Friday, June 13, 2014

Silver Linings

As I have been buying and selling sewing machines I have learned a few lessons on life. One is that people are basically trustworthy. I have yet to have anyone pull any kind of scam on me or even lie outright. There have been a few times I got a sewing machine that I didn't agree with the owner as to its actual worth, but basically people tell the truth and want you to know that.

The second thing I've learned is when you think something has been lost, another one even better will be found. Many times I've hesitated and called too late on an ad and then it's sold to someone else. I used to silently flog myself for my procrastination but I've learned that when I quietly wait another one will pop up. Usually it's even better: better condition, better price (sometimes even free), and closer to home.

Today was an example of missing an opportunity but still getting a deal. There was a wonderful Singer 99K in a simple cabinet advertised on Craigslist for Goodwill. The online auction and CL Goodwill storage is not too far from where I work, only about a 10 minute drive, so I check these things out on a regular basis, even winning a few bids. This 99 was especially wanted because the cabinet was in such good shape and I'm working on refinishing one that is not. It would be nice to have a good cabinet for the 185K and I can just pass the one is poor shape onto another contact who wants old cabinets. And here's the kicker: it was only $25. I could either keep it electrified or make it into a hand-crank, a real win-win. I got the email confirmation this morning that it was still there but to call first to check but I drove directly down to St. Paul's Goodwill to go check it out only 20 minutes after receiving the email.. They take you into the back of their warehouse and over to the CL section so I could see all the items they have listed. Cool. But no Singer 99. No Singer anything. A White treadle and a no-name iffy electric in a poor cabinet but no 99. Someone else beat me to it and it must have been by just minutes.

I went back into the store part of the building and looked around, especially looking for old suitcase handles for a sewing machine carrying case. There was a sorta nice one but maybe the wrong size, on a compact suitcase so I lifted it up and WOE, it was heavy, not empty. Oh no, but oh YES, it held a sewing machine:

Montgomery Wards UTH-J1460
This might not be the be-all and end-all in sewing machines but it is a very clean, all metal, free arm model that will give years of good sewing for the right person. If you look carefully you can see the price tag of $14.99: it's even a bargain! I plugged it in and checked out the accessories, manual, feed dogs, to find out everything was there and in good working order. The case and machine are so clean, no scuff marks, nothing, and then I look into the box of accessories:

and can see most of the extra feet and plates are still in plastic wraps. By looking at the cams I can see there are some with red letters and I'm thinking this indicates stretch stitch patterns for sewing with knit fabric, another plus. As I'm checking out, the woman behind me sees the suitcase and says "What's in there? It sure is heavy." and I tell her it's a sewing machine. She is all interested now, admires its pristine condition and said "Well, you know what you are doing!" so I agree with her and take my prize out into the spring day. Sometimes when you think you have lost, you actually have won.


Michelle said...

Wow! It looks brand new! Good for you!!!!

Karen said...

Thanks, Michelle. I worked on it last night and found out it even has a fairly good stitch but it will need to have the tension decreased for any zig zag stitch. Because it didn't work right immediately a prior owner might have just given up!