Over the weekend we started the process of refurbishing (or should that be refinishing?) Grace’s cabinet. In case you missed my last post, you might be wondering, “Who is Grace?” This is Grace:
A 1937 vintage Singer 201-2 sewing machine. She came housed in this cabinet:
You lift the flaps up to get to the machine, like so:
As you can see in the first photo, some of the veneer is peeling away and let’s be honest, it looks pretty unattractive. The legs don’t match the body and the colour isn’t great. So we made the decision to strip off the veneer and refinish it.
It took a while and a few different techniques to get the veneer off. Some came off really easily, some not so much. We were given the hint of using an iron over a damp towel to steam it, which worked a bit, but the best solution was one we hit upon – using a hair dryer to warm the area so that it gently peels off. Of course, we figured this out on the very last piece, but isn’t that always the way?
So she’s been stripped off and sanded down and now looks like this:
Isn’t that just a million miles better? She’s been coated with a clear coat of sealant, to make it easier to paint, which we’ll attempt round one of tomorrow. We’ve got a white satin paint which we’ll try. We’ll give it one coat, see how it looks and then decide what to do. In any case, it’s going to look WAY better.
Grace will also be off for her spa treatment soon. I popped into the Sewing Machine Shop in Kirkgate Market today (in Leeds) and spoke to a very nice man who would be more than happy to service her for me and check everything over for the bargain price of £35. They’ll also collect and deliver for me – which will save me giving myself a hernia trying to carry her there on bus. Seriously, she’s super heavy. I struggle to pick her up with both hands, she weighs that much. But then I’m not exactly a featherweight either. Ahem.
I’ll also be blinging her up a bit. Once she returns, she’s going to get a good clean inside and out, which I’ve already done a bit of. Thankfully she’s not clogged up with loads of old fluff and grease, so I suspect she’s had some use and love over the years – particularly before it went to the last owner who didn’t use it.
To this end, I’ve bought her a box of the original feet, an instruction manual, oil, a lint brush and am in communication with a lovely lady about several other essential bits and pieces. I’m also looking for the right size screwdriver and some other fancy pieces on eBay and other sites.
Needless to say, it’s HORRIBLY addictive.
Particularly after I picked up some needles, thread and 1m of fabric today – I got home, wound my bobbin, threaded her up and SEWED. It was only a really wonky seam (which got gradually smaller towards the end) on the metre of fabric, but it’s a start. She runs, sews and I managed to figure out how to work the tension for nice even stitches.
I’m making a nice long list of all of the haberdashery items I’d like to get, as I’m starting from a position of owning nothing – so I’ll be taking a jaunt into town soon to furnish myself with a variety of lovely stuff.
I can’t wait to get started on the posh fabrics and threads.
One step at a time though…
P.S. Yes, I do think my knitting might suffer!