In the spring of 1953, we registered our oldest child--a girl--for school. She would need uniforms. Buying a sewing machine seemed like a good investment. We had no idea how remarkable an investment it would prove to be, nor how far its usefulness would stretch into the future.
I had to overcome my fear of an electric machine. I'd only used a treadle Singer and feared the speed of these new machines would be more that I could control.
As Chicago folk, we headed for Marshall Field's basement. It was well known as the place to look for bargains of good quality items. A cast iron demonstrator--a Pfaff 30 portable--just fit the bill. A salesman's demonstration convinced me I had nothing to fear. As I recall, the price was $100. That was our limit. We paid in cash, then, of course.
The uniforms were made over the summer. At Christmas, I made and stuffed dolls from patterns in Woman's Day. And thus began a long and trusted relationship. There were many more dolls, often my own design. Doll clothes, of course, as well as clothes for little girls, shirts for my son and my husband, skirts and blouses and dresses for me. In 1957 the Revlon Doll--ther first "name" doll--was a big Christmas item. I managed to buy 3 of the dolls (one for each daughter) without wardrobes. A whole lot cheaper, as you can imagine. Then I made an assortment of clothes for each. Barbie dolls and clothes followed a few years later.
Little girls grow up. The Pfaff served once again to make a wedding dress. And, later still, as I think of the outfits and stuffed toys for grandchildren, there are many happy memories.
Quilts go back a long way. To add to our supply of blankets in cold Chicago winters, I recycled outgrown winter-wear into "quilts." Much later, in California, our church group made quilts to give to the homeless. For our annual Bake Sale, our big money-maker at church, I'd design and make a quilt to raffle. That gave me great pleasure. It's no wonder I kept all that fabric in the hope of making quilts again!
The machine is one of my prized possessions. The number of years we've been working together is rather awesome! It's had its motor replaced twice. Pfaff motors are easy to find and easy to connect. Had to get a new bobbin race once; the spring had worn out. And then there was the calamity about 10 years ago. When I went to lift the machine by the case handle--the handle broke and the machine crashed onto the concrete floor in my workroom. Ugh! But that's a whole other story. The important fact is the machine survived with no problem whatever.
TAKE NOTE: You can only trust a leather handle for 40 or maybe 45 years. After that, the leather may break away from its connections without warning!
So that's the story of my sturdy, hard-working Pfaff. There's a lot of life left in it yet.
Causes dolores cullen Supports
Habitat for Humanity
The Smile Train