Friday, March 30, 2012

It’s Raining ((Machines!))

This is getting to the point of hilariously ridiculous – seriously it is.

But what’s a girl to do?

Just walk away?

I don’t THINK SO!

The story goes like this ----I just went to take a couple book orders to the post office yesterday afternoon, trying to keep things caught up before I left for Iowa.

Innocent enough, I assure you!

On my way back, I saw a “parking lot yard sale” at a local little strip mall place that I have to pass on my way home. I tried not to look. Honest, I did ---but….there was this CASE?! I *KNOW* the shape of that case – and I just had to see what was inside ---

And not only that – there was ANOTHER one next to it…AND…

Well, Peeps, I FOUND KEN!

oldtimeyday 015

This is Low-Rider Ken --- LOL! His center of gravity is hunky, chunky, and lower to his base than either Marilyn or Barbie –I asked the guy doing the selling about him, and he thought there might be some issue with the motor on this one because it heats up and smokes.

NO THANK YOU! Sorry, Ken, but this Chiquita is a Non-Smoker! This just won’t do ----but you know what? Ken had a friend! Meet "Joe Cool!"

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And he is a two-toned handsome devil with a steel-grey metallic paint job accented by ivory and oh --- he’s got the same body style as Barbie…. ((can you see the difference in how much more space this guy has in his mid-section than Ken?

Now, I wasn’t going to buy him. Honestly, I wasn’t – but to the right is an accessory box part – and IN IT was a part that I needed ---not for myself of course, but for MARILYN!

And I couldn’t get the guy to sell me just the part --- but Marilyn can’t live without this part because of her home needle position being left to the center and unchangable ((It’s like Nemo’s Lucky Fin, ya’ll – you just have to work with it!)) So – I told the guy, I really don’t NEED this machine, I need the accessories that come with him, so --- how much would you sell him for?


$30.00 is a lot for a seam guide that will work with Marilyn, but because Marilyn is a lefty ---and the regular seam guides can’t get close enough to 1/4” without being ON the feed dog – and I didn’t know if I would ever find another seam guide like this….out came the card.

Now Barbie doesn’t have KEN ((He’s kinda short and fat and squatty anyway and he SMOKES! )) She has the flashy Grey Wizard….and Marilyn?

oldtimeyday 018

She is now sporting her new curved seam guide that rides out in FRONT of her wider "Lucky" presser foot so she can get a good 1/4” seam and sew happily ever after!

I’ve been looking all over for more on Marilyn Morse – here is a video to see how she runs. You’ll see the gal doing the demo even talks about these being permanent lefty machines when it comes to the straight stitch. ((right after it hits the 3 minute mark on the video --)) But these machines can sew through 5 layers of denim, no problem -- she sews through 3 layers of leather --doesn't slow the machine down. WOW!

This all happened yesterday after 3pm. Is there any wonder why I waited until I was out of town to post this? I didn’t tell DH about the new Wizard addition yet -----

Now that I’m far away in Iowa ----I’m safe!

And yes, this post does come with a theme song --- try to get THIS one out of your head! I couldn’t --- after I replaced the word “MEN” with “MACHINES!!

IS there a cure? Do I want one?


  1. Anonymous1:51 PM EDT

    This is getting VERY serious LOL. Bonnie's Foundling Home for Wayward Machines!

    GO BACK AND GET KEN!!! I was told that someone has probably put OIL in a motor, that is what makes it smoke. Take the motor to a shop etc. Besides, Ken NEEDS love and a good home.


  2. It's coming up for car boot season over here and I know, just know, I'm going to get tempted. If a Featherweight is up for grabs then yes, but anything else I'm going to have to walk away. 6 is enough and I haven't even touched the treadle I got last year.

    I agree - go back and get Ken. Emma2 was a smoker. She's not any more and she sews like a dream, providing I remember to oil her.

  3. ::Sigh:: Someone should have told you what happens when you start adopting orphaned machines--THEY COME LOOKING FOR YOU! Just like stray cats, LOL. I did just what you did, Bonnie, started with one and now I have 4 machines that sew like a dream and they are all over 40 years old! I wouldn't trade a one of them for a modern machine, either!


  4. Oh my! Another boat anchor! I love the way Ken looks!

  5. Bonnie, I love it!! Had me rolling on the floor! Don't you feel sorry for Ken?

  6. I got a chuckle out of this, Bonnie. I ALMOST brought home a Kenmore from a thrift shop the other day, but I finally pulled myself away. I only have 4 machines, but DH might make me move out if I brought home another one! : )

  7. Anonymous2:47 PM EDT

    You walked home with a sewing machine??? You go girl! I have no fear that you could put this extra machine with out said NEEDED accessory on your next porch sale and sell it for $25 and all is well....

    This post will remind me NOT to name my machines... as I want no friends over to play.

  8. omg GIRL I want that machine! (Not Ken) Can I buy him from you? You can keep the seam guide! :)

  9. ...ummmm.......uuuhhhhh...........at last count........i had.......cough cough....28 machines.............

    1. Anonymous8:47 PM EDT

      You go girl, they all need good homes and tender loving care!!
      Faye in Maine

  10. I laughed so hard while I was reading your post. I'm sorry that Ken was a smoker. Don't worry, you will find your Ken another day! Have fun in Iowa!!!!!

    Sandy in TN

  11. well Bonnie, in the south everyone pronounces "ken" as "kin" so you wouldn't want to leave one of your kin sitting in the shop, now would you?

  12. You should've tried to talk him in to throwing in Ken... or am I the only one who brings home non working machines just because they look so fun?

  13. How do you find these things? I think you have an extra sense, like bats and sonar. You can feel the presence of a cool, vintage machine for sale. I'm very jealous of your latest additions. They are super!!!

