Sunday, December 30, 2012

Isn't She Lovely! Isn't She Beautiful!

 Well it has been a couple of months now since I came across a vintage Singer I wanted to buy.   I guess everyone has been too busy with the holidays to drag out old sewing machines and offer them for sale. But finally...this!   

She is a little bit special because she is a Centennial Featherweight (circa 1951).  

 And she came with lots of good stuff

Case is in very good condition too

But here's the deal:  Somebody has to find a new home, I will not hoard sewing machines!  Even if I could afford to do it, which I can't, I wouldn't collect several of any given model, it's just not my style. But I am feeling just the teensiest temptation to keep this one and sell my 1956 model.    

Hmmmm.....I don't know.  One of them will be going to a new home and I'll have to sleep on it before I decide. A couple of years ago I bought a Centennial 15-91 which I resold rather than replace the 15-91 handed down to me by my mom.   

They are both beautiful...but who stays and who goes?

So why, you may ask, do I keep buying these Featherweights only to turn around and sell them?  Yes, I make a small profit, but considering the time I spend hunting, searching, retrieving, researching, repairing, restoring, cleaning, tuning, adjusting, photographing, listing, etc., etc. it really isn't a money maker.  I basically just make enough money to support my sewing habit and finance my fabric, notions, patterns and the vintage attachments I covet.   So while the few extra dollars helps, that is only part of the story.  Mainly I just can't resist the siren call of a beautiful vintage Singer for sale on Craigslist (at a steal of a price!)  I love the thrill of going to get them, bringing them home and playing with them before finding them a new home.  Every one is just a little bit different and I learn something new with each one.  The little "goodies" that often come along for the ride are part of the thrill as well.   

So....who will stay and who will go to a new home?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Few Little Goodies and an Ode to Casablanca

It doesn't take much to make me happy - well at least as far as my sewing goes.

A few little goodies and it is like Christmas Day.   :)  The main score was the set of coveted blue cams for my Singer Automatic ZigZagger

Yay!  Now I have all 16 stitch patterns!  The blue and yellow sets are the most difficult/expensive to come by.  I obtained the yellow set from a generous PR member a while back.  (I mention PR, aka Pattern Review, frequently because I've met such nice people there.)   Don't remember where I obtained the Red Set #2 (!?)  The blue one was a pretty good price on eBay and I have been looking out for it.   I made a little money with my recent Featherweight sales, so this is my little gift to myself.  


I have purchased the White Set #2 on eBay and I'm just waiting for delivery

There is a little confusion about Set #2 so I will explain:  It seems that the older/original Set #2 was red just like the Set #1 that comes with the ZZ-er.  Then sometime later, Set #2 was changed to white BUT was still the same stitch patterns.  Set #3 is blue, Set #4 is yellow.  So there are four sets of stitch patterns - 16 stitches in all - yet there are two different colors of Set #2.

All this is to say that I will now have TWO Set #2's - completely redundant and unnecessary, except that wouldn't any collector want both?  I ask you? Yeah, I thought so...   ;)

Next little goodies came after an exhausting trip down every single aisle of an Antique Mall looking for random sewing notions.  Honestly the very last booth at the end of the very last aisle had a bin of random patterns and notions.  I spent $1.38 for a tattered 1940's pattern and a handful of vintage rick-rack.

Now rick-rack is just fun, isn't it?  Especially for any kind of vintage style sewing, you've gotta have rick-rack.  And you'll find out when shopping for it that it just isn't exactly the same today.  For one thing, if you have some true vintage fabrics, it is going to be hard to match those colors with the choices we have in the fabric store.  1940's-1950's rick-rack is obviously going to reflect the color scheme of the era and match the contemporary fabrics.  Also, it was 100% cotton back in the day.  I don't know if that makes it "better", per se, but it is more true to the period.  If I'm making an apron or a little girl's dress with a vintage cotton print there is nothing like vintage rick-rack for the ultimate finishing touch.  

I picked up this beat up old pattern 

Simply because it reminded me somewhat of this:
A big sigh for one of my all time favorite movies, and Ingrid Bergman's wardrobe-to-die-for.  SIGH....
Not that I will make this jumper.  Alas, I am not long and willowy like Miss Bergman. This dress on me, in my size, and in white no less, would make me look like Nurse Ratched.  But a girl can dream, yes?

I also love The Paisley Blouse.

Let me just say that a dream project for me would be to make this blouse.  I have found patterns that were close enough to adapt, but I cannot find a fabric that will work.  I have looked at pages of paisley fabrics until they started to all blur together like a batch of sperm in a Petri dish (sorry for the image that may have evoked, but am I right?)   When I have found a print that was close enough in color and style, it would invariably be a home dec fabric.  I need a very soft challis, I think, but just can't find it with this particular print.

Maybe I will wax eloquent about Casablanca at length in another post, but for now...

"It seems that destiny has taken a hand..."