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An Early Christmas Present From The Past

Author Photo
By Holli Henslee | Dec 23, 2014

I have been sewing since I was a little girl. I learned on my mother’s machine and when I was a senior in high school, I received a sewing machine for a gift. It served me well sewing pillows, curtains, skirts, dresses, and many other things. However after 20 years, I had more trouble with it than not. I wanted to sew, but it just wouldn’t work for me. My parents let me borrow one of their portable sewing machines, but still it wasn’t what I wanted.

My dear husband was ready and willing to buy the perfect sewing machine for me. I started looking for a sewing machine by doing research on different models. I even tried a couple of my cousin’s machines, one which I really liked. I knew I didn’t need a lot of features and I wasn’t crazy about the computerized ones, I knew I just wanted a good serviceable sewing machine.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, my mother told me that she had a present for me, but didn’t know if I would like it or not. I could tell she was excited and nervous about it. Finally she spilled the beans. They had bought an antique sewing machine for me. After purchasing it, they took it to a shop and got it repaired, oiled and cleaned. She said that it was mid-century but not sure of the year. I was so excited about the thought of an antique sewing machine, but also wary of what kind of features it may or may not have.

I went to my parents’ the next day and they showed me the machine. I immediately fell in love. I spent an hour poring through the book and couldn’t believe all that it does. Plus it came with a lot of attachments. It did everything that I wanted it to!

I immediately looked online to find out about my sewing machine. The book it came with called it a Singer Slant-O-Matic 500. I found out it is a 1961 sewing machine and it was nicknamed the “Rocketeer” because of its sleek design.

I love that it is in its own cabinet and when opened, it has a small work space/table. If I bought a new sewing machine I would have had to buy a table for it to sit on.

What is great about this machine is that it sews like a dream! One of my favorite features is the knee action. My mother’s machine had a knee action and that is what I learned on. However if I don’t want to use the knee action, it does have a foot pedal that I can use instead.

I am so glad that I received this gift early. I am using it to make Christmas gifts. One thing that I have made is a key ring and lip balm holder.

I can’t wait to try out all the features and sew many other projects with this machine. I couldn’t imagine a new machine being any better!

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