Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Flashbacks: My Old Singer Resurrection Project I, II and III :D

Just want to share with you these stories from my other blog, enjoy .. :D


My Old Singer Resurrection Project

The Drop Off
Today has been a very exciting day.  The weather was great, the air clean and crisp, the wind was friendly and everything went as planned.
And to top it all, my wonderful parents came by and dropped my old Singer sewing machine at my house!

Original Singer Model 1288
O my gosh, it sure brought back a lot of memories - all 20 years of it! No, don't take me wrong.  That '20 years' label is very, very misguiding.  You must have thought that I'm a sewing goddess by now, all wise and knowing.
To tell you honestly, I used the machine only twice. Pffft! Yes, I know - a stupid waste. I wasted 20 years of my life not learning how to use a sewing machine properly ... so what did I do whenever there were torn clothes, pants needed shortening, etc, you might ask?  I 'outsourced' it.  My bad.

(I should be taking sewing lessons from these guys!) 

So, is it too late for me? Yeeaaa .. naah, I don't think so. As now I'm a stay at home mom, I have all the time in the world to start over.  Yea, that's the spirit!

The Machine
It had been 2 decades since the last time I used it, so had no any idea what to expect.  I went ahead and opened the cabinet top. Only minor disrepairs from lack of use, but what do I know? Then I lifted the heavy machine up and propped it on top of the 'table'.

Oof, the sudden musty smell and collected dust attacked my senses, not pleasant at all.  I spent a good half an hour sneezing like mad - but it was a small price to pay.  So there it was, fully opened. I had totally forgotten how it looked like.

Not too bad (I think).  This was the inside view - a nightmare!
Inside view.
I found the pedal still encased in its original plastic wraps, but the treadle cable was broken.  It was great that the spareparts box was still intact and all the stitch pattern discs complete.

I think everything is there (I hope)
Stitch pattern discs? LOL! Yes, there are 18 discs. Each has its own function: Basic ZigZag, Multi-Stitch Zig-Zag, Domino Stitch, Banner Stitch, Key Stitch, Walls of Troy Stitch, Solid Diamond Stitch, Pennant Stitch, Ball Stitch, Curved Mending Stitch, Spiny Stitch, Block Stitch, Faggoting (Feather Stitch), Elastic Stretch Stitch, Blind Stitch, Crescent Stitch and the last one, Solid Scallop Stitch Discs.  Just place one disc of your choice pattern in the disc holder and there you go.

A pattern disc and the disc holder underneath.
A Hidden Treasure
It was when I rummaged the cabinet that I had actually found another treasure waiting to be discovered.
I found an old needle book beautifully illustrated boasting rust proof, nickel plated, 60 assorted silver eye needles and threader inside!  Wow, that was a mouthful. Not all the needles were there and the threader was missing, though. But heck, it was still a wonderful find anyway. 
You can see its earlier versions from 'See Saw' a blog by Liza Cowan.

Cover view
Inside view
Satisfied with my findings, I quickly made an appointment with a Singer serviceman to have a house visit tomorrow afternoon.  After giving him ample warnings of what to expect, of course.  :)

Stay tuned.


My Old Singer Resurrection Project (Part II)

Mr. Fixit
The Singer 'handyman' arrived the next day as expected.  Unfortunately, I was busy finishing up my cooking in the kitchen at the time, making a mean chicken stew and rice for lunch (I called it mean since my kids always help themselves for seconds whenever I serve this dish).  I sure hope the fragrant smell did not bother him too much as it was nearing lunchtime. (If you wanted to give the recipe a try, just scroll down near the end).  Not intending to be impolite, I turned down the heat for slow cooking and invited him in to have a look see.
At first, I kind of anticipated a look of utter disbelief on his face when he saw it, but the guy just kept a straight face and said, 'Not too bad, Ma'am. But would you consider upgrading with a brand new sewing machine?'. Oh dear, that was a classic.
I just smiled and told him about my 'mission', which is to give the old faithful a new lease in life. I also told him about my blog and how he was going to play a part in it (and then asked permission to take his picture, he he).  He was a trifle surprised when I told him that I couldn't sew - Oho ... what big mouth I have. Whatever happened to 'never expose any of your weak points', eh? :P.  I just stopped yapping right then and let him tinker with the machine - see what sort of repairs needed to be done.

The Stew, The Service Guy and The Little Vinca Girl
The Little Vinca Girl
Vinca flowers
Meanwhile, Nafisa (my youngest), was out alone in the garden picking her favorite vinca flowers.  I found myself going back and forth between the kitchen, the living room and the garden.  Lucky for me the stew was finally done, so I could concentrate on the repair and my little girl. If you were wondering how does a vinca plant look like, to the right is a picture I googled fromwww.parkswholesaleplants.com.  "It is easy to grow, and requires little or no attention. A grower once reported that he has grown Vinca in the same location for 30 years. It successfully reseeded itself each year, with no effort on his part.  This plant is known by three names: Vinca, Periwinkle (or Madagascar Periwinkle), and Myrtle. Botanists will tell you that there is also a separate strain or variety of Periwinkle. Vinca plants are native to North America, Europe, China and India.  The plants are grown for its attractive glossy, green foliage, as well as its flowers. Flowers bloom all summer, and up to frost. Common colors include white, rose, pink, and red." - Source: www.gardenersnet.com/flower/vincaperiwinkle.htm  

Enough botanical ramblings, back to the repair.

