On Sunday both Hubs and I were up to our elbow working on vintage sewing machines. We oiled and cleaned my beautiful Singer 99K - to forever moving forward to be called Dorothy (she's strong, dependable and comes across as a bit determined). We took it step by step, stripping her down to the skeleton. We cleaned, oiled, and checked every bit of her. We learned how to disassemble the light case and clean that (gross), we didn't need to replace the light, although Hubs really wants me to put a LED bulb in. I am okay with the one she has.
What a process! That is truly all I can say about it. All together it took us about 4 hours. Not bad considering we had no idea what we were doing and were working alongside the very nice English fellow on YouTube.
Having accomplished the work on Dorothy, we started in on my beautiful Featherweight. She's a bit older than Dorothy being a 1950 to Dorothy's 1956. And I couldn't wait to get started. And started to take her apart.
Boy oh boy... what an experience. The last person to clean and oil/lube her had tightened the screw down on the spool pin cover plate so much they stripped it. We were not sure we would get it out it was so badly damaged. Hubs definitely exercised patience with that one, and he gets total props for doing so. That was about the time we realized how badly damaged the belt was. When testing her we also discovered that the wires in her power cord were beyond damaged (replacement arrived yesterday) and the light burned out as soon as we turned it on (replacement ordered). We bought a belt (several sites insisted it would work - yep - not great - new correct belt also arrived yesterday).
She was super clean, but for some reason she simply wouldn't sew correctly. I knew it was a simple project, but after working on the truck in the early morning, spending hours lost in the work on Dorothy, I was overly worn out. Still hadn't packed for my upcoming vacation and my temper was getting short.
My sweet little Featherweight had earned her name... She will forever be known as Sophia (she older, sassy, cranky and wants things her way). I had to walk away from working on her. My temper was starting to flare, mainly because I knew it was something super simple and my patience was gone. I no longer had the ability to reason it through. I opened an instructional video from the featherweight store, but didn't watch it. Hubs was watching one of his BC shows (you know - before color) and I had a lot to get ready before the coming adventure began.
The youngest grand daughter and I decided we were going to Arkansas to hang out with family this week. I'm pretty sure she was only a year old the last time we'd done it. And she is pretty opinionated, not sure where she gets that from...
I wasn't sure she was still going to agree to our trip, as she's changed her mind several times in the past. So I will admit to being over the moon when not only didn't she change it, but was excited and couldn't wait!
Around lunchtime on Monday she and I loaded into my little beetle and headed south. Full of energy, excitement and expectations! By the time we hit just north of Farmington my little travel companion had fallen asleep. I was a bit glad, as it would make the trip quicker for her. And a lot nervous, what if she wouldn't sleep that night? I shouldn't have worried.
When she woke from her little nap we had just stopped across the state line to stretch our legs and take a break. Six hours is too long to simply sit. Chatting with her I missed our turn and took us on a short detour that added about 20 minutes to our trip, not a problem we found wild turkey's and huge guineas. We arrived just in time to relax, eat a bit and enjoy the pups, and visit with Aunt T and Uncle J. A few short hours and some craft time later day one was over and bedtime arrived - at her request even!
Over the next few days we painted, played with plaster, made more play dough treasure chests than I could count (bad play dough boy kept breaking them), we giggled and laughed, we swam in pools for hours on end (I might have inhaled most of both of them thanks to my splash baby) we talked, we explored, we visited and enjoyed time with everyone and their critters (she is definitely an animal person).
While we were in Arkansas my brother in law fed into my sewing machine habit, by finding one from 1911 (that baby is going to need some work!!!) that my mom bought me for my birthday present and a Mercury machine from 1953 (It's a singer clone made for Morse - I might have a sweet spot for Morse machines as that is what I learned to sew on). Neither of them have a name yet, but I have three machines sitting in the garage waiting for attention. I am fairly certain I need to stop now. Goodness have I managed to acquire a few of them rather quickly. The two that came home with us were a steal. Mom actually paid more than I did, her gift was $35 mine was $30 and I know mine's history and story. The Singer is a 66 Red-eye. She is going to need a LOT of work. She runs, but she is missing a few parts and it might have been 1925 the last time she was cleaned up. It will be my greatest undertaking so I am saving that one for last.
|curing the hangries...|
She taught me so much about patience and stepping back to observe things this week. It is often hard to believe this sweet princess is only 4 years old. She is wise and articulate far beyond her years. She will question until she understands and even when she gets frustrated because she isn't understanding your explanation she will ask it a different way until she does. She is tall for her age, brought into sharp focus standing next to her cousin that is a day older than her and barely up to her shoulders. When you are around her for even a few moments you quickly forget that she is simply a small child (she insists she's a full grown child) that is still experiencing the world. Those sparkling eyes, the crazy curls, and those dimples... well if you don't melt you might not be human.
|one day difference|
By the time we returned home yesterday we were both weary - what a drive. About halfway home when she woke up from her nap she softly thanked me. A little 4 year old thanked me for taking her to see her friends in Arkansas. Good thing she couldn't see the tears forming in the corners of my eyes. I have learned not to show weakness.
|My momma and me ❤|
I want to find something for her older sister and I to do. Something special just for her. I miss those trips too! At least I know that won't involve the one hundred mile version of Baby Shark. Who knew?
This morning after a good nights rest and fresh eyes and perspective it took a 14 minute video for all of the problems with my sweet little Featherweight to make sense. Loosen a few screws (yes mine are already loose - but not Sophia's) pop the finger in where it was supposed to be and install the new belt and it was off to the races. I am waiting until the silly screw arrives to sew with her, she needs sleeve to protect the bed extension, so that might be the first thing I make with her.
Patience is truly a virtue. And sometimes stepping away and doing other things in life, like enjoying time with family will help clear your mental vision.
Well the house looks like a sewing machine junk yard and I am behind on my chores from playing too much. Time to get back in the flow of things!