Sunday, May 29, 2011

My gift to you-- a 1958 Singer sewing machine!

It's better to give than receive
Note: the contest is closed. You can view the winner here.
Some of you already know this, but today's my birthday. I've had an absolutely wonderful day doing things I love -- riding my bike, enjoying a delicious meal with my husband, and spending time with our dogs.

I've also spent a good part of my birthday weekend cleaning out my craft room. Things had gotten a bit out of hand, and I decided that a clean and orderly space would be the perfect present that I could give myself.

Hidden in the back of the closet I found this gorgeous old Singer sewing machine that I had almost forgotten about. I've long been a believer that older machines are often a better option than brand-new machines.

This Singer 185K3 is nearly 55 years old, and aside from a few minor scuffs, it's in great condition. The motor still purrs like a kitten and it yields perfectly tensioned stitches.

And the best part about this machine is that it can be YOURS.

Yes, you heard me right! I know that there are plenty of deserving new sewists out there who could put it to better use than I have, so I'm giving it away totally free, no strings attached. Think of it as my way of paying it forward.

Here's the deal: if you live in North Florida and are interested in owning this lovely machine, just leave me a comment here by Friday, June 10 explaining why you want it. That's all! I'll read through the comments, decide who seems the most deserving, and announce the winner that Sunday.

The fine print: the winner must live in the greater Gainesville area or be willing to drive to Gainesville to pick up the machine.

1958 Singer 185K3 sewing machine
Straight stitch with reverse (sorry, no zig-zag)
Easy-to-use top load bobbin
Mid-century modern blonde wood cabinet and stool

Original instruction manual

And TONS of accessories
A foot for every need!

List of attachments (clockwise from top)
  1. adjustable zipper foot
  2. gathering foot
  3. edge stitcher
  4. ruffler
  5. ruffler (the two appear to be identical)
  6. adjustable hemmer
  7. tucker (for making pintucks)
  8. seam guides
  9. binder (for adding bias tape)
  10. binder (for adding bias tape)
  11. hemmer
  12. hemmer
So what are you waiting for? Tell me your story!


Miss Mermaid said...

Oh my gosh! What a beautiful machine!
What I would use it for...
Well, I just started teaching myself to sew this year. I bought a new kind of dinky Brother machine and have been sewing every day since. I keep reading that the older machines are the way to go and will last forever. I'd live to use this machine as my main straight stitch machine and extend the life of my current one, just using it for button holes etc. What a gift you are giving here! Looking forward to comments from more locals!

Nelia said...

I think my heart just skipped a beat when I saw this post!

I've been searching craigslist for a few days for an older machine since I know it will outlast my $80 Brother. I'd love to win this machine and have it be the one I have until I am so old I can't remember what project I've been working on anymore.

If I were to win this I would make such lovely garments and I would feel so stylish and retro while doing it! It would probably also make me less sad about my mom selling her 1950 Singer machine (I know)

I promise I'd take really good care of it ;)

Also, I hope you had a great birthday =]

Sandy said...

Wow! That sewing machine looks just like my Mom's! I sewed my college outfits on her machine many moons ago. Mom gave her machine away and I have never seen another one like it until today.

I now sew on a "modern" Brother but it no way does it compare to the older machines. I would drive up north in a heartbeat if I won.

This is a great givaway and I'm sure something very positive is heading your way. Happy Birthday to you! Good Luck everybody! :D

Wilma NC said...

What a nice thing to do!!! You are very generous.

Steph said...

My daughter is 11. She has wanted to learn to sew for quite some time. I would love to teach her on a good, simple machine. I do have a machine, but it's not in a cabinet and is much more complicated than your singer. Buying another sewing machine just isn't in our budget. Yours would be ideal for her. Summer camps aren't in our budget, either, so this would be an excellent way for her to have fun until fall.

You are really generous to share, in this way. Thanks for considering us.

Akilah said...

First: Happy birthday! I hope you had a great one.

I have been wanting to learn to sew forever (and I am going to this year!) and having a machine to have and practice on will really facilitate my learning. AND I'm moving within the year, so I'll actually have somewhere to keep it. YAY SEWING MACHINE.

Gabriela said...

Oh, I am so coveting this lovely machine! BUT I DO NOT NEED IT. I am also trying to clean out my work room and a beautiful smooth-running one-stich anchor is the last thing I need.

On the other hand, if you are ever wondering what to do with an extra treadle machine, please get in touch!

Christy said...

What a beautiful machine! After taking your beginner class I have been inspired to get some of my students involved in sewing. ( I work at a small private school) I have been bringing in my machine weekly to school and letting students sew pillows, sack purses, etc. Easy beginner activities. We are limited to my machine so another one that I can leave there would be an asset! and less travel wear and tear on my machine. It's a beautiful gift that you are passing on!

