*SMAD: Sewing Machine Acquisition Disorder
one of the DDs asked me if I would be willing to teach a friend of hers to sew. Silly question! I made contact with her friend Jenn, and Jenn indicated that she needed a machine. I easily convinced her that what she REALLY needed was a wonderful vintage machine, and not plastic crap.
so I trolled the thrift shops for the next week and also dug into the "archives" to see what I had squirreled away on the shelves. My MIL asked me if I was really going to be able to find one I was willing to part with.
Here are the results:
A nice shiny Singer 66 in a modern plastic case. I'm not a big fan of the 66's, but this one does reverse, and it is in marvelous condition. This is probably the model I learned to sew on (more about the confusion in a future post). And a 66 is certainly a cast iron workhorse. I didn't think a straight stitch machine would be best for Jenn, I just wanted to show her the options.
and a note on pricing: on all the other machines I am just expecting to recover my investment, NOT including my investment of time cleaning, oiling, fixing, etc. Very few people can make money on vintage sewing machines because there is an enormous supply and practically no demand, except for a few models that have caught the attention of collectors (famously the Singer 221, and less so for the 301, 401 and 500).
And speaking of the Singer 500, The Rocketeer
I have read that the 500 is identical mechanically to the 401, and that these are considered to be "the best machines that Singer ever made". In fact, it says this on the cover to the manual, so it MUST be true, right?
Jenn likes this one, but she also wants a cabinet and the only one I have that will fit it is plywood covered in blond wood-patterned Formica. It is not only the sewing machines that went downhill over time, the cabinets followed right along.
Cases, on the other hand, went from bad to worse. The exception here is the case to the lavender Kenmore, which is the most attractive vintage case I have seen. Not flawless by any means, but sturdy and covered in a black and white tweedy vinyl, I think.
Most of the vintage cases I have look more like this, filthy and shedding their original coverings
Jenn is debating between the lavender Kennie and the Rocketeer. I've suggested that she can switch back and forth between them during the lessons and test drive them much more extensively.