Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Miss Kastner

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I sewed some stuff.  But enough about me.  Look at my new sewing machine!  Isn’t she pretty?   This is Miss Kastner, and she came to live with me on Valentine’s Day, because Dean is sick of repairing sewing machines a good and lovely man who found this fabulously vintage machine for me on craigslist.  I love him.

She is called Miss Kastner because that’s what’s written on her instruction manual.  I know!  She came with the manual, and a whole huge bunch of other goodies too, stuff I haven’t figured out how to use yet, including a big box of what look like medieval dentures, a buttonholer (oh, I get a thrill when I think about that one) and about four walking feet that all appear to be identical.  I guess I have a lifetime supply of walking feet now.  I hope I do. 

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Miss Kastner is a 1964 Singer Slant-o-matic 600, and if saying that out loud doesn’t make you want to jump up and do the Watusi, then I don’t know what would.  She has all metal gears.  (Can I get an Amen?)  She ticks along like a Rolex.  She is my new favorite thing. 

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On what was only our second date, Miss Kastner and I made these project bags out of vintage pillowcases.  We worked together to figure out the best way to get that drawstring casing to work out while not interfering with the French seams I had my heart set on, and while neither of us has figured it out quite yet, we aren’t worried, because we have a lot more pillowcases to play with, and all the time in the world. 

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(Big thanks to Angela for giving me this brilliant idea in the first place.  Vintage machine!  Metal gears!  But of course.)

22 comments:

  1. She's a beauty! I have a slant-o-matic. They're a great machine!

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  2. i traded my singer in for a bernina decades ago thinking that it would be better..ha!

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  3. I'm using my mothers old machine pfaff 230, she made her wedding dress in 1951 on this machine.
    It's metal like yours and it weight a ton. I was in the shop last month to replace a belt. That was the first time it was in the shop, she thinks she bought it in 1948. They just don't make them like like that any more.

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  4. She's beautiful, and she reminds me of my Singer Zig-Zag that was belonged to my mother. It can sew cirlces around my mostly plastic "modern" machine! When you figure out how to perfect the drawstring whilst not ruining french seams, please let us know. I cannot, for the life of me, make it work. So I have pretty french seams on the bag part, and a wonky foldover hem at the top for the drawstring channel!

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  5. Miss Kastner is gorgeous! They don't make them like that anymore which is a crime. I can't wait to see what other adventures you two have together!!
    Leah
    xx

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  6. Oh Miss Kastner...you are gorgeous! I sew on a vintage Viking that I LOVE!!! LOVE...LOVE...LOVE your new friend!! Many years of happiness to you both!!
    ; ) Kris

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  7. Love Miss Kastner! I'm so glad she has metal gears and am jealous of her pretty color. She looks very well cared for. I am still loving my 401, and I think that yours and mine operate very similarly. Pshew! I'm glad I didn't steer you wrong :) You'll have to show us a picture of the medieval dentures -- maybe we can figure out what they are.

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  8. AaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaMeeeeeeeeen.
    Love it. Great post.
    Karen
    xx

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  9. Oooh how lovely. My Mum had a Singer back in the 70s and that was the machine I learnt how to sew on... aah memories. I am sure you are going to have loads of fun tinkering away and making lots of stuff. Which reminds me, I have some cushion covers to make for the outdoor furniture, something I planned to do last year! xx

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  10. Miss Kastner looks lovely - I particularly like the large flat bit under the foot. Modern sewing machines don't have this do they. Have fun!

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  11. Realising what you actually need in a sewing machine is a hard lesson. You don't need all the stitches that machines now come with (although I did get really excited at the thought of them.) What you do need is a machine that can sew over all thicknesses - so hard to find, and one that you can start near the edge without the machine chewing up the fabric. Miss Kastner looks like she will be a dream.

    I forgot my old machine could do that (about 20 years old) and bought a new one which can do more, just none of it so well as the old one. The old one has four step button holes, which were just perfection. Not so my new one, even though they are one step. Unfortunately, I've gathered up all the bits and pieces of my old one and forgotten what I did with them, so I have to use the new one. She is nice but I think I listened too much to the sales patter. Even though 20 years old is not so very long ago, she is mostly metal and my new one has a lot of plastic. I do wish they would make them properly still!

    I wish you lots of happy sewing with Miss Kastner.
    Sara

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  12. loving your sewing machine! and loving your vintage pillowcases cum bags!!!! Nothing like a bit of upcycling to keep us cheerful :)

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  13. Annnnd, that makes me jealous.

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  14. aaah she's such a beauty!!! What a lucky find. Hope you'll have a great time together. Vintage sewing machines are so much more reliable than the plastic-y ones that are made nowadays. Wish they would go back to the basics and manufacture some reliable, strong and simple sewing machines!

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  15. Your hubby is the MAN! What a lucky girl you are. I can just imagine how fun it would be to try out all the attachments and take her for a spin. Happy Sewing !!!!!

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  16. Your machine is wonderful and I have a machine that is old with metal parts and it runs better than the expensive machine that I bought. Love your grannies but there are a lot of them!!
    http://judy-judysfabricaddiction.blogspot.com/

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  17. Oh, now, welcome, Miss Kastner!
    She looks like a lively one and I bet you'll have great adventures together.
    And a button-holer did you say?
    Most marvellous.
    Xx

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  18. Oh wow, Miss Kastner is a real beauty.
    How wonderful for you! :)

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  19. Hi, I just bought the same machine at my local Goodwill. I would gladly pay the copying and shipping costs, if you could send me a copy of the manual. Sandy Stauffer
    email: vshawke@gmail.com

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  20. i just discovered your blog this week and am already sewing a new quilt inspired by your "faded summer quilt"(i think that's what you called it!) so beautiful! anyhoo...i've been reading your blog backwards chronologically, and now i am seeing your sewing machine. i have a '64 singer as well that i found at a yard sale last summer, also with all of the attachment do-hickies and the manual, and i LOVE it. i'm using it for my new inspired-by-you quilt! if you ever look at my blog you will see. thanks for your great blog-i'm really enjoying it!

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  21. Hello, I also found a Singer 600 (Auto-Reel), for $50.00. I have obsessively cleaned it and lubricated it -I have learned how to adjust them out of necessity. It's hard to find a "repairman"
    who is honest and capable, so I bought the repair manual and learned how to adjust "everything". I can appreciate the fact you named your machine...These little "gems" all seem to have a personality, perhaps from the love and energy of the previous owner. Please don't think I am crazy, but in my machine I found the original bill of sale from November 1964. It was a gift from a husband to his wife prior to Christmas. How charming !!! I am imagining her making dresses for herself and her daughter.. I "googled" her and found out she had passed away in
    2010 and was a former "Beauty Queen" and a loving mother of a son and daughter... Is that
    just the best story. I made a "promise" to her that I would cherish and care for her beloved
    machine as she would have wanted..
    Regards, Richard Ransom Beman

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  22. I am super jealous that you got yours for fifty dollars! Excellent score. And I love the backstory that came with it, too. Wonderful! I'd like to learn to repair my machine too--that'll be a good project for "someday". :)

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