Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My "new" vintage Brother Sewing Machine and Desk

Wanna know why my sister is cooler than yours? Because she bought and refinished an antique sewing machine for me, table and all. I'm serious. A while back, she called me from a yard sale, while she was on a lunch break from her job as an instructor in the Navy down in Florida, and she found an amazing machine. A PINK brother from the 1950s, in a cabinet, and worked. If I remember correctly, and I know she'll correct me if I'm wrong hehe, it was about $40. She sent me a video of it running, from her phone. The timing seemed to be spot on, while it would definitely need to be serviced. I told her to haggle and talk 'em down to $30 since the desk had gaps between the machine and the desk. AND SHE BOUGHT IT! 

Still on the machine, carved into the faceplate is the name "Pattie", so that is her name (top picture). Also, in the above picture can you see an orange sticker? That's a sticker from a "Susanne's Sewing Circle" that met at Hub Vacuum Company in San Diego, California. I could only find documentation of this Vacuum store in a 1950 radio transcript, so who knows how long that sticker has been there. It will always remain on my machine, as long as I can help it.

Also on the machine is a "Guaranteed by Good Housekeeping" metal plate. They sure know how to pick 'em! This machine is the best machine ever! Notice how the bobbin winder is on the front of the machine? Isn't that funny how it used to be on the front, and the bobbin being wound was up on the wheel of the machine. It's similar to how industrial machine make bobbins as you sew. I do not wind bobbins on my old machine though. I always use a separate bobbin winder that is battery operated to reduce unnecessary wear and tear on my machines.

Rachael spent countless hours refinishing the desk, matching the pink paint to the machine, and painted the desk white. She encountered many bumps along the way, with the hardware getting lost and having to replace it all, rebuilding the surface of the desk with the new wood to close the gaps, among other things. These before pictures show you just how much work it was. She is the best!


My birthday present, and just because present that's what sisters do, was this refinished desk. She was finally able to make a trip up to Augusta with the desk and machine this September. I can not thank her ENOUGH! This is the best present in the whole wide world. And GET THIS: it sews AMAZINGLY! It reminds me so much of my industrial machine I used to use at work as a bridal seamstress. It's fast, so fast.

It only does a straight stitch, which some may think is inconvenient, but did you know industrial machine only have straight stitch too? No zig zag or changed needle position. On this Brother, I can only change the stitch length, forward and reverse, and it's all on the same lever. The level straight up is reverse, and the widest stitch, straight down is forward, widest stitch. So middle is stationary stitch, no movement from the feed dogs. It took me a while to get used to this machine, but it's ALL I use now.

Rachael painted little pin stripes all the way around the desk, man that looks like work. She told me it was a huge pain getting the stripes just right. Well she brought me the extra paint when she came to Augusta, and I'm a sucker for going overboard, so what did I do? I filled in the stripes and used more pink. Then. When I couldn't put my paintbrush down, I decided my mantle could use a facelift to match my desk. Whoops.

This is what everyday in my work room looks like. Zeus pouting because I'm working and not playing with him. And cats nearby. Generally on my lap. It's amazing that I ever get anything done, seriously. Anyone else that works from home constantly bothered by their sweet animals?

Congrats to Kendrra, she won $50 from Shabby Apple!

And Rachael just started a blog, since she finally upgraded to an iMac from her old laptop. I'm so excited for her. Follow along here, and expect some awesome baking, gardening, thrifting, and furniture reconstructions, very soon! And of course, cat pictures.

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  1. And it came with the original accessories!


    Glad you like it and use it!


  2. So gorgeous! I love scoring deals on beautiful items, and I ADORE how your spruced it up!

  3. Is that not the cutest sewing machine!

    xo Jennifer

  4. Wow! Awesome machine! Your sister did incredible work!


  5. Nice Machine and love your artistic abilities! I have a question about the HUB Vaccum Company. I recently bought a HUB Deluxe Sewing Machine in it's case, a little worse for wear, but the machine hasn't arrived yet. Looks great. Anyway the marking on the neck is an outline of USA and in capital letters HUB in center. Serial #F255813 Also the tension comes out the front of it not on the side. I was just not able to find any history on it. Maybe you can help me out?