Our neighbors held an estate sale this weekend, and I picked up a few cool sewing finds.
Two "Star Thread" 5-drawer Thread Chests
When I spotted these, I immediately wanted them bad (even though they were all grimy from being used as a tool chest in a garage). But, she had them priced very high. I have absolutely no clue how old they are, but were used back in the old days by stores to display and sell thread spools. I have lots and lots of thread (thank you, embroidery business), not to mention that I could store all sorts of notions in these nice big drawers (17.5" wide, 15.5" tall, 15.5" deep). My super sweet super awesome husband pulled the lady aside, worked his bartering magic, and... Happy 10th Anniversary, they were mine!!! What a great guy to go out of his way to get me more sewing stuff! Gotta love it.
In the back corner of the garage, I found this lovely. Under an inch thick layer of dust.
Price tag: $50 Hmm... pretty cool, but nothing I need. Then I spied the buttonholer and the box of attachments. How can sewing machine feet stir up feelings in me that make me crazy in a good way? Shiny and numerous, I suddenly felt like I might need this machine. I went home, and did some research, finding this quote online (at the TreadleOn website)...
"The White Family Rotary, or FR, is one of my three favoritest machines. It was much ahead of it's time when first brought out. They are really well made and a pleasure to use, also very attractive. There are a lot of them, and parts are generally not a problem to find. They use standard needles but use the older style top clamping feet, so you can't fit piecing, walking or darning feet. Grandma couldn't either, and she still did all of her sewing and quilting on these things, so that isn't the end of the world. I have and use two lovely White FR's regularly. They are one of the strongest of the old treadles. If you find one, give it very serious consideration… you won't be sorry."
I grabbed a fabric scrap and headed back next door for a test drive. After swearing to me that she knew it worked because she just sewed on it last summer, imagine our surprise when the light worked but the machine didn't budge. No hum of motor. No buzz of electricity. Nothing. Nada. Nil. Thanks, but no thanks... and I headed back home.
But now, it was bugging me. Those shiny attachments still wanted to come home with me, so I jumped back on the internet and made some phone calls. Take the risk and hope it can be fixed, or say good-bye? I offered $25, she countered with $40, and we agreed to meet in the middle at $32.50
So... if any of you know anything about what I should do next, please drop me a message! I've read about cleaning the machine, and will start calling around tomorrow for a repair man who is familiar with antique machines. If the estimate is too high, I'll sell off what I can and hopefully get my money back. Hopefully, it can be repaired for a decent price (I've set a budget already), and I'll end up with a real piece of sewing history. The serial number on the machine's base dates it's manufacture at 1926, and seems to have been one of the first popular electric machines. I think it's Model 12, but I have no owner's manual, so I'm not definite. I do know that there is a wealth of information on the internet for anyone who owns or wants to own an old machine, and that without current technology, I probably wouldn't be brave enough to start this voyage. Keep your fingers crossed for me and Martha (this is known as the Martha Washington cabinet), and I will keep you posted! There are more pictures coming, too...
My Chanel jacket is a few hours from the finish line. Hems are all done and pockets are made, so I'm just attaching them and then the chain! It would be finished and you'd be looking at it now if it wasn't for that darn garage sale... I'll have it posted here by the end of the week, promise!!!