Saturday, December 5, 2015

How to Begin?

Should I really begin at the beginning? 

And, where is the beginning, anyway?!

My mom graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Home Economics. (Should I go that far back?) In the early 40's they didn't offer too many degrees for women.  (Do they even offer Home Ec these days?)

My mother sewed almost all of our clothing - well, clothes for the girls. She didn't particularly care for making shirts for the guys. As far back as I remember, she had a sewing machine in our 'playroom'. It was a green Elna "Supermatic". She taught me to sew on the machine. I made my first dress, a simple shift when I was 9 years old.

Is the story too boring? Maybe I shouldn't have started way back when. Maybe I should begin the story with....


I found it!

Well, to be honest I didn't look especially hard for it. 
It kinda fell into my lap.

I was feeling nostalgic. The Missouri Star Quilt Company had a display of vintage sewing machines. I pointed out my Mom's Elna to my friend. Perhaps that planted the seed. Wouldn't it be fun to have a machine just like the one on which I learned to sew?

Then I connected with Bonnie Hunter and her Quiltville group. Bonnie is teasing us with weekly clues to create a quilt. She, and other quilters on her Facebook page, often talk about sewing on vintage sewing machines. Or acquiring a new/old sewing machine. Perhaps that was the impetus.

Anyway, (I will finish this post... I promise!) Today I was on my way to visit my dad, and pulled into the Salvation Army store. I wandered around the electronics. I must admit to being a bit disappointed. No vintage sewing machines.

Then, on the way out, I walked over to the corner where they display 'valuable' items. Nice crystal, fur coats and so forth. And look,  there was a vintage machine. It looked like an old Singer. It didn't have a base. It wasn't what I was looking for. I turned the corner... and...




"My" Elna!!

It was providence. I was meant to stop at the Salvation Army.  I have been donating to the bell ringers this year. It has been really cold. I can't help but reward them for standing in the cold listening to that bell! Maybe this was a reward!

I snatched the machine up and headed to the checkout. It was worth every penny of the $70.24 price tag. (Why such an odd amount?!!) The machine came with all of the necessary pieces. It even had old boxes with cams and presser feet. It had a new/old sewing machine needle in a paperboard package... and the manual! Wow!

I pulled out my credit card and was told the total would be $35.12, plus tax. Not only did I find my machine, but it was half-price Saturday! Don't you agree? It must all part of a bigger plan!

At this point the machine doesn't work. It sews when hand cranked - so the bobbin and needle bits work as they should. It could simply be the power cord.  That's the only non-original piece of the machine. A previous owner took a heavy-duty extension cord... well, two of them, and spliced them together. He ground off the ground plug on one end so it will fit into the machine. It is possible that the cord is bad.

Regardless, it's all OK. I love looking at it - and my money did go to a good cause. I am going to run it by my sewing machine fix-it place and see if they can give me an estimate for evaluating and repairing the machine. It is nice to have a piece of my history and that tie with my mom.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. It is such a great reminder of my youth, and my mom.

  2. When I was in middle school, the girls were required to take two home economics classes and the boys were required to take two shop classes. Being the mid 70's, they were starting to allow the girls to take shop and the boys to take home ec. I have fond memories of my sewing and cooking courses. My friend and I would sew next to each other and sing, "Feed dog for a full year, 'til he's full sewn. Do de do do!"

    1. I can see you singing and sewing! My teacher persona wonders what she thought!


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