Sunday, August 28, 2016

Among Friends

It was a grand weekend with people learning to sew and those who are experts at it, too. Friday afternoon Christine was coming over with her sister-in-law to look for a good sewing machine to start sewing. I set up a nice variety of basic Singer 522, Kenmore 158-17892, Brother JX-2517, and Elna 1010. While her sister-in-law was running late, Christine thought she might be interested in a serger. She had expressed interest the last time she was over when she picked up her Kenmore I had repaired but it was around Christmas and wasn't ready to dive into anything new at that time. I got out two sergers this time, a nice White 734D and a Kenmore 385-16644. We discussed the merits of each when her sister-in-law arrived and we had to check out the array of sewing machines. Ah, there was an Elna in the family so maybe that nice Elna 1010? But Christine had a Kenmore...what would I recommend? This is always a loaded question but we all agreed the Kenmore was so easy, had more stitches, and a drop-in bobbin is hard to beat for threading. Sold! Christine picked out the White 734D serger because it opened up on both the front and side for easier threading. All went home happy, including myself (but I was already home?)

Saturday morning Patty was driving down almost three hours to pick up a Singer 201-2 in a bentwood case. Two weeks prior we had a lovely phone conversation and talked about all sorts of models and she asked if I would want to see her Singer 222. That's a Featherweight free-arm model so the answer was "You bet!"


Singer 222 with bed plate removed
Patty has a great set-up with a soft carrying case, custom made bag for the foot control, and even a beautifully quilted sleeve for the part of the bed that flips up. Here's Patty with her Christmas gift:
Note large acrylic table  custom made, too
My husband even came over to see what all the fuss was about and had to admit this was pretty special. Patty said you couldn't really see the machine in the above photo so we took several more:
Quilted piece is the bag to fit over the bed plate that is now removed

Even the carrying case was in pristine shape

Here you can see the bed removed
I know it seems like cross purposes to have a small sewing machine that you can make smaller (free-arm) and then you fit it with a plate to make it larger, but if you love that perfect stitch of the Singer 221 it does make sense.

Patty loves to quilt and has a great schedule of how she uses her vintage sewing machines: each one gets two months of use then gets cleaned up and put away, rotating each one in turn. I love that idea! Here's the Singer 201-2 that she came down for:
Singer 201-2
I'm especially proud of the bentwood case I ended up stripping down, adding back a Singer decal that had to be removed, but such a fine looking case it is now:
Bentwood case with new finish
Although Patty already had a Singer 201 it was not in good shape and was looking for a better one. This one was better and she liked the pristine bentwood box so it was a deal. After a tour of the garage (don't you show off your garage to visitors?) and talk of the up-come sewing machine garage sale, Patty had to get going.

An afternoon of driving around to garage sales was fun, even if it threatened rain most of the afternoon, and I came home with a Singer 66. This is a nice, basic sewing machine but this one was pulled out of storage in the garage, wrapped in sticky plastic wrap, revealing broken pieces all over. Closer inspection showed the black plastic casing on the motor was all in bits and pieces. The decals were pretty good but there was significant rust on the shiny metal pieces, plus the need for a new motor...I bargained hard and he accepted my offer. I spent many hours on this one, putting a new motor, light, and foot control from a Singer 99, cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning, especially those rusty parts. The bobbin winder was the worst but overnight in Evapo-rust did wonders. All put back together and it sounded terrible. Was that why this motor was removed? I ended up taking the motor apart and cleaning it up but no rewiring was necessary and the brushes were good. Once I got it back together it sounded normal and with a few more adjustments and oil, she's a real beauty that runs nice, too.
Singer 66 dated 1949
This one did feel like a rescue since the motor was not going to work as it was and the owner was pretty clueless, thinking it was a treasure when in truth millions of these were made. Now it can go on to actually sew, something it was made to do. Now let's get sewing!

1 comment:

  1. I always look forward to reading your posts. Yours is a sewing machine rescuer's haven. It's great that the Singer 66 is now a beauty and running well. My insides just sigh in relief for all of the machines that come your way.

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