My grandmother passed away five years ago this past September, just days shy of her 90th birthday. With her passing, I inherited her sewing machine and table as per her request.
I recovered the seat on the bench, leaving the cracked leather beneath out of sentimentality, placed it in my front room, and there it has sat for five years. Then a couple of months ago I started thinking about it. Wondering about it. I’ve been browsing on PatternReview.com a lot, and vintage sewing machines seemed to be the hot topic. So one night, I ran down and opened the bench to see if I could figure out what it was I had and if I could actually use it.
I’ve mentioned my grandmother and her sewing before. She was born in 1915 and started her family in the height of the Great Depression.
Grandma and my uncle, mid 1930s. Check out that revere collar!
When they were first married, my grandfather worked as a milkman. She loved to tell us of how strong that made him, sharing a story of going swimming with him, his brother and sister-in-law, and how proud she was to be married to the brother with the obvious superior physique. She was fastidious about grooming and appearance. All of the pictures of my father and his brother show her attention to detail in not only her own dress, but that of her children, as well
As a child, her family had little money. But she used to convince her uncle to give her enough to buy lunch every day so she wouldn’t have to take what she described as her mother’s “ugly” bread to school. She once told me her mother knew how to bake good bread, but not pretty bread. My grandmother loved pretty things.
And her sewing machine is a very pretty 1938 Singer 201-2
Like my grandma, it’s as tough as it is beautiful. At her funeral a close friend shared a story of her tossing a watermelon at the local grocer, knocking the wind out of him, because she didn’t feel he was being honest in his pricing. She was only about 4’10 on a good day, but she still was able to throw a melon with enough force to take out a grown man? Probably due to lifting this steel beast out of its table on a regular basis.
I haven’t had as much time to play with it as I have wanted, but from what I have done, this thing sews through anything I can get under the presser foot. No hesitation, no skipped stitches, no slowing down.