Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vintage Sewing Machines and Buttonholes

Susan at Spare Time has been writing a series of posts about Using a Vintage Sewing Machine. Currently she's demonstrating the various specialty feet. But if you keep clicking on "Show Older Posts" you'll eventually get back to the first one, Preparing where she outlines what she'll be covering.

Although I love my two, lightly-computerized Berninas, I learned to sew on older mechanicals. My mom had a Singer 500, a.k.a the Rocketeer. And the sewing machines we had in my junior high home-ec class were old Singers very much like the one Susan is writing about. (Her descriptions of needles, threading, and tension on her 15-91 triggered a lot of forgotten memories!)

I own three vintage sewing machines right now. The first is a Singer 401A. I bought it on e-Bay because it looked so much like my mom's 501. It has cams for making special stitches and I managed to find a box of attachments. I also have a buttonholer for this machine, though I have to admit that I haven't tried using it yet. It comes in a pink plastic box shaped like a football.

I also have two Featherweights:* one which I inherited from my mother-in-law, and one which I discovered at a yardsale. I've got a box of attachments for both of them, including a buttonholer. I haven't yet tried out the buttonholers for any of these machines, but Susan has just posted a detailed (and well illustrated) tutorial that will finally will finally give me the courage to attempt it. Even if you don't own one of these, check it out. It's fascinating!

*Um, not a picture of one of my own machines, just a link to show you what a Featherweight looks like.

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