Jaqui's Daily Blog

Monday 17th December

Today I became re-acquainted with an old and trusty friend.


She's over a hundred years now, I reckon, and I can't remember the last time I saw her. I do know, however, that I treated her rather badly on that occasion. I stowed her away at the very back of the under-stairs cupboard - and promptly forgot all about her. It's simply not the way to treat an old friend...


I'm talking about my old Jones sewing machine "By Appointment to Queen Alexandra" is the proud announcement she bears.  She was already pretty old when I bought her, second-hand, in 1967 for the princely sum of £8. I remember I paid for her, week by week, out of my Family Allowance which was 8 shillings a week ( a princely 40p for two children!) She was worth every penny. So were the children.


Oh, the dresses I made with her help. Nothing complicated, I hasten to add. My needlework is like my cooking: basic. But in the Sixties you could get by perfectly well with basic. I still feel a sense of pride when I see old photographs of the Darling Daughters in their print dresses (with matching knickers) standing next to me, in my home-made mini-dress (very short = less material..) The Darling Daughters think otherwise: "Just look at what we're wearing! How could you dress us like that?!" We are unrepentant, me and Mrs Jones...


The only reason I happened across my dear old friend today was because we had engaged the services of a frighteningly-jolly electrician to fit a whole new, up to date, circuit board - in the course of which he had to turn everything out of the understairs cupboard. And there she was - dusty, but unbowed.


How very timely! I thought to myself. Here I am with half a metre of super-width material with laughing snowmen dancing all across it, which has to be turned into two draw-string bags in which my Little Welsh Boys will be able to stow all those puppets we have bought them off e-bay. In double-quick time. I was going to sew them by hand, having forgotten all about my old friend, pining away in the cupboard. How much quicker the task will be with the help of Mrs Jones. 


Except that I have hit a snag. I can't remember, for the life of me, how the silver-coloured, rocket-shaped shuttle fits in its little compartment. And who would know, nowadays? Queen Alexandra, for example, is long dead.  I've fiddled and twisted, all to no avail. I've tried googling but it seems my old friend is a museum piece. It appears that nobody expects anyone will actually still be using one.


Please help, if you can! Otherwise it'll be back to a needle and thread for me.


And back into the understairs cupboard for You Know Who...

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sue taghioff | Reply 17.12.2012 22:04

I used to have an old singer a bit like this machine but cant really remember how to insert the shuttle. Bet if you looked on you tube there would be a tutorial

Pip | Reply 17.12.2012 18:41

Surely google has the answer? It gave me the whole manual for my 1963 Singer (everything the modern woman could ever need...)

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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