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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Adopting Plain Jane!

I turned a corner and there she was on a shelf.

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?


We’ve been getting to know each other this afternoon, stitching up string blocks and having a good 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!

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48 comments:

Anonymous said...

this saga reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit. My forever favorite book.
Hugs to you for making her your own Bon. Sally K. in Aiken

Leavenworth Robin said...

You are one funny lady and a HAPPY one. Thanks for giving Plain Jane a new and wonderful home so she can SING. Merry Christmas from Robin in Leavenworth WA as it is SNOWING! quiltnrobin@nwi.net

Gretchen McRoberts said...

Reminds me of adopting a pet that others have overlooked at the shelter. She will have a home and she will do what she does sew well��!

Anonymous said...

Like a discarded puppy, she has found a forever home, so sweet....
Diane in N. Florida.

Debbie said...

$12.00 seriously. Lovely. So glad you had the time to find her.

Barbara said...

Don't you just love those vintage machines...and for $12, she would have come home with me, too!

Debbie said...

The prove I'm not a robot thing was so funny today. Usually you just check it. Today I had to select all the pictures that were soup. Ha ha ha. I almost missed one. Too funny.

earthmotherwithin said...

Thanks for the lovely story about Jane. It made me smile. So glad she has a forever home.

Anonymous said...

From the description it sounds like you found your twin sister?

Marjorie said...

Oh, how fortunate that you found her, cleaned her up, and brought her back to life. She was born the year that I was; I learned to sew on a treadle that looked like her. Wish I could reunite with my old friend. NOTHING sews any better. Marjorie at marjanorig@aol.com

Anonymous said...

She's a beauty and I'm glad she found a home where she'll be appreciated and loved. I soaked my face plate in a bowl with Dawn dish soap and warm water (just enough to cover the face plate) for about 1/2 hr. It was surprising how much gunk the Dawn took off. I just polished her up with a soft cloth.

Louise Young
(floridafly@hotmail.com)

Frances said...

Congrats! Another one saved; She will serve you well, as she did in her previous abode.....Also, in one of the later pictures, I noticed the upper thread comes from a bobbin on top. I have thought of doing this with some of my bobbins from my desk machine quilter. I have a couple that was "loose-threaded" when filled. Can't use it under my quilting mach., but could use it in the upper area. Anything I should watch out for?

francesm@wildblue.net

cityquilter grace said...

she was waiting for you bonnie....lovely but plain jane! i always marvel at the workmanship that created something that runs as good today as it did 80 years ago...but makes me sad too...

nancy hutchison said...

like the velveteen rabbit!

Kim said...

Honestly how do you find these great machines at those amazing prices?
They must send out a signal to you!!
Enjoy her, Happy Sewing!

khowardquilts said...

Reverse is a big deal! My treadle machine is older. I looked up how old it was, but I forgot to write it down.

Melody A. said...

She is a lovely machine, not particularly plain at all when you look at the beautiful face plate and how LUCKY for her to have caught your eye!! Congratulations! and Merry Christmas!

Cats said...

if i ever go "out and about" you know I'll be looking for a treasure like this... wow, how wonderful and congratulations... i do not NEED another machine, LOL I don't think you do either, dear Bonnie, but the machines need homes and you are surely a good applicant for adoption... congratulations on the latest member of your family... besides looking a scraps a whole new way, now I'm going to be looking in antique and thrift stores... sigh... a new obsession??? could be... Merry Christmas... Cats, cwhitcher@roadrunner.com

Allison in Plano said...

You are the best adoptive Mom of VSMs! Loved the story and how you are all squishy and sentimental over this old beauty. A gal after my own heart!! I'm popping a 5 oz. container of Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish into my Talkin' Turkey project bag to give you while in Plano. For your cabin bag of VSM cleaning supplies! Hugs, Allison in Plano, Texas USA

Wolfquilter said...

What a lovely find and for 12.00. That is great. I would have taken her home also. you and others in my quilt groups have shown me how to love vintage. I probably would have passed her up in the past.. Congrats!!!

cathy dale said...

Just a beautiful day..

Sandra Henderson said...

Plain Jane won the lottery today! ;)
She's one lucky lady and is now Cinderella, forever to be treasured. Never to go back to being dirty again.
That's so neat.

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

So glad you listened to your heart and gave Jane a home. I hope you will be happy together stitching and stitching for a long time!

Don German said...

Looks a little like my featherweight. What a wonderful bargain. Happy sewing & Merry Christmas!

Wendy said...

Bonnie, I love Plain Jane's face plate. And that light blue fabric with the floral motifs?...I used to have that!

Janet O. said...

Wow, what a deal! And for a plain Jane, she sure has a pretty face (plate). : )

Lace Faerie said...

