Monday, 13 February 2012

My oldest sewing machine

Having done a quick count up I currently have 5 sewing machines and I have given another one to my son. That’s nearly as many as I have looms.
On browsing ebay to see if an early electric one had any monetary value I noticed a couple of rare long spindles that I thought would fit my oldest machine. This machine was duly lugged from the loft by DH (I think the base is lead lined) and yes they would fit. So the machine now has 3 spindles that pass as bobbins. There is a sort of automatic bobbin wider but then the fun bit is putting the bobbin in the little boat and threading through a number of holes to provide bobbin tension.

Research has shown that the machine was made in 1898, Singer were great they engraved a number on each machine which makes dating relatively easy. It is a hand machine model 12K (I think) and it has the most beautiful gold decoration, virtually all over.
I have had this machine since my early student days, I couldn’t live without a machine – how can anyone! I can’t remember what I paid, I do remember carrying it back to my flat on the tube – I have no idea how I managed – but then I was determined.
Yesterday I threaded the machine from memory, popped some wool material under the foot and wow it stitched beautifully - the wiggles are due to the operator! Untouched by me for 40 years I think. Then I tried some tricky sateen cotton and yes success again. I am so delighted. It is now sitting out in pride of place in my studio.

This experience has prompted a few questions:
1. Will my beloved Janome bought about 2004 still be going in 2118?
2. If so when it brought to life again, will it give such a moment of joy?
3. How many students aged 19 could not live without a sewing machine today?

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