Sunday, January 29, 2017

Getting Smart with a Vintage Singer

Thursday 26th January 2017

I came home from work on Thursday and trudged upstairs to shower, change into comfy clothes and relax but my O/H Paul followed me and managed to direct me into the front bedroom which is now my craft room. He was so busy talking that it took me about 5 minutes to realise there was a huge box and a couple of smaller packages lying in the middle of the floor. Yes, you guessed it the Vintage Singer had arrived. I was super excited but also exhausted from work that all I managed to do was open the outer box to have a peek inside. I think Paul was more excited than me as he lifted the machine out of its packaging to have a better look.  I knew I wanted to study the machine and that it was going to take nearly a whole day to do so, so I instructed him to put it to one side. He was completely deflated, but I am a creature of habit, and I knew that if I just looked at the machine, it would lead to me taking it apart.

Saturday 28th January 2017

Took one look at the Vintage Singer and look what happened.  Didn't I tell you I was a creature of habit and what I would do?

Armed with car cleaning products (I figured if it's safe for a car's bodywork then it's safe for my Singer) bowls of water, cloths, various screwdrivers and sewing machine tools borrowed from my Brother machines (they've been taught to share lol!) I was raring to go.  Three hours I sat taking photographs, removing screws, brushing out what looked like 50-year-old dust and lint, washing, oiling, and polishing.

Was I scared? Why hell yeah!  I've never taken a machine apart before. But do you know?  I reckon I sell myself short sometimes, and I don't give myself enough credit, because not only did I take the machine apart I also gave it a very thorough clean and then set about seeing if she would work.

Sadly the first half hour was fraught with thread breakage, bobbin mishaps and threads not looping to form stitches (see needle tracks in the photo above).   I scratched my head, walked off poured myself a drink, and then had a brainwave- bobbin tension, top tension, needle change and a quick prayer to Paul's Grandmother, who was a Vintage Singer sewer and seamstress. And look, look what happened! She produced real stitches, beautiful real stitches, stitches that looped with the bobbin thread underneath. I hate to say it, but I sat and cried, smiled and cried; I'm a sentimental soul.

You see, this machine was very much wanted. I've yearned for a Vintage Singer since being taught to use a treadle wheel one as a five-year-old at Primary School. I knew I would never have the room for one of those and loved the fact that the hand crank is well, driven by hand. So when I found this machine in Wales, I purchased it and brought it back home, not knowing its history.

This model that I now own, well, she was made at the Kilbowie Singer Factory in Clydebank, Scotland  (1867-1980) on the 24th January 1956. She's just turned 61, and she will enjoy her retirement being loved, looked after and allowed to take part in an occasional sewing project. I've also named her Killy because I can't keep calling her it or she anymore. Isn't she a lucky old girl?

Friday 27th January 2017

Hygge Scheepjes CAL 2017- I just couldn't resist.  I saw all the posts on Facebook and on Ravelry, and then I saw the pictures, and I was sucker-punched into making a purchase.

This isn't the colourway (pastel) I wanted. I wanted Rainbow (it was sold out) but hey-ho the colours in this box are gorgeous, and I can't wait to cast on; Wednesday 15th February 2017.

One of the other surprise packages that arrived on the same day as the sewing machine. This beautiful package from Fabric Yard this was an Instagram competition that I entered. I enter quite a few comps online, but I never expect to win anything so imagine my surprise when I got a pm to say that this would be winging its way to me; a half meter of Ditsy Flower by Sevenberry Fabrics.

I haven't  a clue what I will make with it but I do know...

It's my favourite colour; reds and pinks, very lush.

Yes, I succumbed to the Hobbycraft sale, and all these beauties jumped into my cart without me protesting. Not sure when I hit the shiny thread button, though (turquoise one).

The Amelie moment 

I opened this box today Sunday 29th of January 2017. I wasn't sure what to expect I knew there were some letters but other than that I was pretty much in the dark.

The tin is in a beautiful condition not much wear and tear and the base and inside look free from rust.

On opening, I'm faced with a folded empty paper bag!

Underneath this is a piece of material with a leaf pattern inked on it and to the side one single needle.

Rummage, rummage. I'm faced with another paper bag, which is also empty!

Next, a letter. On further reading, it looks like the instructions are written on a homework jotter page. Why do I think this? As on the other side, someone has written their class work.

Some embroidery thread, needles and pins and a glimpse of an envelope.

Not a letter at all (boo!) but an envelope being used as a needle holder.

The date; around 1954 by the look of the stamps and after searching online it appears I'm right (I used to collect stamps as a youngster).

More thread, snap fasteners and some crewel needles.

Some stitch instructions and carbon paper

This tin looks to have belonged to someone who loved embroidery and had a passion for dabbling in different stitch patterns. I love how they have written their notes down with their colour choices. The other letter was more seamstress based as it had skirt length and fabric measurements written down.

A New Tin to Explore

A bit flimsier than the floral one. I've not checked inside this one yet, and I'm not going to because I'm mean and want to leave the Amelie moment until next week. Lol!

xoxo xoxo

1 comment:

  1. Wowsers! I am seriously impressed at you tackling fixing the featherweight! I got my little featherweight about a year and a half ago (it came from my great aunt, but had originally belonged to my granny, who was her sister). I also have a bigger featherweight that belonged to my other granny. Anyway, I tried it out, and it was jamming. So I chickened out, and took it to my local sewing machine shop to get it serviced. Then me and the lady who owes the shop were standing there like two idiots inhaling the lovely smell of a vintage machine!!

    I'm loving seeing the contents of the box, it's lovely hoking through to see what there is to see. Please post some photos of the other one when you open it. Thanks!!


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