Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Yes, we are Still Stitching

As promised, I watched the film Still Stitching, produced by James and Brenda Wolfensberger of New Savvy Productions and think it's worth the price in time and money to watch. At first, I thought a film only fifteen minutes shy of two hours was going to be just too much, especially since I watch so few movies or even television (how do you think I get so much done?) but they captured my attention right from the start. If you enjoy looking at and talking about vintage sewing machines, this is one of the few current films that will satisfy your longing. Maybe it will stir your interest in further collecting, too, so this could be an enabler device!

Following a chronological timeline of the first lock stitch sewing machine in 1844 to the late 1960's when plastic took over metal components, we get to see those first machines and detailed explanations of how they worked. I loved the ideas put forth about fashion and how it has changed because clothing no longer had to be sewn by hand with the introduction of the mechanical sewing machine. Of course, more was said about Isaac Singer since he captured the market, but Wheeler & Wilson, White, National 2-Spool, Free Westinghouse (just like mine!), Davis, Elna, Necchi, Pfaff, and Kenmore were all described as we viewed these works of art. There was education, to be sure, but the presenters were clearly lovers of these old machines.

So who were the presenters? Scott Kennedy, Danna L. Fore, Cathy Racine, Joseph Brennan, Karen Castor, Will McCann, Terry Crawford Palardy, and Renato Pace. Of these eight people, some names I recognized, others were new to me, who got into this hobby (for most of them) for a variety of reasons yet clearly love what they are doing even if it's now a business. After watching these experts talk about their machines, I really wanted to know who they were and how I can visit each one since we are such kindred spirits but I had to wait until the end when each one was identified and a bit of their history was revealed. Wow, was that ever neat! Cathy Racine's father was an auto mechanic so she had been exposed to mechanics early. She found that after teaching autistic children all day it was refreshing to be able to work on a sewing machine, to fix it, and find it stayed fixed, implying her students were  not going to get "fixed" or remember lessons from day to day. That resonated with me, too. A final comment by Will McCann was a fitting way to end the film when he said we should have a convention where those of like mind can gather to hear experts talk about and give lessons and we could just be together. Yes, that does sound like an event I would like to attend, too. How about you?

If you would also like to watch this film, I invite you to go to Still Stitching where you can watch the preview for free. If you would like to experience all of it and save some money enter the code sewmavin to rent the film for 30 days at 50% off or use the code to buy the DVD for 15% off. This offer is good until the end of January, something nice to do when it's too cold outside to be running around and we look for inside entertainment. John has extended this offer to me and I could have made you email me for the code but I really just want to make it as freely available as possible. Yet, if you do watch Still Stitching please consider making a comment in this blog post so we can all enjoy your opinion of the film. This is a great community of vintage sewing machine fans and we would like to hear from you, too.


Michelle said...

Thank you for the code. I ordered a DVD and can't wait to see it.

Brenda said...

Great review Karen! Jim and I appreciate you taking the time to watch it. It definately is an enabler device. Our own collection has grown by at least 10 machines since we started filming. :)