Thursday, December 22, 2011

My sewing table at home - the imfamous Rockler!

The afore mentioned Singer #42 cabinet is headed for our house on Lake Wallenpaupack. I have my real sewing room in my house in Virginia. That's, of course, where most of my sewing takes place.

The original dilemma I had was with the compact space I have here and what to do with a newly aquired serger. I saw some Horn cabinets that looks like they might do the trick but they were expensive and frankly a bit cheesy looking. The solid wood ones were prohibitive.

My Father in Law is a wonderful woodworker. He does this as a hobby but makes absolutely beautiful furniture. I showed him the picture of the Horn and he then went out and found plans from Rockler that were even better than the Horn one I was looking at. He asked me what wood and I asked for cherry. This is how it looks open:

It was originally constructed for my Bernina 1010 but then I retrofitted it for my Artista 165E and later my Artista 630E (that's what's in it now). The arm holds my Bernina 1300MDC serger nicely. All I have to do is swing the chair and I can get to each of them quickly. He also made me the corresponding inserts for the various machines. This is how it looks closed:

After he finished he asked me what did I want to do with the leftover wood. Well, a matching bookcase of course:

Needless to say I spend a lot of happy sewing hours at this table!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Singer #42 cabinet, the Rocketeer and Me!

Colin and I have just "aquired" a vacation house. Actually we bought my Mom's house in the Poconos since the market is so rough and frankly it needs some TLC. Mom is thrilled about this. She's happily in senior housing and is happy the hear this one less thing to worry about and the house will be well taken care of.

Of course NO house I own and spend a lot of time in can be without a sewing machine! I thought about bringing my Bernina 1010 up there and started looking for a cabinet. I thought a good solid mechanical would be just the machine for there. Also we have very little furniture so this would be a good start.

I couldn't believe it when I saw a nearly perfect Singer 42 Art Deco cabinet on EBay, pickup only, right in the path of our Thanksgiving trip! I put in my bid and wound up winning it for a very good price complete with matching stool. This neat little cabinet has a little drawer on the left with a pencil tray and ink well and the upper drawer on the right has a thread holder and a place for the oil can. When I saw it I knew there was no way I could retrofit it for the Bernina without pretty much messing it up.

So what to put in it? I really did want a machine with zig zag capability and this cabinet was specifically made for a Singer 201-2. 15-90, 15-91 or 301 - all straight stitch. But I discovered on my Vintage Singer Yahoo group this could fit a 400 or 500 series. I've alway wanted a 503, otherwise known as a Rocketeer so I thought why not! I'm going for it! I found one that was fully refurbished on Ebay for a very acceptable price. It is a total work of art and came with all the accessories, cams, feet, an original manual and even an oil can!

So now how to make this 1961 machine fit this 1940's cabinet. We took the front lip down 1/8", removed the black spring mechanism meant for the other machines, removed the block in the back right that stops the black mechanism from going too far and dropped the back of the oil pan a tiny bit. It fits perfectly and stores the way it's supposed to! The top closes very easily. This what it looks like stored:

So, here we are, drum roll please.....

Isn't the the coolest looking combination ever?! We think that machine is the 57 Chevy of sewing machines and it would be something Jane Jetson would sew on.