August 23, 2012
grand old dame
I didn't really need another project - what with the unpacking and painting and getting ready for back to school among other things- or another sewing machine - I have three (eek!) - but when I spotted this lovely lady languishing on a back table at a garage sale, I decided she needed me. Or maybe I needed her. Ten dollars later she was in the trunk of my car headed home.
I posted a photo of her on a sewing thread I frequent on Ravelry and the experts there tell me she is a 1937 Model 99, which was the little sister to the mack daddy sewing machine of the day, the 66. And in the opinion of some, it seems she is one of the best machines ever made, which makes me want to scupper any plan to sell her (that would be Will's idea. I think he finds the idea of four sewing machines in the house a little over the top, or maybe we've just been watching too much American Pickers) and use her as my main machine. As much as I appreciate all the bells and whistles of my heard of Brother machines, most of my sewing involves straight stitching, which is the forte of the 99.
Since then I'm sorry to say she's just sat on top of the heater, looking decorative. Unpacking came first. And then painting, which I'm still chipping away at. But now that the main part of moving in is done (yay!) I can spend a little time tinkering with my new toy. And she needs some tinkering for sure. Some cleaning - the remains of a mouse nest was tangled up with the original owners manual and a few extra feet under the machine - a new belt and perhaps some new wiring, I'm not sure about that yet. There is also the pesky issue of learning to sew using a knee press instead of a foot pedal to run her. I can't quite wrap my head around making that work but I'm willing to give it a try. I think.
I've found a few resources for restoring old sewing machines but would love any advice I can get. Anyone ever restore a 99. Or a 66 for that matter because it seems they were identical except in size. Should I keep her and use her? Or perhaps fix her up, sell her and buy that featherweight I've always wanted? Decisions, decisions.