Friday, February 17, 2017

Oh, Brother!

My adventure with the Brother Select-O-Matic is not over...yet. I love this model of vintage sewing machine and that is what you will find when it is on your radar so another one came up on my local Craigslist. I made a beeline to it.
Brother Select-O-Matic in teal (again)

Although it wasn't the cool two-tone pink and teal, it was in great working condition until I arrived. Henry bemoaned how it was breaking thread so we both looked it over and he thought it might be the needle opening on the needle plate. With a bit of emery cloth he smoothed out the roughness and it stitched just fine, no broken threads.
Needleplate in rough condition

As happy as I was to get this great sewing machine, I was even happier to hear about Henry and his own sewing machine adventure. Henry had a Singer 31-15.
Singer 31-15 
I have heard about these industrial type sewing machines but had never seen one so I happily tagged along behind him to see this treasure. Just to prove you do not need a large room to have a sewing space, Henry kept 2 treadles at the bottom of the stairs in what would be considered wasted space, just for turning around in or to place a decorative pot or something equally useless. His Singer 31 was a gem, with the presser foot lift lever, too. I also did not know about this, but it's an added on feature where there is a lever at the back of the machine head that is tethered to a knee lever by a leather belt just like the treadle belts:
Knee lever for presser foot lift (look above the letter R)

You can move your knee to the right and it will lift the presser foot while your hands are engaged with the fabric. This is a feature on some Berninas from the 830 Records on but to find this on an antique Singer? Yes, my eyes were wide and I was excited.
Industrial treadle base

And this unique set up continued as Henry showed me his Pfaff 130 treadle.
Pfaff 130 in treadle base: pristine!
It was in pristine condition  and even had the "coffee grinder"  or Automatic 50010 attachment for 54 decorative stitches on the backside of the head. He had rigged up a table top with an old bamboo shade, gluing it in place and added a healthy coat of something durable over the top. There was a hinged back and side section for extra space to support your work present on both treadles, another feature I had not seen before. Wow, oh wow, I was very impressed.
Pfaff 130 with decorative stitch mechanism on back
Henry walked the box with the Brother sewing machine inside to my vehicle and we continued to talk about our mutual interest in sewing machines when I remembered to give him one of my business cards. You never know where any single contact might lead you and Henry and his sewing machines were a real find. By the way, Henry's wife told me he also sews on them and even made all of their window coverings. Way to go, Henry.

3 comments:

  1. I learned to sew on a treadle machine, and at times have gotten to the point that I would love to have one, but have no space for one. I already have 3 machines and a serger.

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  2. I always enjoy your blogs. I live in a rural area, so I live vicariously through your sewing machine adventures.

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    1. You are too kind but I appreciate your praise!

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