I've been remiss in introducing you to my newest studio mate. Isn't she pretty? I love her so.
I've walked by so many of these in antique shops, thrift stores and the like, each time stopping to admire them, and thinking, oh, someday, it'll be just the right time for me to bring that home/spend the money/have the space to store it. I'm so glad I waited. Recently, while on a family attic clean-out with Steve's mother, we came across this. She mentioned that no one else in the family wanted it, and she wasn't sure what to do with it. It was her mother's, the machine on which she sewed all of her daughter's dresses. In its case, perfectly cared for, but clearly worked hard, with a box full of all the attachments and bits and bobs. Well, well...something old and pretty, full of sentimentality and family history, that I can craft with? I was absolutely delighted and honored to bring it home with me.
With a quick google of the serial number, I dated her to 1930. Electric, with a mounted light and powered by the knee pedal. Plugging her in just as soon as I got home, with curious children around me, it started right up and steadily stitched as though it was yesterday that it last had a spin, not the forty or so years we think that it's really been since she's been plugged in. And I can't really describe it, but goodness, it just felt so good. Don't get me wrong, I love my new Bernina to pieces, but oh, there's something special about an old, simple, sturdy and well made machine. Both, I think, are just what I want to sew with.
The knee pedal took a little getting used to - and probably always will be a little funky for me, given that there's a knee pedal on my Bernina that does something very different (raises and lowers the foot). But other than my operating clunkiness, sewing with this old Singer was a dream. And fun. And full of meaning. I never met Margaret, the woman who spent so much time at this machine, and for whom our Adelaide Margaret is named. She passed long before I met Steve. But knowing her family full of genuinely loving, kind, and fun people that I've come to know as my own family these past fourteen years, I think I'd like her an awful lot. I'm grateful for this tiny little piece of her life in my home. And who knows, but maybe - just maybe - one of my children will learn to sew on their great grandmother's machine. Wouldn't that be lovely? I think so.