  14. Anonymous3:25 PM EDT

    I like tuning in each day to find out what adventure you are onto or into now. Love your sense of humour too. I am hoping a little singer featherweight finds me some day. That is a dream find for me.
    Scrappy Nanna in Canada

  15. Well I guess now I will have to start scouring ebay and yard sales for a crocked seam guide for my lefty Marge! Love Marilyn's friend... Is it Joe (Dimaggio)?

  16. I am reasonably happy with my new Pfaff but I would love a Baby Elna to take with me for workshops.
    Then I would be done.
    I did have 3 sewing machines but sold one & one is in storage.
    I am staggered by the person with 28!!
    How do you use them & store them all?? Mind you I would not say no to a few more toy machines. LOL.
    PS: Mind you Ken looks a little 70's sleazy to me

  17. Anonymous4:19 PM EDT

    Bonnie my friend, I think it's time we find you a 12-step (or would that be 12-stitch??) program.... ;)

    -Melinda E.

    1. LOL Just use the patch!

    2. Anonymous1:50 AM EDT

      Yeah,good idea... how many patches do you have?

  18. Anonymous4:28 PM EDT

    All Featherweight-Wanntabee Owners! Never ever pass one up --- even if it doesn't work! Many folks have put the tension spring etc back onto the machine incorrectly, for one thing. Another is the GREASE in those machines tends to congeal. Making them almost seem like they will not start, or go very slow at first. You warm the grease by running the machine. DO NOT DO THIS IN FRONT OF THE SELLER. You want to buy as cheaply as you can. Remember too, two or more non-working Featherweights can be cannibalized into ONE working machine if it comes that.

    Alot of folks have NO idea how to clean or test a machine. Alos, those sewing machine motors are still very much available, for most makes.

    Good luck on your Featherweight hunt!!!!

    Thumbgs up

    1. another thing to check is whether the little finger in the bobbin assembly is in the groove. You would have to look at it to understand but a friend was having problems with one she purchased and that was one of the two problems she had and easily fixed. Her other problem was that someone had tightened the screw holding the tension assembly so tight, I couldn't even turn it.

  19. TOO FUNNY! Next time you try to tell me that I don't NEED a particular machine, I'll have to remind you of all your recent acquisitions. I don't suppose you are willing to divulge exactly HOW MANY machines you now own??? Nah...not asking.

    1. Yes, but this was $30!! Not breaking the bank!

  20. You are a real HOOT! I just love reading your blog!

  21. It would appear that you are busted....... Good thing you are in Iowa. LOL

  22. Pretty soon DH isn't going to let you out of the house....because every time you leave you come back with another sewing machine. It WAS lucky though that you decided to stop at the sale and that there was a machine with the exact seam guide you needed. Must have been kismet or something.

  23. Your post had me in stitches. :)
    I have just ordered the new Janome Horizon.
    I have a Pfaff, a Singer hand crank and a Singer feather weight.
    Hubby not impressed.
    Enjoy them.
    Please PLEASE tell us how many you own.

  24. Anonymous6:05 PM EDT

    I want to know how many machines you own! You make me laugh every day!
    BTW What DH doesn't know won't hurt him. Would he even notice? Just say "OH that's been around a long time." Do not say "That's been around here a long time" because that would be a lie.LOL LOL LOL .

  25. Too funny! Now we all know what happened to Ken....gained weight and started smoking! :) It's tough to walk away from a machine, isn't it. I've heard those old Kenmore's are awesome machines though....just sayin'.

  26. Anonymous7:31 PM EDT

    Love your posts & you inspire me daily. My first machine was a Morse 4400 Fotomatic some 20+ years ago and I still sew on it. It runs like a champ and like you said, sews thru multiple layers of denim like a dream. Even though I've added to the sewing machine collection over the years, I just can't part with it or my Grandmother's Singer 601.

  27. Anonymous8:58 PM EDT

    Bonnie, I loved this post, and your sense of humor. My last acquisition, from a yard sale last summer was a Kenmore in the cabinet with a knee "peddle". It has set until this past week when I cleaned it all up, oiled it and set to work. What a dream to sew on!!! It is soooo quiet and stitches so well. This machine became number 10, which includes a 1911 treadle, a serger and the long arm, but does not include the Janome Sewing with Hello Kitty I purchased for my grand daughter's future sewing lessons.

    My DH has nothing to say to me about these, especially when I look at his antique gun collection!! What's good for the gander or something like that!! :>)

    Glad you and your bags made it to IA. Have a great time.
    Faye in Maine

  28. I would pick up any machine I found for $30 also! Lucky you. I know of a few Featherweight 'hoarders'. I just want ONE, I'm not greedy. Have fun in Iowa.

  29. oh goodness I have a Ken but not the pink sisters.
    My Ken works just great.
    I also have two featherweights and a treadle and all machines work. I have two machines that do not work. Newer than the old ones that do work. I have a new Elna that I like OK but sew more on the Featherweight because I take it to places with me to sew.
    Bonnie you liked my pretty blue featherweight last year at the workshop in Austin.

  30. You are just so funny! You had me cracking up also! I look forward to your blog everyday...Marilyn and Barbie are beautiful...Wiz looks a little like a "bad boy"...uh oh!

  31. I also vote for you to go back and get Ken! He just needs a lube job!!
    I love older machines...I have my mother's Singer 401A, and she's still a dream!
    Hey, what about naming him Mr. Wizard, after the original TV show? It's in the right era!
    You go, girl!!

  32. I sincerely hope that you did not discuss any of this in front of Barbie because I just know that she would be broken hearted to know that Ken was left there by himself and even his friend deserted him. Too sad.

  33. Tina in NJ7:31 PM EDT

    Have you named the grey wizard yet? I vote for Harry or Gandalf the Grey. ;)


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