Sunday, May 25, 2014

Upholstery, anyone?

Portable sewing machines today come with built in handles and plastic carrying cases. They are lightweight making them truly portable. They go to quilting class with their owners, to friends houses, anywhere you might want to travel. Vintage sewing machines are in another whole dimension: portable only means they are not bolted into a cabinet. They also come in carrying cases, sometimes even plastic, but they are anything but light. The average weight of a vintage sewing machine is about 30 pounds, sans case. Add that wood carrying case and you can be talking about 35-38 pounds to be carrying around. Not exactly something I would like to carry across a parking lot to a quilt class!

Many of the cases are plywood covered with a heavy paper finish. If you find one is good condition they can be very handsome with piping trim and color coordinated with the sewing machine resting inside. Most are not in good condition today and I have had several that are damaged. Here is my recounting of an upholstery job on a plywood case. The original case was splitting apart and underneath the top handle there were visibly mildewed sections. Ewe! It got stripped off, wood joints glued, and fabric chosen. since the original case was in 2 coordinating papers, I decided to use 2 fabrics, sewn together for the top of the case and glued using spray adhesive. This works pretty well and for my first case, a big success:

Carrying case for Singer 306

What a joy to sit down to sew on this 306!


Another case to be recovered used some printed corduroy with a beautiful black Singer 66:

Cover


Singer 66 in new base

I was very in love with this new cover and was sorry to see it go during the cold winter months: it just looked warm and cozy with its corduroy cover.

Case Cover
Here's another portable case cover that looks pretty wild but quite fitting for this jet black White sewing machine:

White 628 sewing machine

Looks pretty snazzy, huh? 

Spray glue, a large sheet of cardboard on the floor and your geometry skills from high school make this a very do-able project that gives you a very unique carrying case for your not-so-portable vintage sewing machine.

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