My first macine, a Christmas gift from my mother in law Jane in 2001: American Standard Husky. An amazing (and if you ask me, beautiful) machine.
Ah, the memories: I learned every basic bag making technique I know on this machine. I think it is cool for so many reasons: it weighs almost as much as one of my kids, it is designed so simply and so beautifully, it sews so delicately, and while it was made in Taiwan (maybe in the 60s or 70s?), American Standard is a Cleveland company--44111, just one zip away from my old neighborhood. Cool! Sigh.
Why sigh, you may ask. Well, when one is learning to sew on a vintage machine, it's possible that one may grind all of the important gears down to nearly nothing. I'm almost positive it was several layers of tres heavy canvas that did it... maybe I should have known better. So, sigh. But I have not given up hope for this sweet machine, and I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to part with it.
Machine numero duo: The Euro Pro Shark. The Shark was another Christmas gift from Jane, and let me tell you, this thing lives up to its name. It will sew through almost anything. I love it for that. When I sew with my Shark, I always think about those old infomercials about the kitchen shears that will cut through cans or bones. Quite a quality to have in a sewing machine.
Machine 3, the Stealthy White. My mom Becky is a serious thrifter, and she ran across the super cool, very old sewing desk and bench (see photo above) and grabbed it up for me. I needed a desk, badly, and this one was perfect. Inside is the most incredible cast iron White I've seen. It has that smell of decades to it, and it also has an old spool of turquoise thread wound on what appears to be a styrofoam spool.
Because I don't want to burn my house down, I haven't plugged this baby in: among other things, including rubber wheels, a deep, deep clean and overall tune up, the White needs new wiring. But it is a thing of beauty, there's no denying that.
I mean, come on! Obviously people were able to sew with this at one point, but HOW? It's so STINKING BEAUTIFUL! How did they stop oogling the hardware long enough to get anything done??
Okay. Here is Machine 4, my sweet and lovely vintage Singer Merritt. I met her this winter in the middle of ice storms. She has the strength of the Shark and the delicacy of the Husky, and she's easy to read, for the most part.
...for the most part. We're still working through the breaking needles thing.
But she's a good machine. We've had a super productive first spring together.
There you have it! The SOMP Machines.
by the Seat Of My Pants...
the stories behind the bags and beyond.