My Grandmother’s Sewing Machine

I was my grandmother’s first grandchild. At the time I was born she worked in the tailor shop of Joseph A. Banks.

The vintage Singer sewing machine resides in a sturdy lift-top table.
The vintage Singer sewing machine resides in a sturdy lift-top table.

When I was born my grandmother bought a brand new Singer sewing machine.

I always liked the built-in table portion of the sewing machine which is large enough to support fabric while sewing.
I always liked the built-in table portion of the sewing machine which is large enough to support fabric while sewing.

This machine has been sitting unused for at least a decade since I don’t sew much anymore and when I do I use my own Singer portable from the 1970s.

The case of the machine has become moldy with disuse.
The case of the machine has become moldy with disuse.

I was going to get rid of it in my plan to purge large things from our home. I looked into local college costume shops to see if they would like another machine. Costume shops have come a long way since I worked in one and I came away from my research thinking this avenue was closed.

Lemon oil cleaned and nourished the wood.
Lemon oil cleaned and nourished the wood.

I cleaned the wood case with lemon oil.  Although it is very old, it cleaned up well .

The needle and adjusting screw are just a blur when the machine is running.
The needle and adjusting screw are just a blur when the machine is running.

I plugged in the cord to see if the machine stills runs. Like a charm the needle hammered up and down more quietly than my newer model.

This machine is very precise and will accommodate a thick wad of material or a very fine gauze.
This machine is very precise and will accommodate a thick wad of material or a very fine gauze.

I used this machine years ago to make a winter coat when the layers of fabric were too thick to go through my machine. I have kept it around just in case I ever make something like slipcovers that have multiple layers.

Lean your right knee against the bar to start the sewing machine.
Lean your right knee against the bar to start the sewing machine.

One of my favorite features is the knee treadle. It seems to work much more smoothly than the foot peddle on my machine.

I know how to use this machine but the booklet would be helpful if I didn't.
I know how to use this machine but the booklet would be helpful if I didn’t.

In the drawer are some attachments and the original instruction manual.

This ironing board opens by itself when turns upright but because it has wheels it starts to roll away. Unmanageable.
This ironing board opens by itself when turns upright but because it has wheels it starts to roll away. Unmanageable.

I might keep it for now. What I’m not keeping is this heavy ironing board on wheels. It’s gotta go!

What are you keeping?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

12 thoughts on “My Grandmother’s Sewing Machine”

    1. The table is nice when you’re sewing but in the way much of the time. Maybe when we finally finish the laundry room there will be a place there. My sister was always the better sew-er but she also has her own machine. Jo

  1. If you really want to get rid of the sewing machine you should sell it – it must be worth a bit! I’d keep it though – looks fantastic (and I know nothing about sewing!)

    1. I checked our local Craigslist and they’re being sold anywhere from $35 to $500 and there are plenty listed. For now I’ll keep it because it sews great. Jo

  2. It’s a beautiful machine and cabinet. I love the gilt trim on the old machines. I’d keep it, too. Not only is it handy to have a powerful machine, but this one’s special, being your grandma’s, even though there are many for sale out there. But … that attitude keeps lots of “stuff” in my attic!

  3. I was recently given a machine pretty much identical to yours. Could you give me a little more information on it? Like what year it may possibly be. It needs a few parts and that info would be very helpful in locating replacement parts. I tried to Google the model number but came up with nothing. Anything would help. Thanks.

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