Monday, May 12, 2014

Ode to a Grandmother

There are many stories that go with the sewing machines I come across, mostly sad or nostalgic but the one for today is the first time someone cried when I bought their sewing machine. It's garage sale season here and after a very long winter, the second in a row, we are nearly giddy when it warms up. It's too early to safely plant and the yards are just starting to green up, but it's not too early to enjoy garage saleing! This last weekend I found ads for 2 sales where they actually had photos of the sewing machines so I stopped at one (too high!) and emailed the other one and asked for the price. After confirming the model number and the time she was closing the sale, I showed up for the last hour. After looking everything over I sashayed over to the lovely Singer 403 in a cabinet complete with a storage stool. They guessed I was the one who had done all the emailing and since they had no other interest in it beside their neighbor, it was mine. As she showed me how full the drawers were with buttons, zippers, thread, sewing machine accessories (pristine in their original box), I gladly gave them full price, a mere $50. I heard how this was her grannies, and it was the last of her things to sell and that's when she teared up. I already had been frank with her and told her I buy and sell these lovely older sewing machines so she knew it wasn't going to be my pride and joy like it had been her grannies, but it was still hard to see her husband carry it out to my car. I assured her it would find a good home because it was such a classic piece and in very good shape. I took her home, cleaned everything up, spent hours sorting through the odds and ends, and here it is:
So clean and beautiful, easy to use, too. Hardly a nick on the enamel.
Real wood cabinet with storage stool (yup, 3 drawers to fill)

Complete with the original box of feet, cams, and manual. WOW

A little bit of cleaning the cabinet and she is ready to live another whole life, another adventure with someone else. Grannie would be proud.

My second find was a surprise because I went back to the neighborhood sale and the Elna SU 62 had been marked down but the woman who was selling it was no where to be found. I checked it out and everything was there except the carrying case, a big loss because in this model it folds back around the free arm for an extended work surface. I asked her son if she would go lower, wrote down my name and phone number so when the owner returned she could call me back. My offer was half the price of her first day posting so I was taking a chance on losing it: she called back and said she just wanted it to be used and she had a new sewing machine and just didn't use it anymore. It got delivered the next day by her son and here she is:
Came with 2 manuals, 9 cams, extra feet, bobbins, and needles
Top door opens for a cam to be inserted for special stitches.
A little cleaning, oiling, and putting her through her paces, she's a very good machine and I hate to say it, but less fuss than the Vikings. And I'm a Viking girl! I could get converted after sewing on this one.

Not bad for one weekend (and I even sold a very nice sewing machine to a young woman who had been using her grandma's treadle but wanted her own electric sewing machine!)

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