in the boxes, really made me appreciate what I had in a whole new way. I was very, very happy to have the sewing machine because it had been my grandmother's and I loved her, but when I got a good look at it, I really saw the beauty in what I had.

I also realized, right away, that I have no idea how to use it. I don't even know if it works. I didn't plug it in and give it a spin, so it's possible it needs servicing before anything else.

I love the vintage green color. This machine has so many dials, nobs, and levers, I don't know that I'll ever be able to figure them all out. I have a new machine, a Brother, which seems so dumb-ed down next to this machine. Oh, as always click the images to see them larger. I've said so before, but I feel like this machine is worth a closer look!

And I must say, it wasn't until I opened that little hatch on the top, and saw that strange dial looking thing-y, that I realized I really had no clue. Last night, when I was going through the things in the boxes, I came across a little plastic Kenmore box filled with those strange red disks. After looking at them, and the little white stitch diagram printed on each one, I knew they must go with the sewing machine, but I still had no idea what to do with them. Then, this morning, while taking these pictures, I found that little hatch on top (second picture above) and realized they must be used to set the stitch-type. No idea how, but that's my guess right now. I have the manual, so I'll have to check it out later.

I was really impressed by how well maintained the whole thing was for being so old. My grandmother took impeccable care of things. The front door on the table, which it now occurs to me I should have taken a picture of, is a little bit loose and sags a tiny bit (not sure what to do about it), but overall the whole thing is in great shape. Even insofar as the springs that provide resistance for lowering the machine into the table--which you can see in the right side picture above--is still really tight. I was worried that the machine would fall into the table, when I was trying to lower it, but it didn't do so at all. I actually had to push more than I thought to get it down into the table, but it wen't without complaint. Such a neat thing, that!

In addition to the awesome table, which I am so impressed with, I came home with boxes full of stuff. One of the boxes is filled with nothing but fabric scraps, which are more like large pieces of fabric, but aren't quite enough to make garments. Going through that box I found a bag with two riveting tools (which seem to be different) and a whole bunch of metal rivets. I also found a few cross-stitch kits and some embroidery--which I may or may not attempt. Oh, and then there were the bags, yes plural, of thread. Spools and spools! I threw away all of the nearly empty spools, the ones where I could see the spool, and untangled the rest. I literally filled an entire vintage overnight case with spools of thread!

The left side picture is the spools of thread. Before last weekend, I kept all of my sewing things in that box. My scissors, patterns, books, needles, thread, everything. Now, it's full almost to the top with spools of thread in every color imaginable! The right side picture is the door on the front of the sewing table, I decided to take a quick picture of it. All of the presser feet and such are kept in there. The only thing I don't like about it is that there's no space, because of height clearance, to put the cans of oil for the machine in that drawer. Otherwise, it's a really cool feature and allows me to keep all of the machine's things together.

All in all, one of the coolest things I came back with was this neat little box. My grandmother kept her sewing things in. It's metal and is perfect to stash all of the things I wasn't able to store in the vintage overnight box anymore, because it's now filled with spools of thread. So, I'm using it for the same purpose my grandmother was and it's perfect for that. The big, black-handled scissors on top are pinking shears and they are pretty sharp. There're also two pair of sharp metal sewing scissors and a rotatory cutter, in there with the rest of my things. And, of course, pins and other sewing stuff.

Anyway, I've gone on and on long enough, so I think it's time to go. I'm not feeling 100% today and I have to work on my thesis before going to my meeting at 3pm. I hope you've enjoyed the pictures!


  1. Very cool sewing machine! It will be fun to make your on things once you get the hang of it. I want to learn to use my moms sewing machine but it scares me :P. I go near the thing and get sweats (My home ec (sp?) teacher did not like me at all). When my dad passed my mom did a huge cleaning spree and gave some small stuff to us kids, I have one of his military plaques on the wall in my living room. It's nice to have something from someone you loved a great deal with you :)

  2. You should learn if you want to, I find sewing really fun! It's a good way to exercise the part of me that really wants to ditch academia for a more actively creative life. I haven't done it yet, but maybe I will someday, who knows?! That should, of course, be followed with the disclaimer that I am not very good at it just yet. There's still a lot to learn, and it can be a difficult thing sometimes, but I like it.

    I agree, there're just some things that help us remember and feel closer to those we lost.

  3. Beautiful! Such a special keepsake.

  4. I am so happy that you are thrilled to have that sewing machine and all it's paraphernalia. I knew when I saw it in there that you were the one that should have it, since you love vintage things and are learning to sew. You said you wanted to learn to sew like grandma...well, now you have her machine...get after it! haha. I am glad you were able to get it in your car. I honestly had my doubts that it would fit. My mother made my wedding dress and most of the bridesmaid dresses for my wedding on it...not to mention all of the many outfit before that. This machine is also where I learned what I know about sewing also, which is certainly not as much as my Mother knew. Grandma would be happy to know that you not only have this machine but will appreciate it's value! I love you honey! Enjoy it!