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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thrifting for Treasure

Well, I haven't been posting here too much -- it's been almost a month! But I have been busy.

My sewing space has been, well, inaccessible lately. We had to have a new furnace installed; it was time to move to a high efficiency option. But. Unfortunately for me, that meant I had to move my entire sewing corner into stacks all over the house to leave room for gas and electrics and workmen to do their thing. So, long story short, I haven't been able to sew much lately! I still don't have the space put back together, but I do have my table & machine up, so that's good.

I'm going through each box and basket as I'm putting it back, and deciding what to keep or give away, and how to reorganize a bit to make things more usable. I've been meaning to do this kind of clean-out for quite a while now, but this jumble gave me the chance to get right on it.

So far I've thrown out old bits of clothing and odds and ends I didn't know I still had, and I've also given 27 metres of perfectly good fabric to the Goodwill. It was all things I knew I would never use - upholstery weights, polyesters, polar fleece etc. Turn about, I guess, since I do shop at my local Goodwill and Salvation Army & various other thrift shops a lot.

This week, after I dropped off my bags of fabric, I stopped in to see what was new inside. My eagle eyed husband spotted this:



I first thought, hmmm, that's kind of a neat set-up; a travelling case & a light enough to lift machine. Since it was only $35, after a bit of hemming and hawing (and a reassurance from the clerk that it worked) I bought it. When I got home, I realized what I had!


  It's a Singer Featherweight, the 221K model that was made in white with a short folding bed, probably in the early 60s. They are quite sought after, and are a reliable straight stitch machine that are now popular with quilters especially, as they are easy to transport & they sew a nice 1/4" straight seam very easily. Mine is in good condition, and it does indeed work, though I'm going to wait to really get going until I get some maintenance done on it so I don't ruin the motor. That was an exciting thrifting day!

I also added to my stash recently via an early birthday present from my sister, another thrifting diva:



I now have enough Anchor embroidery thread for many projects-- 22 boxes and nearly all full! This timely article about bobbinwork in the most recent Threads magazine has got my brain going. There is also a great article on the same topic in their archives! Think I'm going to try out some new techniques on the machine as well as continuing on with my hand embroidery projects.

And today I found a great book at another thrift store nearby -- it's Thérèse de Dillmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework, a facsimile edition which includes all the colour plates. First published in 1884, this is a thorough look at many kinds of needlework - all kinds of embroidery, crochet, knitting, tatting, even macramé - it is good reading. Interesting to know that macrame (or knotted fringe) was undergoing a surge in popularity at about that time...it's the next big retro trend that will return, I think. Calling it here! ;)

Have you made any great thrift store or yard sale finds lately? Do share...

10 comments:

  1. WOW! What a great score! I'd love a white one of these (even a black one!) I've never seen one before. I hope it works well for you.

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    1. Wasn't it though?? I am still excited about it :) I'd love to find a black one someday too, they are so beautiful.

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  2. This is like seeing the great white elk! Not only is it a little vintage Singer, it's white! What fun 😊

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    1. It is super fun, and in great condition. I'm planning on using it as my travel machine once I get it fully cleaned up

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  3. I don't think I've ever seen a white vintage Singer before! How cool and unique!!

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    1. It's amazing -- I found a great website with tons of info on Featherweights, and apparently the white ones were made for the European & Canadian markets so that may be why they're not seen as much in the US.

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  4. Beautiful Singer! Such a great find. I found a box of old vintage patterns. I scoped them up but have since decided that most of them are not my style or size.

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    1. It was a super find! I love looking for patterns as well, but so many aren't quite right - but it's the fun of the search.

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  5. Wow! My very first 'all mine" machine was one of these. Bought it new c.1968-69. I have always regretted selling it after I got my Janome 1st of the partially computerized machines in 1981-82 (still using).

    About 3 years ago I scored a Singer 99K (1953). It's considered a 2/3 size machine. I love it. The motor sounds like my old Featherweight - soothing sound. I love setting it up on the patio in summer months. I even made a big umbrella cover with it. My serger is torn apart in hopes of getting it running well again. In the meantime I've fallen deeper in love with French seams. The more I make, the less I feel the need for the serger. Yay for old straight stitchers and yay for French seams!

    canary... PS saw a recent kijiji ad for one of the little green FWs. Asking price $675 = robbery.

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    1. Ooh, that sounds like a nice machine. I'd love to find a 222 as well, but I don't *need* one. This is such a nice solid machine.

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