Monday, September 22, 2014

Sailing Away

I am still surprised by the number of people who come for one sewing machine and leave with another. There are two sewing machines that I advertise that have lead to many, many sales but they never get sold. One machine is an Elna TP300 that is missing its front storage compartment so that makes it free arm all the time. I have this same machine, a bit updated, with the storage compartment so I've even offered that one if this is a sticking point but it also has not sold. But I have sold others through the offer of the Elna TP300. One woman just wanted to know if I had other Elnas because that was her favorite and her Elna was having problems; she wanted a back-up or replacement before a machine breakdown caused her to stop sewing altogether.
No one wants her but somehow she gets all the calls

Yesterday the same thing happened again but with a Singer 185K, just the cutest two-tone green 3/4 sized sewing machine. There have been so many calls about that sewing machine but no one has bought it yet. Andy got in touch with me through Craigslist to see if this machine would be good for sewing vinyl. He wanted to reupholster the seats on his boat and thought he could do it himself. About ten years ago I reupholstered boat seats for my nephew, Ed, so I know the foibles of using an undersized sewing machine. At the time I used my Kenmore 158-1780 because that was all I had and it turned out fine but it was not easy. Andy was up for recommendations so I told him I had a Singer 306 that was going to do a good job for him. I got it set up with a size 16 needle and layers of denim so Andy could try it out, still set up in the garage because it was in a cabinet.

Singer 306, this one in a portable case but just like Andy's
 Inside the house I set up the Elgin.Rotary because it would also be a good machine for his purposes since has a small motor pulley with a very different feel. Showing up on time and ready to try it out, I demonstrated the Singer 306 and asked him to try it out, too. At this point he confessed that he had never sewn before but was willing to learn. And his first project was going to be vinyl boat seats? That was ambitious for a first project but he sat down and stitched away! He must have had some latent skills or had watched several YouTube videos because he sure picked it up fast. We went into the house to look at the Elgin and he tried it out but said the Singer 306 seemed to be the one he wanted. He was interested in the name of the sewing machine because he lived in Elgin, Illinois for a few years and then we exchanged stores: I grew up north of Elgin and lived all of my adult life south of Elgin until I moved to Minnesota. It certainly is a small world.

Elgin Rotary such a handsome mottled gold
As Andy moved his new purchase towards his car I reminded him that if he was not satisfied he could always call for advice, or exchange, because I stood behind those sewing machines. He laughed and said he might need to call and that was why he paid $5 more than the asking price, just so he would have the assurance that I wouldn't abandon him. I think he's going to do fine with his project and as he said "Who knows? I might find other uses for it." He might at that.

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