I did a baaaad thing…

I went to Goodwill.  I probably should mention that Sandra Dee is the Queen of Goodwill.  Well, really the Queen of Thrift Shopping.  She always manages to find the coolest stuff at  thrift stores.  I don’t know how she does it, but she does have a knack.

So, I rarely find anything really cool at Goodwill.  Mostly cool books and stuff for the boys.  Sometimes I find yarn.  I’ve had good luck with canning jars, too.

This time I went to Goodwill and found this:

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Doesn’t it look cool?  Of course I had to take it home.  The price tag was $15.88 and with the cool color and name I wasn’t familiar with made me very curious about it.  I know it now seems like I have a bit of a collection going with the two I brought from my Grandmother’s and the featherweight…  In reality, I have 1 more that I am on the lookout for.  I’ll let you know when I find it.

But back to this lovely green machine.  Once I got her home I found more things that made her interesting.

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I found it interesting that the tension jig is on the back side of the machine.  I’m sure I’ll stumble through threading the first few times.  Also, you can kind of see  the throat plate in the above picture, it flips up for access to the bobbin which I thought was kind of cool as most of the ones I’ve seen slide out.

Here you can see that there is a dial for what type of fabric you are working on.  We are guessing that it affects the pressure the presser foot puts on the fabric and perhaps how the feed dogs operate.

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You probably noticed the spool holder there on the base of the machine.  It should be used for the thread when winding the bobbin.  There is a bobbin winder by the fly wheel that you can see here.

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I was surprised to see that the machine light has a switch to turn it on and off instead of it just automatically coming on when the machine is turned on.  How neat is that?

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Here you can see that is a straight up straight stitch machine.  No cams, no zig zag.  Underneath the stitch length settings you can see a little placard indicating nationally sold and made in Japan.  This was biggest clue about the machine.

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Isn’t it all lovely green and chrome?  Such fun.  I did plug it in and it does work, although it does need clean and oiled and perhaps a little adjusting.  But back to the made in Japan.  I learned probably as much as I’m going to learn about the machine by googling that.  Apparently after WWII Japan made sewing machines and that’s where we got some of the fun colors of machines from that era.  While Remington is on my machine and while Remington did manufacture sewing machines, they did not manufacture them in Japan.  Another article I found indicated that Remington was able to successfully sue to have their name not put on the machines.  Most of the machines manufactured were modeled after the Singer class 15 machine (thus no zig zag) and so a singer manual should suffice to help me with basic maintenance for this model.  The Japanese manufacturers did make their own modifications and they did make solid good quality machines so I don’t feel like I made a bad decision in bringing it home.  Reading about this part of sewing machine history was very interesting, although it has been difficult to find this exact model.  Inez has been trying to help me and agreed that this machine was probably manufactured in the 1950’s with all the fun Japanese history.  The most discouraging thing has been that even though I have the serial number, I can’t look it up to learn anything about the machine.

I suppose I have my very own Green Mystery Machine (yes, that is totally a Scooby Doo reference).  She most certainly needs to be cleaned and oiled and then I will have to decide what I am going to do with her.  I have heard rumors of a gentleman in a nearby area who services vintage machines so I may just have to take a run down there in case I run into something I can’t handle.

Lesson learned today?  Don’t be afraid to stop at the thrift store(s), you never know what you might find!

Has Moby been found?

I thought about updating the previous post, but thought that could make it a bit lengthy and so we have a fresh post instead.

When I began the hunt this time around I thought I would call my mother to see if she had or if grandma had a featherweight stashed in a closet somewhere.  I mean, you never know, right?  Well, the answer to that was no. She reminded me of the treadle she has, but that’s not really what I am looking for right now.  She did happen to be at bingo so I cut the call short so she wouldn’t miss any numbers.

