Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dear old Husqvarna

My first sewing machine - it was my mom's, and she bought the best machine she could find when she got married. It had fancy stitches - you had to change out the cams to produce some of them, and it was green with dark brown knobs and wheels. It would sew through anything! The electric motor finally went on it - my mom sewed a lot , then my sister and me too, and we all used that old Husky. It came in a green tweed hard case with lots of accessories. This is a photo of one just like our old beauty.  I was reminded of this old machine when Lysa posted a picture of a beautiful orange Husqvarna she coveted, and it made me remember all my lovely (and some not so lovely) sewing machines I've had. (I may have a bit of sewing machine acquisition problem- this problem comes and goes).
I think my favourite sewing machine is my current daily driver - a Bernina 1090. I bought it used, purchased a walking foot and a #37 foot (for 1/4 inch seams) and have never looked back.
I had a Bernina 1008 in the late 1990's. It was a basic machine, but a sturdy little work horse. I traded it in years later when I bought a big-dog computerized machine, and the next day regretted my decision to let it go - went back to the store to buy it back and it was already sold!
I enjoyed that big-dog computerized Bernina 200 for it's wide stitch and awesome machine quilting abilities, but was not using it's computer brain to its best advantage so it went on to bigger and better things at Cynthia's house. You should see what she does with it!
I have a semi industrial Bernina (good for curtains and slipcovers) and an industrial Consew with a built in walking foot (good for the really heavy sewing I sometimes do). I bought a Babylock serger a few years ago to finish the seams on some upholstery I was doing, I have mom's old Bernina 830 (she bought it when she passed the old green Husky on to me) and I have an older Bernina 801 that did its time in a school sewing room.

 I have bought and sold many pretty little Singers, old black ones in round wooden boxes or in leather trimmed boxes, I once had a little green one in a cabinet which I gave to a nice young co-worker who had a special talent for sewing. I used to have a Pfaff 130 with the choice of an electric motor or a hand crank. I had that one with me when we sailed down the coast - to repair sails, or just to sew when the urge hit. I sold it to another sailor friend.

I think my next sewing machine will be a treadle, so I can carry on stitching if the power goes out (which it does a few times each winter), otherwise my desire to acquire is dormant.

Do you have a favourite sewing machine?


  1. hi Barb!
    well the Husky that i wore out was newer than that one, but it was a true workhorse. heavy stuff like canvas tents even.

    I can't say I love my new machine. it works, but is fussy to use.

    despite its limitations (many), I do still like my 1950 Singer Featherweight machine. When the other one wasn't working for a few days, I used the singer again at a workshop. It did just fine (I did oil and lube it for the first time in 15 years just prior!)

    but thank goodness, I got the newer one working for Nancy's workshop! the little one is much slower.

    1. Katie - thanks for reading! Your Singer Featherweight will see you through many seams- but you're right, you have the need for speed in a workshop with Nancy Crow.
      Have you been sewing? Gardening weather is on its way, and I have kept myself busy with this and that. I love the intensity of those workshops and can't seem to create it on my own, but I stumble through my projects.

  2. I love my big cast iron workhorse of a Singer in its wooden cabinet with foldout worktop wings. The serial number is #EE906596 and the Singer repair man on Kingsway in Burnaby looked it up for me in his database. It is 201K Class, numbers EE883529 to 933528. It was made on December 28, 1948 at the Kilbowie factory in Clydebank, Scotland. There were 5000 of this class manufactured. I bought it about 10 years ago at a second hand shop on First Street in New Westminster for $60. I have had it serviced and I bought a walking foot for it. I sews like a dream, and makes exactly the same length and tension sewing in reverse, as Barb can attest to when I showed her the quilt that I zoomed up and back, using the reverse function, to quilt my House Tops quilt.

    1. The little green machine that I gave away was a 201K, and the belt was green too. Yup, your stitching was the same forward and backward. Fantastic.

  3. Aww, Barb, what a lovely story about your "Husky"! They do become quite the companions don't they. Although I think somewhere in the '80 sewing machines became kind of generic looking like cars. I guess it really doesn't matter what they look like as long as they work, and if they can work when the power is out, even better! Hey have you seen Linda's old treadle Singer?

    1. I have not seen Linda's treadle Singer ... mom had one at our cabin on the Sunshine Coast. I remember the rhythm- relaxing, really. (I used to name my cars, but I don't do it so much anymore, except Lila, the Wonder Bug)