Monday, 18 June 2012

Vintage Sewing

The weekend saw us having our customary mooch in our beloved Bridport in Dorset.  We were there very early to take the car into the garage and the threat of gloomy weather meant the street market was not as busy and buzzy as usual.  It was still most enjoyable, however and the weather actually improved as the day went on.  Wandering along with a bacon butty for breakfast, we bumped into Rachel and her family, holidaying in Lyme Regis.  I know Rachel as a customer from vintage fairs and always think of her as the "blue lady" as she is always in blue and buys blue things! Happy hols, Rachel.  Small world, eh?


The fact that many of the regular stall holders hadn't turned out meant some new ones had been able to secure a pitch  Some of the stuff was pretty junky but of course, in between the junk, one is possibly going to find treasure if one but looks hard enough.  There waiting for me was something I'd longed hankered after.  Possibly too much time had been spent looking for just such an item on eBay, sometimes watching them go for too much money, lacking their accessories or worrying how I was going to get the certain extremely heavy item safely to my doorstep without costing an arm and a leg.


No need to have done all that because there she was, waiting for me...



...amongst all the junk!




Reader, meet Norma Novum, my new-to-me vintage sewing machine.  I would guess she's actually a 1950's gal.



A rainy Sunday afforded me the perfect opportunity to get to grips with my new friend.  I plugged in the lead, flicked the switch and with baited breath, on came her light!  Sadly, Norma lacked her instruction manual but I pretty much know my way round a machine and had her threaded up in no time.  A tentative foot on the pedal, and whirr, off went Norma producing a spectacularly truly straight straight stitch!


I cannot mislead you and tell you I there and then whipped up that pretty patchworked item on Norma's machine bed (in fact, I made that last week to house my latest gadget).  In need of some cloth to try out Norma's stitching, it was however, a prettier sight for the photo than the old painting rag Mr HH found me in the shed.  I need a stash at the cottage?


I discovered that Norma had a little swing-out drawer hidden in her base and therein squealed, admittedly rather childishly, at all the metal bobbins and original feet within.  The feet have little labels attached to tell me what they are, each little bit of string attaching each label a different colour.  Golly, you can't imagine how much pleasure this brought me.



Ah, Norma, how could anyone pass you by for a measly £18? Not I!  




Norma and I are going to have some adventures, I can see.

43 comments:

  1. How sweet, love that little side drawer,and all the labels on the feet how thoughtful someone is. Ive never heard of that make of machine before it looks to be in great condition
    louise

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  2. A find for the year!
    and a very 'fitting'one too~

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  3. Lucky you and lucky find! As I always say and believe in "things come to those who wait"!
    You are going to have so much fun at your cottage.
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

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  4. Great find - hope you have lots of happy sewing time together.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  5. Wow, she is beautiful. Happy stitches.

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  6. norma is home, enjoy eachother you deserve it, have fun , love marion,from holland

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  7. What a wonderful find...and with all her 'bits' too.
    I love those sweet little labels.
    What a beaut! Like Louise, I've not heard of Novum. Seems like it's a name to look out for, good quality and built to last.
    Enjoy!
    Z xx

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  8. Hi Hen, what a perfect find for your cottage! I also need a small portable sewing machine as I don't sew often but when you need one, you really need it! I am charmed by the original items in the drawer.. what a score! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  9. Norma was meant to come to you- no doubts about it. Serendipity!
    Mary

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  10. She is indeed a stunner and a bargain as well - am sure you'll both be very happy together.

    Love Bridport market - I could happily spend hours wandering around, browsing and buying :)

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  11. The labels on the feet are brilliant.A machine that has been treasured and has found another new good home.A lucky find indeed.

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  12. Hi Hen, Norma looks lovely and what a bargain too!
    I've just got back into sewing again, made a cover fo my new Ipad, a patchwork/cross stitch cushion and now I'm cutting out hexagons. I'm enjoying myself!
    Carol xx

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  13. Hello, I too have just been given the most beautiful vintage sewing machine, I have called her Clarice, after the old lady who used to own her. She sews wonderfully! If I ever work out how to write a blog I will do a post on her! Unfortunately I am somewhat techinally challenged, however a machine made in the 1960's a doddle! :)

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  14. What a treasure you have found! Wonderful you are using it too....oopps...sorry not IT...I mean....Norma.

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  15. AAAAAAaaaaaaaa!!!!!! Breathe, breathe, breathe. AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

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  16. she certainly is a beauty!!

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  17. Hen, it's grand that your newly discovered Norma actually still can sew, and has her original accessory equipment intact.

