Thursday, September 10, 2015

Compact and Cute

One of the ways I like to find sewing machines is through Goodwill Online Auction. If I can find one that is to-die-for I can offer more because I don't have to deal with shipping and handling charges. Recently I got a cabinet model because it was local pick-up only and was one I was intrigued by, Another cabinet with a built-in chair:

After the cleanup and refinished top
I'm just a sucker for this type of cabinet and hoped the sewing machine was "worthy" or I could find one that was. Unfortunately, it was a run-of-the-mill straight stitch Domestic 725 that wasn't very appealing to me. Due to the opening being a sharp cornered rectangle, it was only going to fit an older Kenmore and a few other models. Still, I have many Kenmore's and hoped I could find one that was worth such a great set-up. Here she is:
Kenmore 158-1430
Only the top leaf was in poor shape so it was stripped and sanded, given two coats of stain to try and match the deep red of the original finish, with two coats of semi-gloss polyurethane. The rest of the cabinet only needed to be cleaned up, leaving just a quarter sized white mark on the inside where your hand might rest while sewing. I don't want to mess up that slick finish so I decided to leave it as-is: no one is pretending it's a new cabinet. The seat with two drawers for storage is flat wood and probably uncomfortable for long periods of time. I decided to make a new cushion for it using some nice indoor/door cushion fiber and even adding piping for the trim. Did I need to add that? Probably not but it's a skill I need to work on and this was a good example of necessary skill building. True confession: I'm not good at piping!

My love for these compact cabinets started when I found a beloved Phoenix in one that I completely refinished. It languished on Craigslist but it was kept in my kitchen and I learned to walk around it and admire it on a daily basis. I got a call last week and it was sold in just a brief interaction with a very nice couple from one of the Twin Cities suburbs. After looking at the above cabinet and comparing it to the Phoenix, he announced she would now have to make a decision. She liked the look of the Phoenix cabinet the best and it was sold. After we sealed the deal they confessed it was probably going to be used to hold a bird cage. I must have blanched because they said they would have a piece of glass cut to protect the top and she was only an occasional seamstress and this would do nicely.
Phoenix 283 in compact cabinet

Lesson learned: don't get too attached to a project unless you are going to keep it!

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