UPDATE 9-21-13: Unfortunately, Betts has gone on to a better place. After spending just a couple short sessions with her, all her gears were stripped. I ordered a new set, and my engineer hubby tried to resuscitate her, but she was just too far gone. The sewing machine repair man told me she would cost more to fix than to buy a decent new machine. She has since been replaced by my trusty Janome MC6500. RIP, Betts. Betts, meet everyone.
Everyone, meet Betts.
She's my brand-new-to-me beauty of a sewing machine - the Singer Touch & Sew Deluxe Model 750. This is the stuff my mom's teenage dreams were made of. As told by her, "There were two places I went every day in 1970 when this machine came out... The Honda store and the Singer store." (My mom was way into motorcycles.) She told me this girl was about $300 in 1970, the absolute best-of-the-best.
But guess what?! I paid just over $20 after using a 20% off coupon at Savers (for making a donation - I always keep a bag of donations in my car for this reason!). Add the $13 I spent on a new feed dog (I'll explain later), and Betts cost me less than $35. Swoon.
I normally don't even bother to look at the sewing machines in thrift stores. One, I already have a machine, and although it is kind of a POS, it has mostly done what I've needed it to do for a long time (note: it's an entry-level Singer from Wal-Mart that probably cost about $150). But lately, I've been craving a new machine. I had even checked out some Baby Lock models at the local sewing store and was thinking I'd be paying around $400 for what I wanted.
But for some reason...yesterday...this baby caught my eye. Perhaps it was the gold color shining in the fluorescent lights...or the fact that ALL THE PARTS. YES. ALL. THE. PARTS. were carefully taped to it. You read that right - no need to order a new power cord/pedal, manual, etc. Everything was included. It even has a nifty box full of "fashion discs" that make super fun and adorable stitch patterns (in addition to the ones built into the machine).
Do you see that? A SWAN! I can sew A SWAN onto Harper's clothes! Okay...it's really A DUCK...
Betts has a two-step, automatic buttonholer and the functionality to wind the bobbin with it in place. That's right - no unthreading and rethreading for me! Here's the intriguing top of the machine where these "fashion discs" go:
Can you say OH MY GOD so excited??! Not that I have really ever been that into decorative stitches...but I think Betts demands it.
Even the manual is pretty. What was it about everything printed in the 1970s that made it demand awesome typography?
The one problem this machine has is that the rubber (yes, rubber) feed dog is worn out. No biggie - I found a metal replacement for $9.99 plus shipping. It's on its way to Betts as we speak. You can see in the photo below that it had deteriorated to kind of a metal blob. The machine still sews, but it is a little sluggish in reverse since the right side of the feed dog is particularly worn.
I think you've seen enough of Betts for now. But don't worry - she will be back. I'm sure she will grace these pages many times in the future with all the amazing vintage fabrics and patterns we are going to sew together!
Do you love vintage sewing machines? Isn't there just something awesome about sewing on one?!