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OurWorkbench

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April Sewing Machine Get-Together


It's Saturday, the first one of the month when we normally have our Colorado get together. But everything is different this month. Perkins is closed, as part of the non-essential business closures here. If it were open, everyone would be doing social-distancing. And if not for the distancing, how do you eat pancakes through a mask? It can't be done. We might have even used this as an excuse to avoid a terrible spring snowstorm. But it's expected to be a gorgeous sixty-degree day here.

So we're doing something different and creative with the beautiful day. Several days ago, we emailed our members with the thought that it might be an opportunity to have a virtual get-together, with people remotely contributing descriptions and pictures of what they've been working on. It allows people to stay home in comfort and safety. It also allows participation by people who have been unable to physically attend for one reason or another. But we will miss actually seeing people and we look forward to times when our normal meetings may resume.

The idea was well received and despite our temporary new format, this get-together is well attended. We have people from near and far. We have people that have never attended before. So let the virtual meeting come to order and begin!

Leon

Leon, from Kansas, sent this email..

How fun. Count this Kansan in.


Seb

Seb, our newest member and longest distance attendee is from France. We want to warmly welcome him.

In Seb's own words:

I hope you're well and safe!

I read your post about making a virtual Get-Together and I thought I would like to contribute if I may and if I'm not too late.

I've chosen a Singer 191B, while it is a very common machine here, I don't think it is very common on your side of the Atlantic.

The 191B is nothing special, it is merely an evolution of the class 15. It has the vertical oscillating hook but the tension system is facing the operator and there is a variation on the take-up lever. The feed dogs drop when you turn the knob on the botton spool pin. Other than that, like the later 15s it has the reverse stitch. Unlike the 15s there is a plastic part on the hook assembly (see picture).

The one I'm sending you the pictures of is an early model, probably from the early 60s (red S logo). It was made in the French factory of Bonnières-sur-Seine so the dating is impossible since the records were lost.

There are some subsequent later models of the 191B with an oblong stitch length selector and a painted faceplate instead of the chrome striated one.

The early models like mine are to be found in tan or black with the eye and trapezoid decals.

That's it for the 191B.
A bientôt!
Seb

Pictures that Seb sent are shown below:

Seb1.jpg 
Paula

Paula, located some distance south of Denver, is working on a new bag and sent a picture. Paula explained:

It's a pattern called Boardwalk Bucket. I'll be sewing on my Juki. I'm still in my tiny little sewing room with no space. I'm hoping to get it done this weekend.

The picture, with her helper, is shown below:

Paula1.jpg 


Carol

Carol attended our virtual get-together and offered this:

My daughter's birthday is next week. She has taken up beading so I am making this needle book for her. Also some dryer balls but I think everyone knows what those look like. I plan to put a lot of French knots on this.

Carol

Carol's picture is below:

Carol1.jpg 

Dorothy

Dorothy, who is the only sewing professional of our group, wrote:

Hello!
This sounds like a deal! I am remoting to work as I can. I do go in when needed. We maintain a 6' difference at all times.

I have been interested in showing an early design system so I will take photos and have a brief description. I look forward to input from All!

I will be sewing masks custom for my daughter who is used to having custom items. The fit of the masks had the following commentary (Right after praising the fact that people were ready to jump in and sew!)

Elastic behind the ears caused pain PDQ - I mentioned I would be happy to sew buttons onto caps/ headbands for anyone who wants. Ties are wearable. The overall height of the mask matters as hers kept moving up as she looked down at her work with the top edge coming above her eyes.

Regarding the fabric for face masks, there was a report from a test lab that was fantastic! They did a comparison study of different fabrics against the N95? Masks versus being able to breath. You can get fabric combination to equal the masks, but people did not last as the breathing was difficult. Their compromise was cotton knit (heavy T shirt?) gave over 50% of the N95 with user comfort.

If you need to make a face filter and do not have access to the high tech materials - the best is a blend of pillow case material and heavy cotton T shirts. There is another report that comes to the same basic conclusion. It is the happy medium between actually having enough layers that it does filter as well as an N95, but you can't breath through it vs You can breath but it filters so very little.

