Machines and assembly lines do not produce clothing that fits me. The problem is that I’m tall and thin. Most shirts with sleeves the appropriate length for my arms have enough room in them for me to fit another person inside as well. On Tuesday morning I put on a shirt and looked in the mirror and remarked: My word, it looks like I’m wearing Homer Simpson’s mumu.
I decided–not for the first time–I needed to get my shirts tailored. But this time was different. I decided to act quickly. I looked up tailors in State College and added up the cost to get several of my shirts altered, which then inspired me to wonder if I could do my own tailoring. It was time to go sewing machine shopping, so I posted a call for advice and recommendations on Facebook. Within hours I had a good lead. Someone from SCEFC had a vintage Morse Push Button Zig-Zag for sale!
This afternoon I picked the machine up. It is beautiful.
The Morse came with a table, carrying case, and miscellaneous supplies. Also included were the original manual, warranty card, and parts diagram. Glorious. I’m not sure how old the machine is, but the warranty had a 3¢ prepaid postage stamp (I believe this places it from some time between August 1, 1958 and January 7, 1963). Stamped on the front of the manual is “HOME SERVICE CALLS $3.00.”
The parts diagram is very detailed and very cool.
I love the design and logos on the machine.
The Good Housekeeping guarantee is a nice touch, as is the “World’s Best” declaration for the fotomatic zig-zag technology.
The machine weighs 33.6 lbs, it is mostly metal. Metal beats plastic every time. As I inspected it I was impressed by the quality. Everything runs smoothly.
This evening I started sewing. I spent quite a bit of time figuring out what all the parts did and how to manipulate them. My first project involved chopping an old tee shirt into pieces and making a vest for my Phanatic.
My plan is to continue working on my technique to eliminate the occasional wandering and unevenness before I start attempting to work on my clothing. I suspect there will be a learning curve with tailoring. My goal is to wear shirts that fit by the end of the summer.