I took the leap, everybody. I bought a vintage sewing machine!
A year ago I didn't really see any reason for me to own a vintage machine. My grandma's Viking Husqvarna from the 1970s works just fine, and I don't like a lot of clutter in my life. Three months ago I was beginning to really admire the machines featured over on Male Pattern Boldness. They make beautiful stitches. (Who knew most modern machines don't do a real straight stitch? Not me!) They have all-metal parts. (Who prefers cheap plastic over metal? Not me!) They easily pierce through thick layers of denim and leather. (Well, some of them.) They operate quietly. (Who wants a noisy motor? Not my poor roomies!) They're pretty. In the last month I began surfing Craig's List for all things sewing-related and admiring the nice old machines that would pop up here and there. Just window shopping! I don't know the first thing about owning or operating a vintage machine anyway. I can just look. It's harmless.
But then I saw this machine...
Such a beautiful design, still in its cabinet. Oh, and with all its parts...
|I mean... it even says, "Best Set of Steel Attachments." Period.|
|Ahhhh.... (ah, did someone try to staple the belt back together? Yes, yes they did.)|
Even its little booklet is included, albeit in rough shape. It's a Singer 66. I looked up the serial number on this website, and apparently the serial number was issued in 1923. I might still have resisted, but I turned the wheel on it and all the parts moved smoothly. Also, it was only $75. Also, my birthday is coming up soon. Am I justified? Please say yes.
|Same model but a little older and without cabinet|
|Same model, 13 years older, very nice condition with a beautiful cabinet|
|No cabinet, but with a motor!|
That $75 price tag seems like a deal to me. Then again, this machine is not in mint condition. Despite turning smoothly, it is quite dirty. Yesterday I spent all afternoon going at it with q-tips and some Dr. Bronner's Almond Oil Soap (diluted with water). This I did based on the advice of Elizabeth over at My Sewing Machine Obsession. Her blog name is fitting. I've also been consulting treadleon.net. If you don't know about Captain Dick (I didn't), and if you're interested in vintage machines, definitely check him out. I'm quite charmed by his wealth of knowledge combined with the old and clunky website.
Anyway, Elizabeth said "q-tips and Dr. Bronner's" so that's what I did. Here's a sequence of photos to show you what I'm cleaning through...
|edit: I just realized... this looks like the Eye of Sauron glaring out of the darkness.|
And the box of q tips...
Wish me luck!