Tough decisions

Maybe you wondered why I didn’t show you any of my flea market hauls on the 1st. Well, I really bought some things, to be honest I bought a lot. Maybe too much, because I really wasn’t able to decide what to show to you, additionally I was very short of time last week.

But this sunday I went to a household clearance in a village nearby and found something, I just have to show to you.

As you know, I am a fan of old sewing machines, the newest I own dates from the 1990ies and is only used for automatic buttonholes (and I only keep it because it was my grand-aunts). My oldest ist from the early 20th century, around 1903.

But my by far largest one ist my foot operated Gritzner Modell R, a 1958 machine, working without any electricity and a vibrating shuttle, at a time where electric machines with rotary hook mechanism were the state of the art. You could really say this is pre-war-technology in a post-war-warapping.



I found her in a charity shop in my hometown, literally blindfolded: The machine can be hidden inside the table, the opening is covered with the wooden panel you see on the left side of the table. Well, and this cover was locked. It was obvious that there was a machine inside, but nobody knew what she looked like and in what condition it was. So they sold it to me for 10€ and I tried to carry it the 50m from the shop to my working place, a haberdashery store in the same street. After appr. 15m I asked a man passing by if he could help me and he really did. Thirty minutes later my shift ended and my boyfriend picked me and the machine up.


The key on the photo is an old desk key I found in my father’s garage, I was so happy to avoid breaking the lock. As you can see, it even came with supplies and the manual.


Of course she looked different than what I had expected. I had never seen such a “modern” machine in a wooden cabinet. But I loved her from the first day on and she sews very well.
She even has a dealer’s tag on her, a shop in my hometown that sells only bikes today (bikes and sewing machines being a common combination in the first half of the century).



Well, that was…

Because today I met…her:


I found her at the household clearance after I had spent my time in this house mostly in front of the book shelves. The rest was either uninteresting and too high priced or high quality antiques, legitimately high priced but out of my price range.

After we had seen everything there was only one room in the first floor left. My boyfriend and I stood in front of it an all we see was a built-in-wardrobe with some empty hangers and an ironing-board. We were close to leaving when I decided to at least make one step into this room. And there she was!


A Pfaff 30, according to the serial number built late in 1932. As with the other one, the key is missing, but this one was open.

The price that was asked? 20 CHF, not much for a machine like this, don’t you think?


Only one screw is missing, the one that holds the rear cover in place. But the cover is there, so I am optimistic to find some random screw that fits.


I love the subtle art déco design of the handles and the fluted legs.



And it too has the dealer given, this time engraved in the needle plate.


Well, and now I have a problem: I promised my boyfriend to part with my beloved Gritzner, simply because we have not enough space for a second cabinet-machine (and I do not only own these two, in fact I have way too many sewing machines). And now she stands there, abandoned in the dining room,  waiting for someone to love her…and I do! And she looks so pretty next to our dining table, I don’t see the need to give her away. Additionally, the dealer’s badge that reminds me of my hometown. I am not sure if I am able to give her to someone I don’t know. Anybody willing to give her shelter?

But at the moment, the joy of having found such a black beauty is larger than the grief of parting, surely also because she sews as good as the Gritzner, maybe even a tiny bit better.

So, this was my sunday. I hope yours was fine as well, see you soon,








5 thoughts on “Tough decisions

  1. Ich kann deinen Konflikt so gut verstehen! Hier würde eine weitere Nähmaschine auch nicht toleriert werden – dabei ist doch keine wie die andere! Vielleicht kannst du die Gritzner bei jemandem unterstellen? Zur Not in einem trockenen Keller? Oder sie jemandem, der sie brauchen kann, auf Dauer leihen?

  2. Dabei ist meine bessere Hälfte ja schon sehr tolerant, diese ist immerhin Maschine Nr. 10.
    Keller hätte ich schon, aber das ist auf Dauer auch keine Lösung. Ich will die Maschinen ja in erster Linie zu benutzen und kein Museum einrichten. Daher werde ich mich doch einfach von ihr trennen, hab’s versprochen und nüchtern betrachtet ist es dann auch langsam mal gut mit dem Maschinen-Fuhrpark 😉

  3. Oh my, what a charming story to hear over here in the U.S. I completely understand you conflict about parting with a machine, and I wish I could help you out!

  4. Ooh, what a hard decision! I love both your machines, but the Pfaff is sooo beautiful!
    I have several old sewing machines and I wish I could have more. I would like to have one from echt decade of the 20th century. But like you, we don’t have enough space.

  5. Thank you! My aim was to own one of each system (vibrating shuttle, long shuttle, different bobbin systems, foot operated, hand operated and so on), but I simply had to learn that this would mean a) too many machines for my appartment and b) to many machines to do each one justice, because I still try to sew on most of them regularly. But owning one of every decade is a wonderful idea, too (the moment I wrote it I though about how this would affect my machines and was shocked, only counting the 20th century I am only missing a 1910s, 70s and 80s machine).
    I once had the plan to sew one garment on each machine, matching the decade of the garment with the machine, maybe I will still do this someday in the future.

Comments are closed.