Later Dorothy wrote:

As with Many people, direction has changed to Sewing for Covid19. The drafting system I was going to highlight is the sleeve form which is on my wall full time. There is much more in the system, under sleeve, front bodice inner & outer plus a back bodice inner & outer.

I have taken down my work from home office and will see how many masks I can complete today/ tomorrow. A finished mask is in the center with a sample of buckram trialed for the nose piece. Buckram, wet, shaped & dried will hold form. I believe I regret pitching coffee bags with The wire closure as it is excellent...

The masks have an opening for an additional filter layer. My daughter works as a CNA and was issued cloth masks at her last shift which caused opinions- elastic behind ears hurts and the one with ties was too long in the face, pushing up from her chin covering her eyes. I modified a pattern for her and will be making for friends & family now there is a decree for everybody to wear them.

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Dorothy

Dorothy's pictures are shown here:
Dorothy1.jpg 

Dianne

Dianne, from south of Denver, shared what she's been doing.

An interesting toy sewing machine set arrived on the day of our March meeting.  This is a "Baby Brother" from the 1950s.  It is a sturdily-constructed, all metal little machine about 8" wide and 6" tall.  The clamp is shaped to fit over the raised rounded section of the machine's base and is padded to prevent scoring the paint.  This detail is indicative of the care which was used when designing this toy.  Included, besides the clamp, are an instruction booklet, several tiny (3/4" tall) spools of thread, a Brother labeled needle packet HDX1, and the carrying case.  Altogether the set in remarkably nice condition except for some staining and lax elastic inside the case.

This machine sews nicely using the hand crank, but is also equipped with a battery-driven motor.  Sadly, that doesn't seem functional at this point.  The tiny motor uses two batteries which are located in a relatively primitive looking section of the base.  After several attempts at getting it to work, without knowing whether the problem was in the battery area, the wiring, the round knob on front which turns the motor on and off, or the motor itself, we gave up.
 
Other than that, I have found that my trusty Singer 15-91 is happy to free-motion quilt with the feed dogs left in the normal position by putting the stitch length at neutral and using a good darning foot.   I've done this with other machines with fairly good results, but years ago and had neglected to attempt it on this machine.  The 15-91 accomplishes this stitching very nicely.

Dianne

Dianne1.jpg 

Courtney

Courtney, from the northern part of Colorado, wrote:

Dear All,

I think I have mentioned that each year my local library has a mini quilt show. This year it has been postponed but I think it will soon be canceled. I went ahead and completed my two quilts anyway. At least I will have entries ready for next year. I am calling one quilt "Crayola 4x4x4" and the other "Milk and Quackers."

I know we generally discuss vintage machines but recently I was given a couple sewing tables inserts. They were not cut for any of my machines but with a bit of modifications I have made one to fit my Bernina 125. I am going to use it as a platform. Instead of using legs, I made three L shaped supports that hold the plastic quite securely. I am planning on modifying the second for my Brother 1500.

A couple of months ago I purchased an unopened Quilter's Cruise control for about $30. (A good deal because the retail price was still on the box $599.99) So I have taken this time to think about how I might use it. I have decided to built a quilt frame.

It will be a cross between a regular carriage frame and a Flinn type frame. I have a 6 foot folding table that I will use to hold everything. I have made the carriage system using the wheels from a child's set of roller blades. The carriages seem to be working quite well. I also have the Flinn type frame made up and it seems to be doing okay. I still have to mount the sensors for the carriage motion and build the supports for the frame. I should know how it works by next month.

Stay well!
Courtney

Courtney's pictures are shown below:

Courtney1b.jpg  "Crayola 4x4x4" front and back, Bernina 125 machine

Courtney2.jpg 
"Milk and Quackers"


Cheryl & Chris

Cheryl and Chris, who live north of Denver, have been working on masks to protect from the Coronavirus. Chris modeled one of them for us.

Cheryl wrote:

I've been working on masks. These have a pocket for a filter if someone wants to put one in. I switched from elastic to ties since ties are more adjustable. I'm using my Singer 15-91.

