Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lean, green sewing machine


Stats: Singer 185K, straight stitch only machine, three-quarter sized, formerly electrical - now with motor removed and operated by a (repro.) hand crank. Machine is circa 1958, and is mounted in its own wee table. This one is also from Kilbowie, Scotland, so I guess I have the makings of a clan.

As any long-time visitors will doubtless already know, I seem to have a bit of a problem when it comes to vintage sewing machines -- as in, I just can't seem to resist them! But really, take a look at her all cleaned up and tell me she isn't a cutie --

Took a bit of elbow grease to get her looking decent (inside and out) but she's well on her way. While I love the idea of hand cranking her, I'm not too keen on the (not so cute) look of the black crank with Chinese lettering, but there you go -- you do what you need to do. The original green hand wheel was swapped out for a spoked hand wheel from one of my other machines. There are instructions on line for drilling out a space for the hand crank 'finger' so that the original hand wheel can be used, but sadly my tool skills are not up to that (at least right now).

She was quite stiff and sluggish when I first got her home, but cleaning made a big difference. I removed a huge wad of felted lint from around the bobbin case, and now stitch quality is quite nice. Also while cleaning I discovered an old red label that stated "repossessed machine" -- how sad is that? I always like to learn a little of the machine's history, but the person I bought her from wasn't her original owner. In fact, although she sews, she bought this machine several years ago in order to use the cabinet as a table -- never even threaded her up. Ah well, different strokes...

Now, what shall her first project (with me) be?


s said...


Just bought one for 9.99. Cute, green, small but heavvvy. Made in Canada/Great Britian. Hand wheel turns some then seems like it gets stuck on something metal underneath the plate? Plugged it in - I have a very simple question though. How do you turn this one on??

livelife1@ pattern review

Karen said...

s -- Well, actually I don't turn mine on and off -- I removed the motor, so mine runs strictly on people power. However, with this machine I don't think there is an on/off switch -- when the machine is plugged in, just press the (foot or knee) controller and go. The light is controlled by a knob on the light itself. If you don't already have a manual, do a google search -- you can find one to download for free somewhere on line -- don't remember now where I found it, or I'd give you a direct link. HTH, Karen