Monday, November 4, 2013

Julia arrives

Look who came to live at my house last month!  It's a Sears Kenmore Model 1400 that I found at the local Goodwill store for 8 bucks!  I was so excited that I didn't even try it out before I bought it--at $8 I can't go wrong, can I?  I immediately took her to the world's area's best sewing machine guy--Jim Jerabek--and he worked his magic on her.  I brought her home but she's had to sit for a few weeks until I had time to play around with her, and that was today.

This machine, according to Jim, is a real, solid little work horse that will last a lifetime. Well, that's not that long considering my age!  She's a pale seafoam green and reminds me of a bride's maid's dress from the 90s. She's a little worse for wear--her electrical cord is wrapped with black tape and there are dings and wear spots on her from all the sewing that was done with her in her 40+ years.  Can you imagine how many pairs of pajamas and nightgowns that were lovingly made with this machine? How many back-to-school skirts and dresses sewn and how many knees of jeans were patched.  Probably a few Christmas, Easter, First Communion and Confirmation dresses as well.  Maybe even a prom dress or bridal gown.  I think this little lady has been there and seen it all, don't you?

According to the Sears website, the Model 1400 was only made from 1969 through 1973. So that makes her between 40 and 44 years old.  Not that old, I guess.  Today, since it is raining and windy and not a good day to finish my outdoor work, I took an hour or two and simply played with her and all her fancy stitches (There are about 10 of them!  My, how sewing machines have changed in 40 years!) When I put the pedal to the metal, she purred as though she had been waiting to be taken out on a good run.  She is completely sopping with oil--I think Jim wanted to make sure there was enough oil to soak into all the gears and joints--and smells very oily. I washed her exterior parts with a lavender scented cleaner so I hope she smells better next time I take her out.

I have to figure out how to mark a 1/4" line so I can do quilt piecing on her and I have to figure out what to call her.  I don't call my other machine anything but she came with the name "Lily 454" and I think I have to come up with something more suitable for this machine than "Model 1400."  I'm leaning toward "Julia."  I think Julia Roberts has played a few bridesmaid roles over the years but I'm not sure if she ever wore a seafoam green dress. Also, I loved Julia Child when she was cooking on PBS during the 70's and 80's so I think Julia is as good a name as any for this machine.

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