Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Three Little Ladies Find New Homes

One of the side-effects of having cancer is that you realize it's time to down-size things in your life. So I'm lightening the load, downsizing, getting rid of "stuff".

In the past week three vintage sewing machines have left our house to take up residence elsewhere.

"Three?" you ask?

Yes, three. And I still have four left. Maybe five, but I can't remember what I did with that fifth one.

Once upon a time I had thirteen. Now I'm down to four (or is it five? Where IS that fifth machine???)

That teal green machine? That's a 1950-ish Viking Automatic 21. Beautiful zigzag stitches. Made in Sweden. Heavy, heavy, heavy. Manufactured before they began using those dratted plastic gears. Everything was metal on this baby. Made to last. This machine has an open arm making it extremely easy to stitch cuffs, hem pant legs, etc. It also has a small work surface that snaps into place when you don't need the open arm. Cool! This machine has been affectionately named "Ingrid" because of her Swedish heritage.

The black one? That's a Singer 201. I named it "Leona" after its original owner. Probably manufactured in 1940-1950. This was a gear-driven (versus belt-driven) machine that had plenty of power and speed. No zigzag, though. Just a straight-stitching machine that, if kept cleaned and oiled, will perform forever. Quilters love this machine because it will sew and sew and sew. And when you are not quilting, it will tackle hemming blue jeans with ease.

And the two-tone? That's a Singer 301A, manufactured probably in the 1960s. I could look up the serial numbers and be able to pinpoint the manufacture date a little closer, but I'm too lazy to do that. The 301 is a straight-stitch only machine. It's beauty lies in its light weight...approximately eleven pounds. AND it has a nifty, fold-down handle on top. This model came in three colors, black, taupe, and the two-tone you see here. Like the 201, it is a gear-driven belt. Plenty of power. Plenty of speed. Quilters love this machine because it is so handy to carry to quilting class.

So what do I have left in the house? A Singer 15-91 (my main machine), a Singer 403 (my only zigzag machine), a Singer 221 Featherweight (which I will probably never get rid was a gift from Hubby), and a Singer 66 in an oak parlor cabinet (a gift from a quilting buddy in Ohio).

Oh, yeah, the fifth. I had two Singer 301s. I think I took that one to the thrift shop. But no matter...I know where there is a third Singer 301 just like it that wants to come live at my house.


Living on Less Money said...

I can identify with your goal of downsizing. My husband became disabled a few years ago and we've moved quite a few times over the past few years. I was having to do the packing and moving and so the less I had the easier it would be. I like owning less but I still have too much. :-)

S. Etole said...

What an intriguing collection of sewing machines. I think I had one similar to the Viking before they came with plastic parts only it was cream colored.

Mrs. Spit said...

My very first sewing machine was a singer. The nice people at the repair store finally made me stop bringing it in, it wasn't worth fixing.

I don't mind my new Kenmore. It's well built and it does the job. I still miss that old singer, 8 years later.

Trisha said...

These are beautiful and amazing! My daughter will enjoy looking at these since she's learning to sew right now.

You've been on my mind, and I've been praying for you.

Cheryl said...

WhiteStone your post brings back beautiful memories of Mum sewing and mending for years on her Singer machine. Have no idea of the age and yet I remember the frock made so lovingly for my First Holy Communion with rows of ribbon sewn into the white organza skirt. I felt so proud!

Persis said...

What neat machines. I had an old Singer that weighed a ton (all metal) that I gave away when we moved.

Maryann said...

We have been going through a "lightening the load" mentality at our house lately. I look at stuff and feel convicted that if it isn't being used by us that it needs to find a new home.
What a collection of machines you had, hope they found good homes

Kelly said...

Seems like we had one similar to that bottom photo. It was our "new" machine. We also had an old, heavy black one.

I found cleaning out relatives' houses after they've died to be good incentive for downsizing, too. I've done (or helped with) that several times in the last few years. It's kept me aware of just how much "stuff" I need to let go of. It's getting much easier.

Sandy said...

I don't sew, but old sewing machines fascinate me for some reason. Be careful on that downsizing because of cancer. I had a girlfriend that was diagnosed with breast cancer sell a bunch of stuff and now she is healthy and regretting it.

Debby said...

When I have time to treat myself, I'd like to try learning to sew. I had a nice sewing machine once. I have a very nice treadle machine now.

I'm always impressed with the things that you do.

Debby said...

PS, we are downsizing too. So that we can move into a bigger house. Makes no sense, does it?

Marydon said...

What a great collection of machines. Every time I downsize I upsize ... can't win for myself of living.

Hope you are feeling better & things are looking up for you.

Would you be so kind to (& tell your friends) comment on my BLOG ONLY (emails don't count), for the Miracle Makeover fund drive. Charlie, 8 yr. old, & his story are fabulous. Every comment brings us a $1 for the next person that will be sponsored.

Have a beautiful weekend.