Sunday, September 6, 2020

Hello, September...

Hello, first Sunday of September!  Last week, for some reason, I thought we were well into the third week of the month (making the month half over), so imagine how happy it made me today to find I've gained over a week!  That's a bonus in this year that just feels like time is slipping away.

First up, I want to show you what came home this week.  Let me introduce you to the Singer sewing machine (purchased in the mid 1950's) that I inherited from my mother-in-law who passed earlier this year:  


It's not fancy, but I am over the moon excited to get this home and set up.


I haven't stitched anything on it yet, but I'm feeling the love for this vintage-y machine.  I'm going on faith that all will work well and one of these days I'll be showing something I've actually sewn on it.  Now, if I could just find the owner's manual I put somewhere for safe keeping...  

It will show up, I'm sure.

For now, here are just a few shots of some of the attachments that my MIL used:


A bad-boy buttonholer that looks mighty complicated.



A "Automatic" Zigzagger. 

Looks like about 5 extra steps than the zigzag stitch takes to make
on my "modern" 25 year-old machine.


And I'm curious how many of these pressure feet (below) any of you recognize?  


I'm calling the zipper foot (bottom left hand corner), 
but I have no clue what any of the others are used for.  


And lastly, while this isn't an accessory, it's a might fine feature...  

No wait.  I really need to build up to this...  

When we were getting ready to pack this in the car, I wanted to separate the machine from the cabinet. A friend and I fiddled with screws that held the machine to two hinges that lower it down into the cabinet.  When I say fiddled, I mean we had to find the right size screw driver to unscrew two small set screws, and then one of us held the machine while the other nearly stood on their head to unscrew the thing (we took turns doing that as we could only manage one screw each, upside down).  And then once it was home the process had to be repeated (in reverse) to get the machine back in the cabinet.  Though, I found a way to do it that didn't require standing on my head.  

Yep.  I was determined to be smarter this time.  

At home, I decided to unscrew the hinges from the cabinet, attach the machine's set screws back onto the hinges, then while Hub held the machine upright, I screwed the hinges back onto the cabinet.  Remember, I am the mechanic of the family.  And I was so proud of myself that I had figured out how to get this back into the cabinet without turning myself upside down again.

Now, look at the picture above.  Look at that black curved thing (looks like a lever of some sort) in the top left hand of the picture.  Today, as I was taking this picture above (thinking I'd show the side bobbin - which is new to me), I was curious what that little lever was and I pressed on it. At which point, several parts "came away" and out of curiosity I lifted the machine a bit. I pressed a bit harder (though not hard at all) on the lever and out the whole thing came!!!  LOL!  

I'm not even sure I want to tell Hubs about this.  It's so embarrassing.  On the other hand, I think seeing the look on his face will be worth all the egg on mine.  😄

Anyway... what a lovely feature.    Much easier to get out of the cabinet than my more "modern" 25 year-old machine, that's for sure.

There's another story to someday tell on myself, but I think I need to save it for another day.  I'm already entertained to no end by this little vintage machine.  

Now... to find that manual!

~~~~~

And for my crafty bit today...   A few weeks ago I came across the blog, Snowflower Diaries, and while the blog doesn't appear to have been updated in a while, this cross stitch designer has some sweet designs (both for purchase and many for free).  If one of my fellow blogging buddies linked to her designs and I've forgotten who, I apologize, but I was completely taken with the designs in her Joyful World series.  This link is to the last design of the series.  There doesn't appear to be a link to the whole set, nor are all of the designs tagged (or labeled) so that they can all be pulled up easily.  But anyone interested can scroll through the blog and find each free monthly installment in this collection of cross stitch pictures.

Anyway, my threads and fabric arrived and here's what I accomplished this week:  


I'm thinking of making this a flat-fold to sit on my desk or a shelf.  I've never made a flat fold before, so here's hoping I can be motivated to finish the stitching and the project as a whole by the end of the month so I can enjoy it yet this year. 


We shall see...





44 comments:

  1. Your post inspired me to ask my dad if he still has mom's old sewing machine. He does. I think I'm going to see about bringing it to my house and getting it running again. My mom's was green.

    Blogger doesn't seem to like me commenting with my wordpress url so here it is.
    https://knittingissofun.wordpress.com/

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    1. Oh, I hope to see a picture of your mom's sewing machine someday. I learned to sew on a 1960 (or possibly '70)-something blue Singer machine. I have the same problem on your blog, Maureen. I'm so glad you left the url to your blog because, as glad as I was to receive your kind comments, I didn't know who you were. lol Good solution for now! I will do the same from now on.

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  2. I love love love the machine. You may be able to find a manual online if you search. So much is online today. I learned the hard way about removing a machine from the cabinet too. Hubby and I took it out to take to the repair guy and learned the hard way that it was quite easy to do and we had done the hard way.
    Happy stitching!

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    1. I wonder how many people remove their machines from their cabinets the hard way. I wonder what the service people think of us. lol It's been a while since I've removed my newer machine from it's cabinet, but I don't remember it being particularly hard. I do think I had to unscrew it, though. Next time I open it up I'm going to study it and see if there's something not obvious for easily removing it, too.

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  3. Oh what a fantastic sewing machine. I bet it is very heavy and not like the "plastic" ones made these days. You have fabulous accessories there. There are some feet I have never seen before. It will be interesting to find out what they are. The release lever story is quite funny.

    Your stitcher is gorgeous. What is a flat fold piece?

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    1. It is very heavy - for its size, especially. It's smaller than my newer Singer for sure. I don't know that I will use the accessories (that look complicated), but I am going to give them a try one of these days. Here is a youtube video showing how to make a flat fold:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=21&v=ii5zFwHokO0&feature=emb_logo

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  4. I love the sewing machine caper! I wonder how many people have done the same with removing the head? I bet the manual explains it. If you ever find it!

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    1. I think the release mechanism is a feature of the cabinet, but who knows. It's also over 70 years old - but in great condition for something that age that's been used as much as I'm thinking this one has. I'm glad you enjoyed my tale. More to come. :)

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    2. Liz, looking at the manual that lovestoswatch provides a url to it does show how the release mechanism works. Yeah, that manual would have been helpful last week. lol

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  5. My mom used to have one in a cabinet that lifted out. I have inherited my MIL's. I can't use it yet. It was moved into the "den" when we had to make room for the hospital bed for FIL. The den is a catch-all of everything we don't know what to do with...so I can't get to it right now...

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    1. If you ever get to it, it would be fun to see pictures, Tammy!

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  6. The top right foot is for rolled hems. It's very fiddly to get it done right but also very helpful for very fine fabric. You "thread" the edge of the fabric into the foot from front to back, and while you sew, it pulls the fabric in, rolls it into a neat little hem, and sews it in place. It takes quite some practice to get it right but the end result looks so lovely. Here's a Youtube video that might be helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdDysubNrdM
    As for the other feet, sorry, I've no idea. Your machine is absolutely gorgeous, I love those old machines, they might not come with hundreds of fancy stitches like the modern ones do but they are workhorses and so reliable. I can't wait to see what you're going to sew with it.

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    1. Ah! That makes sense. I've never done a rolled hem, but seeing the foot and reading your description, I can (kind of) imagine that. It might be fun to just do some sample items to try out these various accessories. You know... except for seeing some gorgeous machine embroidery, I don't find the newer computerized machines terribly tempting. Or computerized cars. Or phones that are smarter than I am. Sigh. I'm afraid I'm getting old...

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  7. I am not a sewer and I don't have a sewing machine but my mom had an old singer - by old I mean black and curved and partly manual etc etc etc. AND it worked. Singers are work horse machines that never fail. And I believe the older the units are to more reliable they are. Have fun!!

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    1. I would love to own an old black one - especially, if it was a family heirloom. They are cool just for their looks, but yes - I imagine they were work horses. I miss the times when things were made to last. Not sure they ever were in my lifetime, but certainly in my parent's lifetime.

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  8. oooh, that Singer (cabinet included) looks pretty much like the one my mum still has - do you know the model? I could check with her about presser feet, though I am not sure she used any! Great object you have!

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    1. I'll get a picture of the cabinet one of these days when I snap some photos of my craft room. It looks different than it did nearly a year ago when I first set it up. I'll check and see if hubs still has the receipt for the machine and cabinet and see if the model is listed. He's thrown away so many things in the last few months, I don't hold out hope that that survived. I'll be happy if the manual is still around.

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    2. Hi Becki, I've found the instruction manual I think, and the feet should be (from top right, going clockwise): from top to bottom, left to right:
      - ruffler and foot hemmer;
      - edge stitcher, multi slotted binder (that you can use for bias tape), adjustable hemmer;
      Not too sure about the bottom line, but the thingy on the left should be to keep track of the hem allowance, and to its right a gathering foot.
      http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/manuals/singer-slant-shank-301-sewing-machine-manual.pdf

