For centuries women have used cloth as a tool of comfort and as an expression of beauty within their homes. Creating cloth for warmth, cloth for shelter, our female predecessors embellished these linens with hand stitch using laborious and time consuming techniques thereby enhancing the functional beauty of objects which enveloped and protected their families. Inspired by these women I hope my creations pay tribute to and recognise the devotion expressed in cloth by our female ancestors .

''the use of traditional often time consuming process alludes to the devotion of a mother''. c K. A. Ruane 2007

Monday, October 27, 2008


Hi, I'm back from my little break. I had a wonderful time visiting my daughter, the best way to spend any weekend. What a bonus though, look what I found in a charity shop in Winchester. It was sitting there saying,
'buy me, buy me, I know you will love me'!
And love it I certainly do! I loved it even before I took the lid off. How glorious is this decoration. I feel like I have a real piece of history here and all this for only £20, how could I not buy it.

The detail on this side plate is incredible. I don't even know if it works but I didn't buy it to use it, I bought it because it is beautiful.

It even has all these extra pieces inside, I haven't a clue what they are for, does anyone have an idea? I would be grateful for some help with this one.

This piece here looks like some kind of medieval torture implement, it is so intriguing.

I have managed to embroider some cloth today, I haven't just been sat swooning over my little treasure, I will show you that later in the week when I feel I have made real progress. I really had to post today, without embroidery, because I didn't feel I could keep this all to myself!


Guzzisue said...

I inherited my grandmothers sewing machine but gave it away in the 80s and bought an electric machine. I have since regretted my actions again and again. So I am now rather jealous of your find :-)

méri said...

It's a beauty!!!
I have three sites for Singer Machine; it may be useful for you:

Gina said...

Beautiful treasure karen! I have an old singer handbook which I went to find to look up all your accessories but it is not where I thought it was! If it turns up I'll check them out for you.

Deb said...

Treasure indeed!
I once worked my way through the manual and each one of those attachments! In your specialty you will be astounded at what they can do. I see a ruffler and what I recall is a smocking attachment!
What fun!

iHanna said...


jude said...

a wonderful treasure.

Paula Pertile said...

Hi Karen,

I've been a lurker here a while ~ LOVE your work!

Anyway, I have one of these too, it was my Grandmother's. Its in the original furniture piece, which is an unwieldy but beautiful thing on wheels with lovely wood and little drawers and the pedal and a compartment to store the machine in when in not in use, the whole deal.

I have a few of the medieval torture implements you have shown, but have never use them. They all look like zipper feet and bobbin winder dealies to me, and some resemble the ones on my 70's Singer.

I'm so happy you found this!!!

konnykards .. Musings of a Senior Citizen said...

I'm thrilled to find your blog this morning - happy memories of learning to sew 60 years ago on a very similar Singer model to this but with a treadle. The attachments were the same I think but they were always a mystery to me & my dear mum! Later we went modern and had a motor added.I don't remember what happened to it.
Thank you for sharing your lovely find. Connie.

Jacky said...

What a find.... a real life treasure.
All of those implements! I hope you find out what they are for.
What a find for only 20 pounds!

jennyflower said...

Can I take a rubbing of your end plate? -blush-sorry i know that is very forward of me!

sparkle jars said...

What a find! What a fun post. :-)I can't wait to see how you use all of the attachments.

Ulla said...

You have found a real treasure at a bargain price! I'm sure the machine will work if you clean and oil it, and it will make the best stitch you have seen. My mother has an old Singer, with a table, waiting for Kaija.

Diane said...

I believe one of your pieces is a pleater. you feed the cloth through the little tabs and it gathers the fabric up and pleats it for you. I always wondered why they didnt continue to make those attatchments because the one time I saw one in action it pleated beautifully.

Victoria said...

Super duper purchase! My mom used my grandmothers old singer, very much like this one, and sewed all of my clothes and sister clothes on it when we were little. She even sewed us coats, so it must be a real work horse. Have fun with your new treasure!

Little Brown Sparrow said...

WOW! What a great score- especially with the extra feet, that's the icing on the cake.

My family still has my great-aunt's treddle table Singer, I keep trying to find room for it in my house so I can steal it from mums! They make the most neat, tidy and tiny stitches, it's divine.