I'm a lucky lady. Hubby surprised me by taking the day off work on my birthday. He got up with the little one at 6 AM and let me sleep in until 9... score! The gifts were plentiful, including perhaps the best gift EVER!
Isn't she lovely? I am still in disbelief. My guy was supportive of the sewing classes I took during the Winter of 2010. He must have really listened to my tales of woe, struggling with my cheapo plastic machine. Most impressive though, he also listened when I went on and on about how great my teacher and her sewing studio were, and that her vintage Singer machines were the most amazing to sew with.
The last straw with my cheapo machine was during crunch time (of course) trying to get our baby's nursery furnished. It was a tall order to have chosen a home dec weight fabric for window coverings but I wanted something that would block the light from outside. Somehow I got those curtains made, it was not easy. The flannel blanket and pillow were a struggle as well. A cushion I had planned to cover a window seat is still unfinished. Good thing an infant doesn't care whether his window seat is cushioned or not!
Now I have the tool for the job, the Singer 503 Slant-O-Matic "Rocketeer" and I'm as giddy as ever to get to work. Having such little experience with vintage machines, I scheduled a mentoring session with a local restoration specialist who calls himself "The Bobbin Doctor". Steve taught me how to clean, maintain, and properly care for my machine. Upon meeting us (me and my Singer) he made my husband even more proud of his gift by expressing how great a find it was, and that he couldn't have done any better. I came home from my mentoring session and got right to work on small project, a gift for a friend's wedding shower. It turned out GREAT! No one at the shower could believe I made it, the apron looked so professionally finished. And it only took a few hours, mostly cutting and arranging the fabrics. The sewing was a breeze, the only functions I needed were the straight stitch, all purpose foot, and the detail foot.. I might need to make another.
Apron pattern from the Liberty Book of Home Sewing "Frilly Pinny"
The 503 runs as smooth as butter and includes the attachment and instructions for more tasks than I ever considered. Truly mind-boggling to think of how simple, straightforward and perfectly this 50 year old piece of machinery runs, compared to it's brand new (non computerized) counterpart. I was not surprised that the 503 runs beautifully, it was the functions available and the detailed, user friendly manual that made my jaw drop. This manual will be just as important to my sewing journey as Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Home Sewing. Every function of the machine is well detailed and thoroughly illustrated within. I'll be able to create any apparel or home dec projects I could imagine (with the exception of large quilts) and they will turn out beautifully finished and without snags or ripped out/re-sewn seams.
Bigger projects await, now if I only had more time (and money for fabric)!