Saturday, November 10, 2012

Inside Grandma's Sewing Machine Table, Part 1

This morning I brewed up a pot of the delicious Pecan Pie flavored coffee my son brought me, drank a couple of cups, and the next thing I knew I was down in the basement cleaning and going through things!  I don't know what was in that coffee...  After an hour or so of sorting through the usual boring things (clothes the kids had outgrown, half-finished craft items, piles of computer paraphernalia), I came upon Grandma's old Singer sewing machine that Grandpa gave me after her death in 1991.  It sits inside its beautiful wooden and wrought iron sewing table, tucked down in its little cubbyhole, with all kinds of stuff piled on top of it.  Today, I cleared it off and brought the machine up for a good cleaning, and proceeded to go through the sewing table drawers.  Some of the items inside belonged to my grandmother, and some I picked up at garage sales.  All neat stuff.


I don't remember Grandma using this machine - I think it was the 1950s when she got a new or newer Singer with a "gas pedal", the same machine I learned on.  I was 12 years old before she'd let me use electricity - until then, it was crank, crank, crank.  Naturally, she told me one of her little white lies about knowing a girl who sewed too fast with electricity, and ran the needle right through her fingernail and out the other side.  I believed it then and was horrified, and still think of it while sewing occasionally today.  But Grandma, if you're listening, I'm on to you now.  But I'm still scared.  And I never go fast.

By that time though, this machine was tucked away in her basement, with stuff piled on top of it, much like it's been at my house for the last 21 years.  I remember her mostly patching Grandpa's clothes and making blankets, not so much sewing clothes except for our Barbie dolls.

I checked the Singer website to see if I could find out when this machine was manufactured, and it was in 1920, which was a bit of a surprise.  I didn't think it was that old.

The first thing I found was tucked down on the bottom of the table - and old Climax sewing machine that I had picked up cheap at a garage sale many years ago.


The Climax Sewing Machine Company was a sub-company of New Home.  Singer bought out the company in the 1920s.  This machine has a motor added on to the back of it.


I will save what I found in the sewing table drawers for the next blog post or two.  A nice glimpse into the past, if I do say so myself.

I think I'm going to have another pot of that Pecan Pie flavored coffee tomorrow and see what else I can find...


Sources:
http://www.blurtit.com/q860236.html

8 comments:

  1. Your grandmother's Singer is a beautiful old machine. All of the flourishes and details are so beautiful still. But hey, your grandmother was telling the truth when she said the needle could go through your finger. It hasn't happened to me but I've seen it happen! Painful, to say the least. I'm looking forward to seeing what else you bring forth from your grandmother's Singer. I was thinking about doing a post about my mother's Singer - not so old as your grandmother's but I still consider it an heirloom.

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  2. Oh My! I owe Grandma an apology - that's the second of her "outrageous stories" that turned out being true. She's up there laughing at me as we speak! :) Yes, do a post about your Mom's Singer! Those old sewing machines pack so many memories...

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  3. I have my grandmother's old sewing machine too and plan to post pictures some time. Maybe I should do it and we can compare. Her's was not a Singer, but I can't remember the brand off hand. I love these old treasures!

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    1. Oh yes, do share pictures of your grandmother's sewing machine! They are so elegant... I wish someone would make a machine with today's capabilities and yesterday's beautiful look...

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  4. Ok - you can see my grandmother's sewing machine here: http://www.abbieandeveline.com/2012/11/15/treasure-chest-thursday-evelines-sewing-machine/

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  5. Some of these machines were the old pedal kind. When electric motors came out, there was an industry that would convert them. As mentioned in a comment I made on your Part 2, I had purchased an old sewing machine from an elderly lady in Rochester. It had been converted, off hand I can not remember the brand. They made those machines to last almost forever! I have a 1940's vintage Singer from my mother. She had newer machines that broke. As she got older, she was fearful of the new machines and purchased an older machine that she used into her 80's. She quite sewing all together at age 82.

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  6. Hi, I just got a sewing machine, it looks very similar to the Climax one you have in the picture here in the blog post. You don't happen to have a manual for it, I would love to get it going! I am wondering how to thread it and also abot the bobbin. Please send me an email to karlssonmaria1@gmail.com

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    1. Sorry, Maria, I don't have the manual either. Sometimes you can pick copies up on eBay. Good luck!

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