Tuesday, May 12, 2015

In Which I Make An(other) Impulsive Purchase

I've been toying with the idea of turning an abandoned sewing machine treadle base into a table for Elias Cabot.   Love the idea of re-purposing some lovely cast iron and giving Elias a beautiful table.

So  last Sunday, after looking at Craigslist and ebay to see what's in my neighborhood and what the going prices are for various styles and conditions of bases, I set out for a local antique mall to see what they might have.   Big mistake.

Not five minutes after I entered the store, I spotted a New Home machine.  Beautifully painted, appeared to be in as good a condition as a machine in the neighborhood of a hundred years old could be.  In a cabinet that, at first glance, looked beautiful as well.

It was love at first sight.

I tried to do the responsible thing.  I really did.  I wasn't looking for a whole machine/cabinet combo.  All I wanted was a base.  Really.

So I wandered around the rest of the mall.  There were two other candidates.  Both Singers that had seen better days.  One's base had been painted (badly).  The other was rusted.   After seeing the New Home, I just couldn't settle.  I made several trips back to the NH just to make sure I hadn't made up its good condition. 

missing trim
bad patch job
There were a couple of problems - a tiny bit of trim missing from the front, two small chinks in the wood that had been badly patched, and a stain on the top.   Several times I walked away telling myself I didn't need the NH.  Then marched up to the front counter to haggle over the price.  After a brief pitched battle, the machine was mine.

So even though Elias is not going to be getting that base for his table, the NH has come to my home for a stay.  How long it will be I don't know - I'm asking myself right now why I needed it so badly. And where I'm going to put it.  Anybody want to buy an antique sewing machine?

In one of the drawers I found this box of attachments.   It looks like everything that should be there according to a brochure I found, is there.  And never used.  The fuzzy lining of the case is unfaded and unmarred.


I love the look of the base and treadle on this.  Although there's no drive band, I tested the treadle and it does move freely and smoothly.

The Bobbin Winder

It seems that the machine should held up from underneath by this leather strap - broken so it's useless.  Need to do a little research.

Serial Number! Machine was made in 1900.

The drawers really caught my eye.  There are no sides on the cabinet - the drawers are carved and simply slide in and out.

There's a somewhat hidden drawer just below the top of the cabinet.  Very shallow and narrow.  

There are six of these little thingies in their own holes in the drawer.  No clue what they're for.

I love the ornate floral pattern.  It doesn't seem to be as faded or as chipped as I would expect for a 115 year-old machine.

Another "what the heck is it?"  Found this in one of the drawers. 

Check out the floral pattern on the plate.  That's the stitch regulator just below the bobbin winder in the lower right. 

Some links I found while looking for info: