The Last Thing I Need…

I’m not supposed to be shopping for furniture right now.  Ugh.  We’re moving in just a couple of weeks…our current house is jam packed with boxes, disassembled furniture, baby bouncers and play gyms, and I’m on strict orders- NO NEW FURNITURE until we’re in the new house.  Grrr.  But I caaaaaaaan’t stop dreaming about decorating in the new house!  So sue me.

Oh brother, one little teensie weensie stop to the thrift store isn’t gonna kill anybody.

Scanning past the dinged up bookcases and tweed sofas, my eyes landed on THIS little beauty.  The most lovely little end table, ever.

Perfectly loved.  Refined.  Simple.

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But after a moment, I noticed the hinges…OH MY!

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I actually hadn’t heard of Free-Westinghouse before, so I’m still researching, but it feels like a score to me!  Other than needing a new belt, she’s in great shape, and sews smoothly.

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Came with the original manual, and an accessory box packed full of crazy looking attachments- 13 feet to be exact, and I’m pretty sure one of them will do my taxes for me.

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Aaaaannd, how cool is this- there is no foot pedal.  I mean, there is, but it’s a knee pedal!  Permanently mounted on the right underside of the table, so you press the gas with your knee!  It’s actually ridiculously awesome.  I wish all of my machines had a knee pedal.  So brilliant.  No cords getting tangled up- just neat and tidy- always ready to go.

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And best of all, it’s completely hidden in this pretty little table, that I will love to have in my home, machine or not.  I’ll probably put it in the living room, or maybe my bedroom, with a simple chair nearby….ready to pull up a seat and stitch a few seams anytime.



  1. I am SOOOOOOOO very jealous!! Such a GREAT find!!

  2. Mary Ann Harpe says:

    It looks like the machine that my mother had and I learned on as a kid. She died years ago and I wonder where it is now????

    • Amy Smith says:

      Oh my gosh! I was going to say the same thing! Lol I remember the knee pedal really well…….not my favorite to learn on!
      Amy, what a treasure you found!! Enjoy!

  3. Ooh, treasure! I love treasure like that – what a wonderful find!
    (“…does my taxes…” *snigger*!)

    I don’t know anything about the Westinghouse company, but it’s history looks fascinating!

  4. Fiona Harris says:

    Obviously meant to be! Enjoy it!

  5. ole chook says:

    Cool score ^5 ya

  6. I learned to sew on an old Kenmore that had a knee “pedal”. I had totally forgotten about that until I read your post. Now I have a regular foot pedal, and a knee lift to raise the presser foot. I’d have a hard time sewing without that now. I also have a treddle machine that I cant wait to try.

  7. Oh what a great find! I love finding these treasures in the thrift store! She’s a beauty too.

  8. Janet Green says:

    Well done and in my house house the thrift store doesn’t count because its not new it’s previously loved you are just rehoming it!

  9. My mom had a Free-Westinghouse when I was growing up. It was a rust color. I see that they are made in Rockford Il which is close to me in Wisconsin. Kufos to my mom for buying so local.

  10. I used to use a knee pedal machine in home ec class – loved them! that table is really neat. so is the machine

  11. You did so great, you had to buy it.

  12. Oh my gosh! What a beauty!!! You scored big time! I love old machines, and have never seen one like this! Loving that little door compartment that keeps everything handy and tidy! Ooohh and lucky you, you have three sizes of rolling hem attachments! Do you know how awesome those are for making clothes for your kids?! If you’ve never used one, you’re going to pee your pants in excitement, when you try them out! Lolol! Yep, that trip to the thrift store was just meant to be! :D

  13. Andrea Williams says:

    It was calling your name! Such a perfect sewing table for your new home. I love it.

  14. jckirner says:

    Wow – it’s lovely!! Great find…

  15. Of course you needed that! Love it. The Singer I learned to sew on is in a cabinet like that with a knee pedal. Genius!!

  16. Judy Currie says:

    What a find! Just the thing for a sewer . You do have keen eye. Good luck on the move.

  17. What a buy for you! I remember knee pedals and wish we had them as well.

  18. Karen K (saxostamper) says:

    Oh wow Amy, it’s beautiful and what a find – who says a gal doesn’t need one of these !

  19. Scooooore! I wouldn’t have left it there either ; )

  20. I, too, learned how to sew on a Westinghouse machine, although the model that my Mom had was a portable one. I had forgotten about it and wonder what happened to it. Great find, Amy!

  21. Okay. I am not gonna lie. I just turned GREEN!!!! I now look like the Wicked Witch of the West.(which if you asked my children, I probably act like her too, at times!) what a find!! I wish my thrift stores had gems like that!! I am so happy for you!

  22. Tracey Hallifax says:

    Oh wow, thats a smashing table on its own but with the hidden sewing machine its an absolute joy, was meant to be that you saw it as your such a fanatical sewer, just love it when karma happens ;) x

  23. Kathy Fair says:

    Great find. Enjoy!

  24. What a lovely find! Bravo!

  25. linda-kaye says:

    What a great find! I scored a Singer Model 15 with the knee control last year. It took some time to get used to, but I love it!

