Sunday, November 4, 2012


Since I can't work on machines and since I can hardly sew (it still hurts to do too much with my left thumb) I have decided this would be a good time to organize my photos.

I have taken many, many, many photos since I started this hobby in September 2010.    They are mostly stored chronologically on the Apple.  It is a slow process, organizing.  I don't have that gene so it is harder for me.  I get distracted easily. 

In the process of organizing I found some photos of machines rather forgotten.  This one, in particular, reminds me of where I was when I first started this insanity.
I bought this machine in Eastern New York State in September 2010.  Steven and his son, along with our neighbor and his son rode their bicycles to Vermont.

Sonja and I were on our way to fetch them a week later. (we didn't want to make them ride home, too.  260 miles is a long way)

It was a really nice day in September and we stopped at some yard sales in Saratoga Springs (We were disappointed.  We thought rich people in Saratoga would have good stuff....not so.  I mean who is going to buy a pair of beat up old, size 12 Dansko clogs that need new soles?)

I had lined up a sewing machine to look at on Craigs List and we had picked it up just south of Saratoga.  When I bought it, it was complete.  This photo is one I took after I had taken much of it apart trying to rescue it.  I know better now.

 Sonja was gracious and kind.  She drove (we had to transport three men and three bicycles back from Vermont.  Her Highlander was bigger than anything Steven and I owned at the time).  We stopped along the route at several yard sales.  We saw no sewing machines.  Finally we had decided that we were just going to head north when we passed a sale.  Sonja turned around. 

I saw the Riccar.  It was 20 bucks.  I was looking it over and trying to figure it out.  "After you bought that last machine,  are you really going to haggle over 20 bucks?"   Honest, I was not going to haggle.  But I certainly had understandable buyer's remorse over that 128.  I was tryig to decide if I should buy it or not. 

Of course, we know the ending.  I bought it  and I am glad that I did.  It is a good strong end loader ZZ machine.  It is sturdy and will sew through pretty thick stuff. Looking at the photo of it now, I wonder if it could be treadled.  I guess, when my thumb is better, I could check that out.  The sucker weighs about 35 pounds, maybe 40. No way can I try lifting it now.  I wonder.......maybe Steven could help?...


  1. Glad you are behaving. :) Have a great week!

  2. That RIccar is a handsome machine! Was it in a cabinet?
    If I found one of those, I'd have to buy it too!

    I've had buyers remorse over some of the sewing machines I purchased when I first acquired SMAD also.
    Possible future resale weighs more heavily in the purchase decision now.
    So I've become more selective about cosmetic condition.
    And when I'm tempted to buy a machine I really don't need, I think of a few I have, that I haven't used yet.

  3. Brian offers some great advice in his "Vintage Sewing Machine Survival Guide"
    When in doubt keep looking and ... only those machines you truly love, and to raise the standards of what you are willing to bring home. Hunt for only the very best examples at the best prices.

    1. Jonathan,
      You offer excellent advice. I will strive to heed it. Still looking for a 201 treadle but not as desperately since I am in love with my 237 and its stitch...and it treadles....

  4. When I select zig zag machines now, I'm always checking for their adaptability to treadle. Really there's a lot of them. But I will never turn down an old kenny 158.... that cannot be adapted to treadle. They are the absolute best for sewing on a TABLE. I avoid sewing on portable machines. I like feeding the fabric at the same height as the needle plate and the extra support for fabric that only a table will provide.

    Also, I've noticed I don't like a push button reverse on a machine. I prefer a lever - especially on a portable because when you push on the reverse button the machine moves backward.

    I really need to get organized too. Maybe I should break a thumb!!!!! Hope you're being good to yours.

  5. Your poor Singer 128 almost has me in tears. I have the same machine, same decals, but intact. She's now sitting over the hole in the Kenmore cabinet because I need to use it. I can't get the Kenmore (148) to work right, so down the hole she went. The Riccar does look awfully heavy. My National is twice as heavy as my Singer 128 (and I thought she was heavy). I don't know if the National works. There are too many things to do between now and the middle of next month, so she's on hold. What I really want is to get my WW8 working. And I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to sewing machine mechanics! Hope your thumb is getting better!

  6. I have a Riccar like the one in your picture. I can't seem to find a manual for it. the bottom of it say Riccar 302. Am I searching under the right name for it? Thanks for any help you might provide
    Kathy at