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on becoming a sewer

Getting ready to do some sewing on my grandma's machine

For all the stitching I do, I don't think I've ever thought of myself as a sewer. A crafter, yes. An embroiderer, definitely. Someone who enjoys some hand sewing, sure. But never a sewer.

Actually, when I was younger I sewed more than I have in recent years, and it was always on this sewing machine. My grandma's sewing machine. My great grandma's sewing machine. The person I was named after.

Yesterday I opened it up and sewed.

Prior to this, I've been doing more and more sewing on things that haven't been shared yet, and I've been getting more comfortable with my mom's machine. I stand as I sew, with the sewing machine on the kitchen counter, which my mom finds odd, but it works for me.

Going back to this old White with the knee lever was different. I struggled. The tension felt off when it wasn't, the bobbin winds strangely, and threading it was easy which made it confusing. Things got caught and I got frustrated. But I sewed.

And I will continue to sew as I am finding myself becoming a sewer.


  1. I just purchased a vintage white. Its so beautiful and it runs. When I got it, it had some kind of waxy string that wrapped around the motor part and went to the round part on the side. I would assume that a belt would go there to make it all move. Can ask your mom about it and where does she get her replacement parts? Thanks


  2. Hey Mollie,

    It was great speaking with you a couple of days ago.

    Nannie's machine is absolutely darling! I have this vision of her peeking over your shoulder smiling and encouraging you. Have fun with it and don't give up cause I bet her machine sews a mean straight stitch!

    Love, Leslie

  3. Keep going, Mollie, you'll win in the end! I'm getting much more confident, using my machine these days, and so glad I persevered. Have a great week, Chris x PS The machine is gorgeous!

  4. Well done, it does get easier the more you use it.
    I have sewn since I handstitched rhubarb leaves with grass to make fairy clothes!!!!!
    An awful long time ago and as soon as I could use a machine ...........
    Made all my 3 girls clothes as well as my own. DH still marvels at how I can make something out of nothing - I tell him 'years of practice!' Revisit this post in two years time and you'll laugh!!

  5. Love it! I started sewing on my grandmother's machine as well, and it made me feel such a connection to her. Don't give up!

  6. aw...this makes me want to break out MY great-grandma's sewing machine (I have a 1970s one I use on occasion--for paper stuff mainly). The great-grandma one is intimidating though, because of the knee control...I just can't get the hang of it...now I want to try :)

  7. I don't have my great-grandmother's machine, but I did receive a vintage Singer Featherweight for my birthday last year and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
    By the way, I like sewist or sewistra better than sewer because, even after all this time, I read the word and think first of sewage tunnels (gross, I know). As for when you can call yourself a sewer/sewist/sewistra, I say to fake it till you make it!

  8. Anonymous3:51 PM

    I prefer hobby or amateur seamstress for the same reason.

    I do not think you are strange for not wanting to consider yourself a sewer. Nobody likes to think of themselves as dark, damp and full of crap. :-)

  9. Haha. I love your blog. I can across you blog looking for Calgary sewer. Good luck with your project.

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