Here are the stuff in the list needed replacing:
* Motor drive belt
* Gear belt
* Pineapple Gear or 'something'
* House Service

After some calculating, Mr. Rais told me that he estimated the cost of repair to be around Rp. 260,000.- or around USD29.25! Wow, not too bad, eh?
While I waited for him to remove the machine for repair, I came across this website: http://www.singerco.com/
Very useful site!  It even has some free designs and project for its users. Here is one of them:

Click here for the full instructions.  Dare I even dream of trying to make such a beautiful creation?  He he ... dream on ...
When I finally snapped out of it, the machine was off the cabinet at last and out she went with Mr. Fixit.  It would be 2-3 days before  I could see her again.

Oh, and I really, really  looked forward to that day. :)


-- > Chicken Stew Recipe < --

Cut 1 whole chicken into 12 parts
Marinate with a mixture of:
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- 1tsp salt
- 2 tbsp water
Put aside

Grind together:
8 pcs. of shallot/red onion
4 pcs of garlic
3 red chillies (large size)
3 pcs of candle nut/kemiri 

Medium heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
Fry the fine mixture of onion etc above until fragrant
Put in the chicken parts, cook for about 3 minutes
Add the following ingredients:
- 4 tbsp of sweet soy sauce
- 1 tsp of sugar 
-1 tsp salt 
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 dried cloves and 
- 1 cinnamon stick
And after the meat is evenly coated, add:
- 250 ml of water and
- an additional 6 tbsp of sweet soy sauce

Let it boil until the chicken is about done
When the sauce is thickened, add some lemon juice and 

Bon Appetite :)


My Old Singer Resurrection Project (Part III)

Oh, bummer!  

I had been lagging in my posts lately, so many things happening around here that almost made my head spin! (but not like Linda Blair in Exorcist III, I assure you).

I edited and republished two of my posts from this blog, entitled 'Our Dear Pets' & 'Buffalo Shower at Mekarsari (Hold the Soap!)' in a Wikinut website. I had to admit that it was quite a new experience - I met  lots of professional writers from all over the world whom I received wonderful insights, useful guides on how to write great articles, and many more. 

one of my published work @ wikinut

And there was also this end of semester exams for my older children, DOUBLE BUMMER ...

Fortunately for me, the kids had all went to sleep, so I got a few hours of my needed peace n' quiet, just perfect for winding down and write. With my ever present mug of hot cappucinno, soft music playing in the background, I let my fingers to dance on the keyboard. What bliss.

The Big Day

At last, Mr. Fixit arrived with my Singer cradled on his motorbike.  Oh, goody, goody!  I couldn't be more happier.  I quickly let him in to reinstall the machine onto its cabinet.  And while working, he showed me the parts which he had replaced at his shop before.  Here they are:

The pineapple gear (don't know which part resembled a pineapple!)

the old 'pineapple' gear

The motor drive belt

old motor drive belt - crumbled at a touch
sturdy new belt

The 20 years old black gear belt (which could have easily snapped on my first attempt to reuse it).

pic of the new gear belt

And finally, just finally, the machine is back to where it belong, back in the house, all 'rejuvenated' and ready to rock n roll!


Dropped me 'da bomb'! Uh oh.

'Would you like to give it a try, Ma'am?", the guy asked .. [and received a completely blank stare that certainly made me looked so stupid] ...  But then, he must have remembered that I sit at the very bottom of the 'sewing chain', so he quickly whisked a spool of maroon colored thread from his bag pocket and deftly showed me how to do it.  (Pheww, that was awkward!)
he forgot to take this off - finders keepers! lol!

After showing me not once, but twice on how to feed the thread, he proceeded and sew a straight line on a piece of blue cotton scrap cloth. Hearing the 'thudda thudda thudda' sound made my heart to go pitter patter.  I felt so happy it worked again so I continued to pay more attention and absorbed as much information from him. He showed me how to refill the small thread spool, set the different pattern width, replace the needle, and so on. All the while, I had a picture of me fixing my children's clothes, making useful things for the house (i.e. cover for my hubby's electronic piano/keyboard, runner for the dining table, sofa pillow cases, and many more!)  Ooh, so exciting!

Mr.Fixit stayed only for 25 minutes as he had another machine to deliver.  After paying his well deserved fee and a tip, I saw him off and quickly went inside again .. to celebrate the homecoming of an old friend :)

*Just to let you know what happened after the repair, the machine sat idle for another 6 months before I even tried to use it, lol! 

That was the time when I made my decision to become a crafter - hence, 'Mad Crafter at Work' came into existence {love}.


mandanya rafa said...

omigosh! that's really exciting!
that's what I love from old things, you can always find treasure beneath them :)

Mad Crafter said...

yep, me too, lol! ^^ thank you for visiting my blog and reading this rather long post ^^

crafter's nest said...

mbak yang ini lucu sekali lho, jd pengen liat adegannya he..he..

Would you like to give it a try, Ma'am?", the guy asked .. [and received a completely blank stare that certainly made me looked so stupid] ...

Mad Crafter said...

iya mba, kebayang ga sih padahal udah kubilang aku ga bisa menjahit masa disuruh coba, bener2 mati gaya deh waktu itu, huahahaha!