Mad Man Feeling Blessed

Let’s start with the big stuff, get that out of the way. Rent was paid. (Thank you, God). Imagine me stressed to unbearable limits watching the clock pass, the hours fade and nothing was happening. Then I shifted my thinking, as I’ve recently been learning to do. I pulled out that gem of a gift of mine (optimism), brushed it off, and proudly put it on display. I need to trust the Universe. Everything will be fine.

At the last minute it all came flowing into place. And within the hour rent and the electric bill was paid and we had enough left over to get a couple of sandwiches from our favorite Italian Deli down the block.

And the blessings kept coming….

I am now the proud owner of a Singer 401 Slant-o-Matic with cabinet AND stool! Woo hooooo!!!! Look at that! Now, when I was first on a quest to find a sewing machine, you were all so wonderful at giving me a general idea of what I should be looking for. But, it was all Greek to me. It was a bit like buying a laptop and they tell you about all the gigs and rams and things….you just have no idea what everyone is talking about. So, I asked my yarn buddy here in town to help me out. I told her my budget. That was it. “I trust whatever you come up with, because I have absolutely NO idea what it is I’m looking for.”

Boom! She finds this gorgeous darling and gifts it to me. GIFTS IT! “Keep your money,” she said. Oh, I replied with joy, “How about you come over Monday, give me a primer on how to work this beauty and I take you to lunch?”

“Deal,” she said with a smile. Then handed me a big, beautiful Florida avocado from her tree. Yum! Chips and dip never tasted so good.

What was fascinating about this particular machine is that it seems to come with a history of the woman who owned it. “Seems like the guy was just trying to get rid of it, get it out of his house. Maybe a deceased mother or grandmother.” Every drawer was filled with bobbins and thread, oil and lubricant, a classic tomato pin cushion and a cigarette case filled with double pointed knitting needles (Funny! My grandmother had the same cigarette case full of crochet hooks!)

Oh, yes! Popping open the cushion on the stool, I could see the former owner of this amazing machine had tons and tons of cable needles, circular knitting needles, and interesting sewing and knitting tools and notions…..AND!….the original manual for the sewing machine. The woman was a CRAFTER!

What a treasure! What a wonderful gift! Oh, I can’t wait to get started making my drapes! “Once your done with drapes,” Phillip says, “I could use a kimono….you know, for while I’m watching my anime.” Sure, sweetheart. I’ll get right on it.

I feel like I’m really going to enjoy sewing. I truly do. I’d love to make Phillip a kimono, just to see if I could do it. Then quilting, I really want to try my hand at quilting.

I was kinda half joking a few blog posts back when I said if I had fun with sewing I’d have to change my name from “Mad Man Knitting,” to “Mad Man Making Things.”

For the moment? I love, truly love the simple, “Mad Man Feeling Blessed.” Thank you all so much for that feeling. 🙂

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22 comments

  1. ooooo I am SO jealous!! I had a similar machine and loved it. Made the mistake of loaning it to someone. LOVE all the stuff you got with it. A true sewers delight!! Have fun making stuff.

  2. You are incredibly blessed to have been gifted with this machine. While you may not know it yet, those older Singer machines are true workhorses that can do things most modern machines can’t. That one is modern enough to have a few bells and whistles, but old enough it’s all metal. From the looks of those drawers somebody loved that machine too. Take care of it, maintain it well, that thing will last your lifetime and several more.

    I can’t wait to see what you make with it.

  3. ooooooh thats a nice one, and those stools are great and dang hard to get a hold of. NIce cabinet. So happy for you.

  4. Please get rid of the oil and lube, I am sure they are way past their ‘use by’ date! They will probably cause more harm then good. Go online and watch some You Tubes about how to service your lovely new machine. It shouldn’t be hard, because it isn’t a modern computerized machine. I also would recommend not using much of the old threads, either on bobbins or spools – thread ages and gets brittle. Since you friend was so kind to gift you this beauty, spend some money on new oil, lube and thread. Can’t wait to see what you make. OH and that treasure trove of knitting Supplies! God knew which machine to send your way

    1. Don’t just toss them though. Place them in a place of honor, and make sure not to use them. Old items like them sell for amazing amounts to collectors. Weird as it sounds.

    2. I was just going to post a similar comment about the oil and lube. I have a vintage bottle of singer oil and you can tell it’s old because the price is right there, like 35 cents or some such. But I’m sure the machine is thirsty for oil. And these machines have lots of places to put the oil. Gregory, did you get the manual with the machine?

  5. I was hoping you would get an old machine. I’m pretty sure that’s the model I learned on 45 plus years ago. It’s a good machine. Enjoy.

  6. Great machine, READ THE MANUAL ALL THE WAY THROUGH, Good luck and enjoy. Some of the ways you can sew economically is to haunt thrift shops, buy the oversized dresses( if you like it) cut them along the seams press it flat and place your patterns on it. Also if the outfit has cool buttons but the fabric is no good save the buttons . Some of my student have followed this advice and made adorable outfits for their kids, home dec projects etc.

  7. Wonderful gift. It reminds me of my original machine. Mom gave it to me when I learned to sew. It may be older than yours, but it’s a workhorse. I think you’ll become passionate about sewing. And what a lovely treasure trove! Thread, knitting needles, and best of all, the manual! Enjoy, Mad Man Makes Things

  8. Toy are SO blessed! That is a nice machine ~ and the previous owner was indeed a crafter! Probably sewed many a dress, clothes for her kids, a quilt or two – cuz that’s what you used to do. Make what you need. And a knitter too! Awesome!
    Wishes for many wonderful stitches!

  9. After WW2 Singer had stores and my father was the manager of one of them. The machines were so easy to use, I was perched in the window using a treadle machine. Years later, when Singer didn’t have stores anymore, my father became a Singer dealer. That very model you have now is the same machine we used to sell a lot, either electric or a treadle version. That had a lot of appeal to the Amish community. One of the things about that machine is that there are no computer or computerized parts in it. I managed to snag one when I was much older to make soft sculptured dolls to buy food and pay the rent. When we sold those machines, the customer got free lessons. Today, I’d love to have the version of that machine that I could turn into a treadle version. Anyway, you do have a gem of a machine that should last you forever.

  10. OH WOW!! You scored big time!! The thread and oil advice above is great. You can check the strength of the thread tho… by stretching it to see if it breaks….. I have had good success using older threads after I have stretched it. That is a wonderful machine. You will love sewing!! And the bonus knitting tools! YEAH!! That machine is a workhorse and a real gem!! Honor it my treating it well and using it to display your creativity!! I am so happy for you… and you are looking so happy these days!!

  11. If you get into quilting or anything with with heavy fabric, buy a walking foot. It will improve your results and Singer’s feet are largely universal, even with old machines. Happy sewing!

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