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Thread: Sewing On Vintage Machines

  1. #1
    Super Member ChubbyBunny's Avatar
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    In addition to my modern-day Juki and Janome, I have two wonderful Featherweights and I really enjoy sewing with them. My FWs were manufactured in the 1940s and 50s. I really wish they could talk. I find myself wondering about the ladies who owned them before me. Who were they? What were their lives like? Did they quilt or make clothing on my little featherweights? I feel like I'm touching history when I sew with them. Does anyone else find themselves thinking about these things while they are sewing with their vintage machines?

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  2. #2
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    Love your pink one!!! Haven't seen any of those!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Katy's Avatar
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    I have one much like your black one and based on the serial # on it we found it was manufactured in 1951.I inherited along with a Ellegante, a serger, a gem, and all of my bestest quilty friends quilting stash and tools when she went to heaven in 2009. So unlike yours it had been in her family always so I know it's history and it makes me feel like I have a connection to her past. Lynda was 15 years older than me. It was her younger sister's 8th birthday present. When her younger sister married she wanted something more modern and was going to buy store made items anyway so she sold it to Lynda. When she was diagnosed with cancer she gave it to me so there would be no argument about where it should go. But before that she had told me about making curtains for her first house on it and children's clothes and dresses made. Your machine's probably have a rich past like that as well. I am sure she would be happy if she knew I was using it but I have not used it much. Guess I better take it off my bedroom shelf where it sits to be cute and sew something on it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. #4
    Super Member tammy cosper's Avatar
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    Yes, I do too. I have a white fw.And it sews so good. Dates to the 1950s i believe. It does make you wonder what the woman who bought it new,made on it. Or the women after her. I recently acquired a handcrank that I call Rosie because of roses on the bed of her. And it dates to the 1800's. I told my dh that considering that time frame, she probably was a woman who had some money, cause these probably would have been considered very fancy machines back then. And I imagine her showing her friends (who would all ooo and ahhh) when they saw it. Because I think back then husbands saved every penny they could get for a while just to buy their wife a regular treadle to make the family clothing. So...I'm with you, I do think of all those things. I love your pink one btw.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kathios's Avatar
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    Perhaps those of you with these vintage machines should take photos of the creations made on your machines. Keep some of the photos with the instruction manual. In 100 years, the new owners of your vintage machines will also inherit some history.

  6. #6
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    Oh man! 2 of them and one of them pink! Lucky u! I want one sooo bad!

  7. #7
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I do the same thing with my vintage machines and also old quilt tops that I quilt.

    I'm always happy to see vintage machines being bought b/c we are buying pieces of history that will be cherished once again.
    Thanks for the great post!! Love your machines too :D:D

  8. #8
    Junior Member chatonne40's Avatar
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    Love your machines especially the pink one :-)

    I have a 1955 Pfaff 230 that was given to me from a very dear Lady who use to make wedding dresses and lots of pearls appliques etc Very fine and beautiful work.

    She gave it to me after her sons bought her a new machine. She told me that she was missing her old machine as the new one didn't feel as solid (plastic) LOL I found an antique desk that goes great with it and all tuned it up and it is working like new. I love it.

    I have many sophisticated feet that I still have to discover how to use or what are they used for but it is my little treasure :-)

  9. #9
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I have a 1928 Leader treadle that I know had only one previous owner who used her. She started her sewing life in S Dakota and was brought to Mich by the DIL when the owner passed. I picture her making quilts, but who knows. My 1952 Singer 128 black side has no known history and soon may be sold. My 1956 Singer 301 has only been here since January and she's a little workhorse. Does everything a quilter would want her to. Tuesday I bought a 1950ish Necchi BF. She has the capability to help the 301. My 1973 Elna SU is 'my' machine whose history I know well. She doesn't quilt well for several reasons, but she has done everything else from leather belts to silk organza wedding dresses. I have a 1960s Kenmore in the sewing room, but it's been years since she sewed a stitch.

  10. #10
    Senior Member alissa's Avatar
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    Love your machines the pink one is sew cute

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