Pearl and her brothers and sister were at the sitters for almost a month as we finished up our move and got the house ready for them, having a flock of birds is more complicated than having a mammalian companion.
They came home yesterday and we could not have asked for a better Christmas gift to have our family back together.
Pearl supervises me in the shop and as soon as she got home she seemed ready to get back to work.
When this Singer 29k arrived (a customer’s machine) and got cleaned up, it was missing it’s finish along the upper arm, main arm, base, and the treadle was pretty much bare metal.
It was also missing some important parts which we were able to source, and we also upgraded the hardware in the treadle to standard threading, and re-tapped the base of the machine to an M10 machine thread. This will make replacing these screws as easy as going down to the local hardware store if one gets lost.
Sometimes I see before and after pictures where it looks like all a person had to do was wipe off a few decades worth of dust, which acts as a wonderful protect-ant.
This machine took more than 20 hours in our workshop, after cleaning and detailing the small parts the machine was re-enameled, with careful attention made to preserve the original decals. As the machine would never look perfect or brand without a complete strip down and new decals, we used old fashioned methods to do a sympathetic restoration of this nearly 100 year old beauty.
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.