Following up from the other week, when I shared the new love of my life with you all – I’ve made my Bettie a little slipcover!
Of course, Bettie (her new name, obviously – the name because there are so many great vintage ones – Bette Davis, Betty & Veronica, Betty Rubble, Betty Boop, Betty Grable; but with an ‘ie’ as a slight tribute to the saucy and charming pin-up Miss Bettie Page) has a great carrying case she can live in, but I want to be able to keep her out on a table for convenient sewing and I wouldn’t want her to get all dusty!
I needed a little project for Bettie and I to get to know each other with. Something that wouldn’t have serious consequences if it wasn’t perfect. I used some of my most precious scraps and whipped this patchwork up, which was perfect for getting to know a new machine with – basically brainless and speedy, so I could focus on the machine rather than the piecing. I had to fiddle with thread tension and presser foot tension, back and forth until they were just right, and oiling and then re-fiddling with the thread tension when I realized halfway through this project that I had it slightly mis-threaded. D’oh! So all these little kinks were worked out and, together, Bettie and I made her a charming little cover. Which I embroidered with her name. Of course. ‘Cause I’m a giant dork.
A friend shared some Sugru with me, which is bizarre and magical stuff, so I was able to make a new bed cushion (aka rubber foot thingamy) since Bettie was missing one and bed cushions in the right size for the white Featherweights are apparently impossible to find. But it’s all perfect now!
Oh, and I asked Singer about her age – they weren’t incredibly helpful, to be honest. They told me that they thought my Bettie was made in Edinburgh in 1968 because she’s a white model, which I’ve seen references to online. But her serial code indicates that she was made in 1964, according to Singer’s own charts. I’m not sure why the discrepancy, and Singer made no attempt to explain it, so for now I’m just calling her a 1960s model.
The motor buzzing I’d been hearing stopped for a while – but then came back, so I’ve gotten some recommendations for places I might have her serviced. But that’s just noise – I’ve sewn a great deal on her now, and not a single stitch is out of place or even so much as crooked! Best vintage buy ever!