It’s time for you to meet my machines – the trusty steeds that Mama Possum couldn’t Make without!
All of my machines, bar my overlocker, are vintage Singers. I love these machines for their high quality stitching, their toughness and the fact that I can largely maintain them myself. Plus, each machine has its own personality and plus points.
First up is my Singer 201k, a 1946 treadle machine, straight stitch only. She was my first vintage machine and arrived with me in a bit of a mess. She is silent, accurate and, for projects with fiddly bits, she is my first choice.
Next is my Singer 99k, a 1952 handcrank, again straight stitch only (but what a stitch!), I use her mainly for applique, quilt piecing and Baby Possum regards it as her own personal sewing machine. My recent discovery about this machine is that she deals beautifully with heavy sail canvas (a real plus when there are sail repairs to be done for the family dinghy!).
My 319k (otherwise known as The Mean Green Machine) is my overall workhorse. Made in 1958 she is a very early zig zag machine, and at the time would have cost oodles of money. She came to me complete with all her original accessories, pattern discs and instruction manual. After some re-oiling and a trip to Nick Ciancio of Footscray to free up some frozen parts, she sews like a dream and the quality is second to none.
My 320k is my latest acquisition and is, in essence, identical to the 319k, except that she has a free arm, and, being in a case rather than a table is ‘portable’ (if you can call 20kg of case and machine ‘portable’!)
Every so often I wonder about whether I ‘need’ a modern all-singing, all-dancing machine and I go and try one out. My latest dalliance was with the idea of a Pfaff Expression, I’ve also done a brief tango with a Janome Skyline 5. But, both were VERY costly and neither made my heart sing when I tried them or offered me anything that I feel very much in lack of. So, after each thought, I return satisfied to my trusty flock of machines. So many of these machines end up at the tip or rusting in the back of sheds, when actually they are reliable, high quality sewing machines.