Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A little bit of family history

While staying with family over the holidays Mum pulled out a few little sewing gems from the back of her cupboard to show me. Mum's sewing cupboard used to overflow, but she has cut it back a bit these days - but in a box, in the cupboard, are these:

Three manuals for Singer sewing machines from 1912, 1928 and 1932. These are directly from members of my family, my grandmother and great-grandmother. They obviously seriously followed the text at the top of the booklet "This book should be carefully preserved for reference". The little paper books are still with us but the sewing machines are not! The oscillating hook (the silver arm that goes up and down in front of you on your machine) of model 66 was apparently the newest feature at that time in the early 1900s, and in 1932 someone has purchased model 15 with central bobbin. Good stuff.

The books tell you all about the usual threading and tension.

And how to do the fancy stitches. Whoa, looks tricky.

And then there is another box, with all the attachments!

There were so many different pieces they were impossible to photograph. If changing a needle or adjusting your tension makes you sweaty on a modern machine, imagine having to grapple with the contents of this box to make your tucks and ruffles!

Not sure what happened with the family sewing machines after the 1930s but I know Mum shared the purchase of a new Elna with her mum in the early 1970s and its still going strong today, it literally purrs. And yes, she still has the instruction booklet.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Great finds. I have my Grandmothers old treadle Singer machine and book and attachments. My Mum and I used the ruffle attachment to on part of my deb dress in the eighties. I am still using my Mum's Elna too. They are amazing machines and I know many that are still going strong. Mum's sewing machine repairer told her to NEVER get rid of it, it will outlive a lot of new machines.


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