So what do you do with your spare time in the evenings? Cruise eBay looking for vintage sewing machines, of course! I saw this one and I just couldn't resist:
What a beautiful piece of 1960s industrial design! I have several classic black Singers, but to be honest I prefer mid-century design. I've been feeling warm and fuzzy about this machine all week, even though it needs to go to the sewing machine mechanic, since I don't feel comfortable messing with the maze of metal inside it. While I could totally take this apart, I am less confident in my ability to put it back together again correctly.
The eBay ad said the machine works, which I interpreted correctly to mean "when I plug it in and push the pedal, it hums and the needle moves up and down," not that it actually sews. (Well, it did sew 4 stitches when I threaded it, then the thread broke.) On further investigation, although the handwheel spins just fine, the zigzag mechanism is seized, the needle positioner not working correctly, and I found a thread behind the bobbin assembly that refuses to be coaxed out with tweezers and handwheel wiggling. I had read that these machines were built to very tight tolerances and tend to seize up when left unused for long periods of time, so I suspected that the machine would need work and factored that into my bid (as well as shipping). I got it for a fair price, and I'll take it in for servicing and hopefully spend many happy hours sewing on it. I oiled it and ran it without thread for a few minutes and it sounds nice. I love a nice-sounding sewing machine.