For quite some time I have had a little idea working in my mind. I mentioned it very shortly in my post about my new old Bernina 730, but I wanted to be prepared for the series to start before I really announce it. But finally here it comes.
As I have said in the above-mentioned post, I love old sewing machines. I love to imagine how the previous owners worked with them, what dresses were created on them, how the rooms they stood in looked like and so on. My Singer Featherweight had a little handwritten note attached to the sewing table with some old adhesive tape, I was so sad when the mechanic who maintained it last year removed it without even asking me.
Now, my idea: I don’t want to leave it at speculating what could have been back then, but try to re-imagine the original environment of my sewing machines as accurately as I can.
First step would be to narrow down the manufacturing date, the older the machine, the more difficult this will be, I fear. Next step is to find information about this time period. How would the world look like, which people were famous, are there important dates in history connected to it? What did the first owner possibly wear, what was eaten at lunchtime, how much did she (or he) pay for the sewing machine. And, third step: What would be sewn on it when it was new? What pattern styles were popular, what fabric would have been considered modern, what could have been the first project made with the new helper.
I plan to make a little series, including the ideas above, featuring each one of my machines. I don’t plan to make it a regular feature, but will post it whenever a project matches.
If you own a more or less old machine yourself and want to participate, I would love it! Please feel free to use the icon above and link back to my blog. There are no period restrictions, I am equally open for late 19th century creations or early 1990ies projects.
You can include whatever you want. Dates, facts, photos, recipes, everything you consider helpful to create an image of the time given. But you will have to include a sewing project and it has to be made on the sewing machine presented! Yes, this is the mean part. Feel free to create a breathtaking art-nouveau-gown, but create it only on your period machine, no serger, no zig-zag-stitching, no computer-backed embroidery, you get it 😉
So, are you with me?
And if someone is interested: This cute but hilarious image above I cut from a sewing machine add found in the Burda-issue of march 1956. I just love how she hugs this presumably quite heavy machine. The add is for Frigor-Sewing machines, a brand I had never heard of before. It seems as if they produced radios and things like that until 1952, then went bankrupt. From 1953 what seems to be the same enterprise, produced sewing machines. I found Hague (Netherlands) and Munich (Germany) as production sites, but one machine on ebay had a plague saying “licensed in Switzerland, produced in France”. My otherwise always helpful book on old sewing machines can’t add any more information and even the world wide web proofed not fruitful at all.
The machines have a very distinct, “atomic” 50ies style and are very reasonable priced if you want to buy them today, something around 50€ if you find one. Back in the 50ies this was in fact a comparably expensive machine. The add from 1956 names a price of 712 Mark, this equals nearly 1700€ today! But it seems to have had some fun features, too. It was already able to sew straight and zig-zag, to darn, to make buttonholes and attach buttons and even had some decorative stitches. But the best thing, look at the upper picture on the left:You didn’t have to change the needle as we know it today but, to prevent confusion on how it should be placed, you could just throw the needle into a little hole on the top and it fell into the right position all by itself, magic!
I hope you will like this little series and I would love if someone decides to join me. Stay curious for the first post, see you soon,