Grandma’s Sewing Machine

I went to indulge a sewing craving and make a Juggling Kit for a boy birthday gift this weekend (three bean bags, isn’t that an awesome idea?).  Unfortunately, my sewing machine, never very trustworthy, was up to its old tricks.  As in, 20 minute joy project turned into 40 minutes of stress due to irregular bobbin tension.  Or something.  Poor boy got cash (awesomely folded into an origami fish by my sister) instead of a Juggling Kit.

Last night while Devo was reading Blink and I after I discarded the idea of painting my toenails, I got out my Great-Grandma’s sewing machine and took my first good look at it.

I was over the moon this summer to receive Grandma Bobo’s sewing machine from my great-aunt but haven’t had a chance to explore its possibilities.  It is one of those old fashioned ones that comes hidden in a desk.  Remove the wood inserts on the desk top and up comes the machine.  It’s a pretty little thing, a nice piece of furniture in its own right.

I opened it up and dusted it off and out from that piece of metal came Grandma Bobo’s smell.  Very dusty and kind of dirty, but very definitely Grandma’s smell.  Am I really 31?  I was instantly three again, sitting on Grandma’s soft lap.

I found the bobbin, still with thread from whatever she last sewed on this machine.  And the last fancy stitch she did was of ducks…the cartridge is still in the top of the machine.

The manual has the notes she wrote.  Which stitch was especially good for the crease in capris.  The date it was oiled in 1975.  Harlan (Grandpa) oiled it with WD40 in “12/  /81”.  (That unknown day of the month brought a smile…that’s exactly what most of my journal entries look like.)

My grandma emailed this morning that Grandpa Harlan used to take it in to Sacramento every year to beserviced.  Then one year, they told him to just spray the thing well with WD40.  Ah, the good old days of metal machines.

There are a bunch of sewing machine feet that don’t match what are in the manual.  I wonder what they are for.

I plugged it in and after several tries, the machine was running faster and more regular.  I am hoping that with a good oil I can get it to run and use it.


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