Alone and a bit, well – PLAIN was all I could sum up as far as adjectives go, but I came closer and knelt down to her shelf level, reached out to put my hand on her and give her the acknowledgement that she so rightly deserved.
It’s not easy being “plain.” But she had given a good show of it through her life, and by the completely missing decals and not-much-there-either clear coat, not to mention the barest evidence of dreaded pin rash from a once-upon-a-time pin rag around her neck, I knew she had been loved beyond measure.
First things first.
Bobbin case present? Check.
Tensioner pieces accounted for and looking functional? Check.
The bobbin access cover was there as well, even though this is one piece that is often missing on vintage machines.
I gave her hand wheel a gentle nudge.
She turned smoothly in my hands, the needle eager for some fabric to make some REAL stitches, clackity clackity clackity.
I looked at the price tag.
$12.00 it said.
And I knew from that moment that she would be mine.
Oh but she was dirty! And I don’t have everything I need at the cabin to really take care of her chrome, but I do have some gentle cleaners, and oil and new needles and...
Art deco face plate!
Look at this face plate! Some gentle cleaning with the right polish from home will have her shining in no time.
Serial # AD926828
I looked up her manufacture date by serial number and it puts her in 1935.
Ugh!! Who knows how long THIS has been in here! Someone LOVED to sew on her, but wasn't so up on keeping her clean!
Much cleaner and looking much better!
Into the cabinet she went! Because I already had a model 15 in this cabinet, I didn’t have to adjust the belt.
We tried out some stitches after threading her up. I didn't have to adjust the tension AT ALL. Just the stitch length. She is sewing beautifully!
Oh, interesting fact - my other Singer class 15 threads left to right. The bobbin thread goes clockwise on that one.
Plain Jane threads like a featherweight right to left, I figured that out by following the thread guides. Her bobbin goes counter-clockwise and fits into the case the same way a featherweight does.
These two very similar machines are in fact only 12 years apart in age, and evidently some changes were made during the design process.
Could that be because Plain Jane has a stitch length lever, and can even sew BACKWARDS to back tack? What an improvement that must have been to the home sewer when that came out. How high tech was that for the time?
She sews SEW quietly! I just know we are going to be great friends.
And honestly, I wasn't planning on naming her. I only remember saying, while checking her out on her lonely little shelf at the antique mall, "Well, aren't you kind of a Plain Jane machine. But someone must have loved to you to bits and sewn your decals clear off. There is nothing plain about that. After all is said and done, that is how you KNOW you are loved."
Right then and there, Plain Jane found a place right into my heart.
Have a wonderful evening, everyone!