Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Introducing Minnie Belle

I have been wanting/needing a portable sewing machine for a looong time.  When you're a crafter you always need to sew this or that.  The right machine never came into my life.  One of the blogs in my list is Claudia from Mockingbird Hill Cottage and she has shown her machine named Mabel.  I got quite curious and asked her some questions about her machine.  I found some on Craigslist and broached the subject to hubby who immediately began to tell me all kinds of reasons why I should not get an old machine and should get a new one.  I asked for some ammunition from Claudia and she was so kind as to tell me lots of reasons why I would be better off with a vintage Singer Featherweight machine.  I called the sewing center here in Portland that has been around forever and talked to a man there who agreed with Claudia on how great the machines were.  Success, husband got on board.  Hubby does google research.  :-)  We both study all the ones on CL and both decide on this one in Vancouver.  Call is made to owner.  Yesterday we plugged her address into my iPhone and off we headed.
They are made with an aluminum frame and have a very good motor.  The lady who had this was simply charming!  She had cleaned it and oiled it and replaced the belt and even used it for a while test sewing on it making sure everything was in tip top shape.   
She had it plugged in and a chair in front of it and sat me down and showed me all I needed to know about running it.  Threading and filling the bobbin with thread.  Where to oil it and when to do it.  I did some test sewing and it made the prettiest seam!  She showed us how everything fits in the case.. and I put it away. 
We brought her home and she seems very happy here!  I kept trying to think of the perfect name for her.  One of the ladies in my Portland Women's Forum group is nearly 100 years old and I've always loved her name - Minnie Belle.  Well, this machine is VERY petite, so Minnie is just right and we live on Bell Road, so that ties in.  So that's her name!  (Meredith, thanks for the suggestion that I name her after you.. :-D )
She has the most beautiful face plate!  All shiny and art deco!  She's so little and cute!  When we both saw her we were amazed at how diminutive she is!  It is 15 inches overall across the bottom, 10 inches the body of the machine and 9.5 inches tall! It was made in 1948, I was born in the following year
And it has this wonderful gold decorations all around the table of it.  Pretty!  I need to add that both of our mothers were excellent seamstresses - Dayle's Mom was a sewer for Jantzen and made swimsuits and clothes for them.  My Mom made my prom dresses and all my little girl dresses - most probably on a machine exactly like this one!
The back. 
It has this really fabulous gold emblem on it. 
The corner of the flip up table. 
The lady told us that the book that came with it was in extraordinary condition and also has the original oil can. 
This is with the table flipped up. 
The fly wheel is shiny and pretty. 
Now I can sew a liner for my crocheted "Lucy" bag, sew up my own sock monkey bodies, make the dress for my Alicia Paulson "Miss Maggie Rabbit" kit, etc!  Thank you, Claudia, for helping me finding my little Minnie Bell.  The lady that we got the machine from showed us the purses she made on our machine, so we got 2 for our granddaughters for an Easter gift!  Check out her Etsy Shop Bevo Birdie Originals!
ALSO, I am thrilled to see that I have exceeded 300 "Followers" - but I call them "Friends".  Woohoooo!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

31 comments:

  1. Lucky you Teresa!!

    I have also heard the vintage sewing machines are truly the BEST!! Now, If I could only find one for me...I would learn to sew. Your Minnie Belle is in perfect condition! It even has a gorgeous shine.

    Lucky you!!!

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  2. I love your Minnie Belle..she is just gorgeous.

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  3. Minnie Bell is one gorgeous lady-I love vintage sewing machines! Yours looks similar to the one I inherited from my grandma--except mine is part of a sewing table. LOVE yours!
    Wishing you many, many hours of sewing fun!
    Blessings,
    Aimee
    PS: Any thunderstorms or hail where you live yet?

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  4. Minnie Belle looks so similar to my mom's old Singer she used to make many of our clothes, Teresa! But your Minnie is a wonderful size! I hope you will enjoy sewing with her.
    How wonderful more friends are enjoying your blog!!! I am celebrating with you :-)
    xx,
    Gracie

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  5. I think you bought treasure. Love the name. Hope you have many happy crafty hours together.
    Carol xx

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  6. Minnie Belle is BeAuTiFuL!!! I'm so happy you found her and she is in amazingly wonderful condition. The book looks new! Oh my! You'll have such fun sewing on her and making all kinds of crafty goodness.
    How are you feeling my friend? I hope your cold is a thing of the past. You're way too busy to be sidelined with sickness for long. It's thundering and raining and cold here right now. I'm so ready for spring. I'm so glad that I have you for a friend Teresa and congrats on all of your followers, "friends"!
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. My cold is better, but I'm still coughing. The reason I avoid colds at all costs is they always go into bronchitis. You'll get to see Minnie Bell when I have a tea for you, Gracie and Taci next time you're in town! Hope you get Spring soon! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  7. Your little sewing machine is precious! And congratulations on 300 friends!

