Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Playing with Toys

I picked up a new old toy for myself today - a while ago I took my grandmother's vintage Singer sewing machine into the shop, and today I finally picked it up! She's a beaut, if I do say so myself. I couldn't resist snapping a few shots with my fancy-pants Christmas camera to share with you. (I need a new hobby like I need a hole in the head, but learning photography is turning out to be fun. :)

The plates on this machine are exquisite. There was another vintage Singer at the shop that wasn't nearly as pretty. ;)

I've had the machine for maybe 5 years now, and I always knew that I *could* sew with it, but until I started reading sewing blogs it never occurred to me that a lot of people prefer the vintage machines to modern ones! Lauren and her husband inspected it for me and warned me that the electrical needed to be replaced, so off to the shop it went. She got a couple new wires, a new belt and a tuneup, and now she's ready to go. I just need to get the table out of the garage and negotiate room for it in the living room somewhere - the sewing room is full up!

In honor of my grandmother, Lucille, my new old machine is christened Lucie. :)

This is the BACK of the machine. No modern manufacturer would bother with such lovely details on the back of something anymore.

Possibly the coolest part of the whole machine - if you look close you can see the spool of thread at the bottom of the "S", and the thread goes through needles. Someone should reproduce this and make jewelry or something.

I'm a complete novice about this, but I'm discovering that the nifty thing about vintage Singers is the serial plate for each corresponds to the date of manufacture. According to the Singer website, this machine is from the end of 1940. HOW COOL IS THAT?! My dad doesn't know if the machine was bought new or used (the family moved around during the war), but he said it definitely came with them during the move from Minnesota to California in the 50's.

Now I need to find some family photos of garments that Grandma sewed right? 
Aunts, come to my rescue! :D


  1. I sew with an old Singer too :)

    While part of me wishes I had the chance to use a Reverse or Zig-Zag stitch, I find it copes really well with anything (and I mean anything, even bicycle inner-tubes) I care to throw at it!

    Mine's got no electrics though, hand-cranked all the way...

    Oooh, same as this one:

  2. Can you recommend a good repair shop for vintage machines? I love your machine, I also have a Singer 66.

    1. I took my machine to a local Sew Vac in Long Beach -

      They charged $80 for the basic tune up, and then another $50 for parts and labor for rewiring the main electrical and new belts. It seemed a little pricey, but it was convenient and I wanted it to be safe to use. I think most sew-vac stores should be able to help you.

  3. What a fantastic thing to own! My mother had a vintage machine but sadly traded it. I have Nana's machine from the 30s but haven't tried it yet. It's nowhere near as beautiful as yours though.

    1. I'm embarassed to say I haven't tried sewing with this yet - I still need to get the table out of the garage (it's buried in the back), because it can't just sit on a regular table. But I found a buttonhole attachment at the flea market this weekend that fits my machine, and I can't wait to try it out!


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