We used to have a dining room. Then I saw a pink sewing machine labeled, “Does not work, make an offer.” I definitely needed a pink machine.
“I doubt you want what I have to offer,” I said pulling out a five. She took it. I lugged that heavy, all metal machine home. It really did not work. The gears had frozen in position.
“Would you like me to try to fix it?” hubby asked. Thinking of the price I had recently paid a professional, I gulped, “You can use this machine to learn. It only cost five.”
A friend advised, “drench it with penetrating oil.”
That’s when I lost the dining room area. He placed the sewing machine on the dining room table and drenched it. Oil dripped onto the table and floor. The house smelled of oil. We twisted the wheel. The needle moved. I threaded it and tried sewing. The upper thread did not pick up the bottom thread. A Youtube video said adjust the shaft holding the needle. He did.
It stitched! We high fived until we realized it could not sew in reverse.
He puzzled over that for three days. I asked about a little compartment under the bobbin. He opened and cleaned out thread, lint and grease. Still no reverse. Over the next couple weeks he learned about the cams, timing and the workings of the stitch length regulator. I threaded the machine to test it innumerable times.
It did not quite work right.
“I don’t have to have a pink machine. I just want one,” I sighed. We found a video on cleaning the age stained plastic top, “Apply hydrogen peroxide, place in a plastic bag and leave in the sun.” Three days of sun bleached out the age. It did not fix the stitch.
I found another machine frozen from years of disuse. Hubby agreed to try again. He sprayed on penetrating oil, cleaned, oiled and greased it. It worked beautifully.
“Way to go!” I said.
I received a free machine in a cabinet. I hauled it inside our living room. Three weeks of penetrating oil and it did not move until Hubby got out his big screwdriver.
My cousin called, “Do you want Grandma’s sewing machine?” she asked.
With four vintage machines that work and the three that did not, of course I said, “Yes.”
Grandma closed that cabinet before 1982 and no one has opened it since. Layers of dust became layers of dirt. Bugs and rodents found it and added their debris.
We squeezed it in beside the other cabinet sewing machine in the living room. Hubby wiped off the grime. Trash fell on the hard wood floor. He baptized it with penetrating oil. Our living room rug will never be the same.
“Come and check this out,” He said. I threaded the machine. It hummed but did not move. He fiddled with it again and still nothing moved. Three hours later, I pushed the foot pedal and it slowly chugged a stitch.
“That does not make sense. It should work,” we said. I pressed the pedal. It chugged. I held it down, watching it slowly chug for 30 or 40 seconds. Suddenly it took off like a race car and made a perfectly formed stitch.
“It’s fixed! Time to make something with it.” I headed to the sewing room for fabric.
Now as soon as hubby figures out the glitch on the pink sewing machine sitting behind the couch, finds the part for the free machine and looks at the one hiding in the garage, we will have a living room again – until the next time a frozen machine calls my name.