After being inactive for several decades, a sewing machine nearly 100 years old has been put to good use during the coronavirus pandemic. Giselle Williams’ hair and knitting businesses come to a standstill in the process of stopping coronavirus. The scarcity of masks in their Arvada community led her to devote her time and talent to make them. In doing so, she found a new purpose for the heirloom that belonged to her great-grandmother.
With the help of her husband Darin, she uses her great-grandmother’s sewing machine to help people around the world.
Williams inherited a 1922 Singer Model 66 “Red Eye” tricycle sewing machine that was originally purchased by the great-grandmother Addie Harrison.
Her husband restored the machine with a deep cleaning, lubrication, and a leather drive belt while watching a YouTube video.
“We dug it out, dusted it, and oiled the whole machine,” he said.
Never underestimate the power of a woman with a sewing machine shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater
Giselle Williams had never sewed anything before trying to make the mask but quickly learned under her husband’s professional guidance. His grandmother, Lovetta Corbell, was a tailor and taught him to sew during the summers he spent with her during his childhood. He showed his wife how to thread the machine, wrap the bobbin, and sew a straight thread.
“In my most fanciful dreams, I would never have guessed that the time my grandmother spent with me on her Singer would return to fruit… fulfilling real needs,” he said.
Not long after, they provided masks to friends, family, and front line staff. Their team efforts have inspired other members of their community to participate. Family, friends, and neighbors donated cloth to support the couple’s mission.
Giselle Williams was unlucky. But she had an heirloom sitting around the house – her great-grandmother’s Singer sewing machine – and wondered if it could be used to help others during the pandemic.
It all started when the COVID-19 pandemic stalled Giselle’s Colorado’s hairstylist business in Arvada. She noticed more and more individual mask makers and decided to use her free time to put it to good use – but she never learned how to sew and thought she didn’t have a sewing machine.
That’s when she remembered the 100-year-old treadmill. It’s so old that it doesn’t even use electricity. Instead, the 1922 Singer Model 66 “Red Eye” is mechanically powered by foot pedals pushed up and down by the operator. It is used as a decorative piece of furniture in her living room.
After decades of idle, it certainly needed some work, so Darin, Giselle’s husband was determined to restore it. After many YouTube videos, good cleaning, lubrication, and new leather straps, the Never underestimate the power of a woman with a sewing machine shirt couple has a sewing machine that works. Then Darin began teaching Giselle how to sew.
As a boy, Darin spent the summers with her grandmother a tailor, and learned to sew puppets by hand with her rags. He used his skills and taught Giselle how to thread the Never underestimate the power of a woman with a sewing machine shirt machine, roll the bobbin, and sew a straight thread.