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Just.In.Case

I have been sewing and quilting since the September retreat,  but many of those projects are still in progress!  (I haven’t been quite as frugal with my sewing time, and sleep has been precious! Are those good enough excuses…)

However,  I want to share this wonderful, just IN, case that my Father gifted me for Christmas!  Do you remember the Feathered Journey of the 1937 featherweight?

The case that arrived with it smelled, and looked like it was from 1937.  It has that distinct horse glue mixed with basement storage aroma and was only a little war-torn.   I wonder what its story was in the years of WWII?

I wasn’t feeling brave enough to tackle this one, but my dad thought he would like to have it.  I thought that he might fix it up for my mom’s featherweight.  However,  he surprised me this holiday when he asked me,  “how shall I stain it?”.

Look at the results!  How awesome is this to store and protect my green beauty?
Thank You, DAD!  You never cease to amaze me.

 

I am not sure of the entire process he followed to refurbish this case, but I talked to him about a few of the steps along the way.   This is how I understood the process;

  1. Painstakingly remove all of the old covering from the box.  Do not remove the riveted clasps, just do your best to remove the covering around them.
  2. Remove the old broken handle.
    It is actually stitched through the lid.   He found that the wood for the lid was not reinforced, which is why many of the old cases were probably cracked from carrying them by the handle.  (I wish I had a photo of it after removal!)
  3. In this case, the handle was not in any condition to save, but it was noted that the handle itself did have a curved steel plate to make it sturdy.
  4. He sanded the inside and outside of the case to remove as much of the old glue as possible.  This gets rid of most of the old smell.
  5. In this case, he stained the box green.  Several coats were required as the old wood (with glue residue) did not soak up the stain like new wood.
  6. He hand sewed a new handle to the box lid.  I think that he added some reinforcement, but I am not positive.  Take a look at that handle.  My dad is the master of upcycling.  So trendy and functional!  🙂

    My dad had an old, sturdy, red leather purse that had some awesome hardware.  He was able to use the leather, hardware, and straps to create a new handle and a strap for the case.   He used some nylon strapping to create a cradle for the box and attached the long handle to that.

    The inside was another story.

  7. The machine was a glove fit to the box, so he covered the bottom, sides, and top with felt so that the machine doesn’t get scratched when lifting and lowering it from the box.

The pedal is too large to fit on the left side of the machine, but I will be able to store the manual or some tools during storage and transport.

8.  Finally, he added a personal touch by hand painting Celtic scrolls to match the silver singer scrollwork on my machine!  Woo Hoo!  It is sew pretty.

Now, as if I wasn’t the luckiest girl in the world already, my mom iced the cake.  She gifted me a handmade “sew-together-bag” in Singer themed fabric to hold all of my tools and spare parts for the machine.  These babies take some patience.  It is beautiful!

I am so grateful to have such talented, loving parents.  These are such wonder.full gifts from the heart and make my machine even more special for my parent’s involvement in the project.  I will never forget.

 

SEW TOGETHER! 

 

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Sight Unseen

It is nice when the results of a sight unseen risk come out as you expected.  There were some who thought from my earlier photos of my new featherweight project, that the machine looked great the way it is.  However, upon arrival in West Virginia, my suspicions from the poor eBay photographs were corroborated, and then some.   The finish of this 1937 beauty does indeed need some work, and the original decals are at least 1/3 missing.  She is a perfect candidate for a makeover!

True to many auction listings, the possible water damage and extent of decals missing were under described.  It’s not a hot mess, but not very collectible as-is.

This is what the listing said:
“1937 Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine with case and pedal. Very nice condition with wear consistent with age and normal use. Tested and operates perfectly. Bobbin case intact (sometimes they are missing). No other attachments present. Case has wear consistent with being used and moved around. Handle has been taped with electrical tape but is still attached to top strongly. Work light works. Some of the gold trim printing is worn off from use. Belt has minor use wear but still in very good condition. Motor runs freely and strong. I will ship as cheaply as possible.”

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If she really operates perfectly, then all will be well.  If she doesn’t, then I will fix it.  When I am 80 years old, I can only hope I fare so well!

I think she will be out for delivery for stripping, maintenance, and refinishing this week.  My new waterslide metallic decals arrived from keelersales.com and I have decided on a color.  It isn’t exactly a hot rod, but as close as I have ever come!  This 2000 Ford Ranger was my very first “new car”.  Since then I have driven a station wagon and a minivan.  Sigh.  I think that I need to remedy this.   An old curvy Jaguar with silver racing stripes would look great in this metallic green color too! (Hey, a girl can dream…)

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My brand new truck – Spring 2000 before I graduated from college

I have a picture in my head about what the 1937 will look like all decked out in green metallic with silver Celtic knot decals and all of her original shiny chrome.

But, what shall I name her?

If I’m lucky I will ger her back before June when I attend the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival.  (If not, I’ll borrow Mom’s machine and treat it to a spa day.)  I signed up for a Nova Montgomery Singer Featherweight Maintenance Class.  I thought this would be great to guide me through maintenance of the machines, help me maintain my machines health and be a great resource for my mother, friends, and family who own these machines.

The tulips in this photo give promise of spring, though winter won’t be over until March 20th here!  Our biggest snow might be yet to come! My ankle is doing really well, so…

LET IT SNOW!

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A Feathered Journey Begins

My new toy is traveling today!

Funny story anyone?

My fun friend Teresa, who I met at Quilting Elevated last year, was going to bid on a featherweight at an auction in West Virginia last Sunday.  She is an auctioneer and knows how auctions work.  I felt good about letting her spend my money.   Saturday night I get a call… ” I bought you a machine! (I hope you’re not mad…)”.  Now, I was momentarily confused since the auction wasn’t until Sunday.   However, never underestimate a friend.  I had mentioned the type of the machine I was most interested in and given her bidding limit guidelines.  She ran with it and probably saved me some dough ( and a very long drive for her) by finding said model on an Ebay auction without a 10% buyers fee.   So far so good.  We have a tracking number!

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This 1937 beauty is making a grand tour from Daly City in Sunny California (home of the Cow Palace just south of San Fransico) to Buckhannon, West Virginia and then finally to my home in Overland Park, Kansas.Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 6.10.20 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2017-01-24 at 6.38.00 PM.png

WARNING:  IF YOU ARE A PURIST… Read no more today.

This little machine is going to travel about 3,550 miles before I ever get to touch it, and I can hardly wait.   The machine appears to have some wear to the decals, and some finish scuffing on the neck, and may need some foot pedal cable work.   It’s hard to see defects from the Ebay photographs.  My friend knows someone that is great at helping to give some TLC and hot rod old machines, and I hope to hire him!  Cleanup, Tune Up, Strip Down, and Refinish & Decal.  It reminds me of the scene in the Wizard of Oz before they have an audience!  I also plan to figure out how to restore the case, which is in less than stellar condition… Stay tuned.

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Can you imagine the fun we would all have if they made a reality show restoring and “hot rodding” vintage sewing machines!  I bet mechanics, machine artists and wild quilty ladies involved with all of the curvy, chromed machines of the past could be a hoot.  The machines would become showpieces of the future.  Computerized, plastic machine cases may never be collectible like the older machines.  They aren’t pretty, just very functional.  Once the circuit boards are aged, they may just take up space.  They don’t make sewing machines like they used to, and electronics are sometimes harder to repair.   Don’t get me wrong.  I love computerization.  But I am very psyched about my new, old toy!

I wish I could go to WV and help with the process of stripping it down and refinishing it.

Do you have a hot rod in your collection?
Comment and tell me about it.

Safe Travels!