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Thread: Why the cloth wrapping around the arm of vintage machines?

  1. #1
    Member Tallbald's Avatar
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    Why the cloth wrapping around the arm of vintage machines?

    Penny and I see many vintage machines with a wrap of cloth pinned or somehow secured around vintage Singers, etc. arms. OK. I plead ignorance here. Is it to make a softer spot to grab and move the machine? I'm sure it's a simple. Hmmm. Thanks. Don

  2. #2
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    It's a handy pincushion that can't get lost. If you take it off, a lot of machines have 'pin rash'-doinks in the enameling and decals where it got poked repeatedly with pins.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    "Pin rash doinks" .... LOL
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

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    Junior Member JMCDA's Avatar
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    Yup...I just took the wrap off my Mom's old machine and it definitely has a bad case of "pin rash"
    ...it is the handiest place to stick the pins though!

  5. #5
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    Wow I never realized that. Seems like you could sew a several fabric layers together then sew that to velcro and use it in the same way maybe that would help the "doinks"?

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Iris and I were looking at all the doinks on her Singer 99 and decided it might be cool to quilt a new 'pin cushion' to go on there
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  7. #7
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    Wow I never realized that. Seems like you could sew a several fabric layers together then sew that to velcro and use it in the same way maybe that would help the "doinks"?
    I never thought about using velcro for that, but I found one that had a piece of margarine tub (I'm guessing-it was yellow) between two layers of fabric. Considering that the enamel/decals underneath were still intact, I assume the original owner did that to prevent scratching up her new machine. I would think anything flexible enough to bend around the arm but hard enough to prevent the pins from going through would do, although that might be a hard combo to come up with.

    And yes, as long as the enamel/decals are already beat, you may as well put something fancy there! If your sewing table looks like mine, it would be the one pincushion that wouldn't disappear under everything.
    Last edited by MrsBoats; 11-24-2011 at 04:50 AM.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

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    If i remember right, i think it was to stick pins in!! Any way that is what we did with ours. Long time quilter

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    Member Tallbald's Avatar
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    Oh my gosh! That makes so much sense! I really admire the butter tub protective idea. Hmmm folks. A craft show idea?? Thanks, Don

  10. #10
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Oh my - to see those things on a machine just makes me want to cry.

    I have a bronze plated (copper colored) White Rotary embossed machine from the company's 50th anniversary in 1926 and I'd bet that the original owner put that darn rag on it within minutes of getting her new machine.

    The protective lacquer is completely worn off of that area and there is not any patina - so there's a bright copper stripe all around the arm of this gorgeous old machine.

    At least this will mend itself with time. The real heart-breakers are the ones which have decals and japanning dinged to death underneath the rag.

  11. #11
    Member quiltdragon's Avatar
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    I have industrial machines and have a double layer of fleece wrapped around as an easy pincushion. Just checked, and the Brother logo plate has some pin-dinks in it but the enamel on the machine is perfect.

    Actually it's a quad layer because I've serged two strips of fleece together and then wrapped that twice. Couldn't be bothered sewing velcro, it's held in place with two honking great safety pins.

    I love it, I can always find the pins/handsewing needles etc I need.

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Those ladies weren't worried about how those machines looks just how they sewed I bet.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    Just thinking out loud, but I could see that having a pin catcher/cushion there would not only be handy to the sewist, but for a while it would keep the pins out of reach of the smaller children who would be curious to see what mama was using. Hmmmm. might have come up with one of my own!
    To make lots of quilts, is to have lots of scraps, and I do, and I do.
    BarbaraSue

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    Save the machines! Use your shoulder pads! With just a little bit of attention (no doinked shoulders), they work great.

  15. #15
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by w1613s View Post
    Save the machines! Use your shoulder pads! With just a little bit of attention (no doinked shoulders), they work great.
    ROTFLMBO!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT! I hate those shoulder pads and I cut them out of every thing.... NOW there really is a USE for them!!!!!!!! YOU made my day! Wonderful idea!
    Last edited by miriam; 11-24-2011 at 09:12 AM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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    Theold Singer I bought had a small batting filled square pin cushion sewn to a strip of cloth on the machine!

  17. #17
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    My Mom had one of those on her Kenmore for all the 50 years she used it.

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    Yes the rag was for pin cushions--but dont do it because it takes the paint and decals off the vintage machines.I saw some machines on e-bay with the rag on there and I wondered myself until the sewing repair man told me.So dont buy one off e-bay with the rag on it--it probably wont have paint under it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Baysidegal's Avatar
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    I have the same problem on an old 15-91 that I've rescued. When I finish cleaning it I am going to make my own "Pin wrap" in a newer style fabric. Unless I have her repainted LOL.

  20. #20
    Senior Member vwquilting's Avatar
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    I used one my Mom had for years. It worked great so why not keep it and use it. I was taught to not hit the machine but to pin upwards so as not to scratch the machine.

  21. #21
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Just pin up your hair in Bobbie pins, put your straight pins on the cloth and sew just like grandma!!!
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  22. #22
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    Pin cushions are so easy to make that I would never put an arm around my machine no matter what it cost. Does not make sense to me to ruin the looks of any machine unnecessarily

  23. #23
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    Yep, my mother had an old Singer and a White and both had the cloth wrapped around the arm. It was a convenient place to stick pins. Boy, that brought back memories.

  24. #24
    Super Member pjnesler's Avatar
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    My Grandma did that with her machine too -she was a beautiful seamstress, dresses, coats, wedding attire = only did a quilt when I started it, and she offered to finish for me when my babies took so much attention.... thanks for the memories!

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