Indicative Indie & Chirping Bird Press said...

This is a gorgeous machine! I am a big fan of all things "old" and vintage."

So here's some background information on me:
Throughout the years, I've inherited old typewriters, a single old Singer sewing machine (belonging to my husband's grandmother, which I'm too afraid to use), vintage cameras (the 35 mm and 120 film kind), etc. I think that I've acquired these items due to the fact that the people know how much I will love and care for them.

If I were chosen to receive this machine, she (yep...I've given the machine a gender) would have a dedicated space in my craft room. She would spend her years creating curtains, clothing, and numerous items for craft fairs (including sachets and pillows, to name a few).
She would sit on a table soaking up sunlight for years to come.

The number one reason that I would love to own this machine is because I will finally be able to return my mother's machine (as I really don't have a properly working sewing machine to begin with, and I've been holding hers hostage after many, many months).

I hope that I will be chosen. Even if I'm not, I'm sure your sewing machine will find a new, loving home.


Tess Kulstad said...

Hi Sassy Crafter:

I work with a group of earthquake-displaced Haitians on the Haitian-Dominican border towns of Elias Pina and Belladere.

A group of displaced Haitians, who I met during my fieldwork last year, have started sewing and literacy classes. Just one problem- they don't have a sewing machine, nor do they have material or supplies. They have asked me to help them get them get one so they can learn how to sew and hopefully be able to do this to get extra income.

If you choose me, you can be sure that your sewing machine will enrich the lives of many, many people who are in much need.

If you need any pictures or information about the group, please let me know. My email is

Radical Mama said...

With 2 wee ones, being able to put a machine away and have a truly dedicated sewing space would mean I actually SEW! My machine now has a glitch, and the needle bends, just slightly, every time I use the machine to sew morre than two layers together (it's really annoying, and it means I don't sew much). I have a line of projects ready to go (a summer picnic quilt; Halloween costumes - meant for last year, still in queue because they rock; blackout curtains for baby's room... Long list!) What an awesome machine! Plus, I can feel awesome and back to my roots using it, honoring my grandma who taught me to sew, though I let it slide... But I'm back!

Lindsay Knauff said...

Happy belated birthday!! I am sure I am not the most deserving of this, based on the previous comments (in fact, Tess seems to have a great cause). But this is a beautiful machine and it is very generous of you to offer this gift.

P.S. My new shirred dress was a big hit on my vacation :-) Thanks for all your help!

melissa_macarages said...

I hope that you are having a great time on your vacation! I have enjoyed getting to know you during the sewing classes and I am so happy with all of the new skills that you have taught me. I am really appreciative of you lending me a machine, last week. When I got home from class, last night, I was bummed that there was no longer a machine in the house. I have been looking to set up a sewing area, but I have been unable to decide on a machine or a table. I was so excited when I got this email and it was an all-in-one. I have had so many ideas for projects in my head, but didn't have the skills. Now I have some skill, but I don't have a machine. It would be pretty cool to get my first sewing machine from my first sewing teacher. This green, vintage pretty would be just right in my sun room.
I am excited to see who wins! Thanks for considering me. I know that it will go to a good home.
Looking forward to the Fall and your new classes!

peggy said...

aren't you a wonderful person! i am not in the run for the machine-just wanted to shout out to you! love to sew and have two retro singers--a 1925 and a 1955 one--the 1925 is a treadle machine and i grew up with that one watching my mother sew on it and i later taught myself on it! good luck ladies and happy sewing!

Anonymous said...

I love machines, I have several, including toy sewing machines so I don't need another, but it's so interesting to look at the workmanship and accessories! Best of luck to someone who will cherish it and make the best creative use of it!

Beth said...

This is so great! I love that you're paying it forward. I come from a long line of quilters and I've been wanting for years to continue the tradition. I haven't had the resources to start on my own yet, but getting this baby would propel me to make some awesome quilts and other lovelies.

Ms B said...

Happy Birthday! Wow, that is so kind of you to give this away.
I recently bought a third-hand machine (I'm new to sewing so I didn't want to spend too much). The machine hasn't been great so I would love an upgrade.
I have a 7 month old daughter and a heap of things I want to make her. Just about to start working on her first birthday present.

Virginia in G-Ville said...

What a beautiful machine. I don't need one but think this a great thing you are doing. I have my mother's little Singer feather weight but do my sewing on a Singer Stylist Zig-Zag that we bought at Hospice Attic in Mt. Dora. My husband, that can sew circles around me, said the old ones made with metal bodies are the best.

kim kruse - - - the sassy crafter said...

Wow! Thanks everyone for your great stories! It was really hard for me to pick a winner, but I ultimately made a choice. You can read who won on this post:


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