Monday, September 29, 2014

Singing a Happy Tune over my Estate Sale Find

Hi everyone:

After all the wonderful items I purchased at the estate sale on my birthday, you would think that I would be all shopped out - but you'd be wrong! I had barely put away my recent purchases when I received notification that there would be another estate sale coming up. Of course there couldn't possibly be anything else that I would want - or could there?

On the morning of the estate sale my son and I drove up to the north part of town hoping that we'd be one of the first ones in the door. I guess everyone else had the same idea, as we were tickets 54 and 55 (tickets are given out an hour before the sale starts for those eager shoppers). We headed off to the mall to kill an hour or so before returning for our chance to peruse the merchandise on sale. 

I was interested in a small rockinghorse grey stretched Beswick foal, but not at the price of over $300. I'm a collector, but even I have to draw the line somewhere! I did find some old cookbooks and a small Herend china kitten trinket box (or as they call it a "fancy box"). The lady who had lived there obviously loved kitties as there were numerous cat items in the sale. 
Love this Herend trinket box - immaculate and
valued at much more than the $5 I paid for it
I refrained from the vintage linens - only picking up a hand embroidered apron and then headed into the basement, which was full of kitchen items, books and other wonderfulness. In the corner was a vintage Singer sewing machine, which my son pointed out to me. I had known that it was at the sale, but didn't really pay attention since I'd bought so much at the estate sale the previous week-end. I did look to see which model it was - a 301 - and then continued out the door with my purchases.
The Singer 301 sewing machine
Of course I couldn't let this rest. I had to search up the Singer 301 on-line to see what it was all about. 
  • a slant needle sewing machine providing better visibility in the sewing area
  • "light weight" aluminum body - only 16 pounds
  • reverse feed
  • ability to drop the feed dogs
  • arguably one of the best machines that Singer made. 
Hmmm, maybe I should've taken a better look! Later in the afternoon my hubby suggested that we could go back to the estate sale to see if it would still be there. I called the ladies running the sale to see if it was still there and it was! Could they hold it for me for half an hour? Sure and off we went. In my haste to get there, I left anything that would've helped me test the machine, such as my reading glasses and fabric. Luckily they found some fabric for me to use and the machine had thread in it, so I could at least see that it did sew. 
Beautifully detailed machine
The machine body was in excellent shape - very clean and minimal marking. The machine came in a cabinet with a bench with a removable seat which had storage inside. 
Love the storage in the stool
The attachments and a buttonholer came with the machine. Interestingly, the buttonholer was free, but the attachment box cost me an extra dollar. I decided to take the machine, so off we went with it. It wasn't until I got it home and looked at it more carefully did I realize what a treasure I'd found. 

Cabinet and stool for Singer 301
The cabinet itself is beautiful and in excellent shape with hardly any marks on it at all. The bench is in the same condition - not even a rip in the top. The machine is operated by a knee lever, but the foot pedal can be taken out of the cabinet to use on the floor, which is typical of most Singers of this era. 
Stitch Length selector - note worn bobbin winder tire, which has already been replaced
The Singer 301 is designed to be portable and comes out of the cabinet easily using the handle on the top of the machine. There is a drip pan attached to the bottom of the machine, so the area underneath the machine is enclosed when you take it out of the cabinet. 

Hiding in the cabinet
The machine actually locks into a cradle that remains in the cabinet. 
Cradle that remains in the cabinet
I couldn't believe how clean this machine was. No oil residue, no gunky grease to clean out of the bottom or in the gears. Obviously this lady kept her machine pristine. The best part of this purchase was the receipt in the buttonholer box dated 1956. I love finding these bits of history.

Top view of Singer 301
This machine is so pretty that she doesn't deserve to languish in the basement. Instead she has pride of place in the front living room window where everyone who visits can admire her - and the sewing light is great.


Vicki H said...

Wow, what a find. I wish I could find such a treasure when I stop at sales.

Chatterbox Quilts said...

Thanks, @Vicki H! I have a few more "finds" to tell you about in an upcoming blogpost. I think I'm going to need a bigger house :)