  26. Debbie Weishaar says:

    Love it. When I first looked at it I knew it was a sewing machine table but didn’t know it had the sewing machine still in it. Great find! Funny thing is I learned to sew on my moms machine and her table has the knee bar.

  27. Oh my goodness! What a find! I can’t believe all the feet that came with it! I didn’t even know those existed way back when this was made!

  28. Vikki Davina says:

    Lovely! You can never have too many pieces that serve double duty. I found a mid century modernish table with a Kenmore for my 10 year old son…only needed a belt! It was $45…he sewed a zillion Possible Bags and now, while not being sewn with, it keeps the cat food out of puppy’s reach…I know sounds sacreligous….but the cats appreciate not being hassled…it’s cute…puppy is gas free-ish :). Hubby thinks I have way too many machines…I think if they all work and purpose who’s it hurting!

  29. Beautiful score! When I first started reading I was in love with the table just as a table and the more I read the more I loved you find! Congrats!!

  30. Just what I needed to get me back in the mood to sew more quilt blocks. After a bad week last week I need a kick start. I had a cabinet with a knee control and loved it.

  31. You’re making me feel old. My high school graduation present was a White sewing machine in a cabinet like this..with the knee bar. I wonder what ever happened to it….

  32. Nicole St. John says:

    I have a 1941 singer in a cabinet with the knee pedal and I live it! Sees like a dream! What a wonderful find!

  33. What a find!! I sewed using a knee pedal on my mother’s kenmore in the 60’s. hmmm, wonder where that machine ended up? I agree it is an option that needs to make a comeback. SCORE….

  34. That is AMAZING!!! I am so very jealous!

  35. What an amazing find, especially with all the original attachments. You are so going to have to let us know what all those amazing feet actually do … some serious research needed there. Well done you

  36. Patricia LoCascio says:

    Look, I’m all for personal goals about exercising self control but, seriously, GOOD FOR YOU for recognizing a sweet little gem that is NOT to be passed up, packed boxes or not! This piece is incredible! It’d be beautiful without the machine hiding inside like a pearl in an oyster. But that little secret makes this just irresistable!

  37. Completely gorgeous find! How awesome! Congrats to you!

  38. KellieMarie Plumlee says:

    Another sewing machine… in deed you are a rich woman! :)

  39. Score! Good luck with the moving, too! Let me know if you need a break sometime.

  40. Oh wow, fab find! Some of those feet are scary biscuits, but at least 3 of them look like they could cook dinner for you…

  41. too funny Amy! I learned on a knee pedal, cant you see this mini sewer on books so I could reach it?? the machine I have now is the first machine I have ever used/have with a foot pedal and I much prefer the knee! I love the feet and tools and recognize most of them too. nice find!

  42. Wow that is a seriously cool find/

  43. Wow, that is a great find, any chance you can choose my lottery numbers for me?? :o)

  44. I love it ,I am so jealous

  45. Score!! What a find!! A beaut! Wish it was me that had found it! Great find Amy! There are some weird looking feet, very interesting…

  46. Jackpot!!! Congratulations. I love all those doo dads!

  47. Yeah, I don’t care what kind of promise I might have made, it would be worth begging forgiveness to have that in my house. Great find! You’re so lucky.

  48. Lucky are you, I would say… :)

  49. Becky N. in MO says:

    When I read your blog, Amy, I find we have a lot of similarities!
    This last Friday, my hubby and I went to a regular weekly auction. When it was over, and he was backing the vehicle closer to the door (to load up all our ‘spectacular finds’) I saw an old sewing cabinet sitting near the window. I peeked inside and only saw a black dusty machine. I couldn’t remember it being offered for auction. When I asked the man who runs the auctions about it, he said, “Oh that’s mine. It’s been her for two weeks, and I keep forgetting to put it in the action. Becky, if you take it home with you tonight, you can have it for 5 bucks.” WHAT?!! DEAL!

    I had to break the news to my hubby when he entered. I don’t think he could appreciate the fact that I just got a Singer 15-91 for 5 BUCKS! With the cabinet, and the original manual. When I got it home and opened it, it was just beautiful (or soon will be). It wasn’t all gross and greasy. Just dusty, and all the gold detail is still on it. The cabinet is what is holding it back. It could really use a face lift. (No problem. Pinterest, here I come.)

    The last thing I need is another sewing machine. (This makes four, plus a serger.) Oh well. You can never have too many! If I could post a photo here, I would! maybe I can get one up via FB…

  50. I learned to sew on an old Kenmore that had a knee lever, so much better than chasing that foot pedal. Know you will enjoy this find.

  51. Pam from CA says:

    Amy, what a great find!! Nothing sews like the old machines. I have my Mom’s 1962 Singer Touch and Sew with all the cams in a beautiful cabinet with the same knee pedal. That is how I learned to sew. I saw a Montgomery Ward Precision Built black sewing machine in beautiful condition with it’s case. It had beautiful scroll work like a Singer class 15! I looked it up and it was made by Singer! For $40 it was a steal! I did not bring it home though.

