Those were the words of advice Aunt Rena imparted to me after I told her about this:
This is a Vintage 15-91 Singer sewing machine complete with cabinet.
We found it on the side of the road.
The other day, my boyfriend went for a run in our neighborhood and came home to report that there was a sewing machine in a cabinet about 1 mile away perched on the edge of a curb outside someone's house.
"Do you want to go check it out?" he asked.
What do you think I said?
We drove over and found the cabinet on the curb, obviously discarded by someone. I opened the cabinet to reveal what I instantly recognized as a vintage Singer. The drawers still contained several machine feet, bobbins, as well as the owner's manual.
He asked me if I wanted to take it home.
What do you think I said?
Yesterday I plugged it in and discovered it still works.
Today I called the local Singer servicing center and asked if they worked on vintage Singers?
What do you think they said?
I'm taking it in on Monday and, if all goes well would like to refurbish the cabinet as well as the machine, though that's not a must.
Mostly, I want to sew something on this machine. We were fated to be together. So many other folks could have found this machine, though they might not have been folks who sewed. They might have brought it home to admire and display it for all its vintagey coolness and that's not a bad thing. I, however, want to do more than just bring it home. I want to give this old and sadly discarded machine a new life and new work. I want to make a modern quilt or an indie garment pattern using this machine.
And, when I do I'll think about all the other people that might have used this machine in the past. Maybe it helped a newlywed make curtains for her first home or a mom sew a much-desired halloween costume for her son or a special quilt for an elderly friend. Who knows what this machine crafted in the past, but, hopefully, we will be crafting together in the future.
A few years ago my uncle gave me my grandmother's Shabbat candlesticks. They had been gathering dust in a box set off in some long-forgotten corner. The sale of his apartment prompted him to sort through the box and there they were.
I never knew my grandmother. She died when my dad was 18, but I'm her namesake and have always had a certain curiosity about her.
The first time I lit candles using those candlesticks I thought about how she had been the last person to use them and how amazing it was that we two, who shared not only a genetic connection but the exact same name (both first and last), were connected over time by these candle sticks.
That's sort of how I feel about this sewing machine. I don't know and will never know who used it before and what they made, but me and my creations will be connected to them in a roundabout way.
If that doesn't put a smile on your face, I don't know what will.
I'll keep you posted about the machine as it is brought back to life.