Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The sewing machine

A while back I was doing some sewing, making a few baby gifts for some friends. My daughter was intrigued. I don't haul out the sewing machine often, so watching me sew was novel to her.  She wanted to learn, so I set her up with some scraps and got her started on a small project. Of course, this made her want to use my machine while I was still busy with my own projects which was making everything take longer. We needed a solution.

A few days later, I happened upon a battered bit of furniture at a local thrift shop. I recognized the cabinet immediately. Singer never had much variation in their sewing machine furniture!  I peeked inside and found a well loved, and long neglected sewing machine with no power cord. It was a "Fashion Mate 362" an amazing workhorse of a machine. Fashion Mates are often used in schools for Home Ec because they are affordable and easy to use, as well as extremely durable. What better machine for teaching a kid how to sew than a machine that is used all over to teach kids how to sew? In it's sad state, the thrift shop only wanted a few dollars for it.  Knowing old singers are nearly indestructible, I put it through its paces, moved all the knobs and dials, found only one sticking but was fairly sure I could fix it, and if the internal electronics were still good, all it would need is a foot pedal/power cord! If the electronics were shot, I was only out a few dollars and I got a fixer-upper table instead!

I snatched it right up!

The machine itself showed a lot of wear, scuffed paint from heavy use, but it was also really grimy. I imagine it belonged to someone that sewed a lot, thus the worn spots, then it stopped being useful, was moved into a kitchen and used as decoration. Cooking grease settled on all the surfaces of the machine hidden inside, and the top of the cabinet was used to hold plants. Plants that were over watered and damaged the lid.
Doesn't look too bad at first glance, but it was literally TACKY with grime!