Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 60

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

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,104

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

    ... did your parent(s) sew on?

    When I was a young feller my mother sewed on a black sewing machine. One that looked like any of 10 million Singers or clones or other brands. Back then I never knew what brand it was, all I knew was it was black and heavy. As I grew up that is what I thought all sewing machines looked like.
    40 years ago, back in the 70s my mom had a HOTHER sewing machine. I basically grew up with that machine and my mom using it. I have it now, it's my avatar picture, and use it myself.
    I did not see or even know that sewing machines had evolved to the squarish ones until I met my wife and saw her Singer 538. Not long after that my mom bought what I think is a Kenmore ZZ machine in a cabinet. It was a square one too. She gave my wife and myself the HOTHER.

    Now after being exposed to the forums, and becoming interested in sewing, I still see the old black cast iron Singer 66 / 15 / 99 type machines when I think of sewing machines.

    How about you?

    Joe

  2. #2
    Muv
    Muv is offline
    Senior Member Muv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    820
    Hello Joe

    To me the Singer 28K hand machine is the classic sewing machine, and any other machine is a variation on that theme.

    My mum only ever had one machine, and I have it now. When I left home and wanted a machine I bought another 28K because that is what I had always used.

    I'm only just getting used to round bobbins, and I've only recently stopped looking for non-existent thumb tabs when releasing my work. Once a 28K girl, always a 28K girl.

    And motors were an unnecessary complication. I'll never see the attraction.

    I'm happy in my time warp.

  3. #3
    Super Member Floralfab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,959
    My mother sewed on a Singer treadle. It was one her foster mother had. I also learned to sew on it. It makes me sad to think about that machine because when I was breaking up my brothers house I foolishly gave it to the salvation army. Things were in a mess than and my husband said give it away cause you'll never use it. How I wished I had kept that sewing machine.

  4. #4
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    2,549
    My father was the sewer in the house when I was growing up, he learned to sew in his teens and worked in NYC garment trade sweatshops with his mother back in the early 1930's. He had his mothers sewing machine, black and probably a Singer, and it was in a big sewing cabinet. I remember he always had a circle of felt around the top somewhere for straight pins. It was a treadle machine and I could never get the hang of it. My brother Jim did as he made himself lots of little drawstring bags for his marbles.

    Next machine I used was the one, note I said one, machine we had in sewing class when I was in 7th and 8th grade, around 1948-49. With only one machine in our class room it took us the whole year to make our outfits - pj's in 7th grade and our graduation dress in 8th.

    Fast forward to the 1960's when my MIL bought herself a new Singer with lots of attachments and it sat in a lovely walnut desk. She gave me her old White that had a knee press to begin and stop sewing and I began sewing curtains for our new house and little cotton dresses for myself.

    Machines that I've bought for myself, 1970's a Kenmore when I began a small craft business with my friends, 1999 an inexpensive Brother to bring to my week long Elderhostel quilting class and then a Pfaff when I wore out the Brother making quilts almost non stop. Brother really didn't wear out, just wasn't up to the amount of sewing I was doing and needed repairs every year that cost more than the machine itself. I've been happy with my first Pfaff and a few years ago upgraded to a new edtion and that's it for me although I do have a 1963 white Featheweight and a little Gem Gold for classes. .
    Last edited by May in Jersey; 08-01-2012 at 11:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    So Plymouth, NY
    Posts
    2,327
    My Mom always had a Singer. I learned to sew on her treadle in the early 70's. She then "moved up" and bought a refurbished Singer when the Junior High Home Ec. liquidated theirs. Only two machines she every had. My husband still has the second Singer in the cellar and uses it sew on canvas for tents and ice fishing shanties.

