Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A stitch in time

On a vintage machine, that is. I've never had much interest in vintage machines until recently. I'm setting up to work on my DH's boat canvas and everything I've read said that an all metal, gear-driven machine is what I need.

So, to CraigsList I went and in a single day, I found two machines, for sale by two different sellers. Both mounted in cabinets. Both really, really cool looking. Both appeared to work and both were right priced for me - $25 a piece. I visited both sellers and DH was cheerful and willing to go get both of them. He didn't even question why I'd buy two machines. He's a very good husband!

That was several weeks ago and I've been on a mechanical journey trying to get these machines to do what I want them to. It's very, very easy to fall in love with sewing machines that are my age or older (much!). I've put one of them aside for a bit because I got stuck. The Kenmore 158.54 will get my attention later - this machine has great potential, particularly for buttonholes.

Kenmore 158.54

This beauty does everything I want it to, but I can't change the stitch length. It uses cams to make zigzag and other decorative stitches and weighs about 1,000 pounds. It's belt-driven, though, so once I discovered the stitch length problem, I decided the other machine was worth working on for a while.

Kenmore 117.36
This machine weighs almost as much as the other one and is completely gear driven. It's a long shuttle model - with a bobbin like I've never seen.

Long shuttle bobbin Bobbin winder

It's cleaned and oiled and sounds like it will run well. Next up - thread it and see how it stitches!

It might be a good thing that I wasn't drawn to these machines earlier. There are so many of them out there with many, many groups of loyal followers. Who knows how many I might have acquired had I known how much fun they can be?

Get Going ... Giving! This is the time of year that many want to give to others, to share, spread the joy of the Christmas season and to try to make someone's lift a little brighter. Charity Navigator is a great resource when you're trying to figure how a charitable organization might use your donation. Search by location, charity name or by the need they serve. There's a lot of good going on out there - go get inspired!


  1. Your new machines are in great shape for their age. I just got one with the shuttle bobbin too. They are the perfect machines for heavy duty sewing.

    I like to spread sewing joy too. I am currently sewing an outfit for a doll. She will be joining other toys in an attempt to "fill a police cruiser" with toys at a local community event.

  2. the second machine is here as beautifull item on a cabin..I'll try to use it now...I'm so curious if I get it to work.

  3. @Janlynn - a little girl will be very lucky and she gets a positive interaction with the police department. What a great project!

    @yvette - I hope you have success with your machine. The old ones are beautiful. I am having fun with mine!