Friday, 29 August 2014


I came across an "old friend" today ... in the form of a Singer sewing machine!  I worked out that it has been 60 years since I first used this machine!  I learned to sew using this machine and spent hours making  .... doll's clothes!  I guess I was about 10years old (1955).

I see from looking it up (on an American site) that it was called  Featherweight and dates from 1951.  I am sure it had another name ... was it Baby Singer?

These machines were made at the Singer factory  (Clydebank) not far from where we live. I think there are many homes that have or had one.  Certainly they are commonly seen in the Barras (flea market) and charity shops.  In fact one shop is Glasgow has their window display full of these piled in tiers as decoration.

But not this one!  I just loved this little machine and used to walk to my friend's house carrying it as I could not lug it on a bicycle!  In fact, I took it off to university with me but I suppose I left it back at home in the late 60's when I departed to "do Europe".

All through my teenage years I sewed on this funny little machine.  I recall making an outfit for a Sadie Hawkins Day Dance one February.  I took a dress pattern (basic 1920s 'shift')  and made the whole thing out of sacking.  We called it 'gunny sacks' ... never heard that word used in the UK!  I guess they would say hemp sacking.  I also remember how I loved Dan River cotton and when we went to the States on holiday that is what I used to buy with my baby-sitting money... that plus sheet music!

I am still doing both of those things: I love to pick up bits of beautiful fabric in a remnant box say in a Designer's Guild expensive fabric department.  And of course, I never go into a charity shop but I cast my eye around for sheet music!

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