The Mender

Last year, I broke my Brother sewing machine.  I didn’t have the guts to take it back to Wal-Mart, as my husband suggested (I’d had it for a few years with no receipt).  And it wasn’t worth the cost of fixing.

So instead, I talked and talked and talked about how I didn’t have a sewing machine anymore.

A few months ago, an older gentleman who was moving offered to give us his refrigerator.  We desperately needed a new one so we went over there to pick it up.  After loading the fridge onto the truck, the man kept finding all kinds of other things to give us:  ladders, rakes, gardening tools, a boot warmer (they’re amazing, although not very useful here) and so pretty soon our truck was overflowing!

Then, he mentioned, a sewing machine

What was that? A sewing machine…

He didn’t think anyone would want it since sewing had become a lost art.  I assured him, it would get plenty of use at our house!

It was given to his late wife as a wedding gift years ago but, he said, she hardly ever used it.

I fell in love at first sight.  I had always wanted a vintage sewing machine with cabinet (and preferably one that still worked) and that’s exactly what I got.  He even had the complete set of cams, the original manual and all the accessories!!”

It was a pain getting it to our house and into the craft room but when I first turned it on, it was all worth it.  This thing is a beast! It could probably zip through 10 layers of fabric unscathed.  I even love the way it sounds.

Here’s s a video I found on YouTube about my model so you can witness for yourself how hardcore this thing is:


A couple weeks later, the man brought by a sewing box that he had found of hers.  I have just now gotten around to going through it.  I felt a little intrusive as I sorted through its contents.  This was a wonderful, sweet woman who had passed a way; a nurse also, and a sewist.  He says she didn’t use the machine much, but I could tell it had been played with more than once.

As I went through her sewing box, I got to know her a little better.  I loved taking out all the older spools of thread and the heavy duty bobbins.  She was a mender, that was clear: Buttons and hand-needles; hemming tape and fusible patches.  I found unfinished projects:  zippers and sequin swatches for a dress.  Looking through her things made me want to mend more often.

I am looking forward to mending more and sewing more now.  I can’t talk about how I don’t have a sewing machine anymore.