Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sewing Machines I've Known

I've been wanting to write a post about the different sewing machines that I've used over the years and the present machine blog hop was just the inspiration I needed.

The first machine that my mother had during my years in the family was a Domestic brand model 153.  It was a straight stitch only with reverse.  She had a cam driven button hole maker attachment for it that she loved.  Instead of a foot peddle, the machine was powered by a knee control.  It looked like this:
Here's the button hole attachment:
It lived in front of a window in our dining room in a cabinet like this:

Sadly, while I still own the cabinet, the machine no longer lives with any family members.
One day in the late 1960's my father came home with a new machine.  (There's a rather colorful story about how this machine was acquired, but that's perhaps better kept quiet).  It was a Visetti brand model 965 and it did zig zag stitching!  We thought we were hot stuff now!  Zig zag stitching!  Imagine?!!  The old machine didn't go away though and my mother still used it for button holes. I think perhaps it was a favorite.

This is the machine I did most of my early sewing on and after awhile it was given to me.  I bought a small cabinet and installed it into the cabinet.  But several moves ago I let it go to live with a stranger.

Then, when I was in high school, my mother began to do alterations for a local dry cleaner.  She needed a machine that could handle the newer knit fabrics of the day.  So she invested in a Sears Kenmore model 1914.  It had lots of stitches and a collection of cams and monogram plates to do decorative stitching.  My Dad installed it into the cabinet that the Domestic machine used and the Domestic went into retirement in a closet. I was allowed to play on this machine when she wasn't busy letting someone's pants in or out (often the same someone who apparently kept changing sizes) or replacing a zipper or shortening a dress.  The first Christmas after she got it I made monogrammed cloth napkins for everyone in the family.

I still have this machine.  It still lives in the cabinet from the Domestic but it also is living the retired life in a closet.  Perhaps one day I'll take her out and see how she runs.  I've been curious about comparing the stitching with the mechanical cams to the decorative stitching on my new computerized machines.

If you want to follow along on the machine blog hop this week, you can start here and follow the links to the other blogs.  Happy hopping.


  1. I love stories such as these.......and now, my curiosity is really peaked about the second machine! LOL

  2. Oh, yes, Nina, we want to hear the colorful story about the second machine! I've sewn on one machine my whole life and for me, it is strange to imagine having to learn about and adjust to a new machine. I've been going to post about my Singer for a while. Now seems as good a time as any.