A little sewing inspiration for a Friday....

Ok, not all sewing inspiration, but I will get to that later!

Isn't she a beauty though?  My 1894 singer coffin top sits in my front foyer and is always a conversation generator.  I purchased her a few years ago, locally, after my sister imported a similar one, from USA.  I haven't actually sewn with it but it is in full working order and is complete with a box of needles and spare bobbins, although not at all like what we use now.  I often wonder about the history of my machine.  Who owned it?  What did they make on it?  I imagine it was a fairly wealthy woman who would own a machine quite this ornate, with the delicate carving on the woodwork and sphinx detail on the machine.  How long did the dresses take to create, I am sure, not a day or two like most of my own.  The coffin top models were earlier models than the drop down models.  I always remember my grandmother making the most beautiful wedding dresses on her singer drop down model which she had converted from treddle to electric.  Until her later years my grandmother used this machine on a daily basis.  It was really only in her retirement years that she upgraded to a modern machine.

I had a little scout around on google to see what the well dressed ladies in 1894 New Zealand were wearing and immediately came upon the last photo which is of the 1894 Canterbury Football team (at least we know what they were wearing).  This was quite ironic given that today New Zealand will host the biggest party this country has seen in 24 years.  At 5pm tonight, New Zealanders from all around the country will be glued to the televisions, if not packed into the stadium in Auckland, for the opening of the Rugby World Cup.  My family are all included.  They like many Christchurch residents feel a little like the sick kid that is missing the party because we were stripped of our hosting rights, including semi finals due to our recently completed stadium being written off in the February earthquake.  It is a little hard to host anything other than a camping holiday without the stadium and majority of large hotels which are either on the demolition list or stuck behind the red zone cordon.  Although being part of the hype and cultural melting pot of all of these countries coming together, would have been a great experience for my kids, I am not complaining too much.  While I love watching my kids play sport, a whole month dedicated to uninterupted sewing can't be bad, can it?


  1. I sure hope you get the chance to have a go at it, how wonderful would it be to wear something made completely on that beauty? I wonder if the football jerseys were made on a machine like that too :)

  2. I wondered that too...and did they even have knit fabrics then! I hadn't thought of making a complete garment. It might take a bit of practice to even get the treddle going and sew in a straight line at the same time!


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