Vintage Sewing Machine: Brother Festival 451

Look what came home with me yesterday!

010Quick, give me some air – I’m hyperventilating!

009Isn’t she pretty?  Squeeeee!!!!!

012This is a vintage Brother Festival 451 in watermelon pink. I haven’t been able to get the machine out of it’s cabinet to find the serial number yet, but I Googled it and here’s what I found on ehow:

The vintage Brother Festival 451 sewing machine was a colorful basic machine produced in the 1950s and 60s. It was meant for the modern sewer and boasted bright exterior finishes that ranged from a tan to a bright pink. Beneath the mod coloring, the machine’s metal shuttle hook and motor system was built to last. If you are lucky enough to find a workable one at a garage sale or flea market, buy it knowing the machine is still capable of proving itself a workshorse for everyday sewing tasks.

Here’s her backside (oh, she’s blushing…isn’t that cute!)

011She runs like a dream. All metal parts (of course). She smells like oil and ozone when running, so I’m guessing that maybe she’s from the earlier run off the production line rather than the later? (I’ll let you know as soon as I uncover her serial number). I paid $50 at the thrift store, and she came fully serviced. She also came with an instruction manual.

014It’s fun to see the notes people write in their manuals. This one was well used. The previous owner also was apparently interested in some of the embroidery features on the machine since I found this inside:

016And on the flip side of that page:

015Haven’t seen an ad like that in awhile, eh? Lordy!

018She also came with attachments. Hold your breath…

019Unfortunately the owners manual doesn’t cover the feet.

027Now, what the heck is this? Does anybody know? Is it a walking foot, maybe?

022It looks like a funky steam-punk attachment!

023And can someone tell me what this foot with the double rollers is for?

024You zigzag by setting these pins to the length of the zigzag you want. Cool!

037She has a dual plug…one for the light and one for the motor.

030And a good heavy metal foot pedal (I adore my new Janome, but I have to admit that the lightweight plastic foot pedal is a pain in the rear – give me an old fashioned heavy pedal like this one, please!)

031The bobbin case is a bit awkward to access. Okay. REAL awkward to access. It’s waaaay in there.

032She is already best friends with my Janome 2030QDC. In fact, they are almost twins! They both do exactly the same stitches.
Exactly. The. Same.
Except the Brother is mechanical and the Janome is electronic. And the Janome even has a pink face! 🙂

029The vintage Sister (I know, I know…it’s a Brother. But doesn’t “sister” sound nicer?) will need a cabinet. Either that or it will live in it’s travel case. It doesn’t free -stand. Here are some cabinets on the back of the owners manual:

017So that’s how I spent the last of my May allowance.  I’m totally broke but totally happy. Whoop whoop!

008oh…and dear previous owner, please know that I love your darling like mad and will take very good care of her, just like you did. ♥

Dear Maya Angelou

Dear Madame Angelou,
I was so sad to hear of your passing this morning. Perhaps your physical presence has moved on, but your influence will be with me forever. The words of your poem, Phenomenal Woman, influence who I am every time I read them. Thank you for teaching me how powerful I can be if I allow it. You showed me that my power resides in the arch of my back, the sun of my smile, the ride of my breasts, and the grace of my style. Thank you for mentoring my generation.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou

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Flirting the Issue!

I made a skirt today!

019This is the Flirting the Issue skirt by Anna Maria Horner. You can find the free pattern here!

032You can wear it with a belt or by itself. I’ve made a sash with the left overs.

031I’ve been wanting to sew some of my own clothing, and making a couple of skirts and dresses for the summer was on my Retirement To-Do list.

028It isn’t the most flattering on me, having the gathered elastic waist band and all.  And it certainly doesn’t hide the 20 pounds I’ve gained (arrgh!) But it doesn’t look that bad, either. All in all it’s acceptable and I could be seen in public wearing it.

022Samson agrees. He’s always happy to be seen out in public with me!

025The skirt is cotton voile. I didn’t even know what voile was before I went into the fabric store. Let me tell you, cotton voile is the most wonderful light and buttery-soft fabric you could ever ask for. Perfect for a hot summer day!

021It’s lined with a piece of blue shirting I found in my stash.

033Pretty good for not having sewn anything clothing-wise in over 20 years!

018That’s it for the fashion show! Phew!