My mom sewed. My Nana sewed. I took sewing in Home Ec classes in school. Every department store and Five & Dime store had a fabric department. During those years sturdy, well-built, easy to use sewing machines were the norm for home seamstresses. These machines were used for making everything from jeans, draperies, wedding dresses and bathing suits.
"Sewing patterns" by AForestFrolic - http://www.flickr.com/photos/stampinmom/4842730898/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sewing_patterns.jpg#/media/File:Sewing_patterns.jpg
Time has passed, life has changed. Fabric stores have closed, sewing machine companies were sold. Most towns now only have a chain store for fabric, or a small selection of quilting cotton in a craft store. Sewing machines are either cheap plastic wonders from a big box store, or expensive computerized marvels.
All of those sturdy machines end up at garage sales and thrift stores - mostly being sold by folks who don't know how to sew. Often for a low cost and some oil and elbow grease you can end up with a great workhorse sewing machine. I can't rescue all of the machines out there, but I have brought home a few. I keep telling my sewing machine stories over and over in forums and when I meet folks, so I decided to start this blog and share some of my rescues with you.
I don't want to reinvent the wheel when it comes to resources out there, so here is a classic blog post on how to buy a vintage machine:
And a few more thoughts from this blogger:
And because buying vintage sewing machines can quickly rise to the level of having a little bit of a problem, here is some good advice on moderation: