Sewing Machines

I own a very nice Bernina 1080 Special sewing machine which was purchased in 1995. It has quite a few specialty stitches, but I usually just use the straight and zig-zag stitches. Ain't that they way in life? My Bernina has been acting kind of clunky, so I took it in to A Straight Stitch in Brewer to see if they can tune it up. I use it a LOT and hope there's nothing wrong with it.

One of the things I enjoy is looking at old sewing machines - it's a bit of a hobby of mine. I love the design and look of some of the old machines. The machine in the picture above is similar to one I have that was my step-grandmother's. I'm trying to get it working. It hadn't been used in 15-20 years is my guess, and was in great need of oiling. I took it to a repair place and they told me it might cost $250 to get it fixed, etc. Which of course I don't want to spend on a very old machine. The repair place didn't do much with it. So my mom took it, oiled it and got it working, which makes me wonder if I paid $32.50 for the repair place to store it for a week. Oh, well.

Here's another fun looking vintage machine - it's a Singer 500 series machine called a "Rocketeer". Can you spot the 50's design?

My mom collects sewing machines. She likes to go to the thrift to buy books to read and while she's there always checks to see if they have old sewing machines. She loves the Singer Touch-n-Sew machines that are like the first one she owned back in the early 60's. So she rescues them. Yesterday, for a birthday gift, I took three of these machines, to Mr Hill, the local Singer expert. He works out of the back of his house, in the shed area between house and barn. The old rhyme, "Front house, back house, little house, barn" is the way many old Maine houses are constructed, so you could get from the house to the barn without going outside. I digress, though. Mr. Hill has a great business going. His eyes lit up at the old machines that I brought in. When I asked Mr. Hill, who is most likely in his 70's but may be older, what machine he thinks are the best his face lit up as he said, "We-eeell, the 404 is a great machine. You can't go wrong with the 400 or 500 series machines."

My mom owns a 404, which she keeps in the closet, and is saving for me. All of the pictures above lead to auctions on Ebay, in case you're in the running for a new old machine. Hopefully I will be getting my Bernina back in good working order, and the technician will use all his knowledge of Berninas to give me back a machine that works really well, the way Berninas generally do.

UPDATE on the Viking machine of my grandmother's. Mr. Hill told me to take it to the Viking Center inside Joanne's. Cathy (Kathy?) the representative there worked on it and got it workign perfectly and didn't charge me a cent. She just said, "I like to tinker with the old machines. Come see us next time you want to buy a sewing machine." And I will. That is astounding service. They have machines there that will thread themselves, which sounds great to me with my 40 something eyes.


fiddlestixstudios said...

Dixie,this was really,really interesting reading!I LOVE sewing machines,I can't explain it...I just do!

Deanna Hogan said...

What a nice collection of machines. I've got a Viking very similar to yours, in need of a tune-up, too - especially since the husband used it to make winch covers for the sailboat (I wouldn't let him touch either of my two Berninas).

You can't have too many sewing machines,


"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden