Friday, 10 June 2011

they don't make 'em like they used to

I've wanted one of these for a while. In fact every week for most of this year I've been putting silly low bids on them on the bay of evil, never expecting to actually win. I've come really close a couple of times. Then on Sunday I was out with the family and some friends and I'd had a couple of beers when the 'an item you're bidding on is ending soon' text came through on my phone. I'd already been outbid on it earlier in the week, so I thought I'd just put a little bit higher, but still silly low, and didn't expect to win.

Look what arrived today.....

in need of TLC

Betty, as she will be known (after my Nan who was the one that nurtured my love of sewing with her hand crank singer) is in need of a little bit of TLC. She works, but she's got a slightly dodgy power cable, and smells of old. Until she's had a good once over and a well deserved spa day I'm not going to try and sew anything on her. Just in case.

Check out her glossy body -

reflection

...and the detail on the front -

they don't make 'em like they used to

They don't make 'em like they used to. That's for sure.

57 comments:

RuthDesigns said...

Oh my goodness, she is sooo lovely! The scrollwork on the end is just divine... why oh why don't Bernina and Phaff do the same these days??

I have a cream Frister Rossman in my collection which is a hand crank machine, I must get her out for an airing :)

trash said...

Phwoooar!

Erica Spinks said...

bea-ut-i-ful!!

susan said...

Betty is beautiful!

Jackie said...

I love it... the bay of evil! Gotta remember that... But what an angel you received from them!! She is a beauty. Best of luck.

Helen said...

I still have my grandmother's 1937 Singer crank handle which I did a lot of sewing on until last year. Now she's properly retired, still looking glamorous if fatigued. I wouldn't be too scared of sewing with Betty, I think my Norah is tough enough to run up a suit of armour!

I hope you'll be very happy together :-)

Mama Spark said...

I really want one of these beauties too!! I guess I should visit the Bay more often too!

steven said...

i cry everytime i think of the singer beauty that was always in the back of the coal house when i was a kid and didnt know better.. and now when i do know better its no longer in my world... poor singer lovely detailed sewing machine, im sorry....

cauchy09 said...

wow, that's one sexy machine.

Cass said...

Lovely

Char said...

Ooo Betty is beautiful!

Pinkadot Quilts said...

They are a great machine. I bought one at an antique shop for $125 about 12 years ago. They had no idea of the value of it!!!

jane said...

I somehow managed to get one of these from a family friend in pristine condition. Just needed a little once over by the repair man and it now sews like a dream. My black beauty has quickly become my number one machine.

alobsiger said...

GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I must be honest and say that Betty's beauty rivals Snoop's cuteness. Fabulous acquisition!!! I was almost thinking of pulling mine out to be all quaint when I sew FW blocks.

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

Congratulations!!!!!

Melinda said...

The scrolling is beautiful! You inspired me to finish out my own post today with pics of one we have in our home that belonged to hubbie's grandmother. Enjoy it!
http://tildastwistedlife.blogspot.com/2011/06/all-about-sewing.html

the Campfollower said...

Oh Katy you luck duck! You are going to love her so much! There are some great Youtube videos showing how to lube and oil, your Betty. All those little holes on top of the machine need a drop of oil and lube the gears. Wonderful find! And you have one cute puppy too.

Katherine said...

Your Betty is a real beauty! I'm sure that after her well deserved spa day, she'll be raring to go and you will fall more in love with her. I've only had my Singer 15-91 (known as Belle) for a few short months, but now I can't imagine my sewing life without her. :o)

Saska said...

Betty is so pretty. I'd be proud of her too.

supermom said...

She sure is a beauty. Congratulations on winning her off ebay. And you're right... they don't make them like they used to. I'm sure you'll love sewing with her.

Be careful though, they have a tendency to multiply. A month ago, I bought my 15-91 off ebay and then went searching for a cabinet for it. Now I have the 15-91 plus a 201-2 and a 201 in the house. Though the 201-2 is going to be a Christmas gift for our middle daughter so eventually it will move to it's new home.

Susan C. said...

Oh, my, she's gorgeous! I have finally given up using my Brother, and use my Featherweight exclusively. She only makes straight lines, but she does it so well! Congrats on a great find!

Carolyn said...

She is so lovely! She sure is a beauty. Congrats on a great find!

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two hippos said...

Betty is beautiful and in amazing condition too!

Anonymous said...

I like that - bay of evil. I've been bidding on those machines, but never coming close. Congratulations on your win. Betty is a beaut! Thanks for sharing.
cindy

Sarah@PingsAndNeedles said...

Wow! Betty is indeed a beautiful thing - my shiny dashing 50s Novum, Damiel, would be flirting with her big time!

kait. said...

I have that same machine, both in my sewing studio and tattooed on my arm. She's a beauty! I use her more than my modern Pfaff. Congratulations!

LuAnn said...

She's sure a beauty! I have one but without the scroll work on that end panel. I love that bay of evil, too. Next time I'll have to sign up for phone alerts.

memmens said...

Wow that is superb, I have one and it is so lovely to work with. You can check out it's 'birthdate' here http://www.singerco.com/support/machine-serial-numbers. Have fun.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Your new old machine is bee..yoo..tee..full!!! A very classy lady! I have an 60's Bernina I call Betty.

Poppyprint said...

