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A Little TLC

April 13th, 2010

This sewing machine belonged to my great grandmother. It was passed down to my mom and she gave it to me. It’s been a little mistreated over the years beginning with my great grandma. As it seems so many people did, she used it as a plant stand, so it has the telltale signs with ringed water stains on the top. I’ve been wanting to clean it up and give it a coat of protective oil for a while, I just haven’t had the time.

On Sunday evening I took it outside, cleaned it up, and gave it a protective coat of linseed oil. The nice thing about linseed oil is that you can use it on everything, even the metal parts. It shines now, not quite as it did in it’s heyday but as I always say, “It’s not perfect but it has character!”.

I do love this piece of furniture, not just because it’s a sewing machine and I love to sew, but because it’s a piece of family history. It still has bits and pieces in the drawers that were my great grandma’s; needles, scrap fabric, wooden thread spools, and used zippers. All those things we don’t really save to reuse now, but they did then.

Now that it’s all cleaned up it will go in my living room. I won’t put plants on it unless they have a protective dish or cork under them.

Do you have a treasured piece of furniture with family history?

13 Comments to “A Little TLC”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: A Little TLC #aboutme #miscellaneus #sewing […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention A Little TLC | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  2. Wanda on April 13, 2010 at 5:37 am

    We had one of those–I loved it–but my father traded it in on a modern one many years ago. You’re so lucky to have yours. It’s beautiful!
    .-= Wanda´s last blog ..Easter Eggs =-.

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  3. Tree on April 13, 2010 at 7:49 am

    My mother has one of those, and I can’t wait till its mine. I would actually like to return it to working order and use it. The foot pedal works fine, I think when I was a child (and I would play with it alot) most of the mechanics still worked, so here’s to hoping. Yes I am silly and I prefer me powered items instead of electric items.
    .-= Tree´s last blog ..Spring Has Finally Hit the Market =-.

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  4. Christine on April 13, 2010 at 8:06 am

    My best friend picked up an awesome old hand-crank Singer a few years back at an antique fair. It’s in perfect working condition, and is way more reliable than her electric one. Does yours work? It’s beautiful.
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..Making radish chips! =-.

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    • Susy on April 13, 2010 at 8:24 am

      I’d have to buy a new belt for it and give it a lot of oil, some of the parts are a tad rusty. But I’d guess it would work if I fixed it up a little more.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Jennifer on April 13, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I adore antique sewing machines! Such beautiful craftmanship.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Gardens and Challenges =-.

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  6. Kelly on April 13, 2010 at 8:59 am

    I have my chair. As a child I remember it in my Grandmother’s huge farmhouse kitchen, off to one side near the door – a perfect spot to sit and rest after a long day working on the farm. It’s quite oversized for such an old chair, and has lovely, carved feet and “hands”. We had it reupholstered years ago (I wish I’d saved the original fabric!) and found 5 layers of fabric under the topmost layer. It had been stuffed with straw, which was replaced with less comfortable, standard upholstery stuffing. I love that chair, and treasure it.
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Weights and Measures =-.

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  7. Sense of Home on April 13, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Over 2o years ago I moved into my first house which happened to be my great-uncle’s house, he had just died. He was a batchler who had inherited my great-grandmother’s furniture, so the house came with treasured antiques.

    I have since restored some of these treasures and others just needed some lemon oil to spruce them up.

    I have moved from that first house, but have taken these treasures with me, I love them and find they mean even more to me now then they did so many years ago.
    .-= Sense of Home´s last blog ..Growing Asparagus =-.

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  8. MAYBELLINE on April 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

    My grandma’s sewing machine (similar to the one you have) was the machine I learned to sew. It’s now in my guest room.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..When the Wind Blows =-.

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  9. risa b on April 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    We have a Singer from the 1890s. I t works but has been held in reserve, sits right next to the electric and is used as a feed table for it at present. Still has a wonderful array of antique supplies in the drawers, which we raid from time to time.

    risa b
    .-= risa b´s last blog ..It won’t be the first time =-.

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  10. Colleen Duncan on April 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    This is so similar to the one I rescued after my grandmother died 12 years ago. I’ve had it stored in my garage until recently when I brought it in to the house and cleaned it down a bit. It still has all her cottons, scissors, needles etc. As well as the earthy, woody, thready smell I grew to love from the age of 2 when she would sit there sewing for me or my dolls.
    All I have to do is open a drawer and draw in a breath to feel nurtured and safe.
    I’m sure I can get it going again when I get a chance.
    Thanks for posting your sewing machine story, it’s made me more detrmined to get my old Singer back into working order.

    Reply to Colleen Duncan's comment

  11. Conny on April 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    It-is-so-b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l !! How lucky you are to have it – all it’s bits and bobs (or in this case, bobbins). You did a great job cleaning it up. I’m sure you get enough exercise in your garden, but… I wonder if it’ll make your calves hurt. Hee, hee.

    Cheers ~
    .-= Conny´s last blog ..That’s okay son, I don’t like going there either =-.

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  12. Allie on April 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    That is absolutely gorgeous! What a nice piece of your history to have!
    .-= Allie´s last blog ..Spring Cleaning =-.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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