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    3. Oooh... I think you've found the manual. This machine may be a year or so newer than that manual was written for (looking at the publication date), but it appears that the important things are the same. Thank you! And that's interesting to know what some more of those feet are for. I'm going to spend some time looking for videos that may show these things. Knowing what they're for, but understanding how they work are completely different things as I look at some of the crazier looking feet. Thank you for posting this!

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  9. I think one of those feet is a piping foot? I've been seeing ads for those lately and they look like the one at the bottom center.
    Getting the machine professionally serviced may not be the worst idea either. Unless you are really awesome at sewing machine maintenance, of course. If the machine has sat for a long time, it may need a good oiling.
    Not that I've never actually had any of my machines serviced, but I plan on keepin up on the one I got for christmas last year.

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    1. I was wondering if that foot was for making piping. It seems like it would come out small, but the shape of that "cone" seems to suggest that is its purpose. I've been told by SIL that the machine had recently been serviced, so I'm going to give it a run to see how it feels. I'm sure my MIL has had it serviced more than I have my machine - which is never. I tried oiling mine this past spring and I realized then why people take them to someone else for that kind of business. I couldn't even reach all the areas that needed oiling without taking the thing apart - and that was after taking off the cover (which required removing a dozen or so screws). No way was I going to start disassembling the innards. :^/

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  10. I love seeing all those attachments. I think I have all the same ones that came with my mom's vintage singer machine, and then a friend gave me all the attachments her mom had. I have three machines now. lol. Some people stash yarn. I think I stash sewing machines!

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    1. I can now see how one could easy become a collector of sewing machines. When I was planning on bring the one above home, hubs asked me what I was going to do with my other one. I looked at him confused and said, "What do you mean what am I going to do with it? I'm keeping it, of course." lol Truthfully, I'd happily get rid of it if I found myself with another newer machine - as I don't want to give up things like automatic zig zag or buttonholer. We'll see, though... I think I need to give these vintage automatic attachments a try.

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  11. I love that you are going to bring this machine to life and try to learn what all the feet mean and how they work. My machine only has a zipper foot at an extra.

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    1. A zipper foot is the only other foot I've ever used.

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  12. If I had the money I would collect old sewing machines too! Your MIL's is a beauty. Your adventure with removing and reinstalling the machine into the cupboard sounds exactly like something I would do! Live and learn and you did!
    The attachment with the metal "curls" is a ruffler attachment, I think, to make ruffles. I hope you find the book but if not you can probably find one online. Many manuals etc, are online nowadays as we all tend to misplace them! Enjoy your new machine. I might have mentioned Snowflower Diaries last year when I was looking for free patterns for Stitch Maynia my first year. I have them printed off and I think I started one? Maybe? I am thinking something happened to her and she passed away but don't quote me. Your XS looks lovely!

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    1. I wouldn't be surprised if it was you who originally lead me to Snowflower Diaries. I won't quote you, but I wondered if something might have happened to the woman who designed all these cute and sweet designs...

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  13. Oh, I am glad that you told the story, because it makes people like me feel better. ("People like me" being those who do things the hard way a little too often.)

    What fun to have this "new" old machine! Good luck finding the manual and solving the mystery of all of those sewing feet. Can't wait to see a project that comes from this treasure.

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    1. I plugged it in and ran it today. I didn't sew anything, just ran it to make sure it ran. It was so smooooooth. I think my first project on it may be some masks. I really need to make some more soon.

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  14. I first learnt to sew on an old treadle machine and moving on to a little Singer in the '50's seemed the height of modernity! What a lot of attachments your machine has come with, one of them, I think, is a pleater. I used to make all my own and my daughter's dresses but have not done so for many years now. I bought an Elna in the '70's but in only gets used for patching and repair jobs these days and it sometimes takes me a while before I manage to thread the needle!

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    1. I'm afraid before COVID, my machine hadn't seen much use for nearly 20 years. There was the odd project here or there, and the occasional repair, but I hadn't really sewed much in years. I honestly don't know how much I'll sew at this point, but I'm going to enjoy giving this beauty a run now and again.

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  15. That machine looks like a real gem! I'd be willing to bet it's made far better than anything they make these days. Glad someone was able to help with the uses for all the attachments. As for the manual - if you don't find it, I think you can likely 'do a google' and it should pop up.

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    1. Without thread, but just running it the other day I was amazed at how smooth it feels. I'm almost chomping at the bit to get some fabric in there. Life is just too scattered right now. Soon though, I hope!

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  16. I have a machine in my "collection" that's similar to yours that I inherited but it doesn't have the manual or attachments. It's in the basement somewhere. I think it's time I rounded up my "strays" and let them go. Have fun with yours! It's like buying an antique car, you can't wait to take it for a test drive.💖

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  17. What a lovely machine? My mum has one in a cabinet and I remember that being much easier to remove than it looked!

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  18. What a wonderful old sewing machine! My first one was from Sears! Love your stitching!

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  19. That is a wonderful inheritance and I am certain that you will make that Singer sing again. Glad you pressed the lever or you'd never know that you didn't have to go through all that again. There's a message there. Will you be able to clean and fine tune it? I have always taken my machines for a tune-up at a sewing machine repair shop, Not cheap, but I am not in the least mechanical so worth it for me.

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    1. I've been told by SIL it was recently cleaned and serviced, so for now it ought to be good to go. "make that Singer sing again". I love that!

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  20. What an absolute treasure! I inherited one from my grandmother. I don't use it, I prefer my newish one, but it still works perfectly.
    Amalia
    xo

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