Saturday, June 21, 2014


It's been a very busy week showing and selling vintage sewing machines with visiting friends. Knowing I had a wide variety of sewing machines to try out all in one place, we tried them all! Well, there wouldn't be enough time for that, but here's the list of sewing machines that we plugged in and had fabric between the presser foot and feed dogs: Singer 401A, Singer 403, Singer 221 (Featherweight), Dressmaker, Elgin-Free Westinghouse, Minnesota S treadle, Bernina 730, and Necchi Supernova Julia, plus Singer 99 and 201 were just listened to. Why so many? Why so few!

Each machine has a feel, sound, and stitch quality to consider. I know some people consider the stitch quality to be their top priority and I almost agree with that but I need to have an experience that I can enjoy. My all-time favorite, the Singer 401A, was not her favorite by any means. The Dressmaker was second place:

She's a lovely blue, this one is in excellent cosmetic shape, great stitch quality, sound is soothing and quiet, but there was one big hitch: the needle was a left position type:

Dressmaker needleplate
This model is stamped JA-8 so I know it's one that was made in Japan in the '60's when they made the needle position left for a lower manufacturing cost. That means you need to adjust your thinking every time you sit down to sew. This would be no problem if you only had one sewing machine but when you sew on two or more you have to adjust. So it was love for so many features but she went back on the shelf in favor of a Necchi.

Just as an afterthought I said "You have to try the Julia just to see how different it is" so I cleared off the cabinet and plugged her in, thinking why not? Indeed, this was love at first stitch. I could not have predicted this but glad Julia was so loved:

Necchi Supernova Julia
She is beautiful, came with a cabinet and chair plus all of the accessories you could want: set of feet, cams, tools in original case with the Wonderwheel for special stitch configurations, plus two manuals. The cabinet top needs refinishing but that's not too much to do or too difficult so it was loaded into the SUV and we said our good-byes. It was fitting that I had bought Julia, my first Necchi, when it was -5 degrees and it was sold on a warm summer day. Many happy sewing hours are ahead and Julia has found a wonderful new home but it was a bit more difficult to let her go than I thought. Knowing she is going to be used and appreciated and that I share this bond with an old friend makes me glad. I'll have to sing the Beatles song "Julia" and remember my pink Supernova:

Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you, Julia

Julia, Julia, oceanchild, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
Julia, seashell eyes, windy smile, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia

Her hair of floating sky is shimmering, glimmering
In the sun

Julia, Julia, morning moon, touch me
So I sing a song of love, Julia

When I cannot sing my heart
I can only speak my mind, Julia

Julia, sleeping sand, silent cloud, touch me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
Hum hum hum hum... calls me
So I sing a song of love for Julia, Julia, Julia


Michelle said...

Whenever I bring home a 'new to me' machine and clean it up so it is all healthy and happy, I fall in love with and think I could never part with it, so I just keep it for awhile, and then awhile later, I can slowly get used to the idea of letting it go. Thanks for sharing!

Karen said...

Yes, Michelle, you never know which machine is going to be a keeper. I bought a Kenmore I wasn't expecting to like until I used the monogrammer: way, way too easy and nice!