Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday's Market

It was a very profitable day in sewing-machine-land. Saturday's are a time to hit the road for Craigslist, garage sales, and don't forget about the thrift shops, too. When all three were done, I had three new-to-me sewing machines that I think are fantastic.

Stop number one found me driving twenty minutes to pick up a Craigslist find of a Huskylock serger. I couldn't believe it was only $20 but they said it wasn't working for them and the power cord was missing. I did a little research and found I might have a power cord/foot control that fit and in fact I found three candidates so I took them along with me. It was a fun young couple and they both told the story of how the serger was skipping stitches when sewing something a bit heavier and she bought another serger so just wanted it out of the house. I took it to my car and found one of the foot controls with power cord fit! We were all smiles then and I was offered some of their garden tomatoes. It was a very large garden for a tiny house but the tomatoes were spectacular, my first of the season, even if they weren't from my own garden. Here's the Huskylock 440:

Huskylock 440 serger
I did get it to make a decent stitch and then it would skip. Then it did fine on another sample. Then it skipped. I had to order new needles because that's one place to start when stitches are skipping. And now I wait for a package to arrive.

Stop number two was supposed to be to the fabric store to buy some interfacing but only one shop away was a thrift store, a favorite of mine, so I thought I'd just check it out. There they were, side by side, a Kenmore 158-1980 and a Singer 99. My heart be still! The Kenmore 1980 is one of their best models, much coveted, and this one was is pretty good shape. When I get it home I noticed it was pretty linty inside but I couldn't figure out how to get the bobbin race out so I could clean it. Tweezers, q-tips, needles, all worked to get this baby clean but here's what was left behind:

Bottom cover off and what do I find?

This is the pile of lint that accumulated
 I got the feeling it was never cleaned out or some very messy fabrics were used with it. Inside clean and oiled up and it runs like a dream. Here it is before I gave it a good polish:

Kenmore 158-1980
When you lift up the top lid there are the rest of the dials for stitch selector, cam insertion, bobbin winder, foot pressure and a few I have not heard of before. One is called cycle control and it makes the machine slower so it's like downshifting in a car for more power but less speed. There is another button to push that I read online gives you only one set of a pattern from the cam for when you only want one duckie or one sailboat. These are very nice features only found on top of the line sewing machines but this is labeled a Sears Best and it sure looks like it. No cams or attachments but they take C-class cams that I already have for another sewing machine and can be easily bought on Ebay.
Under the hood: all those stitches!

At the same stop was a very nice Singer 99, one of the 3/4 sized sewing machines. It came out of a cabinet because the hinges were attached and it is only missing the bobbin plate cover. Needing oil and a clean up, it gets in shape to sew perfect little stitches. Here it is before I gave it a wax clean and polish:
Another Singer 99
Of course I don't need another 99 but they are just so cute and sew wonderfully. After this shopping trip I go to a few garage sales (stop three plus), especially back to the one I visited earlier in the week with all the fabric. I got anything I wanted, in fabric, for half price so I stocked up with anything I could reasonably use. This netted me fabric for a jacket, knit tops, dress pants, and jumpers for my mother-in-law and this time the bill only came to $11.50.

Back home I realize I didn't stop in the fabric store for interfacing so that gets put on the list for another shopping trip. Now I get to play with these sewing machines and serger, seeing what they are capable of and their limitations. Of course, I'm still testing my limitations, too.


Audrey Curlee said...

Do you know anything about the Huskylock 440 Serger? I have been wanting a serger for so long but they're currently a little over my budget. A few months ago my mom found a Huskylock 440 for $15 at a local Salvation Army but I've been to intimidated by it to mess with it... I don't even know where to begin to get it working.

Karen said...

Audrey, how about a manual? I found one online that was free. Learn to tbread it and set the tensions, put your fabric in and proceed slowly. Try YouTube, too!

Angelfeather said...

Hi Karen
I have a Kenmore sewing machine model158-17812 I am searching for a walking foot for it, do you know it there is one? Sears so far has sent two that do not work with the machine. They were both designed for a machine the has a needle that attaches from the right side, so the foot attachment has a small bar that rests on that needle piece. This machine the needle attaches from the front. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
thank you

Karen said...

Let me check mine because 158-17812 is the one I used for 30 years but without a walking foot. I have several I can try and get back to you.

Angelfeather said...

That would be great, thank you. So if you have used this machine for that long as well without a walking foot, what is your solution for working with fabrics that tend to shift because of a nap?

Karen said...

This was always a struggle along with some other issues with this model (heavy fabrics, Velcro) and I didn't know what I was missing until May 2013 when this whole adventure in sewing machines started. I love the Pfaff IDT, which is a built in walking foot, for items like this. I think I used to use a lot of pins or basting tricky parts.
Have already looked at the presser feet system on the Kenmore 158-17821 and see the problem but don't think there is a walking foot that can accommodate this type of foot but I will keep checking. I also don't see how the foot can be taken off either.

Karen said...

I think I found one that is made for this model and the way it clamps. It also states the model number and that it's for "super high shank not clip on models" which the Kenmore 158-1782 is. It's not cheap, though, at $50:

AngelFeatherDesigns said...

Thank you for the info, greatly appreciated! What model Pfaff did you end up getting?

Karen said...

I have a Pfaff 1222 with the IDT and love it for quilting my hot pads and toaster covers! What did I ever do before?