Comments from my life, family, and projects I enjoy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A sewing machine named Faye

Several years ago we spotted a sewing machine on the side of the road in a trash pile. Being one that can never walk away from perfectly serviceable machinery, I had to stop and save it from the dump. If it's free, it's for me. The first thing I noticed was the weight. This thing is heavy! Lots of iron castings and steel. The machine is a Morse, one of the Japanese machines popular in the '60s and '70s. Sometime during it's history, someone etched Faye in the main casting, so we've decided she is the Morse named Faye. Faye was completely locked up and rather grimy. With some WD-40, sewing machine oil and elbow grease, I got it working again. The wooden base was falling apart, so I made some replacement pieces, and glued that back together. Life then got in the way and Faye was set aside while other projects and task took our time. Recently we pulled her out again and did another cleanup and lube. Soon she was ready to work again. Somehow, I just couldn't see putting her back in that ugly old base and grimy case, so I recovered the base with some imitation leather, repainted the hardware, and gave the case a thorough scrubbing. I think she turned out rather nice. I think she has earned a space in the sewing room as a backup machine. A little research turned up some interesting facts. The old Morse machines were actually made by Toyota. Yes, the same Toyota that now builds quality automobiles. It seems that part of the MacArthur recovery plan after WWII, was to convert the Japanese war machine to the production of consumer goods for the US and European markets. Sewing machines were identified as one such consumer good that would be in demand, providing a ready market for the Japanese manufacturers. There is a Yahoo group called vintagejapansewingmachines dedicated to these old Japanese machines. It is simply amazing to view all the different brands colors and styles that were imported. Enjoy the pictures of Faye.

1 comment:

Becky said...

I will certainly put her to use; especially on heavy fabrics I don't dare touch with my newer plastic made White Quilters Star.

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Midlands of South Carolina, United States
Husband, Father, Quality Engineer, Electronics Professional, and tinkerer. Facinated by old technology and well made old tools. Old iron is good.