This is Natalie Scarbrough.
Natalie and I will be working together over the next week. Natalie has been moved to our bedroom, so I can continue to sew, while Sydney is living in the sewing room.
Natalie is one of my two oldest machines, in the running with my 1919 Singer Treadle 127. She was made by the National Sewing Machine company and branded under the local Scarbrough’s department store. I’ve never seen another with that brand name, even though I do a search on ebay for national sewing machines every day (there’s one I want to collect).
I’ve owned Natalie longer than any of my other sewing machines. I bought her at an auction in the 80’s. Unfortunately, she’s the machine I’ve used the least of all that I own. I didn’t use her for 20 years because I couldn’t thread her. She has a very strange threading diagram where the thread loops all the way around the tension and then crosses over itself after the pull up lever and I didn’t know enough to be able to figure that out and even then, I based it on how a singer is threaded; tension disks, tension spring, thread pull up lever, down to needle. Now that I know more about her, I can buy a manual easily.
She was alternately stuck here and there as a table and most recently as a wrap around surface to support my left elbow while I machine quilt because her cabinet is the perfect height.
This morning, I was reminded of how quiet she is. She has a funny shaped light bulb that I’ve tried several times to replace without success, and I finally found the right one, so she’s working perfectly.
Her only flaw is this minor loss of decal.
When I bought her, I didn’t know anything about vintage machines. She was greasy and I tried to clean her with alcohol instead of sewing machine oil. I stopped when I turned that decal silver. While she’s out this time, I plan to try to repair it with a paint pen and then cover it with some clear shoe polish.
Last year, I refinished her cabinet.
The cabinet had a black crackle finish from the old varnish and the top was in pretty bad shape. I stripped it and put on fresh polyurethane and peeled off the old top veneer and painted the wood beneath. The whole thing got several coats of paste wax and her cabinet is ready for another hundred years.
I look forward to opening the drapes this weekend and being able to look out the window.
This morning, we made the sleeves for the quilt delivery tomorrow. We are show ready. Until I remember whatever it is that I forgot.
Everybody have a great Wednesday. We are T minus zero days til MIL visit. Still, everyone is calm. Hmmmm, something’s up.