Bye Bye Baby


I’ve made the radical earth-shattering decision to finally retire my vintage Empisal Gold Line and (gasp) buy a new sewing machine.  I haven’t taken this decision lightly.  This machine has traveled a long path with me and has never ever let me down.  I decided to give it its first service ever and I don’t know whether it was the shock of an oiling or the fact that 40 years of dust was removed, but it’s been troublesome ever since.

I have no idea how old this machine is, my mother said she paid for it in pounds, and since South Africa went from pounds to rands in 1961, this makes it round about my own age, ie. incredibly ancient.


Regardez this photograph of a ballet concert, that’s me in the middle.  Observe if you will the complete lack of wrinkles and grey hair.  Ignore please the terrible posture and total lack of balletic talent.  Look at that fabulous costume, made on the selfsame ancient Empisal.

I would like to donate it to a worthy cause, so anyone reading this who knows somebody in the Johannesburg area of South Africa who would love to have a totally reliable, though elderly machine, please insert a comment.  One downside of this machine is that it weighs two tons, the cabinet accounts for one of those tons and the machine will give you a hernia all by itself.

It’s very sad, but it’s time.  There’s a lovely new Elna 620eX eXperience in my future.  No more squinting to thread the needle with my fiftysomething eyes.  This one will do it all for me.  No more choking on more than 2 layers of fabric, this one goes up to 6.5mm, 60 stitches, 15 needle positions, backwards, forwards, it virtually cleans the bathroom and puts the cat out at night.  I really can’t argue with that.



South African writer, crafter and all round animal lover
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One Response to Bye Bye Baby

  1. Sasha says:

    Hi There, I’m an aspiring fashion designer with a love (borderline obsession) for vintage sewing machines. I cannot afford to start my career because i cannot afford to buy a sewing machine. I would be ever so grateful if you would donate your beauty to me , i am even willing to scrape together some money to purchase this machine from you at a lesser price. I found this page by accident and would be grateful for even just a reply. You have a beautiful photo by the way.

    Should you want to contact me, my email is

    Thank you in advance, Sasha-Lee.
    You can also check out my website, if you think i saound a bit dodgey, although it is mostly my graphic design work on there.


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