Readers, after a solid week of Daily Ditches, yesterday I was ready to put my willpower to the ultimate test: the fantastic London Terrace Street Fair that takes place every September just down the block from my apartment. Could I go there and come back with nothing? The short answer is no. But while I didn't pass the test with flying colors, I think I earned a solid B+. First let's back up a bit.
There were a few things on my ditch list I wasn't willing to just give away for free, namely a few of my vintage sewing machines. (Are you sitting down?) Remember that Singer 99 I picked up last Spring, the one I bought primarily so that Rain couldn't get his greedy mitts on it first?
Well, nice as that machine is, I never used it, especially since I already had a Singer 15-91, a Singer Featherweight, a Singer 66 treadle, and now a Singer 201, plus my Pfaff 30, of course, whose plug I still need to replace -- all excellent straight stitch machines. So I posted it on Craigslist. And here's the truth: I actually offered it to Rain for free and he turned it down -- an obvious slap in the face. Just see if I offer him any more free sewing machines!
Readers, there's more. Remember my beautiful Pfaff 139, the 35 lb mid-Fifties zigzagger I purchased the summer I started sewing? (It's the one that came with the pin cushion we talked about last weekend.)
I made many garments on that machine; it's incredibly smooth to sew with and has excellent piercing power. But after I purchased a beat up Viking on eBay a few months later, I found that I was doing all the zigzagging I needed to do on that machine, plus winding all my bobbins, attaching buttons, and inserting invisible zippers.
It's weird about the Viking -- it truly looks like it survived an earthquake and is even missing the door that covers the bobbin case, though this doesn't affect the stitching at all. I use it only for specific jobs but it does them perfectly. It's always out and ready to sew.
I think one of the things I didn't like about the Pfaff -- and this is going to sound really dumb -- was that it came in a huge, grimy, beige plastic carrying case, so when I used the machine I had to find a place for the top of the case. I despise carrying cases, and where am I going carry a 35 lb sewing machine?
Anyway, long story short, I listed my Singer 99 and Pfaff 139 on Craigslist on Friday, and within a two-hour span on Saturday, sold both. And to men!
This leaves me down to the bare bones: seven sewing machines and only two of them zigzaggers. Plus my serger, of course. It feels a little scary but it's so wonderful to have the space back. And both buyers were totally stoked about their respective purchases.
I've found that the quickest way to move stuff on Craigslist is to price things to move. Especially in a lousy economy.
But back to the fabulous street fair, or should I say fairs, because later that day, on an afternoon stroll with Michael, we happened upon another great street fair in the West Village, on West 10th Street. What are the odds?
I have a weakness for vintage sunglasses, and I picked up two pair of vintage celluloid glasses -- I'm guessing from the Thirties or Forties -- for just $20 at the London Terrace Street Fair. Cute, no?
At the second street fair, I found this sweet pattern for just 50 cents. It's one those flouncy party dresses, this one from 1961, and how Natalie Wood is that gal in yellow? It's missing the skirt pattern piece, but it's just a dirndl skirt, so it's a big rectangle. If I give it away on the blog, I'll trace the dirndl skirt from another party dress pattern I have, so it feels more complete.
The ruffled capelet -- the best or worst part of the pattern depending on you feel about ruffled capelets -- is intact.
And that's it! Two of the best street fairs ever and all I spent was $20.50. That's some kind of record, right?
Today it's more ditching, obviously. I'm on a roll!
Any good ditches in your neck of the woods? Vintage sewing machine purges? Take it from me, you don't need more than seven. (Anybody have more than that? Hope not.)
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!