the second time around

necchi lelia 513

necchi lelia 513

my sisters have always loved to shop at vintage stores. i always hated it. i’m not sure if it was the process of ‘digging’ for clothes or if i just never found anything that worked (without having to sew, add, alter). i always thought i was more well suited to shop new items hanging delicately on a pretty hanger, ready for me to purchase, take home and wear.

when we would get together, they would always want to go out on a hunt for unique and interesting finds. for some reason….i just didn’t get it then, i would roll my eyes at them to have to go thrifting. (again? i would say)

since being back from france, a gigantic lightbulb has clicked on in my head.

i’m not sure what caused it….but i do know that it is a result of me ‘getting back to basics’ so to speak.

in france, i feel as though i stripped out a lot of the things in my life that were negatively influencing me….and (a big one) the pressure to consume. to keep up with the jones’. and i don’t even know if i ever really gave a shit anyway? i think it was more that the people i encountered on a daily basis expected me to care…to ‘have more’ to ‘have it all’. (what does that even mean anyway, right?)

i think vintage items, especially items from a family member or someone you know (or know the story behind) have souls. ready to laugh at me? but it’s true! perhaps it’s more of an emotional attachment to something that is in it’s second life, vintage items that were cared for, cherished and are now in my possession. they mean something.

my granny was a gifted seamstress. she had a sewing room that would be a sewer’s dream! she used to make us pretty dresses, awesome barbie clothes and how could i ever forget the matching scotty dogs she made for us? do you know that i don’t know how to use a sewing machine? (ok, i think i perhaps used one to make a pillow when i was in college…but does that even count?) it makes me sad to know that I never even really gave it much thought.

so in my quest to simplify, stay true to reducing consumption and to acquire more quality vintage items, i purchased a vintage necchi italian-made sewing machine. it needs to be cleaned, oiled and a through tune-up, but she is beautiful!

she comes complete in a vintage cabinet with a matching chair…i love it! i even have the original factory tag printed in italian. originally owned by a lady named trudy who kept it at her home in ludington, mi. i can tell she took care of it, as will i.

if my granny knew, perhaps she would smile….i’m just sorry it took me so long to realize all of this.

if only i had understood back then what my sisters already knew, values they already live by….

better late than never…right? maybe i’ll be able to sew with as much talent and heart as my granny did ;-)

my necchi lelia 513 with her cabinet and chair!

my necchi lelia 513 with her cabinet and chair!


8 thoughts on “the second time around

  1. margo

    The truth is, this sewing machine actually found you, and is helping you uncover your inner crafty-lady roots. We come from a family of carpenters and sewers. The crafts run thick through your blood, you can’t escape it.

  2. sans map Post author

    thanks claudia, i’m so happy i found it!

    margo…so right. and thankfully, i don’t want to escape it :)

  3. audra

    wow, this is an exciting post! objects do hold history and traces of past lives – the life of the object as well as the life of the previous owner. part of buying used or vintage for me is a choice against conformity where a direct relationship is formed between use and need, origin and manufacturing. the determination of good and bad are replaced with a d.i.y. attitude of how (1.) can i extend the life of this item and (2.) can i make this individual for me? (democracy is in recycling!) and i think craft is in our blood (nice comment margo) – perhaps that is the thread in our history.

  4. mom

    such beautiful prose from all three of you!
    yes, granny was a gifted seamstress, artist, and writer!
    i remember a quote fom a book that i read,
    “in the end, a person is only known by the impact he or she has on others.”
    well done granny!
    <3 mom

  5. sans map Post author

    audra, so true. i just hope to be able to hold a d.i.y. attitude and use that to make more of my decisions than previously. it’s quite empowering.

    mom, thank you :) (and we all thank granny too!)


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