Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Tale of my "Incredible Thrift Store Find"....or how I Love my New 1938 Singer 66-8

It was a warm and muggy Tuesday in June, typical type weather in the summer once you leave the island.  I was on my way to Karen's Kreations to check out some new fabric.  Once I pulled into the parking lot, I had to pass "The Arc of Atlantic County - Thrift Store" and something just told me to stop in just for a second and check out what they may have inside.  "Boy and am I glad I did!" 

This is my wonderful new 1938 Singer 66-8. Now I guess I'm sorta jumping the gun.  There is a little more of a story here before my machine became this beautiful.

This is actually the way she looked when I first found her just sitting in the isle at the thrift store.  I couldn't believe it.  They had the machine all threaded up at the time and a little piece of fabric with her. So I just had to sit down for a minute and try her out.  She sewed perfect stitches and absolutely straight, didn't pull the fabric in any funny way or anything.  These photo's are taken inside of Karen's Kreations after I purchased my little gem.

She needed a little cleaning but everything worked just like it should and she ran as quiet as could be.  The only thing you could hear was the faint sound "clickity clackity" of the pressure feet and foot moving up and down.

Forward only no reverse.  You have to love the simplicity and rugged durability behind this machine.

All the original electrical was intact and the light bulb even worked.

Even came with the original Motor Lubricant.

Lots of Extra's
1.  Tucker Foot  2. Adjustable Hemmer Foot  3.  Binder Foot  4.  Hemmer Foot 
5.  Seam Guide  6.  4 Bobbins  7.  The original screwdriver.
The Standard Foot is on the Singer

Even the original manuals showing that she was in her original cabinet.

I was just a little beside myself to say the least.  I couldn't believe my good fortune.  A wonderful old Singer with all the bits and pieces and it ran really, really nice!   For only $75.00.  I think the people in the store thought I was a little nutty for wanting such an old machine.  Most people just don't understand the background and heritage of sewing machines and what it means to the sewist.

So I took the machine over to Karens Kreations and let her Sewing Machine repairman have a go at it for a couple of days.  You know, replace all the electrical cording which was a little soft and just give it a good cleaning on the inside.

After he did his magic I took it home and started working on the cabinet.

Let the stripping begin!

Top scratched up a bit, time to give it a new luster!

Used chemical stripper on every piece of wood.

It took two solid days of stripping and sanding to get everything just right.

Once I had everything stripped and sanded I used a nice Minwax wood finish.

Once I had the wood stained I used a nice hand varnish you apply with a rag and rub in.  It gives the wood a soft glow.

This is the final result.  

Sewing with this machine is almost magical.  There really is a charm to it.

My wife laughs at me when I sew now.  I just finished a pair of pants, the Kwik Sew 2776 using my Singer.  I loved how perfect the stitches came out.  Every once in a while I would have to jump to my Janome to use the zig-zag stitch to bind off the seams and also to make my buttonholes.  That's all right though.  It is hard to relay how enjoyable it is to use one of these older gems.  I would highly recommend one to any sewist.  It's like stepping back into a simpler time.

That is it, the end of my post for today.  We just have a couple of things left....first, the big "Shout Out".

Today that is going to....Elizabeth of My Sewing Machine Obsession .  If you find yourself with a Vintage Sewing Machine of any type and have questions about it.  Her blog is well worth checking out.  She is devoted to finding and fixing Vintage Sewing Machines and she is absolutely wonderful at it.

and also....

This week the "Two Thumbs Up" goes to Katwise .  Kat Osullivan upcycles old sweaters into absolutely beautiful pieces of clothing artwork.  I absolutely love each and every piece she makes and I definitely plan on purchasing some of her patterns this fall.  She will give any sewist tons of inspiration and her patterns are just plain fun!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe