The Sewing Machine Arrives!

What a shocker – this is some machine! It’s a White cabinet sewing machine that was purchased in 1953 at the Famous Barr department store. It’s a handsome dark wood cabinet that has a storage tray, fold out work surface, and storage in the seat. The entire machine itself is not only metal, but cast iron – this machine is a true workhorse. Not a piece of plastic on it. It came with all of it’s accessories (in red Bakelite storage containers!) including a button holer, foot zipper thing and numerous other pieces and parts that I have no idea what to do with at this point.


It also came with the original manual (including 3 untouched sewing patterns), an additional sewing book and the original warranty receipt. This baby has provenance. It came to me through my husband’s aunt by way of Mrs. Potts’ son (they own a lake house with them) – she died a few years ago, and are finally selling her old farmhouse. The sewing machine was in the basement of the farmhouse, and was given to my husband’s aunt. They were just going to throw it out! So thank you Mrs. Potts – it’s an honor to have such a fine piece of furniture in my own home. And it’s great to be able to have the story that goes with it. (Oh and pictures coming soon! I have them taken, but WordPress “upgraded” the upload process and un-tech-savvy me has to relearn it.)


I have a ton of patterns just waiting to make their debut. They range from the super easy to the difficult, but I plan to start simple and work my way up. The easiest pattern I have is for tote bags – the Butterick Yes It’s Easy See & Sew B4169. You can make a standard tote bag, a square tote bag and a round drawstring-style bag with this pattern. For clothes, I have the following patterns:



Butterick Six Sew Fast & Easy B4684 – six variations of a tunic shirt.

McCall’s M4455 – five variations of a corset-style top.



Butterick Fast & Easy 3061—three variations of an A-line skirt.

McCall’s M4925 – six variations of a pencil skirt.

Butterick Fast & Easy 3526 – five variations of a wrap skirt.



Butterick Yes It’s Easy See & Sew B4492 – two variations of an A-line summer dress.

McCall’s M4826 – three variations of a 1950’s style halter dress.

Butterick Retro ’57 B4513 – three variations of a flared ‘party’ dress.



Butterick Making History B4212 – two variations of a Victorian dress.

Butterick Making History B4669 – four variations of a peasant corset.

Butterick Making History 6630 – two variations of a Renaissance lady-in-waiting dress and coat.

Butterick 6698 – four variations of Japanese kimono.

McCall’s Costumes 3674 – four variations of a Wild West style can-can dress.

McCall’s Costumes M4626 – men’s and children’s pirate costume.


Okay, so some of those are pretty out there and advanced – but I fully intend to become an accomplished sewer in a few years. And I’ve got no excuse! I’m going to start with the tote bag and the A-line skirt. I have some cute fabric for both – I have some red ticking that would look cute as the bag, and some blue calico-inspired floral on white that would be great as a swingy summer skirt. After I learn those, I’ve got some black pinstriping that would be perfect for a pencil skirt.


Oh, and I also some patterns that I found on the web – there are some really great resources for free patterns. I have the following:


Fitz Wrap Skirt

Fitz Long Wrap Skirt

Shift Dress

Linen Pouch


Obviously, Fitz has some good stuff for download. They’ve got new/different stuff on their website now, so I’ll post my pdf links as soon as re-figure out how too (see lament about pics above).


There are also a ton of fabrics I’d love to add to my drawer, and my favorite online store for fabric is Ladybutton Fabrics.These are the ones I covet:


Dumb Dot in chocolate/white by Michael Miller

Eiffel Tower Crème Toile by Michael Miller

Forget Me Not Boutique Stripe in pinks/browns by Robert Kaufman

Small Pastel Flowers on Crème

Sushi on Wasabi by Timeless Treasures

Wonder Dots in pink/brown by Michael Miller


So let the sewing begin! Well, as soon as I read the manual and learn how to thread the thing… J


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