Thursday, March 03, 2011

Vintage Sewing Machine

Recently DH and I went to a local auction and picked up a couple of vintage sewing machines. This one has Newport Sewing Machine on the top of the machine. You can click on the picture to enlarge and read the
badge. It is in pretty much mint condition. You can see the dome lid behind the machine. I checked out the bobbin case and gave it a brushing and oiled everything. When I first attempted to sew I noticed the pressure foot wasn't coming all the way down. DH adjusted it and ta-da! sews beautifully. Through many layers. Denim included. It didn't come with a light or seam allowances on the throat plate. Easy to fix.

I did some research online to find out what I could about the machine. Best I can tell--it probably is a HA-1 or what some call a Singer clone. I'm not completely sure of this though. When I tilt the machine and look at the under carriage. There is a stamp of ZH on the bottom. From what I've read those made in Japan would have JA stamped on them. Anybody have a clue? Further explanation--Japanese companies began manufacturing these machines and copying Singer 15 after the copyright ran out.

Many believe their machines are superior because they have added amenities. Such as--again you may click to enlarge -- the knob on the base of the machine just left of the spool pin. It lowers the feed dogs. It has three settings. Normal sewing, silk, or embroidery. I haven't tried it yet. The machine only came with one pressure foot for basic sewing. It is a low shank machine so finding a foot should not be a problem. It is a beautiful machine.

The other two machines are Singers. One is a 99K made in Scotland in 1957. It needed a lot of cleaning. Very dirty especially in the bobbin area. My Q-tips and sewing machine oil took care of that. But I almost made a big mistake! I saw this red stuff and thought it was lint. I got the tweezers and started pulling it out. Something in the back of my brain said wait a minute. Then I remembered reading or someone telling me that some of the older machines have felt wicks for oil. Yup, that's what it was. So glad I didn't remove it all. Hopefully I left enough! I got it all cleaned and oiled good.

Started to wind a bobbin and had to make a slight adjustment to the bobbin winder screw. I got a bobbin wound. Threaded the machine. And sewed. Through many layers. I kept doubling the fabric strip. When the strip had gotten too small to fold again there were ten layers of 100% cotton. It didn't have a problem with four layers of denim. My 70s model Kenmore would have balked. It doesn't have the seam allowances marked on the throat plate but I can get one pretty easily.

The case it came in needs a major makeover. My DSIL does wood work. My DD is wanting a machine. This would be a good one for her and DGD Aimee. And since I was originally supposed to give the Elna Lotus SP to DGD Aimee (I am such a bad grandmother--but I love that little machine and it makes such a good one to take on retreat or to sew days and she will get to sew on it when she comes to visit--can I stop feeling guilty? I will keep a lookout for another one.) this would be a good one and could hem pants, make curtains, piece a quilt (Aimee) and would look really neat in her vintage house as well. So I am going to email DD a picture and see if I can entice her to come see me this weekend. ; )  Besides it's Girls Scout cookie time and we have an order due! Gotta have me some Thin Mints and Lemonades!

The third machine is a Singer 600 Touch and Sew. We paid $5 for it. It's going to need some repair. DH seems to think the clutch is out. It was a very dirty machine. I got it all cleaned and up and oiled. I got all set to sew and motor works but no sewing. It comes with cams to do fancy stitching. I was so looking forward to it sewing. Just for the fancy stitches! When DH gets some time --bless his heart.

He had a day yesterday. He is working for a welder. They were manufacturing flares for gas wells to burn off whatever it is that gas wells need to burn off. Somebody help? That slowed down then they built sound walls and wind walls for drilling rigs. Now that slowed down and they are working on the welder's personal farm taking down old fences and putting up new. They've had good weather for it. Yesterday DH worked fence, then came home and fed animals, had promised an older gentleman he would check out his bull dozer that wasn't working and he had to go by and check on some animals for someone. And I had started baking cookies yesterday afternoon and the first two sheets weren't done when the timer went off. My oven was on the fritz. DH always knows what to do when that happens. It's wire connections in the back. He couldn't find his box of connections so went shopping. Our little town's Auto Zone was closed. Begged some off his employer with a promise of cookies. Guess what? He got all that done and his fresh baked cookies and a glass of milk before 8:30pm.  He was one tired Papaw. And he took cookies this morning for their coffee time.

Ya'll be blessed today,
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  1. Pretty, pretty! You are having some fun, and good luck finding those.

    Glad your oven working okay again. I have a DH who can fix things, too, and it certainly comes in handy.

    I'm fixing to get back to my I Spy quilt. The top is pieced, and time to sandwich it. I don't need it finished until the 26th of this month. I was full speed on it and had to do another funeral meal at church this past Tuesday. My obligation for coordinating the meals is over until next February. I'll still go in to help anyone who needs some extra hands. The ladies of our church are so good about that, and we work together well.

    I'm glad you figured out what the red stuff was before you took it all out. I don't know much about the little machines like that.

    Spring is well on it's way :) and I couldn't be happier. Our electric bill will drop dramatically!!! Much joy about that. LOL

    Hugs ...

  2. I enjoyed reading about your vintage machines. I used to have a collection of several but sold or gave away many when we downsized. Now I have mostly smaller vintage/antique machines that take up less space.

  3. The Touch and Sew may have bad gears as many of that type came into the repair shop at the store I worked at. It was a $179 repair because the machine has to be almost all unassembled to get to the gears so it's time consuming. Gears are inexpensive though so I hope you husband can fix it.

  4. These are neat...I have a featherweight and also a singer that was my mother's mother in law' was a treadle but they put it in a cabinet and it has electricity...will have to check it out sometime....


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