Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday Thrifty Treasures: Retro Fabric and Antique Machines

In my home Tuesdays are  days with no plans. We usually have nowhere to go and are in no hurry to get there. The kids can sleep as late as they want and I pray for a cup of coffee before they wake. In the history of this family, that has happened exactly zero times :) 

Today, the kids were fed and dressed by 7:30 a.m. and asking, "What are we going to do today?"  On days like today making rounds at local resale stores is always a good adventure. The kids like the driving, looking a "new" things and the promise of choosing one thing for themselves. 

We made the rounds and I scored some awesome finds. First up we have fabric, fabric and more fabric. I have been on the hunt for Dutch Wax that can be purchased locally, but I have not had much luck. Today, I found a 1.5 yard panel with two drums on it. Would I be able to use for a pencil skirt? Not sure about having a drum on my bum. For $2, I had to buy it and figure its use later. (I try not to do this. I like to have a clear purpose when I buy, but I made an exception this time).

I scored 2.5 yards of this textured polyester. It has no selvedge information, but I get the feeling it is a 1970's hold over. I have few Vogue dress patterns from the era that would look great in this.

Little Miss is always ready to chime in on what is the "most beautiful fabric in the whole wide world". Her choice today was this cotton print that is perfect for mother, daughter, dolly outfits.

Not to be outdone, Mr. Man made a selection for comfort over style. His selection was a heavy weight charcoal grey jersey knit. It feels wonderful! There are at least three yards of 54 inch fabric! I think it may even be an organic bamboo knit, but I do not know why anyone would donate that.  Hubby bought me a new stencil recently and this is the perfect foundation for some hand-stitching.

Okay, I may be accused of burying the lead here, but I never posted about another antique sewing machine I bought while thrifting. This machine is an electric Singer from the 1940's. I think it is a 201 housed in its' original cabinet. I was advised in this post to buy one of these for sewing leather. I am enthusiastically excited to have found this one.
It looks pretty grungy as is, but I have read that these workhorses clean up nicely. The machine turns on, but the motor does not run. I have a contact who does restorations on these machines. I will call him and see what he can do. I would appreciate any information on this machine my readers may have.

The cabinet is original, but painted now.

The little drawer still has the key!

The lettering is in good shape.

I am sure this will clean up nicely.

The day started with me wanting just 5 more minutes of sleep and me feeling like never wanting to leave the comfort of my bed. In cannot wait for a few minutes in my sewing room. I cannot wait to put my treasures to use.

Happy Thrifting,


  1. Ummm, first of all, that's not fair. LOL! Who finds all of those goodies in one day! I must say I'm super jealous. On the other hand I can't wait to see what you make and then I can live vicariously through you for a moment.

    1. IKR! Some people have all the luck; I am one of them. My friends say I have a thrifting guardian angel that leads me to deals. I will send her your way, but I need her back next Tuesday ;p

    2. Haha, that is so nice that you're willing to share her. I must say I usually do pretty good, but your day was outstanding.

  2. I love thrifting, and I'm beginning to get very interested in old sewing machines . . . but I should stop.

  3. Congratulations on your great finds. Go to Singer.com and click on support and resources and you can track the machine by its serial number. There are lots of sites (including Pattern Review) that have great advice for cleaning these up. Lots of elbow grease! This one looks like it is belt driven. The 201 and the 15-91 are gear driven (you won't see a belt). That is what makes them so powerful. But that isn't to say this one won't do the job as well - those older machines are not like the lightweights of today. You will have to keep us posted as to its progress! Great find.

  4. I'm pretty sure this is a Singer 66-16.
    Great old work horse (a big ol' work horse of the heavy-footed variety). Just using baby oil on the body will amaze you with results - lots of clean soft cloths & elbow grease will make such a difference in his looks! Have fun!