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    1,908
    My Mom used Singers all the way...but we were never allowed to touch them (with rare exceptions) as they were a very important part of our household income. My first very own machine was a (gently) used black Featherweight, which I subsequently traded in for a newer model. I went through several of them but now have 15 or 16 different ones so I guess I'm done (for now...), including a new Janome 6600P and an almost new Husqvarna Platinum. Also have a treadled 128, and several other older ones. Did I mention I LOVE SEWING MACHINES????
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  7. #7
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    North Carolina - But otherwise, NOTW
    Posts
    8,073
    Blog Entries
    9
    My mom had a black Singer when I was very young...I don't know the model, and she does not remember it. At one time we had a Martha Washington cabinet with a ZZ machine in it, but again, I don't know the model, and neither does she. It was a loooong time ago!! I had bought a couple of modern machines when I started sewing again in about 2001. When I started quilting in 2004, I realized how bad my cheap Brother was, so I bought a more expensive Brother. Then I got interested in the vintage machines, and now I have lent out both of my modern machines and primarily use my vintage Singers. They ROCK!! :-)

  8. #8
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    564
    My mom had a Singer treadle, not sure which model, or where it came from. Unfortunately, she loaned it to a friend in the '70's, who left it out in the rain. Grrrr...

    My dad bought her a brand new Kenmore in a cabinet soon after that little incident. That's the machine I learned to sew on.

  9. #9
    Senior Member grayhare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    330
    At home we had a Singer 301 shortbed, in Mocha, it had belonged to my Grandma. She let us have it, and i believe she purchased, a Brand new Kenmore. My Grandma in Mexico had a treadle, I don't remember much about this machine, she wouldn't let us touch it. I wish i knew more about it.
    I would love to find a 301! That is top on my list right now.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Briarberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    SW Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    182
    My mom had a 15-91 which sat in a corner in her bedroom. We all learned to sew on that machine. I was lucky enough to end up with it and I use it frequently. I also own a 301a, 99K, 185J and a portable Brother for classes. As you can see I love the older Singers. The 99K is my favourite because it just sews so nicely and I love the sound it makes. I also use my 301 a lot. I have been looking for a featherweight to complete my collection. I know I'll find one someday.

  11. #11
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,104
    When I went to AZ in '01 to take care of my moms final requests I saw her last machine. The one in the cabinet. I wanted to take it with me, but my aunt asked me if she could keep it. I said OK and left it there.
    Since I've gotten into the sewing machines and quilting I've wanted that machine very badly. I've contacted my Aunt who said I can have it, but it's out in the old shed. My step son who lives on that property says it's under a tarp and in good shape. But neither of them will lift a finger to take it down, box it up and send it. I've even offered to pay all the shipping costs. Family ............... The only way I'll ever get mom's last machine back is to go get it myself and that is financially prohibitive. No gas money.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,385
    My Mom had a 306 W cabinet mounted with a knee control... I have that machine now .. and love it..I was never allowed to use "her" machine while living at home.. Me and my siblings had an inhereted Kenmore Rotary.. no zig zag... but did have reverse.
    Once in awhile I think my Mom regrets passing that machine on to me , as it still just keeps on going and going. It saw so much use while she had it .. if it was made of cloth she made it.. curtains, coats , slip covers, all of our clothing. I still give it its daily workout.

  13. #13
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Cadillac, MI
    Posts
    6,582
    Blog Entries
    19
    I don't remember what my mother had pre 1952ish, but about that time, she worked at a department store and used her employee discount to help buy a beautiful turquoise White. As there was no money for luxuries for my mother in the budget, so it was her pride and joy. I wish I had it, but recently settled for a Universal with the same look (made by the same factory as Whites). I always felt I had a stake in that machine because at a very young age, I took care of the house and the other five children so she could work the second job. Grandma had a gorgeous big shiny black machine - it had to be 201. Grandpa only bought the best. By the time I was old enough to sew, she had the a similar machine in electric. Was it the same machine - I don't think so. Another 201, for sure, but not the one in treadle. The treadle may have been in her bedroom now that I think about it. I loved both machines, but only sewed on the Singer for two weeks in the summer. In school we had a room full of very new black 301s.
    Last edited by irishrose; 08-01-2012 at 03:03 PM.

