Coincidences are strange things.

My wife and I ran errands this morning in anticipation of a visit from an old friend this afternoon. One of the errands was to pick up some cloth for a sewing project my wife has in mind.

There’s a small shop here in town that sells sewing supplies and hand made children’s clothes. My wife is friends with the woman who runs the shop. I’ve talked to her a few times, mostly about the old Pfaff 30 she has (and has been meaning to restore.)

When we walked in this morning, her face lit up in a smile - she had something for me, and she’d been waiting for a chance to talk to me about it.

One of her customers had done that typical German thing of removing a sewing machine from its table to use the table for something else. Rather than scrapping the machine, though, she brought it to the sewing supplies shop and asked my wife’s friend what to do with it. She kept it, intending to use it as bait.

She has finally decided that she’s never going to get around to fixing up her own Pfaff 30, so she took the Pfaff K from her customer with the intent to offer me the K in return for fixing up her 30.

She doesn’t know it, but I’d have fixed up her 30 any time she asked - no trade needed.

It’s just as well. Now I’ve got two machines to play with (along with my own Adler 8, for which I am still working on a decent motor speed control.)

I’ve posted pictures of a Pfaff 30 before, so I won’t put any in here.

I do want to show you the Pfaff K, though.


It’s a pretty machine, and rather dainty - it is smaller than my Adler 8. I looked up the serial number, and found that this particular Pfaff K was manufactured in about 1897 - it is 125 years old.

It doesn’t have any accessories with it - luckily the shuttle is there, though there’s no bobbin.

The Pfaff K is a vibrating shuttle sewing machine - the shuttle swings back and forth at the end of a (relatively) long arm.

I’ve read about vibrating shuttle machines, and have seen mention in several places that they are very good for sewing fine cloth - they can work with a thread tension far below the more typical rotating or oscillating hook machines. I’ve wanted to try one out, but couldn’t think of a way to do so. Now I’ve got one to play with - and a new home for it, too.

My wife’s friend (the one who came to visit) was telling us about what her (adult) children are up to. It turns out that one of her daughters is about to start something like tradeschool - she’s going to learn to be a tailor/seamstress.

I showed her the Pfaff K, and she thought that would be a really nice gift for her daughter for Christmas.

Yay! I get to fix up the Pfaff K and give it a good home. I really don’t want to start a collection. I want to use the one I’ve got and help other folks get started with vintage machines.

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that vintage sewing machines pick their owners - they are rather like cats in that respect. This one managed a sort of three bank ricochet to sink a new owner in the back pocket. It bounced from its previous owner, to the sewing shop, to me, and from there to the mother of its future owner.

It is odd how coincidences stack up. We hadn’t intended to visit that particular shop that morning. There’s another shop for sewing supplies in town where we expected to get the needed materials for my wife’s project, but they were out of nylon webbing in the color she wanted. That caused us to go to the smaller shop. I wouldn’t normally have gone to the sewing shops with my wife, but we both had things to do and walked down town together. That’s a bunch of coincidences just to get me into the shop where the Pfaff K was waiting, then coincidence of all coincidences my wife’s friend’s daughter could use a sewing machine. Then there’s the coincidences that caused that machine to be offered to the shop keeper, and for her to have me in mind as a reason to accept the old machine. Coincidences on coincidences, that all pull together to put a Pfaff vibrating shuttle sewing machine in my hands. I’ve been carefully not going out and picking up one of the locally available sewing machines in the wanted ads. I don’t have space to keep one nor a real need for one - and then life conspires to hand me one that I don’t have to go looking for and that I can put straight into a good home when I’m done with it. Bizarre.

I have a lot of ideas for this machine. I intend to make it into a portable electric sewing machine - with a vibrating shuttle. Anachronisms galore.

Stay tuned for further updates.