Thursday, June 2, 2016

Haiti Update

I've written in the past about Ellie's project in Haiti and her recent trip found her taking a serger for their use. Although she was thinking about buying two, she held back because sergers are just a bit tricky. What if it was more than they could reasonably handle? What if parts were broken? It would only run with electricity so that would limit use and maybe that would be a bad thing or maybe not.

While she was gone I received a few emergency texts like "what size bobbin does the Kenmore use?" and "are there special needles for the serger?" and I liked keeping in touch while Ellie and her friend Karen (yes, another Karen) were teaching and learning.  I even got the following photo:
Sewing on the Necchi Leila in Haiti: she traveled far!

Although the Necchi sewing machine arrived in a previous shipment, I usually don't get to see them being used. That goes for all the sewing machines and sergers I sell: no one sends me "selfies" of themselves sitting at their sewing machine! It is also fair to say I do not have a single photo of myself sitting behind a sewing machine either so what does that say about where we spend so much of our time?

Time has marched on and now Ellie brings back a few more of her gifts for me to assess, restore, and give back for her to ship out. Today's story is about a White 208 serger. I sent Ellie a text pointing out a serger that was at a location closer to her than me so she got over there pronto. It turned out to be a pawn shop and they were willing to deal since the foot was missing. Foot? I translated that as "foot control" and figured I might have an extra that fit. Imagine my surprise when she brings over a very nice White serger
White 208 serger (and it really is white!)

with a foot control, along with a Singer 66 Red Eye head and a Singer 15-90 clone in a case with broken hinges. The White serger had a foot control. It did not have a presser foot. Ahhhh, that might not be as easy to replace. As it turned out, I have several models that use the same presser foot so I could test it out, clean and restore before I got a new foot in the mail: a presser foot, that is. A new one was ordered and Ellie was anxious to pick it up since the next shipment was leaving in only another week. You can imagine my disappointment when the foot arrived and it had the letter R stamped on it. To me, a serger foot with an R means Rolled Hem Foot. Sure enough, it was only for a single needle in the right position for making that narrow rolled hem. This would not work as a general purpose foot and my searching online showed only the bigger (and more expensive) dealers had the foot I needed for around $35.
Left: rolled hem, Center: regular, Right: broken finger

Ellie could have one from one of my sergers and I could wait for the price to drop, or an Ebay seller to offer one at a lower price, but eventually I was going to need one if I wanted to sell one of my White sergers. I hate when this happens! I notified the seller and they admitted it was mis-labeled and I could send it back but they didn't have the right one either. Since I have several that used this same presser foot, I decided to keep it as an extra feature ("rolled hem foot included") since I would lose money sending it back. That is the rub sometimes.

As I was taking photos I noticed that, side by side, the regular feet didn't match: one was wider but that wasn't an issue. Take a closer look at the tiny finger-like protrusions where the needles land: the outer edge finger is broken off a bit. Well, that means I'll be looking to buy two of those feet when I get a good price.

Here are the rest of her machines as they are still waiting my attention:
Singer 66 Red Eye (with motor)

Singer 15 (disguised as a State)
Aren't those nice decals? Both need electrical work and the State needs carpentry skills on the case base, but if I don't have a deadline they will get done before they need to get shipped. Now, since I mentioned that I didn't have any photos of myself sewing, I close with a photo of me (thanks, Jim) at my new-to-me Viking #1, a peach of a machine:

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