Friday, May 7, 2010

In The Beginning...

My fascination with vintage Singer sewing machines didn't begin with the 'people powered' treadles and hand cranks. No, it all started electrically --

This past winter I was having some major annoyance with my fairly new, top-of-the-line, modern sewing machine. So I started thinking "I need to get myself a good, reliable mechanical machine" and then started doing a little on line research about same. Cut to the chase -- a Singer 1200-1 on Craig's List. The 1200-1 is a version of the classic Singer 201 -- same machine, same motor, but a different foot control/knee lift configuration that was marketed by Singer as an "artisan" machine (think home sewing business, NOT industrial strength). Attractive price, good reviews -- bought it. Then started reading more about the machine and started getting very nervous -- specifically about the aged wiring/motor.

So, there she sat -- a classic vintage machine that I was too chicken to use. And that led to my current obsession with the non-electrics, which is a good thing, but I would still look over wistfully at what might have been. Until a few weeks ago when I contacted Jenny at Sew-Classic about something she had mentioned in a blog post. She replied, and in passing I mentioned the 1200-1. Long story short -- she cleaned and re-wired the old motor for a very reasonable price -- and now -- that old Singer purrs like a kitten and I'm no longer afraid I'll end up fried!

I can't say enough about how patient and gracious she was in the face of my total lack of knowledge about all things electrical. We aren't local to one another, so for her to work on the motor I had to remove it from the machine and send it through the post. Quick as a wink she had it back to me -- with a handy diagram and color coded wiring so that even a total numbskull like me could get it back together properly. OK, I may have had one small misstep, but she even walked me through that too -- thanks Jenny! I'd really recommend that if you have an old machine, or think you might want one, that you check out her site -- her blog is a gold mine of information about these classic machines, and she just may have that part or supply that you are looking for.

She may never win a beauty prize, but this ol' gal can sew!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just found one of these machines- thank you for posting about it, now I know where to go to find help. Lynne in Ca.