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Thread: When you were young and impressionable, what type of machine ...

  1. #21
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    My Mom had a 70s Singer that I made one tiny doll quilt with but was not allowed to use after that because I sewed too fast and she was afraid that I would sew over my fingers. In home ec the machine that you got to use was based on how well you did in the cooking part of the class. I burned the Spanish rice because I had never used gas stove and didn't have the burner set low enough, so I got stuck with the old Morse 15 clone that no one wanted to use. I loved that machine. I have a collection of old Singers that I love. My collection has a 201, 301, 306K, 221, 401, 500, 503, 99K, 66 handcrank, treadle modle 12, 15-91, a 15 clone, a Pink Atlas, Industrial Singer 72w19 hemstitch, and a Montgomery Ward.

  2. #22
    Senior Member fatquarters's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    The one I remember was a tan singer slant needle. I learnt to sew on it. I loved that machine. When I was in my senior year Mom bought a new singer. My Dad really wanted me to use it, kinda pushy, I kept saying I just wanted Moms old one. Anyway, turned out he bought me a new one too for a grad gift, and gave the slant needle to the neighbor. I loved that old slant needle, and even though I used the new one for years, I still cant believe they gave the old one away, when I wanted it so bad.

  3. #23
    Super Member Lucky Patsy's's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Northern California
    My mother bought a Singer 66-16 when she was 19 years old and used that machine her entire life, sewing clothes curtains, slipcovers and quilts. It accompanied her from Illinois to Colorado to Washington and eventually to California and I learned to sew on that machine. She passed away in 2007 and that machine is now mine. Although I inherited a number of my mother's things, none evoke her spirit in my mind as much as that machine does. I have a number of machines, mostly vintage, but the old 66-16 is the one that feels right.

  4. #24
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    East Tennessee
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    It's nice to read these stories. My parents never sewed, but my mom had a brownish-beigeish ?Singer? that sat tucked away in a cabinet in the dining room. I didn't even know she had it until I announced I wanted to make my own prom dress! I had taken Home Ec the year before, so I thought I could whip it up! Well, then I found out that my mom had some sewing skills, but she hates to sew. Well, no wonder, with her old neglected machine! So when I got into quilting last year, she had mentioned that she wanted this or that hemmed or patched, etc. So I gave her a new sewing machine and started showing her how to use it. I really need to sit with her and spend some time with it.
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  5. #25
    Super Member ArizonaKAT's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    I lived in a small town in western PA. Everyone worked at the "mill". There was a general store (PM Moore Co.) that would let the mill workers buy on credit and take it out of their weekly paycheck. They stocked White (and clone) machines. My grandmother had a White treadle (similiar to the one I have now) and my mother started with a Domestic crinkle. She gave that one to me when she bought herself a new Rocketeer.

  6. #26
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    The first sewing machine I remember was a Singer treadle. I can't remember what ever happened to that sewing machine or whether or not mother sewed on it. I guess she did at one time, but not much. The second sewing machine was a Featherweight that she bought when I took sewing lessons at the Singer store (OMG, that was 60 years ago!). I still have the manual for it, but alas, my sister took it and likely hocked it somewhere. But that's OK. I dealt with that issue and now have six.
    Sweet Caroline

  7. #27
    Junior Member DaylilyDawn's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Lakeland FL
    The first sewing machine I remember was the Brother my mother had when I was very young. I learned to sew on it. Then when I was in high school I used it to make my clothes for school. One of my teachers wanted to know where I bought some of my clothes, it really shocked her when I said I made them. Then I got married my husband bought me a basic Singer as a wedding gift. Then we traded it in on the Viking I still have. Then I bought a Euro Pro sewing machine from Fingerhut for quick repairs. My daughter used it and now it won't sew worth a darn. So I have bought a Brother and use it for the quick repairs.

  8. #28
    cjr is offline
    Super Member cjr's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Las Vegas NV
    What an interesting piece of American depression history this thread is.

    I learned to sew on a treadle not sure of model either Singer or White in the early 50s, used it for years. I made most of my wardrobe on it including prom dresses. We were very poor so this was very necessary. Then mom upgraded to a used electric machine, probably a Singer. Sometime later in traded it in for a used Singer 301, which I now use to quilt my large quilts on. Works like new. Never herard of a FW till I started quilting and joined thid board. I have purchased a FWfrom ebay about 1 yr ago. I haVE Become a vintage machine collector. My daily piecing& seweing machine is a Singer 778 (36 yrs old) that I purchased when i was pregnant with our last child to make her layette.

    My first machine was a Riccar-bivadar(wrong spelling) thast I won art the county fair. Horrible machine couldn't wait to trade it in for my Singer.

    I have found that thses oldies will work for me as long as they are kept clean and well oiled and in some cases greased.

    I have also purchased a couple of vintage machine Singers that need some TLC.

  9. #29
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    NE Indiana
    Ah here we go.....
    The first machine that I remember was an old black Singer. Portable type with the old knee crank. That is the one that I learned to sew on.Before we learned to sew, our mother made a lot of our clothes. I also remember her making some of my Halloween costumes, They were at times very fancy to say the least.
    Somewhere in my teens my mother went out and bought a Bernina in a cabinet. That was in retaliation to my dad spending around a grand on wood working tools from a guy he worked with.
    One of her comments was that if he could spend that much, so could she. The Bernina was green and yellow to my memory and had the built in stitches. I used to push both those machines fast.
    Supposedly one of the machines was given to my younger sister and the other was sold in a yard sale. I was told that the Bernina was the one sold and that My mother regretted doing that. One of my sisters later helped her get another machine but she did not use it much.
    I remember making all my own clothes from grade school up, mainly because I refused to wear hand me downs.(That unto itself is another story) I was always a year or so ahead of the girls in home ec . I remember spending one summer with one of my sisters when she lived near Chicago making my wardrobe for the following school year. I think I wore some of those clothes even after I graduated. The ensemble was basically a mix and match so that I could make several outfits out of a few pieces.
    I think that I frustrated some of the girls in my home ec class because I was more advanced than they were and was allowed to do more on my own with the sewing machines.
    As for cooking I think I hated that part because it bored me.
    In 1978 or 79 my first husband bought me the Singer 538. That was because I wanted a sewing machine with cams for the decorative stitches. I still have that machine and now it needs another new gear.
    Some of the machines that we have acquired over the last year or so I have to blame on memories of my childhood friends and the machines they had that fascinated me then and still do to this day.
    The rest of them are due to Joe's love of machinery, and making them work again.


  10. #30
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Headed home
    My grandmother sewed on an Eldredge two spools treadle. Mom tells stories about pushing the treadle for g-ma!
    My mother taught me to sew on an electric Eldredge purchased for her by my dad the year my oldest sibling was born. It is in a wonderful oak cabinet, and is now in my front room. It makes the most wonderful buttonholes, and will sew most anything. In school, I had to use a Singer. I fought with that thing - I do not know the model, but I remember the drop-in bobbin. I used to take my projects home, because I could get a much better job done on the old Eldredge. After leaving home, I had access to a sewing machine in the dorm - imagine! A sewing machine, but no kitchen! I used it (probably an old black Singer) to make dresses for parties... But that is another story When I got to teach my girls, they used my Viking - a 1979 model 6570 that is currently my newest machine.

    Wow! What a walk down memory lane! Thanks, everyone for sharing your stories!
    Quilt Mom

    Going through life one stitch at a time

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