I should let you know that while my mother is a nice lady, sometimes she says things that are funny. For example, I’m going over to the Wal-Marts.  Hmmm, and how many is that?  What?  How many Wal-Marts?  She doesn’t think that is so funny.  It was funnier when she asked if I had tried the new capuchio drinks from Starbucks (or whoever else was making the cappuccino drinks that you could buy in a 4-pack at the grocery store).  Capuchio?  I suppose that we should not confuse that with the Capuchin monkey which I don’t think is something you can buy in a bottle to drink.  I’m not going to run a search to make sure though.  I still laugh about the capuchio.

While we were on the phone I did use the term featherweight.  However, she managed to transform featherweight into feather-light.  This week she went to some kind of euchre party or tournament and asked all the quilter ladies she knows (which I think numbers at two) if they know where she could buy a feather-light.  One of the quilter friends wondered if she meant some kind of a light for the sewing machine.  The other quilter friend said that yes, she does and that she is willing to part with it.  She was very excited to have found one for me and wondered if I wanted it.  I did ask if it was white.  She didn’t know but her quilter friend says that it is in working order.  I figure beggars can’t be choosers and that the price was good so we should go for it.  My mother also informed me that this quilter friend has SIX!!! sewing machines.  No mom, that doesn’t surprise me and no mom I doubt that all of them are feather-lights.

Isn’t that exciting?  Well it is for me.  And it makes Sandra Dee a little bit jealous because now she wants one too.  In fact she had the opportunity to buy one at Goodwill for a whopping $8 and change AND it had a featherweight table with it.  The only thing she can figure is that her brain wasn’t turned on that day as she didn’t grab it and dance her happy dance to the checkout.  Instead another retreater spied it and purchased it at quite a steal of a price.  Especially since it had the table.

The deal for my potential Moby isn’t complete.  When it is and I have the little darling in my hands I will certainly be posting pictures.  And if she is not a white one, we may have to find her a different name.  But keep your eyes open for Sandra Dee.

The ever so elusive Singer Featherweight.

Call me Opal.  Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me online, I thought I would browse about a little and see the internet part of the world.  It is a way I have of settling my spirit and regulating my thoughts.  Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before quilt shops, and lingering behind to stare at every sewing machine I meet; and especially whenever my obsession gets such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong bending of will to prevent me from deliberately pulling out my credit card, and methodically listing the pros and cons of the purchase, I account it high time to start surfing the net again.  This is my substitute for a wild shopping spree.  With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the internet.  There is nothing surprising in this.  If they but knew it, almost all women in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the internet with me.  (a repurposing of Moby Dick with my most sincere apologies to Herman Melville).

I am currently obsessed.  I’m sure you’re asking yourselves what are you obsessed about now?  Well, a Singer Featherweight.  Yep, that’s right.  I have to thank my friend S for sharing this blog entry.  Of course I read the blog and then I checked out the Home Shopping Network.  I could feel myself begin to desire one.  I *almost* went ahead and bought one thinking that it would be the modern-day version of a classic that cannot seem to be replicated.  It really is quite a phenomenon, this sewing machine.  Who would have thought that a small portable sewing machine made over 50 years ago would be so sought after by modern quilters?  I certainly wouldn’t have thought so.

By now I’m sure you’re wondering why this machine is so popular.  Well, this machine is from back in the day when Singer was on the top of their game.  They made sewing machines that were the penultimate to own.  Considering that these machines haven’t been made for 50 years, it’s pretty remarkable that they are still running just as well as they did when they rolled off the line.  They are also small and light weight making them extremely portable and ideal for taking to quilting classes or retreats.    If you’ve never seen one, take a look here.  Aren’t they just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

In case you are wondering, my main sewing machine is a Viking Platinum 770.  I do love it.  If you are not familiar, Viking is made by Husqvarna.  I figure if they can make super durable chain saw motors, then surely they can handle a durable sewing machine.

For now I will continue my internet search, and research, until I find my Moby Dick.  Perhaps that would be a good name for my Featherweight when I find one.  Moby Dick.  That would fit in well with my Hinterberg 17 whom I call Pirate Wench.  Perhaps that also means I need to find a white one.

If you have one, leave me some comments about how much you love it.  And of course, if you have one to sell leave that information too.  Especially if it is a white one.