healing haven

April 29, 2013

Leaving the world of the 1928 treadle Singer sewing machine

My retirement has given me the opportunity to branch out in various creative endeavors, some of which I have done before but in a limited way, others I have never had the time to try, and still others whereby I expanded what I had been doing over the years.

My mother taught me how to sew and my grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet. Even in the early years of marriage, as we struggled with trying to make ends meet, we chose not to have me working but to be home with the children.  This made these handcrafts an imperative.  I sewed clothes for myself and for my children, drapes and slip-covers, all  on a 1928 treadle Singer sewing machine that only went forward (it was hard turning around all the material in a sofa slip-cover in order to get stitching backwards, but one could sew if the electricity went out.)  And I made numerous knitted things for my husband as well as the children and myself.   All very practical; all a part of ‘making do’.

But with retirement I started a quilt for my granddaughter which I had to stop because of problems with my eyes not seeing well enough on the dark-colored material of dolphins and whales in the ocean.  What could I still sew?

Then I remembered the Memory Bears made by a volunteer while I was working in hospice.  I used that pattern and made a University of Arkansas Razorback Bear for my teenage grandson. 

University of Arkansas Bear

University of Arkansas Bear

The picture above is the Bear holding a baseball key chain.  The one below is the Bear wearing a University of Arkansas (hoghat) baseball cap on.

UofA Bear wearing a University baseball cap

UofA Bear wearing a University baseball cap

Needless to say, he loved the Bear and its accessories, particularly the ferocious looking baseball cap. 

Time had moved on in many ways: one was I no longer had the 1928 treadle Singer sewing machine but did have one which sewed both forwards and backwards, which was a great help.    Another, I was sewing something for my grandson, not my children.  And yet another, I was doing this because I wanted to, not because I had to.  Time keeps moving on.

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2 Comments »

  1. Love your story about your old Singer and making do.
    Oh, those lovely old Singers! I got a used one in 1966 or so and had it (dropped it and replaced the motor once) until just about a year ago. I gave it away because a friend gave me a newer Singer. Come to find out the new Singers are nowhere near the quality of the old. So now need to go out and buy a sewing machine but won’t be a new Singer (sigh). I am so sad that that old singer is gone. It would sew through anything, backwards and forwards. Who knew that antique was worth its weight in gold?

    Comment by Gayle Bodine — April 30, 2013 @ 10:11 am |Reply

    • My newer sewing machine is plastic – very lightweight compared to the old treadle housed in the wood cabinet that was heavy and so difficult to move across country and then twice again. The newer one works fine so far but I am always wondering about whether the flimsy aspects will hold up.

      Comment by thalia — April 30, 2013 @ 11:07 am |Reply


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