Friday, July 26, 2013

Garage Sale Day

Cruising my local Craigslist this morning, always in search of those key words "vintage sewing machine", I came across two estate sales listings which mentioned vintage sewing and both were a short drive from my office. My colleagues at work know how I am when I see those magic words - I get sort of a glazed look over my eyes and before I had a chance to ask permission to take an early lunch, they were pushing me out the door.

The first Estate Sale Ad mentioned that both parents had recently been moved into an assisted living home. The children were conducting the sale, and right from the start I picked up on the fact that were truly dreading what they were doing. I can sympathize - disposing of a loved one's possessions isn't easy, especially if there are emotional attachments involved. We exchanged pleasantries and I began perusing over the items on display. When I had decided there was nothing there for me, next to a vintage Necchi sewing machine, I literally stumbled upon my find of the day - sitting in a computer box on the floor, an older Bernette serger. No prices were listed, so I inquired about it and the nice lady said $80. I pondered, pulled out my iPhone, Googled / eBayed and decided that the asking price was fair. I looked around the room for a manual and accessories, but none were available. I mentioned the missing items to the owner, and I don't generally try to haggle, but in this instance I offered a lower number. She accepted and I packed the little tank of a machine into the trunk of my car.

Bernette 334D Serger - my model, but not my machine.
My photos to come later.

Now, having bought one machine today, I certainly should have returned to work immediately and called it a successful day. But, nope, not me. Curiosity had gotten the better of me. I proceeded to the next Estate Sale. This second estate sale was packed with cars, which generally means I am too late to find anything good. This sale was run by a family friend, with no attachments to any of the items, and all the items were priced in true 'garage sale' fashion, i.e. 'we want it gone, and gone quickly'. In the main room was a huge selection of vintage linens - tablecloths, napkins and such. Those quickly jumped into my outstretched arms. And three rooms later, I found the sewing room. In a beautiful desk was an early 1970s New Home sewing machine. If that desk could have properly held any of my Singers without major modification, I would have found a way to get it home. It truly was a nice piece of furniture. Other than that machine, only a few notions here and there were to be found, and at nickel, dime and quarter pricing, I added to my armful.

Meanwhile, another shopper overhead my conversation with the sweet older lady who was tending to that area of the sale. I made mention of Vintage Singers and you'd have thought I mentioned free money! She asked if I used or worked on Featherweights. I mentioned my growing collection and a new friend was made! We exchanged numbers and I look forward to hearing from her soon.

On my way out, I stopped by a bedroom. Many clothes and costume jewelry were laid out for sale. My first thoughts were of Peter over at Male Pattern Boldness and his cousin Cathy. So, taking inspiration from Peter, I looked around here and there and in that room, a lovely Mink collar found found its way into my arms, as did an assortment of buttons - both of which will be perfect accents for this year's Halloween costume. (That post will come much later - I'm still planning.) So, a BIG Thank You Peter Lappin for teaching me to keep my eyes open! As for the New Home machine, it stayed behind waiting for another sewing-related crazy person to come along.

As soon as I have Bern(ad)ette cleaned up and stitching, I'll post pictures of her. Yes, I named her already. Bernadette seemed fitting.

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