A tale of two sewing machines

You’ll be wondering what this has to do with gardens. It does, be patient. This is the first sewing machine:

It’s a hand powered Singer, nearly a hundred years old and belonged to my grandmother. We looked it up online and the model suggests it was made in 1923 and it still works perfectly well. To be honest I can’t imagine my grandmother ever using it. She wasn’t the domesticated type, though she was certainly a gardener and I love that I still have her annotated gardening book – for more on this see here

Anyway, the sewing machine passed on to my mother at some point and was used, to our endless horror, to make unfashionable clothes for me and my sister until our sensible mother decided that it was easier just to buy them from chain stores. And then she passed it on to me. I’m not a sewer. I’m too impatient but I know the basics. I’ve used this noble machine on and off over the years to make curtains and things. Last weekend I got it out of the loft to make face masks, using a pattern from CitytoSea who encourage us all to recycle and reuse.

Those instructions, some old t-shirts and the venerable sewing machine seemed to work and so we are prepared to go out and face the world again now that shops have reopened in Scotland.

The second sewing machine is also a hand-powered Singer but it is a long time since it was last used and it would take a good deal of refurbishing before it could be used again:

It’s a similar though possibly slightly older model to my grandmother’s, so probably over a hundred years old. Now it lives in the garden – yes that’s the garden bit – beside a pile of drift wood, rope, cork and seashells collected over several years from family holidays by the sea

A strange combination you might think: rusty sewing machine and drift wood but this is not just an artistic still life. We found this sewing machine on the beach, a prize piece of beach-combing by me and my boys one summer. Who knows how it got there but we found it on a beach and we brought it home. I love drift wood and we used to enjoy collecting interesting pieces of wood as well as the other strange things that wash up on the shore – beach balls, plastic toys etc but this was our prize and now it lives in the garden with its friends from the sea.

2 thoughts on “A tale of two sewing machines

  1. I had a singer sewing machine identical to that. … and in a mad moment I dunped it in a charity shop before we moved to Portugal. I learnt to sew on that machine and much preferred it to the electic machine I had. I am going to go on ebay and buy another

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