What: Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Where: On our side table, looking all vintage-y

How: Flea market find, at the Amsterdam Waterlooplein market

A few months ago Jesse came home and surprised me with a flea market treasure: a vintage Singer sewing machine that he scored for only €15. Neither of us had any idea if it worked or not, but it looked pretty cool, and that’s less than we’d spend on dinner! As far as my non-professional internet research could tell, the model is from somewhere around 1914-1920. I dusted it off and spun the wheel a few times, but was too intimidated to dig much deeper into fixing it. It’s sat on our side table looking pretty since then.

Now the new year has rolled around and I am this close to finishing my quilt. I thought if I could get the Singer working, it’d be cool to sew on the quilt binding with it (and save me some extra handwork). So the other afternoon we sat down and re-dusted the machine off. Between my general sewing knowledge, Jesse’s problem-solving, and a few Youtube videos we were able to wind the bobbin and get it sewing! That needle trundled along like nothing could stop it.

Such pretty filigree plates

Jesse figuring it out

The feeling of using a 100 year old machine… it’s a little crazy. How many hundreds of pieces of fabrics has it sewn through? This is a serious workhorse.

It’s hand-cranked, which is weird to grapple with. I can manage on smaller scraps, but when I did the binding for the quilt I had to rope Jesse into helping. He cranked and I steered: such teamwork!

Now if I could only stop my reflexes from reaching for the foot pedal and trying to turn the machine on and off every time I sit down… old habits die hard.

With a machine to help, even a hand-cranked one, the quilt will go much faster. Which means: I’m almost done…