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Apr 25, 2011

Rainy Days & Mondays

Friends, remember Rain, that mysterious sometimes-MPB reader who appeared seemingly out of nowhere last winter offering to restore my beloved Singer 15-91 sewing machine?

Well he's back.  Last Friday he returned my machine and -- what can I say? -- it's gorgeous!  Rain said he's going to provide me with a full list of all the restoration work he has done (and hopefully not a bill), half of which I probably won't understand.   He says he wants me to have it for my records.

Am I supposed to be keeping records...of anything?

Here's a before shot -- grimy grimy grimy:

And after -- how did he do that?



Isn't that amazing?

Rain restored the machine top to bottom, inside and out.  Even the peddle has been rewired.

Meanwhile, crackerjack Rain is taking a look at my Featherweight.  It seems that there are teeny tiny burrs on the hook that need to be polished down somehow and Rain doesn't have the necessary tools to do it.  Lacking 1/10th of the patience Rain has, I decided to purchase another Featherweight hook assembly on eBay for about $35 from someone who is selling a Featherweight for parts (she has excellent feedback).  I suspect Rain thinks this is sort of cheating, but I'm tired of not being able to use my machine.  I didn't want to have to ship my hook across the country (or to the UK) to one of the specialists Rain mentioned as possibilities.  I mean, really.  

Now friends, you may be wondering how I compensated Rain for all his hard work.  It seems that Rain is eager to own a Singer 15 hand crank.  The original hand cranks were the 15-89 model, but the 15-88 and 15-90s can also be converted.  Now, you may recall, I purchased a Singer 15-90 to use in my treadle table, but changed my mind, and am treadling with the original 66 the table came with.

Readers, I gave Rain my 15-90.

I know what you're thinking: this was Rain's nefarious plan from the  beginning and I fell for it.  If it was, I forgive him.  I am actually delighted to free up the space on my sewing table.  I'd bought the 15-90 before I stumbled upon my Pfaff 30.  And now I have my 15-91 back in working condition and eventually I'll have my Featherweight.  So I have plenty of machines.

One wants to stay on the the good side of someone like Rain.  You never know what might break down next, and he makes house calls (well, to me at least).   I may even bake him brownies.

Readers, we're out of time.  I was away this weekend so I have all kinds of catching up to do.  In just one week we begin our Jeans Sew-Along and I ask that those who are hyperventilating with anticipation take a deep breath and visualize clouds or waves or something.  It's going to be OK.  Have you joined the Flickr group yet?

Happy Monday, everybody!


  1. Wow, what an amazing job he did! I'm so happy for you :) I think it's nice that you've freed up space and given a machine a good home too!
    Ashley x

  2. That is a beautiful restoration; very glad you have your 15-91 back in fine fettle.

    Very much looking forward to starting jeans next week!

  3. Beautiful restoration, wish I still lived in NY so he could restore my Grandmother's old Singer. Joined the Flickr group, can't wait to start the jeans!

  4. What a beautiful job Rain did on your machine. I sew on a 15-91 and really love it. Enjoy!

  5. Happy to hear he's come through - it looks amazing! I can't remember from previous posts, but does Rain do this work as his business or on the side? Is it possible to get his contact info? I'm having issues with a machines I'd like fixed

  6. Nice job Rain! Glad to see that Peter didn't just hallucinate the whole episode! xD

    Seriously though, one of the best things in life is to have the friendship of a skilled craftsman, you both win in this endeavor. Cheers! :D

  7. Holy cow. I must know what he did to get the finish so shiny. I've heard car wax but haven't gotten around to trying it yet.

    Please let us know what he does with your FW. I just oiled and lubricated mine and was wowed by how much of the motor lubricant was a gunky mess.

  8. OOh you lucky LUCKY guy - knowing someone like Rain!!! I think giving him that machine's a good choice.
    I'd hope to be able to join you for your SaL but as I'm yet to finish my thesis and hand it in, I will restrain myself and wait for the next :D

    Congrats on you new functional machine and good luck (to all) with the SaL

  9. Wow, what a fantastic restoration! He is definitely gifted, and I think brownies would be a nice gesture. I worry about what this may lead to for you now, though...your compulsion to rescue old machines being what it is! Maybe there is a charming storefront in your future, with cocktail frocks on one side, and restored vintage machines on the other. Add in some tea and goodies, and you will have yourself a FABUlOUS sewing hangout!

  10. Rain-maker for sure! Treasure that guy - I have a couple of ancient sewing machines that supposedly are for millinery/hat making work and I don't even want to touch them!

  11. Oh, I adore Vintagegal's idea! Tea and crumpets and ballgowns too! And soups that Michael whips up in his crockpot. :)

  12. LOL, guys.

    Rain can be reached at hipstomp at gmail dot com.

  13. Sounds like a sweet deal. The restored machine looks great. (He doesn't look to hard on the eye either)

  14. Your machine looks amazing! You got a great deal and so did Rain, don't you love an outcome that works for everyone?

    Could you nag Michael for me? We haven't heard from him in a while. If he is extraordinarily busy because of his recent brush with fame, tell him not to bother, but if he is being lazy, tell him I need him to entertain me. Thank you. 8-)))

  15. OMG. It's Rain! I saw the name and that was the first person I thought of. And then when I saw the pic of him, I thought, "That can't be...?" And when you mentioned how to reach him, I knew it was the same guy. I used to read his blog back in the day. I always loved his photos of buildings and his travelogs.

  16. Does the heart glad to see such a lovely restoration job! Thank goodness for such people of patience...

  17. A gorgeous restored machine. Rain certainly deserved your Singer 15-90 and brownies!
    ps If he does have a blog could you post the link?

  18. Wow!! Brownies don't seem quite enough. I'd think something involving ganache would be minimally necessary..
    And congratulations on getting something out the door..

  19. If you haven't already done so, I'd hold off on purchasing a replacement hook assembly for the 15-91. If the burrs are indeed "tiny", it should be a simple matter to burnish the hook with some fine emory paper. This shouldn't even require removing the hook in most instances. I personally use a Dremel Mototool with various polishing wheels to do a "perfect" job, but hand polishing will accomplish a "semiperfect" jost and either will sew perfectly..

  20. Thanks for his contact info! I hope he can help me out too

  21. Hello Peter! I it possible contact with You!? I bought an old Adler sewing machine, with thread table. Now I think, how to clean it up? Can You suggest me somthing, where I can get info?
    I am from Latvia, EU country. here, my email:


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