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Nov 30, 2010

One down, four to go!

Good morning, neatniks, slobs, and vicarious downsizers.

So I did it -- I sold a sewing machine yesterday!  I am loathe to tell you which one for fear it might be your favorite and I don't want to cause a ruckus.  OK, it was my Singer Genie.  I know many of you love the Genie and I loved mine too.  But I never used it.  I have three other Singers, albeit without the irresistible flower-power details. 

One of my strengths -- and potentially a weakness too -- is that once I set my mind to do something, I do it.  OK, sometimes I do it.  Well I have set my mind to cut my sewing machine collection in half and keep only the machines I use.  The machines I'm selling (on New York Craigslist; I don't do shipping with things this heavy) are all in excellent shape, I'm just tired of having stuff around I don't use, tripping over sewing machine cases, and vacuuming the dust bunnies that collect behind them.

I have someone coming to see another machine today, plus a lamp and a mirror.  Like I said yesterday, I'm on a roll!

I hope you will still visit here at Male Pattern Boldness when I only have six or seven sewing machines.  It'll still be just like before, only less cluttered, aside from all that vintage luggage.

And now dear friends, I must ask about the clunkers.  I have two: a Necchi Lydia with a broken cam shaft that only sews straight stitch and an ulcer-inducing vintage Huskystar serger 535D serger that cost me many days' work to thread and set up correctly, only to go all wonky when I tried serging through eight layers of denim a little more than a year ago.  Then I gave up on it.  It's mechanically fine but might need some tuning up, I'm honestly not sure.  I refuse to invest another minute in that machine and now that I have my Brother 1034D, I don't need to.

Should I try to sell these machines or just bring them to the thrift store, or the curb?  The Lydia is gorgeous and a great mid-century display item but I'm all through with display items now that my living room is a sweat shop.

Sad to say, neither machine has brought me much joy and in the case of the Huskystar, considerable agita.    

I can't tell you what a thrill it is to declutter.  It's not about the money; at this point, I would practically pay someone to take these off my hands or rather, my kitchen floor.   The universe even placed a two-drawer Sterilite plastic container unit in my dog-walking path yesterday afternoon which I'll use to store...gee, I'm not even sure.  Still, what is that but a sign that I am on the right path?

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for....

Whoops, wrong photo!  From this...

To this.

Big improvement, no?  (That Brother sewing machine in the background should be gone by week's end.)   I think so.

OK, I must go back to decluttering; wish me luck.  And then, perhaps someday soon, I might actually get back to sewing!

Have a great day, everybody!

UPDATE (1:20 pm): Sold another sewing machine -- Yay!


  1. I say, try to sell them first (admitting they aren't perfectly functioning at the moment). If you can get a little cash for them, why not?! :-) As for the cleanliness, I'll admit my sewing area is a bit of a mess right now, but I do strive for it (and especially the rest of my house) to be neat. The rare days when it IS clean, I don't think I'm any less interesting (or any more boring). I'm probably not the demographic you're looking for, though, since those tidy days are few.

  2. While my sewing space is not an operating room I do try and keep it straightened up. What does this say about me? It says I'm organized and efficient --meaning I finish projects and don't have a closet full of UFOs. So there! (I am just kidding here...sort of...I am organized).

    Do you have a sewing machine shop nearby to you, Peter? You could donate those two clunkers for parts perhaps.

  3. looking good! I told my dd who comes home from Korea on Wednesday for 2 weeks and then she's moving to Texas, that she has to take, give away or otherwise remove from her room,(throwing out would be good) all her personal stuff. She has balked at doing this all at once and I know what happens to boxes in the basement from child #1. They never leave the basement! I want a real guestroom, not Harry Potter's lair. Decluttering takes ruthlessness!

  4. My mom has a Singer Genie. I covet it. My favorite part is the orange flower motif on the dial that gets all psychedelic when it spins.

  5. That foto of Mae West made my day. Is it from Sextette?
    As fo the decluttering, I admire anybody who even tries. I only have one machine (yet!), but my increasing fabric and pattern adiction is slowly taking over my house ...

  6. That is indeed Mae West. What is on her head, however, is anybody's guess.

  7. Looking great Peter! I agree with Jenny to try to sell them first, again with full disclosure. Someone out there may really want those machines and wouldn't mind fixing them. You never know what people will want. If they don't sell in one week, then donate them or kick 'em to the curb :)

    Keep up the good work!!

