Wednesday, October 23, 2013

SEW EXCITING

While searching an antiques shop with my friend Merry, I found this vintage sewing machine painted a lovely soft blue. It came across as gray in my photo but it's actually blue. I put in an offer for it at the counter and decided if the dealer was willing to meet me halfway, I would buy it.


And here's the best part about the machine—It has a local connection! The label on it says "Younker's De Luxe". Well, Younker's happens to be a local department store here in the Des Moines area. That's what sealed my decision to put an offer on the machine.


In search of more information about the machine, I took it to my local Prairie Women's Sewing Circle group to see if any of the ladies might know anything about when it might have been made or even remember seeing it in the store. In the process, I discovered Younker's once had a fabric department (who knew?!) and that they did sell their own brand of machines. One of the ladies remembered seeing sewing machines there and estimated that this machine was made in the 1950s or 1960s. I wasn't able to find much about it on the internet but did run across one source that said the machines were made in the 1970s, though this machine doesn't scream 70s to me. If any of you know anything about these machines, would you please, please, please leave me a comment or email me by clicking the email button under my profile picture? I would LOVE to find out anything about the history of my machine. Wouldn't it be neat to see a photo of what the machines looked like in the store? We tested mine out at the shop and it appeared to run well. Plus, it came with its original manual, although ironically, it didn't include a copyright to give me any hint of when it was made. My other fun finds of the day were these vintage wooden bobbins. The price was right at just $1.25 each (the really big one, which is 8" tall, was $2). They'll make great bases for my handmade pincushions!

12 comments:

  1. Style wise - it looks like the 60's to me. Would you believe I shopped at Younkers - downtown Des Moines a lot in the late 60's. I went to a small Bible College there in 1966. I had a job downtown. Younkers had a tea room on floor ? and I remember we went there once for a banquet.

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  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who falls for older machines:)
    Here's a link - they still make sewing machines.
    http://www.younkers.com/shop/home/household/sewing-machines-garment-care/
    You could probably give the serial number and find out the date (that's how the Singer site works.)
    Good luck.
    smiles

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  3. Another great find! Hope you can find some history on it! Love your spools too - perfect for your pin cushions.

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  4. What a great find! You might try emailing Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.com. She has many vintage machines and may be able to share some information with you. Good luck!

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  5. Read on some board, that the Yonker's machine were badged and made in Japan. Also board talked about number on the back. The idea to take the number to the web site you have for dating is spot on.

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    1. Hi Mimi,
      Funny--I just posted a follow-up call out for help finding more info on the machine in my latest post! I would be glad to contact Bonnie. Thanks for thinking of me. I wanted to write you directly to thank you but your email address came through as a non-reply blogger so I wasn't able to. So hopefully you'll see this thank you note!

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  6. I was going to tell you to visit Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville.com website. I see that Barbara beat me to it however. LOL Per Bonnie, the machines that have the "DeLuxe" notation on them were made in Japan and were generally Singer clones from the 50s & 60s. She has a huge inventory of machines. You'll probably find some good info from her. Have you given your pretty machine a name??

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    1. Hi Brenda, Funny--I just put a call out for help finding more info on the machine in my latest post! I would be glad to contact Bonnie. She actually contacted me once for help locating info on a New Home machine! Thanks for thinking of me. I wanted to write you directly to thank you but your email address came through as a non-reply blogger so I wasn't able to. So hopefully you'll see this thank you note!

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  7. Very interesting machine. Sorry I can't add anything new to the information that you already received.

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  8. Hi,
    Catching up on your blog - again! It is always a good read. My instincts tell me that people are on the right track with the machine being from Japan. It was probably made by one large company and different badges/names were put on it for different dept. stores.

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  9. I would be inclined to think the machine is 50s or 60s too. It was very early in the 70s when Younkers closed all their fabric departments. It kind of felt like the mass production of polyester did in the fabric departments in a lot of the department stores

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