OH wow! As my daughter would say, "peanut butter and jell-ous!

Nanette said...

Plain Jane was waiting for you, Bonnie. What a wonderful piece of history recovered. You did good....

Genee' Davis said...

What a wonderful story and find! She deserves to be loved by you!! It amazes me your knowledge of machines and the full mechanics of them! I hope you and Jane have a wonderful time getting to know each other!

Mary said...

When a vintage machine calls, you have to answer. She is plain but so happy to be in use again. Sad that her owner didn't keep her cleaned out. Every time I see a dirty machine I go and clean out under my throat plate. $12 was a steal!

Shirley R said...

What a lovely and sweet story about this little lonely machine. I have to confess, a sentimental tear ran down my cheek when reading it. I remember making some of my clothing as a young girl on just such a machine. I'm so glad she has found a forever home. Thanks for the memories, Bonnie!

Loretta M. said...

What a sweet story about a special lady. You are definitely one of a kind, Bonnie, with kind being the definitive word. Your life appears so gentle, it keeps me calm; yet I know from your blogs you are one busy and accomplished lady. Thanks so much for making my life so civilized even if it is only in my mind. You are the best!

Loretta McGinn
tlkids65ll@aol.com

Rinachiyya said...

Oh my stars what a find a machine fir 12,00 dollars. You are one lucky lady and i Am so happy that plain Jane will have such a good home. Thanks fir the explenations what to check out.. Enjoy plain Jane and meert Christmas Bonnie. Hugs to Sadie xxxxx
Yoka Bazilewich

Vic in NH said...

How I love your stories of the recently redeemed lost souls! Good deal and a treasure of a machine. Sew on, my child!

paulette said...

"SCORE!!!!!!" Bet you heard that shout coming from across the country, crossing the Canadian border, heading your way, straight to your cabin in the woods! Well done! Plain Jane has found the perfect home!
P

Deb B. said...

How cool that you found this machine so easily! I have been looking for an older machine for a while now, but no luck. I am so glad that Plain Jane will have a home where she will be used and loved.

Debbie said...

Looking at Plain Jane's dust and dirt under her plate brought tears to my eyes. I also have an addiction to collecting old machines - mostly because I like to clean them up and get them working to rehome them. I was lucky enough to find "The Old Lady" my oldest machine with a birth year of 1889. I couldn't pass her up for $20, and she came with a beautiful cabinet. I was afraid someone would buy her, rip her out of her base, and throw her out - just to reuse the cabinet for decoration. She hasn't been cleaned up yet, but I will get to her in the spring. I'm so sorry that most my collection has to reside in the 55-degree tack room which makes it difficult to use them in the winter. The rest have been cleaned, admired, and covered when not in use. Looking forward to using my hand crank machine ("Cranky", which she isn't) that I found a case for this past summer. It was amazing to find such a narrow case which fits fits her perfectly. If anyone is in New England and wants a new (old) machine I have several that need new homes.

Fran Gloade said...

Quilts are wonderful. "New" sewing machine is great. What a find! Merry Christmas

isew do u said...

What is it that comes over us when we see a "diamond in the rough?" I love Plain Jane's name, but I think she has her own talents and beauty. Just look at that face plate! I am so glad you took her home and adopted her. You got an incredible bargain. I know she is happy to have been matched with someone who loves her and knows how to take care of her and enjoy her! She still has lots of life and service to share. We are sisters of the same realm! There's always room for one more vintage lady. We have been tasked with preserving these amazing machines.

Quilter Kathy said...

Ahhh that story made me sooo happy :)
I have a Sweet baby Jayne that was born the same year as my little sister Jayne 1964... a white featherweight.
Love love love these old gals!
Enjoy!

geogguru said...

I loved this story. Thank you for sharing it.

Carolyn is Sisters, OR

RitaPartridge said...

Wow, what a find!! You are so lucky to find this one!

Santee Bobbie said...

I add my thank you's to all the above comments. It's my hope I could do the same-for a special Pyrex cup or vintage machine. Have you decided about your cup?

Lucy said...

Lovely plane Jane :-)

janequiltsslowly said...

From one Jane to another, you are lucky to have found your way to such a good home! This story makes me smile. It's why I enjoy your blog so much.

Lorraine said...

So happy for you and so happy for Jane to have a found a home with you and your other vintage machines. The entire story put a smile on my face and a slight tear in my eye to think of all of the sewing she had done in her previous life. Thanks for sharing.

Marcia Gaffney said...

Such a wonderful piece of history that was meant to be yours. She has really been loved so well and now that love will continue in your home. Plain Jane or not she is lovely.

Marcia Gaffney said...

Such a wonderful piece of history that was meant to be yours. She has really been loved so well and now that love will continue in your home. Plain Jane or not she is lovely.