I love thrift shopping, and besides being on the lookout for nice sewing machines and accessories, most of the clothing I buy is purchased second hand. I think that nearly everything I am wearing right now, save for my undies and socks, came from the second hand shop.
A while back I found some really nice Goretex lined jeans and the only problem was that they were un-hemmed and the inseam was 32 inches, I wear a 33 in boots.
I decided to add a cuff and extend the jeans just a little, and for that there is no better machine than my 1911 Singer 31-20 that I named Marie Louise, after the lady who used her for decades as a professional seamstress.
Not bad to get some USA made jeans (Cabellas) for all of $10.00 cdn, and about an hour of my time to make up and sew in the cuffs.
In the many years we have been doing what we do, we have been working from a rather small house with limited space and when I say I am knee deep in machines, I am not kidding.
This week we made the decision to move to a new home that is bigger, and we are going to have a larger dedicated sewing room / workshop / class space.
Right now I have gotten as far as installing floor to ceiling shelving along one wall which should accommodate about 40 machines, cabinet machines will ring the room, leaving the centre open to set up tables for classes, or laying out some quilt projects I have had in the works.
Looking to have a functional work space in the next week and once we get completely re-settled, will be hosting an open house or two to let folks come in and say hi, and be able to play with some of the machines in our collection.
There will be home made cookies and refreshments… 🙂
When Singer introduced the Singer Model 66 in 1902, it was a revolutionary machine with a stitch quality that was un-paralleled, it was unbelievably smooth, and laid the foundation for models like the 99 and Spartan (the 3/4 version of the 66), 201, and the slant needle machines that also used the new class 66, drop in bobbin.
The Lotus decals were exclusive to the U.K. so were not sold in the United States where they had the Red Eye decal set as another exclusive pattern. If you see either decal set you know you are looking at a model 66 and later models came in your basic black with gold decals.
This Lotus hand crank will be joining our permanent collection but we also acquired a second 66 with Lotus decals that we will be restoring and fitting to a parlour treadle cabinet. We hope to have this machine ready for sale in early October.
Pearl and I take Monday “off” to catch up from the weekend and prepare for the week and so far, it has been an unusually busy August with a lot of repairs, machine sales, and parts getting sent all around the world.
Fall is just around the corner and with that quilting season is upon us; we have been busy getting some lovely machines ready and have three Singer 301A machines in the light beige / oyster white finish ready to start the season. Three are in portable cases while another is in a beautiful cabinet, the design of the 301 is such that it can be easily removed for travel / classes / workshops and then used at home in a full size table.
It has been a cool and wet summer so far but am hoping we will have a warmer fall so I can continue to make house calls with the motorcycle, which carries my mobile kit rather well with room to spare.
We have also been busy with our partners at The Archaic and Arcane, developing and 3d printing new friction wheels for the Elna Supermatic.
Vittorio Necchi started his swing machine business in the early 1920’s, and as the story goes, it was because his wife wanted a new sewing machine. Rather than buy one from the Americans or Europeans, he founded a new sewing company.
Initially, Necchi’s first machine was a very close copy of a Singer 15 but by the late 1940’s and early 1950’s Necchi had become one of the most successful and innovative companies, which held 40% of Italian sales and through savvy marketing, was making a decent dent in the North American and global markets.
Necchi enjoyed their greatest success in the 1950’s, bringing out award winning machines, dominating their home market, and selling more and more machines abroad.
The most coveted of all Necchi machines is surely the Supernova, which came out in 1952 and offered a nearly infinite range of stitches and was described to be without any flaws. The Supernova Ultra came out in 1958 and added a convertible free arm function, and is perhaps the most desirable Necchi ever made.
We recently acquired this Necchi Nora NA “Automatic” which we believe was made in 1957 and I am just gobsmacked at how beautifully designed, and how well this machine runs. We have had, and do have other Necchis from this era that are also wonderfully designed straight stitch machines but these higher end Necchis are a rare find here in Canada.
In looking this machine over she looks almost new as their is nary a mark in her finish, her plates are shiny, and her feet have no wear… she did get a new extra long power cord at some point which makes me think that the wall outlets were few and far between as one sees in older homes.
Pearl is always reminding everyone, that the handles and latches on vintage cases might have been fine when they were made 60 or more years ago but now one might want to add safety straps to provide extra security.
These are really easy to make and all you need is the strapping, a size 18 needle, and preferably, some Tex 70 bonded nylon which most domestic machines can handle.
First you make the two loops to wrap around the case and make them snug as they will stretch a wee bit. After that the handle is added and it’s length has to be such to allow you to slide the loops off the end, one at a time. There are no latches or clips of any kind on these straps.
Holes in socks are just a fact of life and once upon a time, people used to darn them to extend their life, or if you were lucky enough to have a delightful little free arm machine like this Bernina 125, you could darn them on the machine.