Friday, March 4, 2016

Out and About

I spend a week in Arizona recently, land of sun and much warmer than Minnesota in February, and managed not to buy any sewing machines for a week. BUT before I could even got out of Minnesota I had a whirlwind of activity that almost kept me from going. Almost...

While everything was quiet for a week before I left I worked on catching up with a few sewing and knitting projects. The day before I left I connected with Anne who did not drive so I agreed to make a house call after work, bringing three sewing machines for her perusal. After two dozen emails trying to figure out what Anne wanted, needed, and could afford, I brought a newer (1980's) Elna 1500, older Dressmaker, and older still Singer 403. Just a glance told Anne that the Singer 403 was just like the one her mother used and it-was-the-one, we still tried out all three "just in case." Each machine sounded, felt, and sewed differently:
Elna 1500

Dressmaker SWA 2000 (JA-8)

Singer 403A
Elna 1500: wide range of built-in stitches including stretch, easy to use, drop-in bobbin
Dressmaker: only zigzag and straight stitch built in, cams for decorative stitches, left-needle homing
Singer 403: only straight stitch built-in, cams for all zigzag and all other stitches, gear driven

The Elna was the easiest to use but looked too modern for Anne, the Dressmaker wasn't the one, but the Singer, even though it was perfect for her, she needed lessons. I promised to come back at a later date to see how she was doing and to bring extra bobbins that I forgot and Anne was in heaven with her Singer 403.

On the day I flew out, we were busy picking up a sewing machine I won on the Goodwill auction site:
Kenmore 158-1430
 Next door was the Goodwill Outlet where you can buy by-the-pound and Wednesday is senior days so we got an extra 25% off. Score! What do we find while making our way to the back of the store? A Kenmore 385-17324 without a power cord/foot control. That hasn't stopped me before so we put it in the cart only to find a White Rotary head. It needs a treadle but that hasn't stopped me before either and joins the Kenmore in the cart. A bright green jacket joins the melee with a few other things and we check out with a large clear plastic bin: $20 for all of it!
White Rotary bc (before cleaning)

Kenmore 385-17324

Once we get home I bring up a Singer 15-91 I had been using but it was now going home with John. Just that morning I get a text asking if it was available so we arrange for John to come over on his lunch hour. As it turns out, I have to take the head out of the cabinet so I can bring it up the stairs in two manageable pieces instead of one very heavy one and that means I need to take apart some of the wiring, too. John tells me he's going to use it for an upholstery project and had done some research to find the right model. It was going to be in his garage workshop so its lack of decals and cabinet in rough shape didn't bother him in the least. See: there's a machine for everyone and every machine finds its perfect home.
Singer 15-91
After John left I waited at the window for another person who was delivering a cabinet. I know, I know, I try not to buy cabinets and this one didn't even come with a sewing machine but it was a parlor cabinet that I have loved for some time. This one seemed to be in good shape and the price was low but I worried about getting it back out of my car once I got home. That was settled when the buyer said he could deliver it! He also gave me some good information about how he planned to refinish it with only denatured alcohol so I will try that out, too, once the weather gets warmer. It only needs to have veneer replaced on the front curved surface, a waterfall accent, but that is not expensive and I'm ready for this new challenge.
Parlor cabinet to disguise your treadle

Only an hour until I had to leave, just enough time to shower and finish packing. What's the score? Two sewing machines were sold, three machines and one cabinet were bought. And I got on that jet plane, knowing when I was coming back again. Life is grand.

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