SewCranky was created by Michael Sabo and Ginger Alberti as a way of sharing their love of "hands on history" as reinactors of the American Civil War. Ginger as a professional seamstress was creating wearable 1860's clothing for their business, Brodiaea's Fashions, at the California Reinactments and saw some of the hand crank machines that a group called "the Cranky Ladies" were using at events. She thought these machines would be great for showing how clothing and other useful articles were made back then.
Well long story short, we aquired a hand crank Singer which Mike restored and started doing demos and added a couple more and started doing workshops. We got more than we could use and after restoring, we started to sell them to interested people. We now have quite a collection of machines, mostly handcranked but a few Treadle ones as well, and we took them on the road to museums, reinactments, farmers markets .... offering lectures about the development of the sewing machine industry and the effects on the domestic, political and business impacts this invention brought to America and Europe.
In 2017 we restored a Building from the 1880's to house our collection. The Address of 322 Quincy Street in Hancock Michican is the new brick and mortar home for Sewcranky. We have a selection of original, antique handcrank machines from the later part of the 1800's through the 1950's and offer the opportunity to sew on one of these beautiful, unique machines. We bring the materials, all prepared cut and pressed, and you do the cranking and come away with your own piece of usable "hands on history".
We also sell the machines and do repairs of your own heirloom.
See where we will be
Machines for sale
Have a Sew Cranky Event
| +1.(818) 606-0065 or (818) 352-1834
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We have a wide assortment of machines for sale from our collection. Each one has been carefully restored by Michael, gently cleaning the paint and decals and polishing the bright work. The mechanism is cleaned and the old gummy oil and dirt is removed and then relubricated for smooth operation. The woodwork is cleaned and oiled or waxed to bring out its original beauty. The machine is then checked by Ginger who makes sure that they stitch as good as new. Many of the machines we have are from Europe and each make shows differences in design and decoration. The decals and paint are the original and show the Use and Love they have had. Some of the makes are Jones (in their various other names), Vickers and Harris from England. Singers from Scotland. Naumann, Vesta and Frister and Rossman from Germany. We of course have brands from the US as well. Each machine comes with bobbins, needles and instruction booklet, ready for you to Sewcranky.
If you have an old machine,be it a family heirloom or yard sale refugee, that you would like us to restore for you please contact us or bring it to one of our events. We will be glad to look it over and give an estimate for repair or even just show you how to work it.
We have "hands on History" workshops at various venues during the year. At the workshops we have a variety of projects from handy cloth shopping bags, Victorian Inspired Pockets, and a variety of Quilting projects. All materials are provided, precut and pressed, ready for you to crank out your own piece of "Hands on History". We bring an assortment of machines and full instruction so even if you have never sewn a stitch you can see how easy it is. The Workshops are even suitable for children as they have complete control fo the sspeed of the machines. One item especially for kids (of all ages) is our drawstring bag. Check out the "Coming Events" page on our site to see where we will be.
We offer workshops and lectures at your own group, quilting clubs, church groups, Girl Scouts, parties ect. If you are looking for an event that is fun and informative, please contact us. Sewcrankybehappy@AOL.com.
Our Mission: To make something of Beauty with something Beautiful