Saturday, October 10, 2009

Horoscope Necklace ~ Singer 185J

In my last post I talked about weaving a horoscope shawl. As part of the workshop you created a horoscope necklace based on the same winding draft as the woven shawl. The various packets below contain tiny beads in various colors. We were also given larger beads to represent planets.
Here is the completed horoscope shawl and necklace. Each tiny bead represents a warp thread in the woven piece. Every so often the woven piece has four threads that were threaded through the same dent and heddle to represent a planet. The large beads in the necklace represent planets.

I think I am getting nostalgic. I've been pinning after my first sewing machine. I remember that first sewing class in Jr. High School as almost life changing. I didn't come from a family of crafters. My first sewing machine was purchased second-hand from a neighbor lady for $20. To pay for the machine I babysat her 3 children (real brats) for 75 cents per hour. It took forever to pay for the sewing machine!

I don't know what happened to my first machine but it looked identical to my new purchase (below). Isn't it adorable? It's a Singer 185J manufactured in Canada in 1962 (the 185K was made in Scotland). It's a flat-bed 3/4 sized straight stitch machine. It's all metal and it's heavy. I would call it heavy-duty because it will sew through just about any type of fabric. They were manufactured from 1959-1962. It replaced the black 99K, also a 3/4 sized machine. Basically, this is the 99 with updated green paint. I purchased this one with a cabinet. First thing I did was give it a good oiling and it purrs like a kitten.

My original 185J came in a carrying case like this one.
I found this YouTube video of an old commercial for the Singer 185. It was considered the Young Budget Machine. You could buy it on the Budge Plan for $119.50 ($12 down and $1.25 per week).


Life Looms Large said...

The sewing machine is a cutie! (And I remember that feeling of babysitting a pack of brats......don't miss that!)

Beautiful weaving - and the beads are a nice twist to the horoscope weaving idea. I haven't seen that done before.


vanessa said...

love the new machine!
am i just imagining, or was life really much more pleasant back then?
happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Romi said...

OMG! My mother taught me to sew on a machine identical to the one you just purchased. :sigh: Brings back memories.

Cathy Tyler said...

So glad you posted about your machine - and I love the video! I saw one of these green lovelies today at an estate sale and was looking for more info. You had just the information I was looking for! May have to go back and pick it up...

iheartlollypops said...

I need help i have one but it won't work, I have it threaded but when it sews it leaves a mess of string on the other side. Help would be much appreciated, thanks :)

Anonymous said...

If you can get it, buy the DVD "Those Fantastic Featherweights" by David McCallum. He walks through both the featherweight 221 and 301 for Oiling and lube (grease, motor and gears). I realize this isn't the same machine, but I have many other vintage machines, and after watching his video, I realize his method would apply to all vintage singers. Based on what I learned from his DVD, you probably don't have the finger from the bobbin case in the notch on the back of the needle cover plate. This is what he described in the video. Or, it may just simply have a little thread inside the bobbin casing (notorious for causing this problem as well). New needle can't hurt, to see if it's the problem. Best wishes.

j m conley said...

I have the same machine and cabinet for sale. Will you tell me how much I should expect to price it for? Thanks