August 4, 2013

Garage Sale Finds or Assisted Living for Old Machines

My husband can't seem to ignore a garage sale if it is the vicinity which is why he ventured off Thursday morning to see what great treasures might be had.   He used to try flea marketing the stuff, but both  his back and tolerance for the buyers at such events gave out. Now its a good excuse for an old retired guy to get out of the house for awhile.
The Thursday sale ad mentioned "sewing stuff" so I told him to look at it for me. and call me if I might want it. When he arrived they said an early bird had taken it all. But they still had a sewing machine!  The price was right at $5 (he is cheap) so he lugged it home without consulting me.
It was in a filthy, musty smelling plastic carrying  case which I immediately ditched. But the machine inside was quite clean and smell-free.  Hubby said "They said it runs." Sure, they always say that about anything, but it was only $5. Of course, no manual AND the whole bobbin mechanism was outside the machine in 3 pieces.
I have no experience with this type of bobbin and was fumbling around with the pieces when the repairman, rather REPAIRMEN arrived to fix my clothes dryer. One of the guys has visited all of my kitchen appliances at least once, but never been to the laundry room. He was training the new guy in the company procedures but the trainee was already knowledgeable about the actual repair and Shawn (our regular guy) noticed my fiddling with the jumble of metal and said he had no expertise in sewing machines, but in a minute he had all the pieces assembled correctly. When I told him he didn't have to do this he explained how bored he has been just tagging along all week and was grateful for the diversion.
When he turned from the foyer where the machine is sitting on the old Singer, also recently acquired, and saw all the other machines among the flotsam, jetsom, and other machines he quiped, "It looks like a sweat shop in here."  
 At first reveal I thought it was a PIN Catcher! But it is a White 445. Do any of you readers have one? It is largely metal and the yellow or yellowed parts are plastic. If you look at picture 1 you can see that the yellowing is spotty  like something covered parts up for a very long time.
Here is what I like about this machine. It opens without taking out screws from the side.
What I don't like about this machine.
You have to unscrew the needle plate to get it off AND the screws are under the machine making it even more difficult. The Elna plate just snaps off.
Well, with a bit of oil, it is running just fine so this week I will take Elna in and see if repairs to get her zig-zagging again are worth it or if she will be "put to rest."

Oh, but more garage sale finds. On Saturday we found another nearby sale ad that told of fabric! I thought all would be gone but, not so. Lots of charm packs, jelly rolls, bags of quilt patterns and fabrics, but I went for the loose fat quarters as I like to do my own combinations. I gathered up a bunch and made a deal for $20. After chatting with the quilter/seller, she offered me another handful to go!

And here is something I would make again using small pieces of cast off fabrics with a cast off machine.
Side 1

Side 2
If this doesn't sell at an upcoming craft show, it will appear in my Etsy shop.  Images are courtesy of the wonderous GRAPHICS FAIRY.


  1. That bag is darling!! And there is your $5 machine...hope you enjoy many hours sewing with it. Am so glad I met you Saturday. As I am scanning some of your blog posts, I see that my/your fabrics will be put to good use. I, too, have a blog, but have not posted in over a year. I was in a slump, but need to get back to it.

  2. Thanks, Sandy. If you start blogging again let me know. You only live "around the corner" but blogging is a great way to keep in touch. I am going to check out your old stuff after I spend the rest of this day sewing.