I’ve always loved the old, original Singer sewing machines. First designed in the 1850’s by Isaac Merritt Singer, renowned womaniser and father of at least 28 children, who seems to have been a bit of a wheeler-dealer. The Del-boy of his time if you will. Legend has it that he designed his first sewing machine as the result of a bet with his landlord, but went on to revolutionise sewing and essentially set women of the time free.
They are beautiful pieces of machinery and whenever I see one in a shop window I have to stop and admire it. I have been after one for ages and when I mentioned this to a friend she said ‘oh, I’ve got one I don’t ever use, you can have it if you like’. So in return for a little monster for her daughter, she dropped off this little beauty.
It is a magnificent beast and I could seriously sit and turn the handle all day. The engineering is a dream and the action is superb. Mr Monster is going to restore it for me and try to get it to a point where it is something approaching its former glory. We looked up the serial number and discovered that it rolled off the production line in 1909, I was staggered as I had assumed it was somewhere around 1930 by the condition it’s in.
I love antiques, as evidenced by my large antique powder compact collection, and love imagining old things being used by their former owners. I can just see a Victorian lady cranking the handle, making herself a new pair of bloomers. It gets me to thinking about the high-tech, snazzy-pants machines which are available to us now, and yet we’d still rather go to Primark and pick up the same dress a million other people are wearing! I’m a little bit ashamed of myself for not learning to make my own clothes sooner.
Without further ado, here is my new, old, display-piece of a machine in all her glory