Friday, July 25, 2014

Singing Along with My New/Old Singer


Well, last week you may remember that I found an old Singer sewing machine, by chance. It's amazing, the things you can find - stuff you didn't even know you were looking for sometimes. The machine appears to be in great condition. Definitely used but it still looks good and so I couldn't wait to try it.  I could not get the tension set correctly and I wasn't even sure I was threading it properly so to play it safe I took it to a Singer dealer in Chicago that restores old machines. 


She came back to me yesterday. Man, can this baby SING! Now I know why they call them Singers . . . . (I know, I know, the company was founded by Isaac Singer in 1851; that's where the name comes from. Please don't e-mail me.) I just love listening to that tick tick tick as she sews away . . . . 

Speaking of names, I know a lot of you name your machines. She was born in 1950 and marketed for the 1951 Singer Centennial so I knew I had to come up with a good name that reminded me of that era.  


I've decided to call her "Penny."  A very good, solid fifties name. I imagine ponytails or penny loafers when I say it out loud. And, the truth is, she's as shiny as a new penny and believe it or not only cost me $12.01. Twelve dollars and a Penny. So there you go. It fits her perfectly. 

I haven't decided if I am going to keep the cabinet or buy a base for it since once it's out of the cabinet it wobbles and doesn't sit evenly on a table. So I cannot actually sew on it yet. (We had to take it out of the cabinet to bring it into the shop. They would not make a house call, imagine.) The Singer store recommended I restore the cabinet since that's probably where she will be happiest. But, take a look - 




The veneer is peeling off and the wood is chipped and the top gouged and stained. It's amazing the sewing machine was in such good condition. The table just looks so crappy and I don't know if I am up for restoring it or will even have the time to do it well. Looks like a big job and definitely not a fun one. If I do, I was thinking of sanding it down and painting it a nice vintage green. I've always wanted a vintage green sewing table. 

                                         

Something like this would be so cute.

If I bought a base, it would look something like this -
                                          
                             Singer 99K
 
Who knows when I'll get the table issue sorted out and be able to sew on it. Time will tell but there's never enough of it lately. The next time you see Penny she may be sitting pretty in or on her nice, new table. 




                                        

29 comments:

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

you could always just take the old varnish off the table and spray paint it - easier to do then a complete refinishing - glad the machine is now working.

Granny's Button Box said...

Hi, beware these singers are addictive, I started with a feathweight and ended up with 4 more, all different models! They have a habit of turning up uninvited. They sew beautifully, I love them. Have fun with it. Regards Sharon

Prairie Patch Quilts said...

So happy you saved the machine and will be using it. Sorry the table is a bit rough; but maybe you will find another. Hopefully as good a deal as "Penny"!

Rilene said...

Penny is a great name. I think she would feel best in her own vintage style restored cabinet. Green, like in that photo, would be great!

Francis Gortmaker said...

You can buy another Singer table or cabinet, a better one, and paint it if you want. I bought a cabinet with a Singer 15, put a Singer 201 in it. And a a table with an ugly machine, put my Singer 301 in it. Very easy!

Sue... said...

Hi Kathy,
I recently shared a photo on the group of my vintage singer machine that I was gifted, and I agree they sew beautifully. I love sewing on mine, it's so nice to take the time with a hand crank and wondering what things the machine will have made!
Sue...

Sheri in Iowa said...

She's a beauty!!!

cityquilter grace said...

it's a shame everything isn't made as well as these old singer sewing machines were....my 1926 treadle runs like new....enjoy!

Dora, the Quilter said...

Howard's Restore-a-Finish with #000 steel wool.
It may clean up so well with so little effort that all you'll want to do to it after that is use Howard's Feed'n'Wax with orange oil. Although I can only judge from the photos, it looks like a small amount of time for the aforementioned project might be all it needs.
Glad you saved it and very glad you are loving using it. These old machines are oh-so-wonderful!

Dora, the Quilter said...

Oh, some of these machines hit the table when they are being used; some don't.
If you have two short pieces of 2 X 4 lumber, you can set them under the lips of the machine on each end and just sew away. I didn't have trouble with the machine or the 2x4's sliding around, but if you do, just set them on a length of rubberized shelf liner. Very easy fix until you decide what you really want to do.

Anonymous said...

The green would be nice but try sandpaper and tinted Briwax if you want to try to keep it original...San Angelo, Texas

paulette said...

Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint you wouldn't have to strip anything...sand off the old flaky paint and paint right over it. Add a layer of wax and you will be good to go! You can use any colour too! Google this paint for lots of ideas!
P

Arti said...

Such a lot of fun for $12.01!!!!!

quiltgrannie said...

I know what you mean about hearing the sound of it clicking away. I love sewing on my featherweight for that reason.
I think it wouldn't take much to get that old cabinet looking great with a coat of that pretty green paint. Penny would thank you!!

Ruth said...

$12.01!!!!! Wow! I love the green paint idea. I just moved to Oregon and went to a quilt guild where a quilt shop owner (Grandma's Attic) came and gave a presentation about Isaac Singer. Very interesting to say the least!

Karen in Breezy Point said...

I agree with Paulette--Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the way to go! She has a nice shade of green too. The paint requires no prep work and when it's finished off with the wax it has a wonderful patina-- looks new and fresh, but still vintage. I've painted almost everything in my house and ASCP is my go to paint--love it more than milk paint!

Pattyskypants said...

She looks like my 99K, which came only in the carrying case . . . a paper covered wood base, which still serves it very well. The joy of this machine is that it is so easy to maintain! Cleaning, oiling and lubing it is quite simple, so you can always keep it in tip-top shape (which is why so many of them have survived even the most heinous human behavior). However, the cabinet is in very bad shape and it looks like a job that would get started but never finished (at least at my house). I can only tell you that I am very happy having mine in the little wooden base, which slips in and out of my wheely carry-all whenever I need to take it somewhere. Good to be flexible!

Deborah said...

I was thinking Debbie was a good name. I was born in 1951 and Debbie was a very popular name then
That veneer can be peeled off to the raw wood underneath not that hard to do. I've done it. Good luck

Merilyn said...

Congratulations on your new 'old' machine!! Penny is a beauty indeed, glad you had her serviced, and have joined the "old girls' club", you will have many happy hours with Penny....... Regarding the old table, it is worth getting the surface restored, I have my treadle in a cabinet, all the old shallac surface was peeling, but a dear friend sanded it all back and put a clear acrylic matt finish on it and it came up really well, it's now a proud cabinet. Good luck with the restoration, you'll be pleased with the outcome even if it takes a while before you get it done!!!

Carolyn Bahl said...

OMG you got a bargain. I would love "Penny". Lucky you. Keep the cabinet. Restore it or paint it, but the two belong together. I purchase a 1912 "White" machine and cabinet for $75.00, and the cabinet was bad. I had it restored and it is amazing. The top veneer was bad, but it was able to be fixed. It looks go good I put it in my bedroom to use as a night stand, until I sew with it. Your have a treasure.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the others who say keep the two together and do what you have to do to make the cabinet look as good as Penny.

Linzey Joy said...

Who did the work on your machine? I recently acquired two machines - one from 1941 and the other from 1897 (treadle). I'd love to restore both but I think the treadle may have parts missing.

The Civil War Quilter said...

May you and Penny have many years of happy sewing together. She's a little beauty. I'm glad you rescued her from neglect.104

The Civil War Quilter said...

Sorry! The 104 was the code to prove I.m not a robot. I'm definitely not a robot, because I made the mistake of typing the numbers in the comment section and not in the special box. :0

Louise said...

I too have one of this era. Love the little tick tick tick sound you mentioned. I vote for the idea of a beautiful shade of green!

AnneElizablog said...

Definitely go with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Google it for local dealers and check You Tube for inspiration. There is no preparation needed and the results are awesome. Just the look you want!

Teapot820 said...

Another vote for keeping the two together! Please look up Nova Mongomery for maintaining your Singer. She has a wonderful newsletter about care and servicing your machine yourself.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

If your hubby is handy, he can make you a base. There are lots of tutorials online (Treadle On, for example).

Renee Welton said...

I'd keep the cabinet, try chalk paint, it covers everything!

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