Couple Restores 100 Year Old Sewing Machine to Make Masks

Not knowing how to sew was no obstacle for Giselle Williams.  Motivated by the desire to want to help others during the pandemic, she decided to restore her great-great-grandmother’s Singer sewing machine.

Giselle, a hairstylist from Arvada, CO, had her salon business abruptly halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Learning about local sewers around the country racing to make masks and other face coverings, Williams embarked to see if her 100 family heirloom sewing machine could be restored. 

The treadle sewing machine, which was being used as a piece of decorative furniture in a guest room, was so old that it does not use electricity.  Rather Giselle’s heirloom was a 1922 Singer Model 66 also known as a “Red Eye.” “Red Eyes” are mechanically propelled by a foot pedal operated by the sewer.  

After more than half a century spent idle, Williams knew the sewing machine would definitely require some work. Working with her husband Darin, the couple learned how to clean and properly lubricate the sewing machine from watching YouTube videos.

As a young boy, Darin learned how to sew from his grandmother, a local seamstress, saying, “I haven’t used a sewing machine since my grandmother taught me back in the 1970s.” Darin taught Giselle how to thread and stitch unleashing a flurry of enthusiasm from Giselle who immediately began making the masks.

Giselle Williams’s “Red Eye” sewing machine. Source: Good News Network

Finding a mask pattern they mutually agreed upon, the couple gathered fabric from friends and family and started sewing.  Since then they have produced more than 450 masks for churches, businesses, and restaurants across Colorado.  

Since learning about the about the couple’s efforts the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has recognized Darin, a retired US Airman, and select him to lead their #StillServing campaign which seeks to engage veterans in ways that allow them to actively serve armed service personnel on active duty.

Honored to receive the recognition, Darin and Giselle continue to work creating masks because when they see a need, they want to be able to meet it.

Source: Good News Network