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My Grandmother’s White Rotary

This is my “project” for the moment.  My grandmother owned this White Rotary Sewing Machine.  When she died it passed into my mother’s possession, and now, since my mother has moved to assisted living, the family needs to decide what to do with this.  It still sews, though it has a “hot” smell sometimes.  There are approximately 15 attachments plus two zig-zag attachments.

My grandmother sewed my mother’s wedding dress, mine and two of my sisters’ as well, plus countless dresses, coats and other things for the five of us girls growing up–not to mention her many outfits.  Isn’t there something better for this faithful machine than a scrap heap?  I have an old machine plus a newer one just a few years old, and my sisters can’t take it either.

Any suggestions?


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  1. npeplau | | #1

    I had to get rid of my mother's old sewing machine. I have regreted it ever since! I remember as a child going to sleep many a night to the sound of that old gal, purring along as my mother sewed gowns for the Eastern Star ladies and many square dance outfits for the folks that came to my mother's sewing room, knowing she would put a labor of love into their garments. Given the opportunity to make the decision you are facing, I would keep that old machine no matter what. If you don't want to sew with it, mabe you could turn it into a lamp for your sewing room, let grandma brighten your projects!

  2. Stitchintheditch | | #2

    This type of sewing machine is still in demand!
    It will sew anything from delicates to vinyl, and it makes a pretty top stitch. There are lots of Greist attachments that were made for rotary machines, and it sounds like you have several of them. This sewing machine will last for many more decades.

    Here are some suggestions to place an ad to sell it. Include the description you've posted here on Threads, and someone is sure to buy it and so it will continue to be used and loved.

    1. Ebay it! It's a fabulous machine with the 'Godzilla' finish in beautiful shape. The cabinet looks beautiful, too. Be sure to categorize it under two categories:
    a.) Crafts > Sewing & Fabric > Sewing > Sewing Machines & Sergers
    b.) Collectibles > Sewing (1930-Now) > Machines
    You can specify local pickup only if you wish.

    2. Search with Google or Yahoo for 'White Rotary Sewing Machine' plus your model number. Find the sites that refurbish and resell antique machines. Contact them and see if they would like to resell it for you.

    3.) Post an ad on Craigslist in your city. Be sure to include this beautiful photo and include the make and model number.

    - Susan

  3. sewingpuzzle | | #3

    Thank you so much. I had thought about ebay and craig's list, but I guess I am reluctant to let it go. Your comments are helping me get my thoughts straight about this.

  4. roxiecoxie | | #4

    As long as it can be repaired or serviced I would keep it. In agreement with one of the other comments, those older machine can be used for everything. It has already proven it's dependability and worth. Maybe think about editing one of your other machines. I got traded in an old Singer with a buttonhole attachment that I still regret. New is not always better.

  5. User avater
    jbnelson2011 | | #5

    If no one really wants that machine and has no use for it. I would donate it to a woman's shelter in your area. It might be very useful. JBNelson2011

  6. sews4fun | | #6

    I would NEVER get rid of that machine! I sew a lot of denim and no matter what they tell you, the new machines just can't handle the weight of heavy jeans construction and patching. I have 3 old singers, two of which are direct drive and I have another which has a belt and I'm keeping them all! I use those old direct drive singers every time I work with denim and they have never failed me yet, they make the exact same top stitch on denim that you see on jeans today with the exact same heavy duty thread.
    My husband has untold canvas projects and my son in law likes to sew with leather, he finally scored an old singer of his own so no more sharing with him!
    Your machine is far too valuable for heavy duty sewing to ever get rid of it, you will find that out after the old girl is gone. Keep that machine!

  7. UncleDavid | | #7

    I may be late but not wrong. Hold on to White family heirloom beauty. Hope you have.
    Yesterday, I had the honor of being asked to go to an elder couple's home to do a minor repair on a White that originally belonged to her grandmother.
    It was my first experience with and sight of a White.
    A great machine. What a beauty!
    I have chosen other of my family members who will take, and hopefully use, the several machines that have been handed down to me over the years.
    Hope you (and everyone else possible) will do the same.
    With respect and hopes.

  8. VintageSewer | | #8

    I know its been almost 4 yrs. but do you know what year Model this White machine is , I have one like it but can't find a serial # for it. Do you know ? Thank You .

  9. Oldsewman7 | | #9

    JUst wondering what became of this wonderful machine, I just today acquired one of these...

  10. Oldsewman7 | | #10

    Hello all.as I posted earlier that I acquired one of these today and after removing it from the case and checking it out I found out It runs but definitely needs some attention but along the way I found The Owners manual Copyright dated 1938. I hope that s helpful information for "Vintage Sewer". I joined this group today as a result of searching for information on these particular machines. As a collector of these interesting machines I have acquired a Pfaff 332 in a lovely cabinet that turns into a sewing table...a Singer featherweight in the case with all attachments, an Elna Supermatic circa 1955 and a "Brother" Pacesetter...These things just seem to come to so I guess I'd better start learning how to use them correctly...would love advice and guidance..thank You for letting me Join this circle....(When I was younger I attempted a time or two to make some "Mod" clothes for myself...because there were none in my part of the world at the time..but that period stylewise has passed still I loved those "Mod Edwardian Styles" of the Sixties and wish they would return but even if they don't it won';t keep me from trying to make some now...

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