    Hugs,
    Sharon

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  8. She is adorable!!!! And cute and tiny so I think Minnie Bell is perfect for her. I know you two will have a long lasting friendship. I love that you contacted Claudia for info, Dayle is a cutie he only wants the best for you.
    Sending you and Minnie Bell a big hug, have fun.
    Meredith

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  9. What a beauty and useful too. She really is pretty enough to be displayed in an art gallery as a sculpture and I am sure she will help you with many projects.

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  10. Teresa, I am thrilled for you and your sewing machine! I put some retirement gift money toward one 3 yrs. ago. Need to use it more. I've heard they are real work horses and just too ADORABLE! Happy Sewing!

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  11. What a beautiful machine! My grandmother was a professional seamstress and she had one very similar to this one. Enjoy your new machine!

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  12. How fun is this. You will have a great time with this while camping this summer. Can't wait to see what you will make. Having tea at a new yarn shop in Tarpon tomorrow with Mereknit and Insomniac with a Hook. How fun. By the way, Insomniac doesn't know I'm driving up. Will keep you posted.

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  13. Minnie Belle is beautiful Teresa. Congratulations and on reaching 300 followers/friends. Love and Hugs Anne x

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  14. Wonderful sewing machine!! Congrats on the 300 followers, I have 25 and mighty
    pleased with this too lol. Cute purses.

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  15. Yay!!

    She is beautiful and Minnie Bell is the perfect name for her. Do you know you can find out when she was made by looking at the serial number? Then google Featherweight - dates of manufacture and you should be able to find exactly when she was made. Or maybe you already know that from the sweet lady who sold her to you.

    I'm so happy for you, Teresa - I know you will love her.

    xo
    Claudia

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  16. This is a machine which is very beautiful.You will surely enjoy using it. groetjes, Gerda

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  17. WOW......WOW.....WOW!!!!!! Oh my, I love it! It's the most beautiful sewing machine ever! and she even had the original oil can and manual, how cool is that!
    I know in due time you will be sewing up a storm. The name suits it just fine!
    Perfect really,
    Enjoy her......
    Hugs, Shari

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  18. Teresa she is a beauty! I am so excited for you! You will have to show us all of your cute projects! Good job getting hubs on board! Just shows that we can reuse...just think Teresa, you are helping our environment! 😊

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  19. Teresa what a wonderful find!

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  20. What a wonderful find!!! My mother had a singer machine very much like that one. Things were made so well back then. Love the pretty gold emblem and the original oil can!!! Happy sewing!!

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  21. Minnie Bell is just beautiful Teresa. What an amazing find...she looks so good for her age ;0) Have fun using her ..what an heirloom piece she is. Those Easter purses are wonderful, your granddaughters will love them, Jane x

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  22. Teresa, you have a great knack of finding the most unusual things. Minnie Belle is gorgeous and I'm sure she'll be very happy in her new home with you. xoxox

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  23. Congrats on the new arrival! She is beautiful! Love her name!

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  24. Oh, but she is a beauty! Just gorgeous! I know you'll be thrilled with her.

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  25. Just love the Featherweight. I have two complete machines including the buttonhole attachments, too.

    Have fun sewing with her!

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  26. How exciting, Teresa! You will have such a great time sewing on beautiful Minnie Belle! Love her name :)
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
    Helen x

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  27. Minnie Bell is beautiful! My mom used to sew a lot when I was little and even made some of my clothes, but I never learned to sew. I know you are gonna put that machine to good use. Have a wonderful weekend. Tammy

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  28. I have been awful about commenting lately. Shoot, I have barely been reading any blogs for the last couple of weeks. There's been a lot going on around here. I hate when that happens, and I'm SO READY for some peace and quiet and "normal" around here! I think today was the last day of it all though. Looking forward to a quiet, calm, stress-free weekend. Hope you have the same!

    Very neat little sewing machine!

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  29. OH, and I forgot to tell you that we loved our earrings and had fun at the casino last Saturday! We were the only two of the five that went that came home with moolah in our pockets. Right as we were about to leave, I hit two good spins in a row on the Wheel of Fortune slot machine...one for $125.00 and the second for $100! I'm positive it was the earrings!

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  30. Wow Teresa my dear 300 followers is wonderful. COngratulations!
    I love MinieBelle. She looks wonderful!,and.in perfect condition! How wonderful. Now I just cannot wait to see the first project u work on and sew it on her. Congratulations on yr choice :)

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