Friday, March 6, 2015

Who Knew Habitat for Humanity Provided Homes for Vintage Singers?

Well, that may be a bit misleading,

...but what I'm talkin' about is this kind of vintage Singer.

I have to admit, they both look good in black with bling and they both still got it goin' on! 

This is the Singer 15-90 that I resurrected last summer. She was frozen, had a sluggish motor and her foot pedal cord was cut. Plus, she was so dirty that I thought she was missing most of her decals.

I originally purchased her because I fell in love with her cabinet. A Singer Spinet No. 74 that was specially designed to compliment Singer's new updated 1951 model, the 301. 

They didn't match. It looked like 1924 met 1954. Both lovely but that didn't make it right.

Then I got to see some 301's in use at my first quilt retreat. I knew that I had to have one for my adorable trapezoid cabinet. I got busy and purchased one on ebay. (She's my next post)

She's here, she's lovely, she got a clean bill of health from Frank the Sewing Machine Tech at my LQSs. But she still does not reside in the Spinet No. 74. She needs a cradle; which I have purchased but it's delivery is being hampered by the weather up north. I can't complain, I'm down here in GA with temps hitting the 70s almost daily. It is another reminder to keep our northern friends and family in our prayers.

So here's where Habitat for Humanity comes in.

With the 301 in the house I had to uproot the 15-90 from the cabinet. Singer Model 15s do not have a closed base. They must be in a case or cabinet so I have been on a hunt for a Singer cabinet without a machine that will compliment my curvy machine. A difficult task since these cast iron machines often outlive their cabinets.

I was scheduled to work a shift at the James Brown Arena (yes, the "I Feel Good" James Brown) selling raffle tickets for my guild's quilt to benefit Camp Rainbow and I was early. Shock!!! So I drove around sight seeing since I am rarely in that part of town. Wow, has it changed!

I spied a Habitat for Humanity store and stopped in. They had 4 sewing machines in cabinets and I snagged this nicotine encrusted beauty.

Believe me this photo does not show the extent of yuck on this machine.

I dismantled the table and washed it with Mr. Clean Magic Sponges in my laundry sink. I had to rebuild the drawer and I even washed all her hardware, screws and bolts.

It was in very good condition under the grime and it is a very well built piece. That funny metal bracket eliminates sag when the leaf is folded out. I like that.

Based on the Singer 478 that was housed in it, I'm dating this table in the late 60s to early 70s. The serial number on the machine does not line up with the Singer data base on line so I can't get any closer. I found several photos of this very table on the web but have only found a similar table in a Singer brochure from that era. 

Here she is all cleaned up. Her finish is in excellent condition so I haven't done any refinishing. Plus, I'm debating on painting. Hubs says "no way" to that.

Here she is with the 15-90 installed. Don't they look good together? Now I have to work on that stool.

So, what's become of the crunchy 478?

It's in pieces on Hub's work bench so I could clean it up. The nicotine is pretty tenacious on the plastic and nubby paint but the slick parts shine. It will NOT permanently reside in my home.

I'm debating whether to list it whole as a parts machine on ebay or whether to part it out instead. What would you do?

Now for the promised fabric tidbit, here's what I am working on now:

That's my rigged up sewing space until the 301 cradle arrives. The 221 is sitting in a tray so that it doesn't fall down the hole. That is one of the final four Great Granny Square blocks that I have to piece.

So, I gotta ask...Tom Jones or James Brown?

Thanks for visiting.

Linking up with:
TGIFF, Hosted by Kokka Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
Sew Fresh Quilt's Let's Bee Social
Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday


  1. Thanks for coming over to my blog and your nice words about my quilt. This is just unbelievable to me that you did all this work with this machine. It looks awesome. But I must say, I got stuck on your green wall. What an awesome color. Makes me want to paint my dining room. And I love the name of your blog and this post. Very witty! :)

  2. What a great save! We have a Habitat Restore that always has machines as well. I wouldn't dare paint that great cabinet, and I would definitely sell the machine whole. Someone else may get it working and love it! And I choose James Brown for sure!

  3. You are one industrious woman! I'm impressed with your creative restorations projects. and I vote with Mari above ~ ~ if you're tallying votes!! Can't wait to see what you find next ~ ~

  4. Wow - great Singer cabinet! I've been looking for a cabinet for my aluminum Singer 201, but I've never come across that style of cabinet before. For that matter, I've never seen the Spinet cabinet, either. Now I'll have to be on the lookout for one of each! Yay for vintage sewing machine rescue!

  5. Awesome post!! Haha, Tom Jones it is, although James Brown rocks it!
    I love granny square quilts! I am looking forward to seeing yours and cant wait for an update on your machines! xx!

  6. hahaha, vintage singer. brilliant. :)