I Dream of “Genie” and How to Change a Crew Neck T-Shirt into a V-Neck

I saw it, but walked right past the unassuming plain sewing machine case, there on the floor of the thrift store.

Just keep walking, I thought, you don’t need another sewing machine.

But on my way out, I happen to look down again and caught a glimpse of the other side of the case.

My Barbara Eden wanna-be heart started to race when I saw this:


I felt compelled to reach down and felt a bit like Larry Hagman’s character, Captain Tony Nelson rubbing the bottle he found on the beach as I pressed the button on the top of that case. Never in 2,000 years did I expect to see what I saw next when the front of the case flipped down.


When these flowers emerged, I could actually hear the angels singing and see the beam of light come down from the heavens right over this machine.

I knew then, it HAD to be mine!

Isn’t  all of that cheesy 70’s orange floral awesome!



It even had the original manual,


all the accessories, and even the original sales receipt.


And to top it all off, I found out that the original owner, John (Jack) Grusczczynski, was a local man who, unfortunately, passed away last year. He loved to dance and sew costumes for local plays. I hope he’s happy that The Renegade Seamstress now has his Genie.

It fits in so well in my funky cheeseball studio.

 The Genie sews like a dream and she’s really been rolling my socks up and down.

So, when eHow asked me to write the article, How to Change a Crew Neck T-shirt into a V-neck, I knew it would be perfect for the Genie’s debut.


She sews and photographs beautifully.


Click here to head over to eHow to read the Genie’s maiden voyage project.

She would love to know what you think of her. 🙂

About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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41 Responses to I Dream of “Genie” and How to Change a Crew Neck T-Shirt into a V-Neck

  1. What a GORGEOUS sewing machine! I’m glad you stopped to check it out!

  2. Dawn Jones says:

    I think I am orange with jealousy. Congratulations on your great find, and thank you for the tutorial. Have a great day!

  3. Anny says:

    How cool!! I’m so glad it found a home with you.

  4. Brenna says:

    How cool!

  5. Susan Luke says:

    What an awesome find! I absolutely adore it! It would have fit in perfectly with my orange and yellow bedroom I had in the 70’s! Congrats to you!

    • Hey Susan! I also had an orange and yellow bedroom complete with some lime green shag carpet. I thought I had the coolest room in the neighborhood. 🙂 I know we would’ve been friends back then, too!

      • Susan Luke says:

        Lime green shag carpet…how cool! My carpet was orange shag. My parents even let me pick it out. Mom said that my bedroom would glow down at the end of the hallway! I also had a huge troll doll collection…over 100 of them. I would spend hours making clothing and accessories for them from recycled stuff around the house. I guess the refashioning bug hit me early in life! And, yes, I believe we would have had a blast together even back then!

        • Yep, pretty sure we are kindred spirits! My troll collection wasn’t as impressive as yours and turns out building houses for them out of shingles in the garage of the new house being built next door wasn’t such a good idea. While we were at school the next day, they all got bulldozed and have been under the concrete garage floor of that house for 40 years or so. Needless to say, my troll obsession came to a screeching halt that day. But I’m sure they were replaced with Whizzers, Click Clacks or maybe even a round, yellow plastic radio on a chain. I love the 70’s.

  6. Gloria says:

    I’ve been looking at and for one of those cute retro Genie’s for years. Congratulations for finding one in good order with all parts and the manual to. I’m so jealous! 🙂

  7. Jealous of your sewing machine find! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this morning that links to your tutorial: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=84654 –Anne

  8. That’s so amazing that you have that documentation to provide a glimpse into your sewing machine’s past life! Really special. Love thrift stores — you never know what gems you can unearth like that.

  9. Colleen P. says:

    What a wonderful find! She’s gorgeous! So happy she has a good home with you. 🙂

  10. norma says:

    Lovely machine! Such a lucky find.

  11. Orange glad you took a second look?

  12. Oh my gosh! You lucky girl! I would love to have found that – I’m so glad it sews and has all it’s 1974 (I was 10 years old then) glory!!

  13. Donna in VA says:

    Good for you. Every old sewing machine deserves a good home! Do you put your sewing machines on a surge protector? Hm, thinking I better do that even though my old “Rocketeer” is metal and gear driven. Could be a hot molten mess!

  14. jenny_o says:

    I’ve often thought about changing a t-shirt neckline but didn’t know how best to do it and didn’t want to ruin the ones I had, so I’m glad to see this tutorial. One question: what kind of stitch did you use, straight or zigzag or do you have a stitch for knit fabric? (I have a very basic model so I have only the first two options.) Thanks for your help.

    And what a cool machine 🙂

  15. Thanks so much for posting this! I hate hate hate crew necks but have some t’s I’d like to wear. This will save them. PS – love the machine 🙂

  16. This is a useful technique, and you made it look so easy! I wouldn’t be able to tell the shirt had been altered. Love your Genie! It must be well made; I paid less for my sewing machine bought a few years back.

  17. Peggy says:

    That machine is sooooo 70s – and was expensive back then. I still have my Elna Lotus that my mom bought me also in 1974 for about the same price. What a treasure! Lucky you.

    • How fun that you still have your original machine!!! My mom bought a Singer for me in 1976. It’s all metal and very basic. I still have it, but I need to get the bobbin repaired and it’ll be good to go again.

  18. What a happy fun machine, and I totally have the theme song stuck in my head where it will remain, no doubt all day. 😀

  19. Pingback: How to Hem Knits Without a Serger | The Renegade Seamstress

  20. Mave Williams says:

    Love your machine. I still have my Singer 514 which I bought in 1973 and it’s still going strong. Although I bought a new Singer Brilliance 6180, I still intend to keep my ‘old friend’ as a standby. I just can’t let it go after all we have achieved together.

  21. Diane in SC, USA says:

    Yay! I have the Singer Genie also! I bought mine second hand in 1982 while living in Hawaii. While I’ve purchased other machines since then, she has yet to fail me and I often use her as my topstitching machine when making jeans. Congratulations on your new family member!

  22. Kirsten says:

    I have the same machine and I love it. Got it from my mother many years ago after she bought a new one. I’m from Germany and the machine is called Singer Starlet here. I’m still using it, although it’s pretty basic. I like the clever case, that isn’t all that big and in the way as a full case.

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