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Vintage Sewing Machines

(99 Posts)
JoffreyBaratheon Thu 05-Nov-15 15:17:27

Just realised we're taking over the other thread with chat so anyone up for a separate thread dedicated to the beautiful vintage sewing machine, and all its glories?

Woukld love to see pics of and hear about everyone's vintage machines; where you got it, why you love your machine, and what you're making on it? Also tips for restoration/fettling/cleaning and oiling.... And anything else people who sew on vintage machines might like...

Katymac Thu 05-Nov-15 15:30:27

I used to (as a child) have a tiny sewing machine with a hand crank - it was a sort of pinky red and I think a Singer - I don't know where it went to

My current Toyota isn't a patch on my old Singer

lavendersun Thu 05-Nov-15 17:01:40

Here you are Joffrey smile. I will take some photos, might take me a day or two.

Can you recommend any good websites on treadle conversion for dummies?? I am not quite sure what I need to think about other than screwing it in and changing the belt but I am sure it can't be that simple. Bobbin winders look different.

I will search, just wondered if you knew of anywhere.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 05-Nov-15 17:02:48

Hello! On phone at present but will post more later.

lavendersun Thu 05-Nov-15 17:36:16

OK, here is today's beauty, easy file photo - others to follow.

SenecaFalls Thu 05-Nov-15 19:26:51

I have a 1940s Singer Featherweight with its original card table. I still use it. I take it in once a year to be oiled and cleaned and they always try to buy it from me. It was my mother's so I would never get rid of it.

It looks like this one:

Katymac Thu 05-Nov-15 20:17:20

So who can tell me what my bits do?

As I can't even fit them back into the box.....

lavendersun Thu 05-Nov-15 20:40:16

You need to download a manual, this is a bit later I think, on my iPad and find searching harder!

www.singerco.com/uploads/download/1297_201k.pdf

My 99K manual covers the 201 from memory. There are loads of free ones if you search.

ChippyMinton Thu 05-Nov-15 20:48:34

Here's my beauty - it was my great aunt's and is from the 1930's I think.
Works like a dream star

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Thu 05-Nov-15 20:49:12

I don't sew on it, the leather strap is broken but I have a Kimball and Morton one

It's on its original treadle table, which had two small drawers, one has been missing ever since we bought it. The machine has a big box style cover, both the cover and table have marquetry on

The machine itself has inset leafy petally patterns in mother of pearl. I'll see if I can get a picture up tomorrow.

lavendersun Thu 05-Nov-15 20:51:09

That is lovely Tondelaya - Helen Howes might have a drawer if you ring her.

Katymac Thu 05-Nov-15 21:04:15

OK I have a hemmer, a binder (for edging with bias binding - but it wouldn't be hidden), a ruffler (this looks massively complicated), I have a seam guide but it's missing a screw, a quilter, a tucker & an adjustable hemmer

I don't have a gathering foot, zipper foot, buttonholer, blind stitcher & edge stitcher

I may have a bias guage, & I have a spare bit!!

lavendersun Thu 05-Nov-15 21:26:11

My other two - the Pfaff would sew through concrete it is so hardworking.

The 99 was my birthday present 40 years ago!

I have lots of feet, lots of duplicates too, I have been known to polish them with Autosol on a quiet evening.

lavendersun Thu 05-Nov-15 21:27:22

Rufflers are fun KatyMac - I have got three with different capabilities. My 9 year old loves sewing with a ruffler.

JoffreyBaratheon Thu 05-Nov-15 23:07:41

Oh I still have to get my head round rufflers! I do like my zipper foot, though!

lavender I have never done that conversion (yet) so no idea which sites are best but I bet you, you can find summat on Youtube..?

My treadle was bought as a treadle. Here she is:

And the other pic is my 1885 Singer 12K still being done up but was rusty when I bought on eBay.

JoffreyBaratheon Thu 05-Nov-15 23:12:55

Seneca the card table is rare, I think?

