Thursday, 5 May 2011

A new Girl

Well you know how I am with my vintage sewing machines,  I had five, now I have SIX - with one in between who has been re-housed due to unsuitability - she was too young and noisy for this house.

Hilda: Inherited from the lady next door who sadly died, now in the hands of charity
My newest girl was born in 1948 in Scotland, is a Singer 201k like one of my others, but older.  I bought her infact, because she was nestled in a pretty oak table which folded down to a flat top which I thought would be usefull if I wanted to use another sewing machine instead of my main one ... The ebay listing showed this lovely table - exactly what I wanted, with what looked like a pretty grotty machine on the top.

original ebay listing picture
She was a dirty machine indeed .. but underneath all the grime, was an absolute GEM!  Unfortunately, the table was rubbish :(  The treadle base which you cant see in the ebay picture, had been cut off, leaving the table wobbly and unstable - unsuitable for such a heavy machine as the 201k.

The iron treadle base has been cut out of the oak table
However, I cleaned up Martha, as she has been named, and now I have a sparkling spanking gorgeous 201k machine to be used as a backup for my main one.

All shiney and new

See the whole story over at my Flickr stream

The point of this post is to tell you about another site I have found which deals with restoration and maintenance of old machines.  It's from the very worthwhile charity "Tools for Self Reliance" which sends out hundreds of vintage machines to the third world every year.  They publish a guide on how to overhaul a machine ready for use by people in Africa who need to make their own living by sewing.  So this site is useful if you have machines you want to use or machines you acquire and don't know what to do with and would like them to go to a good cause.  Personally, with 6 vintage machines that I use every day, I cant afford the servicing bills, so this site is very handy for me as I am now a self sufficient machine mechanic, and if I decide ever to give any of my machines away, then this is where they will go.

Click here to see the manuals : 


Pomona said...

Six machines - how wonderful! Mine needs servicing, and the thought of being without it for 2 weeks holds me back - maybe I just need a wardrobe of machines! Good to catch up with you - hope all is well with you.

Pomona x

Uta said...

Thank you for the link - I never thought of getting my old treadle machine up and running again, but if I can do it myself - why not?

Billie Jane said...

You are not going to believe this... christina bought the 1960's machine that you put to the charity shop! lol! she loves it - well it's a good few steps up from her 1910 hand crank singer.

What-I-Found said...

I am so glad you posted about Tools for Self Reliance, I hadn't heard of them and now I want to help and pass on the word.
Thanks so much,

Lucy@Corset Laced Mannequins said...

hi Julia, can you beat the smell of an old sewing machine!

sorry about the velvet waspn waisted mannequin, I've listed her now especially for you!