  52. What fun! Congratulations on your find, I love those legs. A few years ago I was looking for a sewing table and found a beautiful maple table with 4 little locking drawers for $20. Inside was a sweet Singer 301 with all the feet, the cool zigzag attachments, buttonhole attachments and the manual. She sews like a dream! I totally agree about the knee pedal, although mine is just a little different. See, you weren’t buying furniture, you were buying a sewing machine that just happens to live in a stylish “end table”! Enjoy…

  53. What a wonderful find. Enjoy your special gift.

  54. Wow – what a find! That is simply beautiful and will obviously be well loved in your home.

  55. Haha Amy!! Did Russ do the “OMG NOT ANOTHER SEWING MACHINE??” Lol. What a GREAT FIND!!

  56. Janice Corriher says:

    Love it! I love to find treasures. We have 19 Antique Stores in the small town I live in so, I just go browse. Several old Singer machines, thread that is so large I have no idea how the used it, patterns, etc. It’s so much fun!!!

  57. AWESOME FIND! SCORE!! Aren’t you lucky??? Me = envy.

    The big attachment in the back is a ruffler and I had one for an old Singer I never could figure out how to use. And those rolling hem feet are awesome. When you figure out how to use them, you should post some tutorials. This post has made me more committed than ever to scrounge estate sales looking for sewing treasures.

  58. It may be the last thing you need, or it may be the first. It is an adorable table and what a treasure you discovered inside! I have an old White machine and a Red-Eye Singer that I purchased not because I ‘needed’ another machine but for the lovely cabinets they came in. The machines themselves are beautiful too though, so they are frequently opened up and displayed just for the fun in them. BTW, the Red Eye cost me a whole $10.00 at auction, so really, what is the harm in that?

  59. Seriously you can’t have too many beautiful finds like you just found. I am going to start to find me an treasure too. Thanks for the inspiration Good luck on your move.

  60. Oh what a wonderful find are you going to strip it down to it’s original wood? That looks like it was painted and “antiqued” a technique used in the ’70’s & ’80’s.

  61. Oh my goodness! Well, a sewing machine doesn’t count as furniture….giggling!!! Beautiful find!

  62. Love knee peddles! My main machine is a Singer 15-91 (circa 1955), and the cabinet is rigged for a knee peddle. Now when I have to use one of the other machines with a foot peddle, I’m bummed.

  63. Can’t add much to what all others have already said, but what a blessing you finding this!!!! Makes me want to go visit my thrift stores in my area!!!

  64. Kathleen says:

    See now, you can’t just stop going to thrift stores! You might lose that keen eye that helped you find this gem! You know this piece was meant for you…it must have been calling your name and you answered! And I remember 8th grade home ec, learning to sew for the first time, and the machines had knee pedals. I actually had a hard time transitioning to a foot pedal when I got my own machine.

  65. One cannot pass that up for sure ! woohooooo !!!

  66. Beyond cool! Waay beyond. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  67. WOW! That was The Find of the year! I would love to have something like that. :-) Looks like you got a real little gem there. Enjoy, enjoy!! :-)

  68. Stephanie says:

    That is a great find! Congrats! I know what you mean I am in the process of moving and it is so hard to keep on the step by step task of do this before that! Good luck!

  69. What a fantastic find! Love all those feet too. What fun you will have. And I would imagine your DH will enjoy this machine too. Love the knee press built in like that. I had a machine set up like that once upon a time. I am glad you went to that Thrift Store what a marvelous find for you, would not mind something like that myself, except I absolutely do not have the room!!

  70. Leslie O. says:

    Amy! You are the luckiest girl! I’m jealous! I learned to sew with a knee “pedal” and it seemed so weird to me to use a foot pedal at first. I wonder if anyone makes those any more…
    What a fun FUN thing to find in the thrift store!!

  71. What an awesome find!! I actually learned to sew on a machine with a knee pedal…my mom taught me…and seeing that brought back some wonderful memories as she is now 87 and suffers from Alzheimer’s. Thank you for sharing!

  72. How cool is that!! Congrats on an awesome score, your new home will love it :)
    Carrie S.

  73. Oh my goodness! Wow! W.O.W!

  74. That’s so cool, Amy!!! I love reading about your adventures. I love the table and the machine is such a cool find. Let us know what you find out about it.

  75. That is an awesome find, so jealous!

  76. Margie W says:

    What a treasure! Now you’ll have me scouring thrift shops! :-) Hope the move goes smoothly.

  77. I’m one of the (apparently) many others who learned to sew on a knee pedal machine (no idea what kind)–in the late ’50’s. Knowing my mom, she probably gave it away to someone who needed a machine. It was hard to learn to use a foot pedal at first. My sister still has a treadle machine..

  78. What a great find for you! I have two machines in cabinets that from husbands family members. I don’t use them they need service. I also have two treadle machines one was a thrift store find the other given to me by a co-worker of my husband. They have lots of neat things with them. She also gave me an old wooden ironing board.

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