Sewing Cafe

Patterns, Tutorials and Works in Progress from the Sewing Studio of Lynne Williams

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vintage Sewing Treasures

Recently I went Jumble shopping ( as our British friends would say) with a student who had found a pink sewing machine by Stradivarius.  Really!  That milky 50's pink. 
But more on that later.

What I found were the little gems above. 
 The star of the show is really that little travel iron which looks as if it has never been used and came in a matching zippered vinyl carry case.  I purchased this for my husband:)
Really I did....he will use it for making bat cowls, pressing the ears and seams. 
Obviously this would make a great travel iron for sewing class and I understand that they are in demand with people who like  to laminate. 
 Do you know any other uses?

In the green case, I can never resist that one of the best buttonhole makers ever put on the market.  It's by singer and uses cams and a straight stitch machine.  Don't despair if you don't own a old singer as it can be used on just about any machine.  ( just be careful that you pick up a straight shank, and not the slant, unless of course you have a Singer slant needle)  One of the advantages to this buttonholer (are you aware this is not a word...who knew) is that it can handle thick fabrics and scoffs at bulky edges.  It does have some size limitations because you are using cams, not dialing in the length, but there is a great assortment of cams to search for.

The 3rd item is my little press mitt, in the original (battered) box.  This is one of those pressing aids I have wanted for quite a while, thought about making  one...never did and would generally substitute with my bare hand...honestly or maybe a wad of fabric from the muslin bin...Shocking I know, but now I have the real deal, it was a bit musty, but some Fabreeze took care of that and now its ready to work.

Now back to that Stradivarius....
My student was looking for a 2nd machine, Okay in reality she saw the pink machine and thought "Lynne says it always good to have a 2nd machine so maybe I should buy this pink one" lol
You know you have done that too:)
 I like to  recommend the old solid metal dependable and simple sewing machines from the past.  No electronics to fry, super heavy, with a nice deep throat which makes them great for free motion by the way and affordable.  I have a 401 slant needle in the studio that is Peg's (my sewing side kick) machine of choice. 
They feed better generally then the new entry level machines you find on the market today.  They make great first machines as well. 

I will try to get a picture of the Stradivarius when it returns from the repair man who is doing a clean and oil on it.  It will make you swoon.

I would like to dedicate this post to Jillybe who provided the inspiration for this vintage post.  You can  see her favorite vintage sewing notion on her blog post.

Happy sewing everyone.

Do you have an old dependable machine in your sewing room? 
Was it passed down to you?


  1. I have a Singer 503A -known as the "Rocketeer". I love its power! I would love to find a Singer buttonhole attachment for my slant shank. Those cases are too prized by thrifters for other silly uses...

  2. Thank you for the lovely shout-out Lynne! :) I too keep thinking I should have/make a press mitt of some sort - thanks for the inspiration to keep my eyes open for a vintage one.

  3. Ooh, a pink sewing machine sounds pretty awesome! Thank you so much for your comments Lynne. I tried to comment yesterday but couldn't get into the comment section for some strange reason.
    You have made some absolutely fabulous stuff, and wow for the superhero ensembles!


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