Saturday, 13 June 2015

A stitch in time.

The other day I was handed a new pair of work trousers and told they would need hemming. I flippantly replied that it was OK as we had a sewing machine. My colleague probably didn’t realise exactly what our sewing machine is like and how important sewing is on a boat.

We have an old sewing machine which has been well used and carefully looked after while we have been travelling. The machine itself is a Singer and is 70 years old. It’s very pretty and a real workhorse. The skipper has run up sail covers, dinghy sails, cushion covers, curtains, hatch covers, and altered and mended lots of clothing. He even made dressing up outfits and a floor mat with sides for playing with the Lego.

Making hatch covers

On a boat there are many jobs which require a needle and thread. Sewing is an essential skill for any sailor. There are many groups on facebook and boards on pintrest dedicated to sewing projects on boats. It is a luxury to be able to carry your own sewing machine and in many anchorages apparently people will barter for needlework jobs.


Instruction manuals
Accessory box

The only problem with our machine is that we needed to be attached to shore power to be able to run it so when we were on quay sides or moorings jobs had to wait until the next marina, also it did shock the Skipper on one occasion. To solve this, he decided to look for a handle to convert it so it could be used with or without power.
Finding an apparently broken, cheap Singer machine in a charity shop the Skipper brought it home to start dismantling it. Looking again at the machine he realised that this one was a hundred years old and he didn’t feel he could take it to pieces. Removing the jammed bundle of threads, replacing a couple of parts and oiling it gave it new life. These things were built to last. 

So now we are a two-sewing-machine family. Good job we have a big boat.

1 comment:

  1. My mum's visiting at the moment. Yesterday she commented that her sewing box has been missing since I last visited Ireland in March. 'Oh you wouldn't know where it is', she said. 'I'm sure you never sewed a thing in your life'. Ah my mother misunderstands me!