Saturday, February 25, 2017

My First Sewing Machine

I've been sitting here enjoying my Saturday morning coffee and I started thinking about my first sewing machine.  I borrowed this photo from ebay because it reminds me of my first one.  When it quit working back in the early 1990s I tossed it out instead of saving it.  I thought I'd never want to see it again but now I wish I'd kept it for nostalgia's sake.

Here's the story of that old vintage Sears Kenmore machine .....................................................

Back in the late 1960s,  I was a young married with a two-year-old and very little money to spend on things like sewing machines.  I wanted one so very much and one day I saw an ad in the newspaper that Sears had a machine for only $59.  I got myself and my little boy cleaned up and we went shopping.  Downtown. 

The salesman showed me the machine and told me how very wonderfully it sewed, how well-made it was, you know, the sales pitch.  I didn't care about anything except that I had enough cash to pay for it and I could take it home with me.  It was just about the color of this one above but I can't remember much more about the dials and gadgets.  I paid for it and was ready to leave the store and had to carry the thing in my arms as the $59 did NOT include the cover.  I got the machine head and the base it set on.  That's it.  And I was SO happy that I didn't care one bit.  Other than it weighed a lot and carrying it to my parking place wasn't so fun.  Years later I bought a like new case at a garage sale for $2 and that completed my sewing so perfectly.

That machine was used to make curtains, clothing, crafts, hemming, alterations, and anything else that I could think of that needed sewn.  It died on me in 1993 when I was making a poodle skirt to wear to a 1950s party.  The machine froze up solid and nothing would make it do anything.  The needle wouldn't go up or down, nothing would happen.  It was as if it had died.

I went shopping for a new machine and had no idea what I wanted or what I could afford.  The machine I bought was a Pfaff Hobbymatic, non-electronic, because it was at the price I was willing to pay.  I loved that Pfaff and it sewed like a dream.  And it still does and I still love it.  Since then, I've added a Bernina and a Viking, plus a few old-time vintage machines to my sewing collection.  Can a woman own too many?  I guess I'd have to say, "nope."

I'd love for you to tell me about the very first machine you owned.  Please share your story!

Gotta' go for now.  TTFN.


  1. My first machine was a holly hobby toy at the age of 7, but it really sewed. I used my moms old kenmore while I still lived at home. My first REAL sewing machine was purchased at a thrift store when I was in my early 20's. An old singer, I'd say 50's or 60's model, in a beautiful wood cabinet. Both are long gone and I regret letting them go. Last week I was visiting dad and he was talking about getting rid of all of moms sewing stuff. Well who better to take them but me! So that old kenmore I used growing up will soon be mine, well as soon as I literally dig it out of the sewing room.

  2. Wow and thanks for the trip down memory lane…

  3. Sears Kenmote was my first machine too! I nearly wore it out and then passed it along to a mending only not so sewist in the family. I moved on to a Viking from there. Happy times.

  4. How fun reading about your first sewing machine. I to wish I had kept mine but I think I traded it in when I bought a newer model. My grand mother bought my first machine for me when I was 19. I used to sew all my own clothes. it was great fun.

  5. Interesting! I loved my first machine... the first thing I bought with my own money when I left home in 1982. But I cant even remember what brand/model it was- I gave it to my sister when I upgraded but it's long gone. I often wished she'd given it back to me for my girls but oh well c'est la vie!

  6. What an interesting tale - I bought a second hand Singer when I moved out of home - early 1970s, used it a lot. I upgraded it sometime later - and it eventually stopped working on a sewing retreat - it was at least 20 yrs old then, so rather than repair it I bought a new janome - I would love to replace it ...maybe soon. I still have my mothers treadle machine - though no "treadle" bits - I will address that problem one day too - I hope.