Thursday, May 19, 2016

In The Blink Of An Eye

How do I end up with so many sewing machines and all of the paraphernalia? I think it has become somewhat of a life-style for me to check local Craigslist, Savers, and Goodwill and I just can't resist a bargain. No, that's not true because I did visit one of my regular thrift stores and saw eight (that's right EIGHT) sewing machines and I wasn't interested in a single one. This reminds me of my summer working in a donut shop: at the beginning of my employment I loved all of the donuts but by the end of the summer I would only consider the freshly made ones with only specific filling or glazes. I had finally had enough and now was picky. It's the same with sewing machines: I have now had enough that I have either had a problem selling (don't buy that one again) or fixing (don't buy that one either) so I can walk away from possible problem machines. This week I didn't walk away from much.

It started with an ad for four of the bench type of seats that come with table model sewing machines. The man who was selling them told the story of his father who used to answer the want ads and ask people if they had any old sewing machines they didn't want. He would buy them and resell but no one wanted the little seats. His dad kept the seats and would use them as extra seating for company dinners. Fast forward several decades and now these extra seats are really "extra" and he wanted them gone. I watched the price fall from $40 to $25 so I gave a call and found out I could have all four for only $20. Only 5 bucks each?

Four stools $5 each!
And he would throw in some other sewing "stuff" if I was interested. That extra box full of stuff turned out to be two full sets of attachments for low shank sewing machines, many packets of sewing machine needles, and a few odd things that I could easily take off his hands:
Stuff: needles, bobbins, attachments (oh my!)

On my way home I stopped at Savers, mainly because it was Tuesday and that's seniors day with 40% off all of our purchases. You might know it, there was a Singer Touch & Sew in a cabinet that I steered clear of (cabinets are not welcome and T&S are not either) but then I saw this cute little green case:
What could be inside?

 that was missing hinges on the cover
APB: hinges gone missing

 but revealed a very usable Singer 285:
Singer 285, a 3/4 sized straight stitch sewing machine

The bobbin cover plate was missing but it ran fine and I thought it would clean up nice. The stitch length lever plate was cracked and I didn't seem to do any better with it so will have to figure out how to fix that:
Stitch length lever: oh oh.
I went home singing, very satisfied with my finds for the day. Then I remembered I was given an invitation to stop by a pre-garage sale to look at the three sewing machines they had for sale. With only manufactures names and no model numbers, I figured it was worth stopping by since it was in my neighborhood.

There were two portable cases on top of a table model so she brought them out to look at in the sun. There was a nice tan Dressmaker, a Singer 522, and the table revealed a Kenmore 117-959. I'm not a fan of the Kenmores that look like bullets and I already have several Dressmakers, but the Singer 522 was a free arm model that I hadn't seen before. Inside the carry case lid was a nice extension table so I was already sold but still looked at the underside to see if it had plastic gears. Yup, it sure did but they looked like they were in fabulous condition. Had they been replaced? Low use? I wasn't asking questions because the price was right and it looked really good. Score!
Singer 522 with extension bed
Singer 522 free arm
It seemed the evening wasn't over because I had been eyeing a Pfaff 130 in a table through Goodwill Auction that would be local pick up only. With nerves of steel, at least it feels like it, I got the final bid! I really like this model and even though it is in a table it was still worthy. My garage is now my outdoor workshop as I've set up a work table and moved the bentwood cases out there to work on restoration. No photo of the Pfaff 130 just yet but you will see it in the weeks to come, I'm sure. It was quite a day, one that would be fun to relive but I think you know that this kind of thing happens to me all the time. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Thin Man Sewing said...

Going to the thrift shop is like a treasure hunt. Sometimes you strike gold, and other times nothing.
My Mom has a Singer 533, a free-arm similar to your 522. I was with her when she bought it at the Singer store in the late 70s. I remember the Touchtronic 2000 sitting next to it in the store. Quite futuristic at the time.