PROMPT #50 SEWING MACHINE
This sewing machine has enjoyed the use of many women. It first belonged to my grandmother who inherited it from her older sister. My Great Aunt Nona was one of the first women to graduate from Pratt. She studied fashion and designed and sewed all three sister's wedding gowns. Nona moved on to more industrial and modern sewing machines, but at the time, this one still worked and my grandmother was happy to have it to mend curtains, clothes, and other small projects around the house. It is portable, but originally sat in a sewing table, with one of those large metal foot pedals. At some point, probably the mid 60's the sewing machine became my mom's. My parents removed the original table with the large foot pedal, replacing the tabletop with butcher block and using it as a large side table in our living room. We also had purple shag carpeting, a crushed velvet yellow wingback chair, and a modern lime green sofa with a bright yellow lily pad patterned print. The 70's were amazing. My mom soon got a more modern Singer sewing machine, that later coincidentally became my first sewing machine and worked like a dream until 2011. It had been repaired and loved and used for nearly 40 years. It was not nearly as pretty as the one shown here, but I loved it's no nonsense design and workhorse attitude. At some point, many years later, my mom acquired another table that fit the ornate Singer shown here. I'm sure it was from my grandmother. She was always on the look out for objects that matched in that way. She could find a spoon at a flea market that matched a set of sterling silver flatware that belonged to her mother. She is good at finding matches. Both the table and machine sat in our basement for most of my teen years, until one day I was suddenly helping my mom slide it out from between a bunch of wrapped up painted canvasses to place it in the driveway. A friend's dad had recently decided he was not interested in living with his family anymore. The dad abruptly left my friend, and his mom, and siblings with nothing. I didn't know this at the time. I remember my mom trying to tell me just the facts void of any judgement or emotion and to please let my friend tell me in his own time. But to also know that he would be eating dinner over a lot and taking home leftovers and things that we didn't need that his mom could put to good use were headed to their house. Just for now, or forever. The sewing machine was one of those things . I don't remember at the time if it was out of necessity or hobby, but my friend's mom kept and used the machine for about 10 years. My mom never anticipated getting it back, but when my parents were moving, the machine was returned. It never worked perfectly for her, but well enough, and she had it cleaned and serviced before lovingly giving it back to my mom. My parents never moved the table, but bought a small plastic sewing machine case to house the old Singer until it had a new home. When my parents moved again, this time to California, the sewing machine came along. It would now belong to me and find a perfect resting spot atop a set of metal flat files. I've never used it. Not sure if it even still works. We don't have a very good record with delicate and fragile things these days. And by we, I mean not me. So I guess it has become a sculpture of sorts. Holding the stories of all these women, who for different reasons found themselves using and caring for this beautiful machine.
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