    Last year, I finally got around to ordering a new Janome machine, but have yet to bid farewell to my 1967 vintage Singer portable.

    Sewing history can be full of such transitional moments.

    xo

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  18. I love the labels, someone has really looked after that machine and all the bits and pieces with it. Very unlike our throwaway society and quite heartwarming!
    Enjoy sewing on your new find!
    x

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  19. Oh my word, you certainly have found a true bargain in Norma! Well done!

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  20. Norma is gorgeous Hen!

    £18? My goodness I can't believe that was all! And working. And feet too!! You lucky lady you :)

    Have a great week my lovely. I do hope the sun shines where you are :o)

    Take care Hen.
    xx

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  21. Great find, and such a bargain.
    Norma will feel right at home at your beautiful cottage.
    Love Linda O xxx

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  22. What a fantastic find Hen :) x

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  23. How fantastic! A perfect find for your cottage. Hope you had a good weekend in the countryside.

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  24. wow what a lucky girlie you are, for just £18 too! I am looking forward to spending time at Bridport and Lyme Regis again this Summer, this time we are staying in Charmouth. I think you should work on commission for sending holiday makers to the area! It's only after reading about how much you love the area on your blog that made me book a holiday there last year and so glad we did!

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  25. Oh! What a treat indeed!!!! Lucky you! £18?! I have seen rusted Singers for more than that. What a find! :)

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  26. Oh Hen...what a truly wonderful find, especially as it's actually in good working order.

    We have a new sewing machine purchase in our house ... a little bit newer and a little bit smaller. Take a look here:

    http://fleurcotton.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/029-thank-heavens-for-little-girls.html

    Have a lovely week, especially as the sun has decided to come out again.

    Fleur xx

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  27. You lucky girl, you have a real bargain there. The cases are so much nicer on the old models, yours looks like mock crocodile and the little drawer is so well made. I'm sure you'll have many happy hours with it.

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  28. I believe that is like my grandmothers old sewing machine! She sewed all our Barbie doll clothes on it! What a good deal.

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  29. there is something very special about making on a vintage sewing machine. I absolutely love mine.

    Enjoy!!

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  30. What a sweet find! Very pretty machine, and it looks like it found the perfect home. Happy stitching!

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  31. I got a bag of feet with labels just like those at a car boot sale. They came with some other things that I bought, and I had no idea what machine they fitted. I can see that some are the same as you've got, but if any are different I can send them to you because they're no good to me.
    One's very complicated looking but is without it's label, but I can send you a photo in am email if you want to look.

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  32. I've just checked and there's a photo on my blog. The post is from 11th March, Boxes of delight.

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  33. Oh how lovely happy sewing xxx

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  34. What a bargain. Perfect for you in your cottage! Happy sewing!

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  35. Norma is a beauty. I'm sure the two of you will have hours of sewing fun.

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  36. what a wonderful find, she is lucky to have found you. Amanda

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  37. Hello Hen

    I am your newest follower and I have come over from Trudy's blog Playing in the Attic..
    I very much like what I see and that sewing machine is just like one my mother used to have but it looks much more spruced up.
    You've lots of lovely things and photos so I'm off back in to have a browse in detail.
    Incidentally I'm from Williton near Minehead Somerset.... :-)

    Amanda :-)

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  38. What a gorgeous creature she is! I had a vintage sewing machine for many years which I LOVED. Lizzie x

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  39. It was a lovely to bump into all the Henhouse family! We are now safely home with our blue Bridport purchase and nearly dried out after our soggy week- luckily it was nice and dry in the tea rooms of Dorset! Hope to bump into you again soon, love The Blue Family xx

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  40. How absolutely perfect is Norma?!! Fab find my lovely friend. I wish you a long and happy sewing life together x

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  41. Hi, I have just seen an identical machine in a charity shop for £35. I thought it looked great just as an object, and when I lifted the base, it looked really well made inside. I didn't notice the secret compartment though! I will have to go back and check it out. If it doesn't have all the little bits you found in yours, do you think it is worth the money? I know it's a charity shop, but I'm not wealthy and have to watch the pennies. This will be my first machine, would it be suitable for a beginner? Love your blog!

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  42. Hello! I am so pleased I found your blog, as I have 'inherited' this exact same model and was about to spend money on buying all the little bits and pieces as I had not found the secret compartment.

    I have little experience in sewing, and have only ever really used one machine before which had a full manual. If I have trouble threading it correctly etc may I please contact you for advice?

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