Saturday, April 16, 2011

This and That: Vintage Sewing Machines in Third-World Countries

Ad at my local commuter train stop. A powerful message about how sewing machines empower women.
A close-up of the machine, a vintage New Butterfly. Does anybody know anything about this manufacturer?
I  felt compelled to post these pictures after reading about Cidell and her newest acquisition to her sewing machine collection. I only have two machines, my grandmother's vintage 1950s grey-green Singer machine which now resides in my storage unit. I also have a Viking Husqvarna, acquired in 2004-2005 that I've sewed many tops, skirts, blouses, even hats on. I'm sort of afraid now that I have two that somehow I'll be acquiring a third sometime soon. I did ask a friend in water aerobics class if I could buy her Featherweight. No go. But I'm not giving up. 

So it was interesting to see this ad on my way, to where else, but a warehouse sale for Vogue Fabrics. I love the confident expression on this woman's face. She clearly feels proud of her sewing machine, and her dress, which you know she sewed. She didn't need a fancy-schmancy computerized machine to make that! There's probably not a serged seam on that dress, maybe not even zig-zag stitches. Depends on whether she has (or even needs) the zig-zag attachment. It probably just sews a whiz-bang straight stitch, that's it..but oh my, the $$ that straight-stitch when it's unleashed on fabric for dresses that are made to be bought. And this is in a third-world country. Given the heightened level of discussion on entitlements in this country, I wonder what this very feisty young lady would prefer: a government check or a sewing machine? Methinks a sewing machine would bring my standard of living up much quicker than any government payment. 

I find it interesting that so many vintage sewing machines are available here in the U.S. Somehow they survived the World I, World II scrap drives (maybe because they were seen as necessities, not luxuries.) It's even more amazing how old ones can be restored to their former glory.

For some more discussion on old sewing machines, check out Cidell rationalizing her latest acquisition point here. For some really good reading on the old Singers, see Heather Ross wax poetic here. Finally, here's a Burdastyle blog post on the topic. For those of who are experts on vintage machines, can anyone out there tell me where the New Butterfly machine (there's one in the ad above) were manufactured? Ok, I just found a link. It's made in China! Who would have thought? Is it still an old machine? The link isn't clear. I'm fascinated. I need to found out more. One inquiring mind wants to know more...

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. Love all the hats on here too. Thanks for sharing and drop by me too,soon.