Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pretty Maids All In A Row

machines 001

Ohhhh…I mean Pretty Singer Rocketeers. One is a 503A, and the other two are 500A’s. The ‘A’ means they were made in Anderson, South Carolina, and the serial numbers on all them tell me they were ‘born’ in 1961.

Originally, we bought these machines to resell. One of them needed a new motor, because my Singer repairman (hubby, Louie) just couldn’t fix one of them. We bought a motor off ebay, and Louie got it going, then we were just too busy (and lacked interest and energy) to get them all cleaned up and ready to sell.

When I posted about my Singer 401A, I decided that I wanted to get them out, clean them up and make sure they were running. From that point, I would decide what I would do with them.

I got to thinking. Ok, now I have a celery green 221 Singer Featherweight (which I still haven’t blogged about), a black 301 (which came after the 221, which they dub, the ‘big sister to the featherweight), and a Singer 404 I just bought through ebay yesterday…more about that later, so I need to keep one of the 500 series machines, right? I didn’t know I had two different models! So now, I’m thinking, I have to keep at least ONE of the 503’s and the 500, or maybe just keep them all!

Here they are…Pretty…all in a row. If you click the photos to make them larger, you will see the difference between the 500 and the 503. If you have never sewn on a vintage machine, you have no idea the quality of them. You just about ‘can’t kill ‘em’!

 machines 003

The photo below is a Singer 404 (not mine…it’s still not here). It is strictly a straight stitch machine with no option to add cams. Straight stitch only machines are very precision, because there is no room for ‘play’ from side to side, like the zig zag machines, and they  make the most beautiful straight stitches you have ever seen. They are gear driven, so they can sew through just about anything. They purr. They never let you down. I used to have three of them at one time, then I sold them. You know, I haven’t seen a 404 out junkin’ in ‘forever’, but you can bet if I do see one, it’s coming home with me!

        this that 009

(Previous Image has been replaced with my own machine, received on Friday May 13, and is now joining a 500A and a 503A. Singer 404 is the front machine in above photo.)

How much do I sew with these machines? Hardly ever, but does that matter? They make me happy. I clean, oil, and tune them until I know they are at their best performance, then I let them rest. Call me crazy. I can’t explain it. We all have our vices, right? Some people like shoes, and clothes. Some people like purses. Some like designer fabrics. Me? I like vintage machines, making them work when they don’t,  and I like making ‘silk purses out of sow’s ears’, and quilts, the cheapest way I possibly can, sometimes using thrifted fabrics, re-using fabrics from curtains, clothing, bed sheets, and whatever else cotton fabric is used for. The end result is the same. A quilt. How do you think the beginning quilters made quilts? It certainly wasn’t from the ‘Quilt Stores on the Prairie’!

And now, for your listening enjoyment, here is Pretty Maids All In A Row by the Eagles .

Ok, enough babbling. I’m going out in the sunshine with my sweetie for a nice motorcycle ride. Hope your day is wonderful too!

Be blessed,





Pam said...

I too am afflicted with the vintage sewing machine addiction. I have a 404 or two, 3 401's, a 500, 4 Featherweights, 3 301's (my favorite), 15-91's, and various other machines. I am trying to relinquish some of them. Actually my husband is trying to get me to let him sell them. One of the Featherweights is almost ready to go-breaks my heart.
Is that you singing? Very nice!

Hazel said...

As long as these machines bring you joy thats all that matters ,life is to short not to have the things that make us happy .

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I think they are precious! One of these days I'll have to come see them. =)

Val said...

Did I ever tell you that my Dad found a 500A? That is what he is using now! He loves it. Enjoyed the song.


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