Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Vacation in Paradise

I've been home from my vacation for a week now but I haven't reported the details of how I brought home some real gems. An earlier post about the Bernina 831 via pony express from Illinois to Minnesota was planned when Jane heard about my trip to Chicago and all turned out well but I already planned to pick up a machine from one of our host families. A lovely little Singer 185, those real cute green models, was purchased at a garage sale and stored in the garage for several weeks so we knew in May that we were going to bring a cabinet sewing machine home during this vacation. Then we heard about the Bernina and figured we had room for two cabinets.

On our last day in Michigan we planned to drive out of town after stopping at a close out sale at an antique market. Sounded like fun to us so we were there when they opened at 10 AM. here is what we found:
All those machines and a table of accessories!

So many machines, so little time.

This was a sale that had been going on for three months and this was just the last day so things were pretty picked over. I was sorely tempted by a Necchi Lydia 2 and when the price went down I just had to try and see if I could fix it:
Necchi Lydia MK2

Along with Lydia I did get a whole bag of serger odds and ends that included many knives that I thought would be useful, a dozen Viking bobbins for my 1100, a bag of Singer 221 bobbins that were marked Singer Slant Shank but I recognized as Featherweights and 301's, and a few foot controls that I could use. Seemed like a nice bag of goodies.

We did some thrifting on our last day in Illinois but didn't find much in the way of sewing but that was fine: wasn't our car pretty full already? On our way back to Minnesota I checked local Craigslist and found there was a Singer 15-91 that was almost being given away and it was going to be on our way when we got into the Twin Cities! Let's get it! Once we got home we had to pull out two cabinets as well as luggage so we could deliver the Bernina. I was just itching to get to the three that were for me. I cleaned up the Singer 185 first because it was easy:

Singer 185 all clean
Back in blond cabinet, so cute!
When I could stand it no longer I got out the Necchi Lydia MK2 to see why she moved so slow. When the side was opened up, I could see a chunk of the camstack dislodged but was hoping it was only a chunk that could be glued back but then upon further inspection this is what I found:
Lydia camstack
It's a broken crumbling mess! As I did further research I found you could get a brand new one for a slightly different model but not this one. Oh yea, it would also be $120. So now I have a parts machine. This was pretty disheartening so I almost forgot about the Singer 15-91 and I was pretty busy getting ready for company by that time. While I was waiting for someone to come over on a Saturday morning to look at a sewing machine, a 7:30 am call no less, I looked over and found the Singer 15-91 in need of cleaning. Although it wasn't in great physical shape it ran perfectly. I wasn't sure about the cabinet but after a cleaning with an orange cabinet cleaner it isn't half bad:

Singer 15-91 cleaned up
Cabinet cleaner than it was
It would be a nice refinishing job but I'm not sure I really want to spend the time on a set that isn't really "worthy" of the whole clean-up process. It's still a great sewing machine in a decent cabinet, just well used. Maybe I should sell it like it is at a reduced price? That's an option but time might make that decision for me.

So that 's the end of our vacation and the sewing machines that came home with us. Not always what was expected but sometimes there are surprises waiting in the wings. But that will be for another day.

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