Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Half-way House for Wayward Sewing Machines

Look what my mother-in-law brought me from Grandma's basement!
This is what it looked like after I wiped some grime off with paper towels and water,
and I had removed the fly wheel and bobbin winder

Nice decals!

She had rescued it from her Great Aunt's basement and stored it at Grandma's. It is from 1924, and it has a cabinet that I will be refurbishing. I spent my time last night and today obsessively rebuilding it with parts from my other Singer 66 which ran, but it's decals were a little sorry. Aunt Ceil's Singer is really only worn where the fabric went over the base. However, it was very dusty and gunky from having sat unused in basements for several years- so about a gallon of machine oil, 55 Q-tips, half a roll of paper towels, a little soap and water, and  a fair amount of elbow grease later, it is up and running.
Love it!
I borrowed the base from the other 66, as well as the light and motor. I thought running it with the motor would help with the rehabbing and get some of that oil worked in. I intend to have it in running in the treadle base, though.
Can I just say, it totally blows my mind that you can pull a nearly hundred year old machine out of a basement where it has been sitting for decades, oil it, pull some gunk out of it, throw a few new parts on it, and have it sewing beautiful stitches through nine layers of fabric in half a day! Where will the plastic Brother I learned to sew on be in 100 years? They REALLY just don't make 'em like they used to!
Well, I have wanted a treadle for some time (Thanks Lorraine!), so this one will be joining my permanent collection (that makes 4 including the serger- not too bad!). BTW, I used this manual from TFSR (a really neat organization) to direct me with the refurb. If anyone has an old Singer, check this info out. It makes removing the tension assembly and other scary tasks unscary!
Next, it's on to the treadle base, which will need some cleaning, gluing and clamping, and maybe a coat of stain or polyurethane. It's very pretty, and I love having projects!
What about y'all- have you started any fun and crazy summer projects?


  1. .....My jaw just hit the table. That is a gorgeous machine!!!! And it works! That is are amazing for not being intimidated and being able to pull it apart and putting it back together.


  2. Sooooooooo beautiful. Good on you for taking it on. I think these early 20th century Singers are total works of art and you're right.They just stand the test of time...Px

  3. This is awesome. what a great find. I am amazed that you were able to work on it and get it running. What a genius you are. It looks wonderfully restored. You are right they don't make anything like they use to.

  4. Thanks a ton, ladies! I wish I could say I was really smart and brave, but it's actually just that when something isn't working at all, you don't worry too much about breaking it! And that manual is really amazing! I'm always afraid I won't be able to get things back together right, but that manual is like "Old Singer Sewing Machines for Dummies."

  5. Wow! What a great treasure !!!!!

  6. You really are so handy to do all that maintenance yourself. Go girl! So the machine doesn't run on electricity? I've always wondered how treadle machines work.It's a work of art.

  7. You're so right about these old machines - you clean 'em up, show 'em some love and they work for (I suspect) hundreds of years.


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