Friends, Monday was a very exciting day here at MPB headquarters. As if guided by the spirit of I.M. Singer himself, I was able both to sell my Singer Spartan (my seventh sewing machine sale since I started decluttering earlier this month) and hours later to receive my Singer 15-90, courtesy of UPS.
Close readers will remember my intention of selling my beloved 3/4 Spartan (also known as the 192K) last week, when I decided that, cute and reliable as she was, I wanted something stronger, and a machine I could put in my treadle table in place of my 1920 Singer 66 -- a fantastic machine but one that lacks the ability to reverse mid-stitch and a less-than-ideal stitch length knob (you turn it like a screw, which means no way to identify stitch length without actually stitching).
I am sworn to secrecy about the purchaser of this machine as she is a well-known celebrity in certain parts of the world or so she claims and has escaped to Brooklyn to lead a normal life or as normal a life as one can lead in Brooklyn. The timing couldn't have been better as I knew my 15-90 was already out for delivery.
The beauty of a transaction like the Spartan sale is that I didn't have to box anything -- Celebrity X carried the Spartan off in a doubled Whole Foods shopping bag. The box I received was one of the most meticulous packing jobs I've seen and I've seen many.
Friends, there was enough tape, plastic wrap, styrofoam and cardboard in this package to mount an entire junior high school class science fair. It did leave me feeling a little guilty about carbon footprints but at least the machine itself is second-hand and the packaging went to the recycling bin in our apartment building.
To my delight, this machine is in excellent shape, clearly having been spruced up of late. Despite dating back to 1949 (March 4 to be exact), the wire and plugs are all new and clean, as is the bobbin winding tire and the belt. (My Spartan dated from the early 60s, btw; my 15-91 from 1952.)
The only flaw, if you can consider it a flaw, is that it came loaded with a class 66 bobbin instead of a class 15. Which is funny, because when I purchased my drop-in bobbin Singer Spartan more than a year ago, it came with a class 15 instead of a class 66! I think a lot of people can't tell the difference and wonder why their stitching looks off.
That's the 66 on the left, the taller 15 on the right.
First stitches were perfect right out of the box. The only difference between this model and the 15-91 is the belt-driven external motor on the 15-90 as opposed to the gear-driven "potted" motor on the 15-91.
The 15-91, which cannot be converted to a treadle:
The plan, as mentioned above, is to remove the motor (which I guess means removing her gorgeous lamp too, alas) and treadle with her. Maybe I'll install some of her wires in my old 15-91 (her lamp in particular -- much better shape).
I am so happy I had this distraction from sewing conflict, not to mention lower back pain no doubt brought on by Yuletide turmoil. It's so good to know that others are in turmoil too, if not actual back pain.
Oh, and speaking of leopard-print pants, the leopard panted guy -- unknown to me, who stopped following celebrities after Keir Dullea (so moving in Madame X) -- is a young actor named Garrett Hedlund, currently starring in Tron: Legacy.
He's no Troy Donahue but he does wear leopard well. Kudos to his publicist for this coup.
Friends, we're out of time. There's much to do here, including some leopard laundering, if I'm up to it. No tote bags today (if ever).
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns. I also sew for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!