My New Old Machine (and claiming my blog)

First the boring bit.  Having just switched to BlogLovin I apparently need to claim my blog my doing this:

<a href=”″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Hope it works.

On a slightly more exciting note, after a bit of a scare when I blew a fuse in my Bernina I now have a back up sewing machine:


My mother bought it in 1970 for £36.00, which was quite a bit back then.  Knowing my dad he would have done a lot of research before buying it, as an engineer he made sure anything mechanical he bought was of good quality. They had worked out that they could just about live on their wages if they made all their clothes instead of buying them.  My mum, working on the principle that if she could sew difficult things she could sew anything, set about making my dad a pair of trousers. She says that he did wear them, but I think that is more a testimony of his love for her than her sewing skills. As I child I remember her occasionally making a pair of curtains or hemming a skirt, but I think those trousers were the first and last garment she made.

The make is Merritt, which was apparently the industrial name for Singer and the other name of the founder, Isaac Merritt Singer. I haven’t managed to find much else out about the machines.  I did find out that the Statue of Liberty is supposedly in the likeness of Isabella Singer, IM Singer’s second wife.  They married when she was 22 and he was 52. And their son Paris had a child with Isadora Duncan.  I love little snippets like 2-1So how does she sew?

On taking this machine out of it’s hard case the first thing I noticed was the smell of oil, which reminded me of my dad. As I mentioned he was an engineer so he would have made sure it was well maintained even though it wasn’t exactly over used.  I couldn’t get over how smooth and quiet this machine is. I’m afraid on that front it puts my Bernina 1008S to shame, despite being about forty years older.  I love the little table extension thing as well.  It is extremely heavy, I don’t think my sewing desk would hold it so I had to use the kitchen table. And it doesn’t have an easy option for buttonholes.  However it is an absolute joy to sew with. Unfortunately despite the fact that it is so nice to use I think the Bernina just pips it when it comes to stitch quality, so it probably will remain a spare rather than taking over as my main machine.

So there it is, my new old machine. Does anyone else use a Merritt, or know anything about them?  I do feel a bit extravagant now that I have two machines, but there is no way I am going through that sense of panic I experienced when I thought my Bernina was broken. Sorry to be such a drama queen but my sewing time is too precious.

4 thoughts on “My New Old Machine (and claiming my blog)

  1. Katy

    Oooh, I love the story behind the machine. I have to admit I’m a bit scared of it, I’m not sure I’d even know how to thread it. Loving the tidbit of info too, it makes Singer more of a person 🙂 By the way, I’m following you on bloglovin, and have been for a while 🙂 I didn’t realise I could do that without you claiming it! Good luck with the machine, and you’re not a drama queen – I think I would cry if my Janome stopped working!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Hi Katy! It was already threaded and I am actually dreading when it comes to re-threading. I may actually take a few more photos of how it is done now before changing threads actually

  2. Helen

    That’s a lovely story! How nice!
    I actually have 3 sewing machines! The one I use (my Brother which I bought last year), the machine I sewed on previously which is a New Home and which my mum got for her 21st birthday, 43 years ago. New Home is now known as Janome! I also have (albeit in my parent’s attic) a hand operated Singer which was the first machine I ever owned (got for my birthday when I was about 9 or 10)? Always good to have a back up or 2, I say! Must get my old Singer out some time and give it a go. I haven’t sewn on it since I was a teenager! I should give the New Home one away, but I just can’t. Like yours, the smell it has is evocative of my mum, growing up and learning to sew! One day I will have a sewing room and will have them all on display…

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks Helen. 3 machines – I’m jealous! Like you I don’t yet have a sewing room -yet. I am still working on persuading my daughters that it would be really fun for them to share so I can take over one of their rooms but they’re not buying it.


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