Favorite Piece

Heirloom Sewing Machine | Storypiece.net

We all have favorites, don’t we?  Favorite color, favorite movie, favorite ice cream… Moms aren’t suppose to have favorite kids, but we’ve already established that mine does. *wink, wink*

Well, I have one special piece in our entire home that is my absolute favorite.   It’s this beauty:

Antique Singer Sewing Machine | Storypiece.net

This was my great-grandmother’s sewing machine.   My mom adored her grandmother, Tessa Mae (who my daughter is named after) and Mom inherited the piece when she passed away.

Push Pedal Sewing Machine | Storypiece.net

The machine has traveled around quite a bit with my mom and a few years ago it ended up in my home.  It’s in amazing shape and aside from needing a new belt (and major dusting), it’s in working order.

Singer Sewing Machine | Storypiece.netI love the heritage that comes with it… that it’s been cared for and passed down through the generations and will some day belong to my Tessa.

But the reason why I share it with you, is that it’s also a bit of a time capsule.  That’s right… not only is it a lovely piece, but it holds treasure inside.  Well… sweet mementos for me and my family anyway.

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine | Storypiece.netWhen I was growing up, I always remember this piece in our home.  On occasion my mom would stash the random item in one of the drawers.  Little things that never really had a home would find themselves collecting in these drawers and they never left.

Wanna see what’s inside?  Let’s take a peek…

Vintage buttons

Vintage Buttons | Storypiece.net

Old school zippers & brick-a-brack

Vintage Sewing Supplies | Storypiece.netAntique oil cans and bobbins.

Antique Oil Cans | Storypiece.netUno, anyone?

Retro Uno Cards | Storypiece.net

Cub Scout badges.  Fun fact: Mom was actually the Den Leader to a rag-tag group of 10 & 11 year olds.

Merit Badges | Storypiece.net

Proving that there is nothing new under the sun: a rolled paper necklace.  (I just saw these on Pinterest!)

Rolled Paper Necklace | Storypiece.net

How about an E-ticket?  Anyone familiar with these?  Back before Disneyland had Fast Pass and all day admissions, they had coupon books for the rides.  An E-ticket could get you on Pirates of the Carribean, The Haunted Mansion or the Jungle Cruise.

Vintage Disney Ride Tickets | Storypiece.net

We liked to go to Knott’s Berry Farm too.

Knotts Ticket Books | Storypiece.net

I love having the opportunity to walk down memory lane… to periodically peek open the drawers and look back at life.  Then everything goes back in the drawers for another time.  However, it might be time for me to start adding little things from our family’s journey.  Wonder what will find it’s way into one of the drawers….

Do you have a favorite piece in your home?  Do you have a living time capsule? What’s the most random thing leftover from your childhood?


  1. Stacey says:

    That machine is AWESOME! and “sew” special. 🙂
    Love all the little vintage baubles inside. Those oil cans and bobbins are too much. It’s like a little time capsule… and you should definitely add some stuff to it. One day Tessa will open those drawers and see all the “vintage” stuff from way back in 2013. HA HA!

    • Danielle says:

      I’ve looked through the drawers before, but never really pulled everything out. The oil cans and the bobbin were a new discovery for me. I definitely plan on displaying them somewhere that we can enjoy them more.

  2. Victoria • Restoring our Victorian says:

    Those things are indestructible tanks… unlike mine which randomly knits all bobbin thread together into a solid knot. (I understand this has something to do with tension… but since I don’t know what knobs to adjust… I just swear and cut it off)

    I see old sewing machines all the time on Craigslist, but the decorated ones are pretty rare! And the stand is fancier than I’ve seen before.

  3. Kristen @ Inspired Whims says:

    My Mom has a very similar Singer sewing machine that was her grandmother’s! The drawers on your piece are so much more detailed and ornate – they must have (unfortunately) streamlined them as the years went on. My sister and I will have to fight it out over who gets it one day…

    • Danielle says:

      I guess I’m lucky that I don’t have a sister. 🙂 it was easy for my mom to decide who gets it. Plus she has something special set aside for my brother so there won’t be any sibling rivalry.

  4. Gilit says:

    That’s so special! My absolute favorite things in my home are the ones that have been passed down and have meaning. And you have such wonderful “brick-a-brack” in there!

