Also known as Grace:
So you know how I saw that sewing machine the other week at the charity shop? (Story here.) They’ve not priced it up yet so they haven’t got back to me yet, so that one is going to have to stay on the back burner for a while.
But Trev found Grace listed on Gumtree – only a few miles away in another northern suburb of Leeds. She was on for the bargain price of £30 and I took a trip tonight to see and purchase her!
Her serial number according to the Singer site here, makes her a 201 model machine, made in 1937. 1937!!! She is 74 years old and counting. She’s fully electronic and runs – the lady I bought her from gave me a quick demo of it earlier. She got given the machine years ago and never used it, as she needs some of the extra features offered by her more modern Janome.
She’s not the fanciest looking of machines and is a lot plainer than the 1951 15k we saw the other week. She also has a bit more wear on the decals – but then, so would I if I was 74.
She’s still gorgeous though and because she’s an older model, a beautiful faceplate:
There’s a gorgeous metal plate at the back of the machine too:
I wonder what a machine like this has seen. Being made in 1937, she’s seen through a World War, coronation of a new Queen, a new millennium and all but two of the World Cups ever hosted (1930 and 1934). Never mind the massive changes in technology and machinery that have placed machines like her on the production scrapheap. But you have to question why – how many things made today will last for ten years, never mind seventy?
She also came in a cabinet:
Not sure if it’s original – I don’t think so. It’s got some weird plastic veneer that Trev is desperate to rip off so he can re-sand it. I may let him. I think it would look gorgeous in a vintage or washed white.
The table then opens up so that you can get to the machine:
So what are the next steps?
A cleaning! A gentle wash and polish to see how clean we can get her and to get some of this oil and muck off.
I need to get her serviced and checked out (especially in terms of electrics).
I also want to try and get some accessories – there’s a variety of feet etc that she can use, but she didn’t come with any – so I need to hunt them down on eBay. The same with an instruction manual, although I now have one that I downloaded.
I also need to learn to sew! This is also something Trev fancies learning too – he’d love to make some of his own clothes along with bits for the house – as would I. So we need to get ourselves some lessons!
Plus the obligatory needles, thread, and of course, fabric!
I’d welcome any recommendations that any of you more experienced have in terms of sites for pattern and things like books to read or techniques to learn. Right now we’ll only be able to sew a straight stitch (but the best straight stitch EVER!) but that’s enough for most things right?
The name Grace came from a singer born in 1937 (I wanted to name her after a singer born in 1937 – geddit?) and with Grace also being the name of Trev’s grandmother, it seemed like a natural fit. Other close contenders, were Wanda and Hildegard! Maybe next time?
Finally, I have to resist the lure of all the other sewing machines calling me on eBay. They are many, and I am weak!