Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Oh, the Adventure Of It All

Collecting and restoring sewing machines, like any hobby, can be so addicting but I'm glad you are here to read this latest adventure. Too many come in and not enough go out but that's another story. Today we have some real gems that I'm glad I have rescued!

It's garage sale season (yea!) and we couldn't resist turning at the signs that said "Block Sale." I love driving down street in parts of town I have never been to before and this sleepy little neighborhood was tucked between businesses and a ravine. At the first house I spy a serger but we passed it by because it was a Singer. After we walked down the block and hit five sales Jim talked me into asking for the serger at a lower price. They said yes mainly due to the lack of knowledge and accessories. It did come with a manual and in the original box so it came home with us:
Singer Merritt Lock 14U354 Serger
It took some real work to get it cleaned up and sewing right, mainly my error after cleaning and getting things out of whack, but it finally would sew on a variety of fabrics and quite nicely.

The next day I had arranged to pick up two Singers way out in St. Francis but we were going to be out that way because of my granddaughter's 4th birthday party. A Singer 401A head only and a Singer 99 in a squared off case were advertised and what I wanted. I currently do not have a 401 and since they are one of my favorite sewing machines it's nice to have one to sell. The Singer 99 was going to be converted to a handcrank and its decals were near perfect. We negotiated a decent price but he wouldn't come down much saying that's what he wanted to sell them for. Okay, okay, I get it but after we exchange money he tells me the 99 was given to him! Yeah, he made money on this deal. It might have been out of guilt but he asked if I wanted a Singer Lotus for free: he would just give us this one:
Singer 66 with Lotus decals
I honestly didn't know what model me was talking about since I had never heard of the Lotus model but then I realized he meant lotus decals. He bought it off of Ebay and when he got it noticed the poor shape of the decals: they had taken photos only of the good parts and disguised the worn away decals. Lesson learned and now I was going to get this one that really wasn't in too bad of shape. What was his goal? He wanted a Singer 201 without the potted motor so he could put it in a treadle and then he wanted the 401 as his zigzag but in the end used something else for zigzag. It took awhile to find the 201 with an external motor he could remove for the treadle but he did find it and now wanted these other machines gone. Yes, I think I can take care of that for you, sir.

Now we are up to Monday when I had arranged to pick up a Kenmore that "had issues." This young mother couldn't seen to get the tension right and complained it kept jamming up. It had been her mother-in-law's sewing machine and with the problems she had, even after a $60 repair bill, she no longer wanted to use it. Although it was very dirty and it had no accessories, I thought I could get it working nicely again and she was willing to let it go for less than the asking price. As I made my way to the door I asked her what machine she bought to replace it and she said "just a cheapo Singer for $125" and I felt like apologizing to her for having to use such a crummy sewing machine. As I put it in the back of my car I looked down at the needle and noticed it was put in backwards. Yes, that would make it jam up. Once home, here she is all cleaned up:

Kenmore 158-19412
It took some time, strategic oiling, and running it full open for about 10 minutes before she quieted down and is now just humming along. This one was a rescue from a young woman with very little patience and a reluctance to read the manual (she confessed) so now I can rehome this lovely sewing machine to someone who will appreciate it. Sometimes it can feel like a real rescue!

All in all, it was a great stretch of days with some good sewing machines and a serger. Now, where am I going to put them?

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