  8. I think this is my first comment, but longtime reader. My husband made me take the fabric piles off of the futon in my sewing room/office last week and put them on the shelves we bought for them. I have to admit it looks a lot better. But I'm going to be introducing more disorder opportunities with the new serger that's coming in this week.

    I'd take the clunkers to the thrift store, but that's just me. I wouldn't feel right selling them to someone who might not know any better, and the hassle of it wouldn't be worth it.

  9. All very commendable! However, I think it will take less than two weeks for entropy to grip your apartment again! (I say this projecting my own foibles onto you :)

  10. Impressive! One gone and more on move! I agree, definitely try to sell the ones that aren't working right before you donate. You never know who's out there looking for parts. I recently bought a replacement case for my 70s something Pfaff 1199 (which the movers broke) and am still looking for a replacement handle.

  11. I'd take them to the thrift store - maybe attach a note outlining their 'issues'?

    I always hope when I donate things they end up going to someone who really needs them (for some reason I always picture a mom sewing curtains to brighten up a crummy apartment. I think I have some unresolved childhood trauma). :)
    A bit sappy, I know - but it gives me a little 'good karma' buzz.

  12. Congratulations on your downsize! My husband would love to see some of my sewing machines leave the house, but I sold a sectional this year so I feel like volume-wise, I am ahead ;)

  13. awesome, Peter!! When I am getting rid of things like your Lydia and serger, it comes down to convenience. If I my schedule is flexible enough to meet with buyers, I list on CL. If I don't have time, it gets donated.
    Since you have other machines on CL now, why not go ahead and list them?
    Isn't it a pain to spend time organizing when there are better things to do? I know, I got quite annoyed by the time I finished my last major clean-up. It took so much longer than expected, but I did tackle a wee bit more than was perhaps prudent for the amount of time available. But, now I am so glad I did it.

    When I moved in with my husband, I adopted (ie learned to obey :) his rule in the kitchen - it is not allowed to leave dirty dishes in the sink because it is not welcoming to the next person using the kitchen. DH wants to walk in, and hit the ground running when he's in the mood to cook.
    Now I do the same thing with my sewing area. I always tidy up enough so that it is welcoming when I return and I can hit the ground running.

  14. I bought one of my sewing machines from the Goodwill. I *especially* appreciated the fact that the previous owner had attached a little checklist to the machine, describing its issues, including the stitch quality. (In this case, the machine only needed a little tuning up.)

    However--- I've noticed, in recent years, that several thrift stores, including Goodwill, are unwilling to take broken appliances as donations. So Craigslist (with full disclosure) might be your best option.

  15. woot! way to go!

    It strikes me that your collection of machines is part of your tendency to jump into the deep end when you embrace a new project. Now that you know so much more about sewing than you did when you started, you can relax a little and let some things go.

    I dunno. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

  16. Man you're strong!! I can't even think about selling one of my machines (even the non working ones!!).
    Actually I just picked up another one: a singer 101 from 1923. And I think that it is the best Singer ever! No kidding, it is as smooth and quiet as my 201 but handle thick thread and large needle like my 15-91. It goes through thick fabrics like butter.
    I can't believe nobody ever mention this machine!!
    After all you have to make some room for your next machines, right?

  17. Good job, Peter! Maybe next weekend I'll spend some time organizing my "sewing room"... or, y'know, avoiding it yet again... ;)

  18. Better that the machines go to someone who will use them than end up in landfill. Can you advertise them for a nominal price, or free to good home?

  19. HUGE improvement :-)! Congratulations.
    Even though the flowers were great, but you still have pictures you can see whenever you feel like it...

  20. Wow, my house could really benefit from your influence. I am trying really hard to cut down on the kids toys before another deluge at xmas and busy wondering where to put the xmas tree.

    Send some of your decluttering mojo this way please!

  21. I started decluttering the sewing dungeon this summer, I had almost finished when life annoyingly got in the way. Now once again it looks like a crazed hormonal chimpanzee had a party, and I have to start again. You are inspiring me, but why oh why couldn't you have waited till after Christmas?

  22. So happy that its mine! Check out the genie's new home (aka, my home) on my inspiration's blog!
    Deepa is a toiling sewer, so whats that make me?


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