The Ghost in the Sewing Machine

By Ann Shayne
September 24, 2016

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8 Comments
  • You are so lucky to find such a beautiful old Singer! My mom had one which she kept in her bedroom, and she wouldn’t let me touch it until I was 13, when I was allowed to make a pair of pajamas. She traded it in later for a “better” model, but she always regretted letting her first one go. Looking at your photos brings it all back!

  • You have stumbled on the best sewing machine ever. My mother used this machine all through my childhood, making clothes and other household items for her 6 children and teaching her 4 daughters how to sew. It was always ready and threaded in a tiny nook under the basement stairs for whenever she had a moment – not often with such a full house. Years later when we pooled our christmas money and purchased her a fancy Janome machine with a selection of stitches and attachments she still kept the Singer which she says could stitch through anything. Now at 86 years young she still has both machines, but when it comes to heavier fabrics or just straight stitching, she chooses the Singer. Enjoy your machine!

  • This is the best walk down memory lane for me! My mom always had a Singer and she was a whiz. She sewed all of her c!others and mine, too, through high school. My 21st birthday gift was my own machine, which I still have. Thanks for the walk along!

  • I still have my mother’s Singer, black with gold trim, that she purchased wedding band when she came to this country in 1947. She had been apprentice at a seamstress and had worked at a fancy dress store doing alterations in Wales and again when she came to Detroit (Albert Maurice Dress Shop on Livernois, the Avenue of Fashion !) She made all my clothes until I was in high school. She altered costumes when I was in plays at school, and one turned her boss’ Harris Tweed winter overcoat into a winter coat and leggings for me. To her embarrassment I bragged about this at school because I thought she was so clever. She was embarrassed about the hand-me-down aspect of it. She did turn anything into anything, including size 5 dresses into size 10s for the rich customers at her store. She taught me to sew well enough that my home ec teacher accused me of cheating and having my mother sew my dress. However I always favored handwork and she would often let me see the hens on the dress she brought home to work on. Have fun with your machine-I’m sure your making two mothers’ hearts happy.

  • love this! Facebook group Vintage Singer is right up your alley! Love your baby! It is beautiful!!!

  • Love this essay so much! You wouldn’t believe the number of vintage portable Singers that came to the Gees Bend quilting workshop at Fiber College of Maine a couple of years ago. The best machine for the road, everyone said.

  • Wow! Someone else loves an old sewing machine like I do! Mine is a 1961 White, came into my life about the time our daughter was born. I love it and have humphed & scorned all the new inventions they’ve messed sewing machines up with since. Thanks for trip down memory lane and a tender smile.

  • You’ve inspired me to get out the old machine I bought (in a cabinet!) for $100 and see if I can find out what kind it is, and what needs doing to bring it back to life! Thanks!

Travel Alert:

Join us for a festive dinner at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago featuring Clara Parkes and us! Friday, March 9. Details here.