Friday, 7 October 2011

Isn't she lovely? My dream (sewing) machine

I had been thinking about buying a vintage hand sewing machine for a while.  Now that I am sewing ever more vintage craft type items (bags, toys, boudoir bras, snoods ...) I often end up cranking my electric machine by hand anyway when I get to the tricky little faffy bits, so had been considering looking for an old Singer or suchlike as I remember from my childhood.

So when I was asked in one of my usual charity shops yesterday if I was interested in buying an old sewing machine (they know me well!), it didn't take too long to say yes.  The machine in question is in lovely condition, all the decals are good and bright, and more importantly, all the tools, handbooks, attachments and feet are present.  Hadn't ever thought about using a ruffler, under braider, quilter or hemmer, let alone a tuckmarker or five-stitch pleater, but hey, I try to keep an open mind on these things.

I wasn't sure of the exact date of my machine, but when I checked Google, I was thrilled to find the Singer Company has a really handy checklist for serial numbers

so I was able to date my machine accurately to 1939.  Check it out if you are wondering about your own machine.  Have also found an interesting site with historical info on vintage sewing machines, check it out here.

Will be taking a test run this weekend and will report back on how she handles!

STOP PRESS --- STOP PRESS --- STOP PRESS Have just lugged my little 99-er up onto my work table, threaded her & - hoping that she maybe had a bobbin already in there! - cranked the handle.  She runs like a dream, a pleasing combination of purring and clicking as the handle turns.  She manoeuvres really nicely on curves.  Keen to try some free embroidery with her.  Phew!



  1. I have had for quite some years my Grandmothers sewing machine but it was locked in to its case as I lost the key in one of my many house moves.For the past three years it has been consigned to the shed I am afraid to say but earlier on in the summer I dug it out and got my son to prise off the wooden lid.I was expecting to see it all rusty and ruined but it came out perfect.So they obviously made them well!Since then I have had it sitting on my dresser and have been meaning to do a "test drive" but so far have not around to it.My machine looks just like yours and when I checked the serial number ( I hadn't thought to do that so thanks for the information) it dates from 1937.This was the year after she was married and my Dad was born so I expect she was busy making then! I will be interested to hear about your test drive and will try to do the same with mine soon as it will be interesting to see how we both get on!!

  2. So interested to read about your Gran's sewing machine. You're right, they built them well in those days. I was reading an article about vintage Singers on another site & it said that back in the day, they cost roughly the equivalent of a family car today. No wonder they were so treasured. Let me know how yours runs. Maybe we could have a rally??

  3. I will endeavour to have a go sometime soon and a rally sounds great!

  4. Can I ask a question?
    What does your shuttle/bobbin look like and how big is it?The only shuttle I seem to have was in the storage compartment and not in the machine itself and it appears to be too large to fit.Never mind if I can't get it to work it still looks nice!

  5. Have posted a photo of the bobbin on the bottom of my post above. It is surprisingly like the bobbins for my electric machine but without the perforations. It is about 2.1cm diam and 9mm high. Hope that helps. K.

  6. Thanks for that and sorry to have not thanked you before.My shuttle looks like a bullet and no way will it fit! I am going to post about it this week so you will be able to see what I mean...but it looks like a rally will be out for awhile!x

  7. What an amazing machine and how terrific that you can still make it work.


    just found this blog...don't know whether or not it might be of interest to you x


© karen vallerius | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig