Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sewing Machines

I've been thinking of sewing machines lately.

Some I remember with nostalgia, some I lust after. My grandmother's old Singer treadle machine brings on waves of nostalgia. The $5,000 Bernina with all of the bells and whistles in the showroom at the mall makes me lust.

I can't remember a time when sewing machines weren't a main stay in our household. There was always a corner or room devoted to sewing.

Sadly, by the time I was old enough to use it, the Singer no longer worked. Someone had put a motor on it and nothing seemed to entice it to run. A girlfriend in high school sewed her 4-H projects on a treadle machine similar to Grandma's, so when I see the machine sitting in my bedroom, now serving as a bedside table and dressing/make up table, I think of Regina as well as Grandma.

Mom had several machines -- a Kenmore that was a terror when it came to adjusting the tension. And then the 'modern' Singer -- a white beauty with drop-in bobbin. But it seemed to have internal issues and Mom went back to her dependable Kenmore that worked beautifully once the tension was properly adjusted.

When I married, I bought a bottom of the line, basic Kenmore. It was cheap and familiar. And supposedly they had overcome the tension adjustment problem by 1970 when my model was made. It came with a buttonholer. An attachment that actually worked fairly well. I spent $99 for that machine and my husband thought it an extravagant investment. Of course almost 37 years later, I'm still using the same machine. Which may explain the lust I feel for that beautiful Bernina that can sew whether I'm sitting beside it or not.

I sewed many shirts for my husband and two sons, little coveralls, curtains, dresses, and quilt squares. I'm still sewing on it. But I'm wondering how special it would be to resurrect Grandma's treadle machine and make an heirloom on it. I even have some of her unfinished quilt tops, squares and fabric that I could use....

I wonder if anyone fixes vintage Singer sewing machines -- maybe a certain husband of mine? Hmmm.

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