Betty is lovely!!! Her finish is in beautiful shape - great score Katy. I was going to email to see if you'd found a Featherweight yet. If her carry case is smelling musty it could be due to the glue used to attach the black outside layer to the wooden box. Boxes manufactured in England and those made in the U.S. were different, apparently. If yours used horse-hoof glue, it rots over time producing a musty smell that in impossible to get rid of. My friend (after trying every odour-removing technique known to women) found out about this glue business from our local Singer man. She then scraped all the black vinyl and glue off her box, sanded it down and varnished it and it is absolutely gorgeous!

Enjoy the perfect stitch Betty will make!

Chris said...

aaah - it's great - it looks pretty similar to the one I have that used to be my grandma! http://squeezleknits.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-new-old-addition.html - I found a guy that could work on machines (as opposed to just changing motherboards or whatever most machines have these days!) and about $100 it's the only machine I've used since - seriously, I haven't even touched my modern one! it just feels like an extension of me when I use it - when you take your foot off the pedal, it sort of slows to a stop - not a lot, but something about that just makes it feel alive to me! You're going to love it!

Danielle said...

I have a betty of my own, and I love her so! Although, she is nameless, and I might just have to do something about that! I agree with memmens, check out the date on that beauty! In such great condition, lovely!

Andi said...

Enjoy!!
xx

Amanda Elizabeth said...

Katy she is SO pretty!!! Her scroll plate is a beauty!!! Also, I'm pretty sure all featherweights have that "old" smell. My power cord/foot pedal was short, I had a featherweight specialist lengthen it for $25..good as new!

**nicke... said...

mmmmmm. she looks beautiful!

Two Wednesdays said...

Be still my beating heart! I want one, but having a new all singing machine, I am not sure my husband would understand why I had bought a featherweight..... :-(

Wendz said...

Oh, LOL, I think you and I must have bid against each other!! Nevermind, I got another one, with straight stripes instead of scrolls and even though I look very sedate, my heart was jumping for joy when she arrived! Am also going to give her the once over, she will need a nice name and am also deciding what her first project will be. Gonna be great for when you have sewing days out too.

susan said...

shes lovely. and i like her name too
my girl has a stink on her too. if you find a way to make her smell more fresh i would love to know. happy for you!!!!

Drew and Rita said...

Oh, my goodness, that is just like the one my mother traded in years ago for a machine that had a zigzag stitch. LOL Enjoy!

Frieda said...

Congratulations, Katy. I stalked evil place about 8 years ago til I found one that was built in my birth month and year. It sews a dream!

Melissa said...

Thank you for your post Katy! Thanks to you, I discovered my MIL"s in her garage today and am one happy daughter in law!!: http://quiltingforhappiness.blogspot.com/2011/06/crafty-mummas-denyse-schmidt-textile.html

Cathy said...

Oh lucky you Katy, she is a true beauty!! Hope she enjoys her day spa. Can I use your bay of evil phrase, love it!!! xo

Apryl said...

beautiful... and now I have Black Betty stuck in my head which is awesome.

Fiona said...

She's so very beautiful! You are going to love sewing on her after she's been at the spa :)

KnightMare said...

How very lovely. Until Thursday I have been sowing on a very old singer. At least yours has power, mine was still hand wound and for anything intricate required two of us - one to turn the handle and one to use both hands to guide the fabric through.

Is a gorgeous item though.

sew katie did said...

I had three ladies show up at my last class with these beauties! My Mom sold her's, I wept.

Prof. S said...

Lovely -- I bet you'll love it!

I have a 1947 Featherweight ("Dot") that I bought from an estate sale a few months ago (http://enchantedbobbin.blogspot.com/2011/03/good-bad-and-ugly.html) - wonderful for piecing! Enjoy!!

Dotty said...

In the words of Frank Spencer, "Oooh Betty" :)

The detail in the panels is so beautiful!

happy zombie said...

Congratulations on your new baby!!! I had a Featherweight once (from ebay as well) - I ended up selling mine and now have regrets. Though - I've been wanting a white (green) Scottish one for years. Maybe you'll let me come visit you and we can go shopping??!!

Sarah Craig said...

Such a beauty! She's in much better shape (at least visually!) than mine, but mine is well-loved and has taught many little hands how to sew! I'm so glad I have her now, because she's great for when I want to take my quilting somewhere - like on vacation! If you decide to clean her yourself, be careful - there's a trick to putting the thread plate back on!

PS For those still looking out there, Goodwill's auction site (shopgoodwill.com) is a great place to watch for Featherweights!!

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

She's nearly a twin to mine. She's in great great shape cosmetically. My cord recently broke so I have a repair to do but really mine works like a dream. Yours will too. Good job.

Cathy said...

How exciting!! Betty is so pretty! I've been wanting a vintage machine for awhile now, too!

Wendy P said...

The details are so gorgeous! And it looks like new. Very sad that they don't try to make anything attractive like that any more...

Maybe cedar would help with the smell? Or a nice sachet of lavender or something? If the spa day doesn't help, of course.

Anonymous said...

Oooo, can you feel the envy! To get a featherweight with the lovely fancy front plate at a price you call low. You are a lucky girl. Dont worry about the smell, its a sign of authenticity, they all have it! What a great way to remember your Gran, happy stitching.

joanie said...

Eeeek! I love Betty. I want a Betty of my own! I wonder if you've tried her out yet.

HannahP said...

I sew on a Feather Weight. I love mine. And I love the way it smells. My bf told me that they smell like church organs because they use the same oil or lubricant or something. I hope you have fun with her!

Rahshell said...

congrats, she's beautiful!

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