Several years ago, I was walking through Home Hardware and spotted a sewing machine on clearance.

50 bucks.

Can’t go wrong for 50 bucks, Kate“.

So I bought it. And although I’ve gotten my 50 bucks-worth out of it, it’s a temperamental piece of _ _ _ _ and sometimes I just want to pitch it out the window. My incessant cursing at it has been enough for my husband to offer to pitch it out the window.

For instance, what kind of machine, I ask you, won’t sew over a pin?  Grrr!

On the off chance that any of my family members read this, I can’t divulge what I’m working on now (Christmas gifts) with my cheapie machine. But let’s just say it’s a little something-something that requires some piping sewn onto it.

I’ve never sewn piping on before, but I did come across a good tutorial. The tutorial says I need a zipper foot. Now imagine my incredulity to discover that my cheapie machine actually had one.

Note to self: Kate, don’t forget to read the instructions in the tutorial CAREFULLY.

I noticed too late (i.e., AFTER I’d sewn the piping on) that the stitching had to be snug against the piping and the blasted zipper foot that I have is not the bloody right kind of zipper foot. So my stitching is about 1/2 cm away from the piping and gosh dang it, it don’t look good!

Looking through my sewing implements, I came across a Singer box of goodies.  A box of goodies that Mum passed along to me along with her old Singer machine.  And what do you suppose is in that box?

The stinking right kind of foot, that’s what.

But it doesn’t fit on my cheapie machine. So…

Cue doomsday music.

Dunh, dunh, dunh.

Down into my basement I go.

FYI, the unfinished basement of a house built in 1874 is not a pretty thing.  Some would call it the dark, dank place of nightmares. Some, especially those of the rodent species, would – and do – call it a haven.

But down I go, to get Mum’s old Singer machine.  The machine that I had wrapped carefully in a cotton sheet 10 or 12 years ago.  Left for what?  To become rusty and the home of mice apparently.

The sheet was laden with mouse poop and every rust-able bit was rusty.

And the dust!

Neglected singer sewing machine


Poor old neglected, dusty, Singer

Poor old neglected, dusty, Singer

In a rush, I grabbed my trusty e-cloth (you can see it on the table just to the left of machine in the 2nd pic) and cleaned off the dust, put on the blessed zipper/piping foot and plugged the old beauty of a machine in.

And, and, and…

Nothing. 🙁

The dang old thing wouldn’t go.  Could be the corrosion on the prongs of the plug.  Could be the bits of “stuff” that I found in and on the machine that the mice had chewed. Could be there’s an on/off switch that I’ve forgotten about and simply can’t find.

In any case, the sewing project that I’ve put off to the last minute, is being put off until the “everyone better stay the bleep out of my way while I try to make these bleeping things because I only get one hurried chance” minute.


You’re likely wondering why there are no “after” pics of my sparkling clean Singer machine.  I was so freakin’ frustrated by it not working – and the very large scratch that the rusty leg of it left on my dining table – that I put the thing away without taking the after pics.  But, I can tell you that the e-cloth cleaned all the dust and mouse poop off with very little effort.


I think I’ve got the Singer working! Oh happy, happy day!  I cleaned the corrosion off the plug prongs and presto-happyO! It’s going.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.