This year I bought Cheri a sewing machine for Christmas. I know it’s not the most romantic gift but she had been cursing her garage sale ‘Tiny Taylor’ for years, and rightfully so — running it sounded like a kids Powerwheel car running out of batteries. So as usual I went on the interwebs to research what to buy and found nothing but endless complaints about the current crop of new machines manufactured in China. Reports are that they work fine for a few hours to a few years, then something breaks and they cannot be repaired because parts are not available. What experienced sewers suggest is, for general purpose sewing or as a first machine, buy an old Singer. They last forever and can be serviced or repaired by any sewing shop with commonly available parts. As a bonus they look super cool, and if sewing doesn’t suit you they make a great boat anchor.
So I bought one from a fellow in Alexandria, VA whose hobby is buying old neglected Singers and restoring them to working condition. A Singer Model 99, made in 1942. The only disappointment was the case it came in. It was a battered, ugly, and kinda stinky 1960’s pressed board case covered in baby blue vinyl. I set out to improve on this with a little woodworking project and add some personalization as well.
Here is the finished product. The new case is made from African Mahogany with cast brass hardware and a custom decal. She seems to like it, and as a side benefit my dress shirts fit better than ever!