  5. Alex says:

    LOOOOOOOOOVE it all. Wow it’s like going thrift store shopping at home. Seriously the Disneyland tickets? See maybe that would inspire me to learn to sew better b/c I just cannot drag the other machine I got out of the bottom of the closet.

    • Danielle says:

      This would be such a fun machine to sew at! It pops right up and is easy to use. I just know I would destroy it though. I’m notorious for breaking needles and having them shoot across the room so I had to invest in an industrial strength one. I’d definitely end up blowing the motor out of this vintage beauty.

  6. Cheryle says:

    Yours is the first I have seen with the exact cabinet that mine has. I love that thing so much. I would love to find the exact year of it.

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Cheryle… thanks for stopping by. It’s so fun to “meet” another vintage Singer owner. Someone emailed me and shared that if you can find the serial number on the machine (there should be a metal plate on it somewhere) you can put the number into the Singer website and it will pull up the year. I have yet to look mine up, but if you find out about yours I’d love to hear back from you.

  7. Cheryle says:

    I did find the serial number and it’s from 1899. Excited to find out it was that old but they also made 1,000,000 that year. I also have the wooden puzzle box with all the parts.

    • Danielle says:

      WOW! I guess I didn’t even think about the possibility of it being that old. I definitely need to research mine and see if I have a “sister model” to yours. I’ll keep you posted…

  8. billie kaiser says:

    I love it. I have one like it. I found the instruction book for the machine and the accessories, which were in a wooden folding box. All in the drawers. Also some old, 1913, letters and a corset pattern.

  9. joyce says:

    just found your page, I have the same the exact same sewing machine. My grandmother got it for her first anniversary in 1911. I have the original belt (leather) bobbins and accessory pieces. Looking at it today with my kids and wanted to find more information about it. any you can give me would be great.

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Joyce! That’s so cool that you still have your grandmother’s machine with so many of the original pieces. The leather belt on mine has disintegrated, but I’d love to get it replaced.

      I’m not sure if you read through the comments, but someone emailed me and shared that if you can find the serial number on the machine which is located on one of the metal plates you can put the number into the Singer website and it will pull up the year. I still haven’t researched mine, but i’d imagine they’d have more info about the 1911 machine on the site.

      Good luck and happy sewing!

  10. Terri G. Upshaw says:

    Check out those Disney tickets, we were told they never expire…. 😀 I have a machine just like this. They are soooo beautiful! 😀

  11. Kim says:

    I recently acquired a Singer 27 in a beautiful treacle cabinet. Among the treasures found in the drawers was a lower denture. LOL! There was also a cute little oil can and other vintage notions. Unfortunately, the machine looks horrible, but the wheel turns so there is hope. I can’t wait to bring her back to life. My primary machines are vintage, electric Singers – a 1941 66-16 that originally belonged to my grandmother and a 1948 201K-3.

    • Danielle says:

      A denture?! Holy cow… how does someone lose track of something like that?!! 🙂

      Mine came with the little oil can and I love it to pieces. I actually have it on display in our home. Do you actually sew with the vintage machines? That would be SO cool, but I worry that mine would turn to dust if I tried that.

    • Danielle says:

      That is seriously cool! As cliche as it sounds, I truly believe they just don’t make things like they use to. I’ve been known to snap a needle with my modern machine. 🙂 I’ll have to give my great grandmother’s machine further consideration.

      Thank you for sharing the link to your Facebook page. Looking forward to checking out your work!

  12. LaNita says:

    I have a singer treadle in a parlor cabinet from 1911 they are made like tanks you really can’t break them just oil the dickens out of them. I sew on mine all the time.

    • Danielle says:

      I’ve heard that and think it’s really cool. The belt has disintegrated on mine, but I’d love to get it fixed and try sewing with it. It would be so fun to give it new life. Thanks for sharing!

      • LaNita Peverly says:

        The belts are cheep on eBay and easy to put on then just play with it. I have a model 66 Red Eye in beautiful condition and the stitch is much better than a new machine. I’ve made a couple of lap quilts and am in the process of making another in burgundy, pink , blue and cream with lace and off white eyelet. Good luck with learning to treadle.

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