06 December 2010

Meet Elizabeth, My New Old 15-91!

I admit to being a Craigslist junkie. I don't buy much, and I sell even less, but I love poring over ads for what folks want to get rid of. I'm also a sewing blog junkie, especially those like Spare Time and Male Pattern Boldness that include a lot of sewing machine porn. So my two addictions collided on Friday when I spotted an ad for "Vintage singer sewing machine 1940's - $25" just a few miles from home. Not much information--nothing about whether it worked, for example, or what model it might be, but it came in a cabinet with a chair. Here's the photo:
Now, I learned to sew on my mother's black metal Singer and remember it fondly. I'm also buying up old suede coats at Goodwill with the idea of cutting them up and making book covers, bags, vests, etc., for which an old Singer straight stitch--especially a 15-91 with its all-geared drive--would be just the thing.
I've learned how to identify old Singer models and could see that the tension dial on the left in the photo meant this was likely a 15 of some sort. For $25, including the furniture, most likely it wouldn't work, but it was a pleasant drive to find out. As it turned out, the machine belonged to the seller's grandmother and had been stored away by her late mother. The mother's house was being cleared out, and pretty much anything the seller didn't want was going for $25. I was still wrestling my new treasure into the car when another buyer pointed out to the seller how much more she could have gotten for this machine, bwah-ha-ha!

The serial number indicates that my 15-91 was built between April and June, 1953, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where my mother was born and grew up. I shall call her Elizabeth.

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