HANCOCK, Mich. (WJMN) – A couple in the Copper Country is sharing their love of hands-on history with their unique business.
Nestled in downtown Hancock is the home to Sew Cranky where you’ll find an antique collection unlike anything else.
“We started the business in California, I sewed historic clothing for quite a few years and was bringing a sewing machine, a hand crank, on location with me,” said owner Ginger Alberti. “And we kind of thought we could teach little classes at these events, and sure enough we fell into a large collection of machines that were collected in Europe.”
This collection included hundreds of hand crank sewing machines, dating from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s. With Alberti being a professional seamstress and her husband Mike Sabo being quite the savvy handyman himself, the two became the dynamic Sew Cranky duo. They opened their business in Hancock in 2017 where they restore, repair, and sell sewing machines.
“They’re wonderfully engineered, too. I mean most of them are over a hundred years old and with a few drops of oil they respond quite well to cleaning and so forth, and they sew a perfect stitch. What else could you ask for from a sewing machine?” said Sabo.
Alberti continued, “He does take them a part completely and buffs all the innards and exterior, so they’re completely refurbished, the gold work, the design, the mother pearl inlay is original, we don’t change that. But because they were manufactured to do one thing, so a perfect straight stitch. After you clean them up completely, and put them back together, they pretty much miraculously sew a perfect straight stitch just like new.”
Alberti said the experience on a hand crank sewing machine is much different from the modern day, electric sewing machine.
“This is an incredible start for people who have never sewn. Incredible, yes. You’re in complete control, you turn that crank, your hand your eye coordination is automatic almost. It’s not like a treadle, which is the furniture model of the same basic machine from the 1800s to the early 1900s, pre-electric. But the treadle you have to coordinate your feet and your hands and your eyes with your project, where as this, you’re in complete control and you immediately feel it and you feel confident. The people who stitch here are happy.”
Sew Cranky offers workshops for all ages on how to use a hand crank sewing machine. To learn more, you can visit their website sewcranky.com.