  14. #14
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    My Sewing Room
    Posts
    1,184
    Blog Entries
    1
    My mother didn't have a machine until the 60s, when she got a "portable" zigzag White, with the cams for decorative stitches. I cannot remember the brand of machine we used in Home Ec. Around 1978 I bought a Kenmore zigzag new, in a cabinet. Both my sons learned to sew on the Kenmore. I still have mother's white and my Kenmore, and both still work just fine.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
    http://according-to-ginger.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW (I wish it was the Ozarks!)
    Posts
    6,509
    Blog Entries
    6
    Dad bought Mom a Featherweight when the oldest girls were little...that's what she used up until 1980 when she bought her Kenmore. I have the Kenmore now, my sister has the FW.
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  16. #16
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    1,435
    My mother had a beige Fleetwood portable. It had the cams for special stitches and weighed a ton. She bought it on time before she was married to my dad. It was lost in a flood 2 days after we buried her.

  17. #17
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,598
    My Great Aunt lived in the mountains and used a treadle occasionally, but preferred to hand piece her many quilts. Mom made many of the clothes for the 1st 3 girls in our family (I'm #2) on a Montgomery Wards machine. Dad worked 2 - 3 jobs including at MW, so likely it was a returned or discounted machine. In Jr High I was forced to take Home Ec- as 1 of 6 children with 2 working parents I certainly did Not need to learn homemaking! The Singer machines were "so modern" compared to what I was used to! Mom's 70's Kenmore with the fancy cams is at the family cabiin for when we have withdrawal symptoms on vacation. I started out with my wedding gift from Mom and Dad- a '76 Kenmore, which I still use. I branched out into "hoarding" treadles a few years ago when I rescued my first one at a garage sale for $10. There's something about a nice wood cabinet and pretty decals that makes my heart go pitter pat. I have a lightweight Brother for carrying to Guild sewing. Plastic machines just leave me cold, regardless of the number of stitches they can do. I do appreciate the pretty '57 Chevy styling of some vintage machines after hanging around the Board, but am determined not to add another category to my herd!

  18. #18
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    Posts
    5,713
    A Kenmore. I dont know the model, but I know it had light green cams. She taught me, my sister and one brother how to sew on this machine. My brother used to make the "Frostline" kits (sleeping bags, back packs, etc) while us girls did garments. When I got married I told my husband I wanted a sewing machine as my wedding present (I've always been the practical type) and I got a Kenmore. Mother was amazed that it could do different stitches without the cams.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  19. #19
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    6,487
    I also grew up with one of the black with gold trim Singer machines from the 40s.

    And that is what we had in my HS home ec classes as well. They were several different models, but the only real difference was the stitch length regulator knob or lever design. All were in plain cabinets and had the knee lever which activated what we mostly use now as a foot pedal.

    As a HS graduation present I got an aqua Singer 327k (think that was the model #) that was what I used all through college and quite a few years past that. Made lots of shorts and shirts for little boys on it as well as most of my clothes and even matching leisure suits for DH and the boys at one point.

    When I moved back to my home town I again used Mom's Singer until the house burned in 2000. Should have rescued it from the debris, but I was in shock and just wanted to move on...silly me...fire marshall said it should be OK.

    After that I went through quite a few yard sale machines and finally upgraded to cheapie Singer and Brother machines from Wally World. Then I discovered this board and jumped on the featherweight bandwagon...never to return to anything else...unless I decide to get an embroidery machine at some point in the future. Have been considering that, but not sure I would use it enough to justify the expense.

    Oh, and I do have a Singer treadle machine that I got a year or so ago that needs some TLC and a belt. I think it is also from the 40's.
    Last edited by mom-6; 08-01-2012 at 05:48 PM.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    394
    Singer Touch and Sew. Then, when I got my own machine, it was a hand-me-down Kenmore from my sister when she got her first Bernina. That Touch and Sew is the first machine I remember having.

  21. #21
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    2,081
    Blog Entries
    8
    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.

  22. #22
    Senior Member fatquarters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    840
    Blog Entries
    2
    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.
    fatquarters

  23. #23
    Super Member Lucky Patsy's's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,253
    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.

  24. #24
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    1,099
    Blog Entries
    30
    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!

  25. #25
    Super Member ArizonaKAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,371
    Blog Entries
    1
    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.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.