My dream is a 'white' Featherweight... But I doubt I'll ever get the money together for one! I did score a beautiful Featherweight this year on eBay - it had a service and was re-wired the week before I bought it, and came with only 2 bobbins and about half the attachments but I have been so happy with it and sewn on it constantly! Brits have to wake up and start buying the 221Ks and 222Ks before they all end up in the US... Those quilters go mad for them.

Will post pic tomorrow.

emwithme Thu 05-Nov-15 23:24:58

Between us, DH and I have five (six? I forget, and they're in storage at the moment) Singers; one is a 201K, the rest are 99s of various ages.

SenecaFalls Thu 05-Nov-15 23:36:50

Yes, Joffrey the card table is very rare. I think reproductions have been made, but it is hard to find an original.

I am American and so is my machine and I do know they are popular with quilters, but I did not realize people in the US were buying the UK manufactured ones.

I only do home decorating sewing now (no patience anymore for dressmaking) and that card table is just great for handling large swaths of fabric.

lavendersun Fri 06-Nov-15 06:35:22

Lovely machines on here smile. It isn't here yet and I hope it gets here in one piece but I just paid £125 for the 201 I posted upthread on eBay.

Not bad considering that the photos show it looking immaculate (and it was described as such).

I had planned on spending £1000 on a Juki 1181 industrial for my heavy sewing exploits but decided that I would give a treadle a go first, mostly because they are beautiful to look at to be honest and I know that they are better made than anything out there today.

I keep looking at featherweights blush, I suppose I could have one of those given that I have only spent £125!

Ruffling is amazingly easy - shame it is not the in thing anymore. I have 5-1 stitch, every stitch and 12-6-1 stitch versions. With a low shank adapter they fit my Bernina! Having said that we only ever play around with them. I will have another one looking at the photo of the 201 I have just bought.

If you are missing anything from the original kit Helen Howes has everything, most feet are only a few pounds at the most, some are 30p!

SoupDragon Fri 06-Nov-15 08:04:57

I love vintage machines - they are beautiful. I often find them in my favourite house clearance warehouse although I've never bought one.

Anyway, this seems the perfect thread to post this picture on for identification. Someone on MN thought they were different sorts of hemming feet, which is what I thought they looked like, but I don't know what for.

I did see if I could somehow fit them on my modern Janome but, unsurprisingly, haven't managed it smile

barkingfly Fri 06-Nov-15 08:42:51

Lavendarsun-that is my machine-from the 50s I think. The metal Singers are so much better! Chippyminton-that was my mom's machine-hers was a 1934 and she used it from 1936 on-I learned to sew on it. Gawd I love old machines.

lavendersun Fri 06-Nov-15 09:42:06

The five similar ones look like some sort of binding foot Soup. I will have a look in my old manual.

So nice to find friendly vintage machine appreciation people!

My mum gave her treadle away sad before I was old enough to want it/have room for it. It was splendid, in a very special walnut cabinet.

lavendersun Fri 06-Nov-15 09:48:59

Here are your feet Soup, scroll down and there is an identical set, 1 binder and 4 hemmers and a quilt guide.

www.helenhowes-sewingmachines.co.uk/regfeet.html#binders

KanyeWesticle Fri 06-Nov-15 09:53:10

I have a little Singer hand crank (like Chippy and Geoffrey's but no treadle) - bought at a car boot sale for £5 and lovingly restored. It was missing it's bullet shuttle - but they're easy enough to pick up online.

I love how simple it is - you can see exactly how it works and yet the engineering is still as good as 100 years ago!

Her name is Cleo smile

JamJar1 Fri 06-Nov-15 10:03:01

I have my Gran's old Singer, 1930's, she treasured it, used it often and it works perfectly. I think it's the same model as your first pic lavendersun.
Wish I had the room to leave it out but I just don't so it goes back in it's wooden box. Last year my OH managed to break the key to the box but got me another one from a company dealing with Singer machines, I think, in Suffolk but can post the details of the company later if anyone's interested.

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