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(Images) Classy Graphic Design Re: Vintage Sewing Machines

Our goal was to find graphic designs with a classic flair that did justice to the vintage nature of the old sewing machines we love - whether the images themselves were vintage or not.

Only two designs included here seem uncertain. We haven't found any details on the sunny-hued illustration above, but the colors and style - not to mention the machine itself - are certainly reminiscent of a bygone era.

Sew For Victory

Above, a World War II U.S. poster by the NYC Works Progress Administration. The History Channel website tells us:
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was an ambitious employment and infrastructure program created by President Roosevelt in 1935, during the bleakest years of the Great Depression. Over its eight years of existence, the WPA put roughly 8.5 million Americans to work. Perhaps best known for its public works projects, the WPA also sponsored projects in the arts – the agency employed tens of thousands of actors, musicians, writers and other artists.

Zentangle Sewing Machine

Here's our second and last "not really vintage" vintage design. What is "zentangle?" We went right to the source,
The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. We call these patterns, tangles. You create tangles with combinations of dots, lines, simple curves, S-curves and orbs. These simple shapes are the "Elemental Strokes" in all Zentangle art. These patterns are drawn on small pieces of paper called "tiles." We call them tiles because you can assemble them into mosaics... Zentangle art is non-representational and unplanned so you can focus on each stroke and not worry about the result.
You can find tons of additional info and illustrations by Googling "Zentangle."

Hiroshi Ohchi

By Hiroshi Ohchi
Hiroshi Ohchi was a Japanese graphics designer who lived from 1908 to 1974. He helped launched the prominent design magazine Idea in 1953 as their first Art Director, a prestigious position in the art and design field. Ohchi gifted the 28 × 20" silkscreen above to the Museum of Modern Art. It was created in the 1950s.

Yes, the Mitsubishi sewing machine did exist:

Image from a completed Japanese auction. Sold for 4700 ¥ - about $40 US.

We Can Do Everything with Singer

On peut tout faire avec Singer - "We can do everything with Singer." We were unable to find any information on the artist. Not speaking French, we're pretty sure "buvard" means "blotter." Huh? And is Efge the artist? Help, French-speaking readers!

Now what model Singer is that little girl using?

Speaking of Singer

A Singer trade card from the late 1800s.

Singer advertising and "trade cards" are their own topic, and there must be hundreds of them. But this particular one interested us, with it's variation on the Bible quote ("What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" - King James version), we're reminded of how self-important the sewing industry marketing could be in the late 1800s. If the original verse is interpreted as a warning against divorce, essentially, it is pretty clever what Singer came up with here - the cherub stitching together the gown and the tails. Not crazy about the faces. Love the illustration style otherwise, and the warm colors. Did you notice the pattern in the carpet?

Santa Claus' Best Gift

A Westinghouse Sewing Machine Motor ad.

Adorable, right? We wonder what the FGC in the lower right must stand for - the artist's initials?

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What We Do at Still Stitching:

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  • We produced the only feature-length documentary on vintage sewing machines. Still Stitching has delighted thousands of viewers and urged the expansion of many collections. Many viewers tell us they watch it repeatedly. Ladies tell us that the film helped draw their husbands into their passion for vintage machines.

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  • We are fortunate to assist many clients with procurement, high-end restoration, and custom painting of vintage sewing machines. While Singer 221 Featherweights are the most frequently painted model, we paint many other models such as the Singer 15, 66, 99, 201, and 301. We also refinish cabinets, treadle irons, and vintage sewing machine cases. Interested in our services? Contact us!


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