Thursday, March 3, 2011

Where Have You Been All My Life?

I think I met my sewing soul mate. Today, browsing the local Goodwill, I spotted her, a blue green Singer 338. She was in her own slightly beat up but spacious desk/cabinet, and she had several feet, cams, bobbins, and even two vintage buttonholers in the cabinet drawers. She was $40.

"I want to buy this." I said to my husband.

He rolled his eyes. "Another sewing machine?" He asked. "You just like the color."

"I want to buy it." I said again.

"Where are we going to put it?" He countered. He was right on all points. I knew it. Boy, does that drive me nuts- when he disagrees with me, and I know he's right.

"Ugh. Fine. Forget it." I was pouting.

"No honey, if you want it, buy it." He said. "I'm just tired and crabby."

"No, I'm not going to buy it." I said. He was right and I knew it. I huffily left the store (Yes, I can be a brat like that).

We got home, and I still wanted it. I couldn't shake it. Somebody else was going to buy it, and I loved it. Hmmpht.

"Do you want me to go back and get it?" My loving husband asked.

"We'll all go (baby too!), and I'll bring fabric and some decent thread so I can test it out." I was already grabbing my purse.

Back at Goodwill, my husband made it to the machine first. He approached me with the paper tag from the top, which in our hour's absence had been marked down to $20!

"Awww. Thanks for giving me the business honey." I gave him a smooch and went to pay while he loaded up the goods. Now we were both happy! <3

Here is my new machine.
The color is a bit more vibrant- dark photo, but I was excited and wanted to play show-and-tell!
It's pretty much everything I wanted. It sews beautifully. I usually use only straight and zigzag stitches, but I do use the blind hem stitch a good bit, and this machine has a cam for that. Not to mention, I love the color ;).

This machine has all steel gears, so it is a few steps up in quality from my plastic Brother, which I will probably be parting ways with. I have a vintage Kenmore that the feed dogs drop on, and that is handy for buttonholes, so I think I will keep it. I will get rid of the Singer 66 too, because although it is pretty and impressive (in that it is still running at 97 years old), I am limited for space, and I like a reverse option when sewing. Finally, I have another old Kenmore I will be ditching, and a Brother serger that I am keeping. That will mean I am downsizing from 5 (now 6 :) to 3 machines. Or so I say. It remains to be seen, right? Anyway, Singer 338, welcome to la familia!

On a side note, this is perhaps the third vintage machine I have bought that was in perfectly good running condition, but was probably not picked up by someone else because was set up improperly and it appeared to be broken. The Kenmore was set for a zig zag with a straight stitch foot on it. It was marked as for sale for parts, and I got it for $2.50. This Singer had the needle in backwards. The first few attempts I made at stitching in the store, nothing happened. Luckily, I have made this mistake on my own machine at home, so I knew to flip the needle. It's amazing how much more comfortable I have gotten with machines in the last few months. So much to know!

Anyway, we'll be getting to know each other better tomorrow, so I'm off to bed!


  1. That is an awesome find! Congrats on your new baby!!

  2. Welcome to the 338 club! I found mine at a thrift store, too--there were several different machines there, and mine was the oldest. My husband asked why I was buying the old one, and I promptly informed him that old is usually MUCH better when it comes to sewing machines (plus, mine is my favorite shade of green, and it came with the metal carrying case). It's served me very well, and was worth way more than I paid for it--hope yours is as good to you!

  3. What a great score. You will never regret it. Nothing sews like a great old all metal singer and cam- whoo hoo- there are some great ones out there check on ebay.

    Have lots of sewing fun.

  4. Thanks all! I am so in love! This is a great machine- yesterday I played with it a lot, used the double needle option, tried out the cams, etc. I just can't believe how nicely it stitches everything. I <3 my Singer. I'm naming her Phyllis Sue after the former owner (her name was on a label on the machine) :)

  5. I have to tell you. That night of this post I ended up dreaming I found a sewing machine at the Goodwill. I left and came back and was mad that it hadn't been marked down. I laughed about it once I remembered what I dreamt about.

  6. I have a Singer 338 also (pics in my blog archives) - Its such a pretty thing and sews really nicely. Great entry level machine for a beginner like me - no complicated computerised parts just metal that needs oiling and gears that need greasing. Easy!


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