Cheryl&Chris1.jpg 
 
Janey & John

This virtual get-together gave us an opportunity and a reason to take a picture of Janey's latest machine. It's a Willcox & Gibbs, which she got from Courtney of our group. He has more than one of them, thinking highly of their design and operation. He does some of his quilting work with them.

Janey and John:
It is a chain stitch machine, with a motor added. Among its other features, it can do a very short stitch length. They made a special bottom plate, which the relatively small machine bolts to. The motor is attached to the plate as well, with a direct drive to turn the hand wheel, not unlike how many handcranks drive a machine. With no reduction, that a pulley and belt might provide, the needle goes a little faster than one might expect.

Janey-Willcox&Gibbs2.jpg 

James

James shared with us a machine that he recently acquired.

As I mentioned I won on Shopgoodwill a 1907 Singer 28 hand crank machine. It was not well packed and the hand crank broke off. The decal set is "Victorian" and the machine was made in Scotland. The decals are mostly there with most of the wear at the left of the needle. It should display nicely once I clean the old oil and grime obscuring quite a bit of the decals. The 28 is a 3/4 size machine and differs from the newer 128 in the location of the bobbin winder.

The first thing I did was to check the hand crank action. It moves well and should work very well once I fix the broken attaching bracket.  The plan is to use the original JB Weld to bond the broken bits of the cast iron bracket together. I was thinking of using wax for a jig to hold the parts in place while the epoxy cured but removing the wax with heat might affect the epoxy. Instead I plan to use  a oil based modeling clay that does not harden to hold the parts together during curing. For the broken thread sections I plan to take apart the hand crank and heavily grease the bolts with  tri flow synthetic grease while the epoxy cures. This should allow the bolts to be unscrewed after the epoxy hardens. JB Weld will be used in 2 stages (base bracket to finger bracket then bracket to finger end gear cover). I thought of ordering a reproduction hand crank assembly and replacing the broken bracket part while keeping the rest. However from all the reproduction photos I have seen, the reproduction does not bolt into the finger end gear cover so I would not be able to use the original decals if I decide to go with just fixing the gear cover.

The side plates were mentioned as frozen. I managed to loosen up the front plate and I removed the bullet shuttle that was in backwards preventing the free movement of the hand wheel. I will use super iron out and Brasso to clean up the slide plates. With perhaps vinegar.

Part of the tension assembly was missing so I bought a complete tension assembly that came out of a 1906 Singer 28 that was parted out on eBay. That will be cleaned up with all the other metal parts such as the grape pattern of the faceplate and the pear shaped inspection plate.

I had someone at work print out the Elna Supermatic pulley pin extraction tool with his personal 3D printer. I still need to get the various bolts and pins that goes with it.  As you can see the 3D printed pulley fits nicely in it. The 3D file with instructions for use can now be found at the groups Io Elna group although most of the old Yahoo files have not been transferred yet.

James' pictures are shown below:

James63-67.jpg  (upper left) The front of the machine, (upper right) The serial number, (lower left) The broken bracket at the machine base, (lower right) The rusty slide plate that I freed up and removed the bobbin shuttle that was in backwards.


James68-71.jpg  (upper left) The hand crank side of the hand crank, (upper right) The finger side of the hand crank showing the damage to the gear cover, (lower left) Broken section that attaches to the finger end cover, (lower right) The back side of the Singer 28.


James72-75.jpg  (upper left) The underside of the Singer 28, (upper right) A 3d printed Elna Supermatic pulley pin extraction tool. There are some pins and bolts that I need to add to it, (lower left) Tool with pulley in it showing the fit, (lower right) Part of the missing tension.


James76.jpg  Replacement tension assembly taken from a 1906 Singer 28.


In Closing

None of us have ever been through anything like this. It's unprecedented and a little scary. But it is an inspiration to see people contributing materials and time to produce all of the masks required to get us through this safely. We've seen so many stories of people giving quickly and without reservation in this time of public need.

We don't know exactly what the next month will bring. But, one way or another we plan to meet and we will post our next meeting here, as always.

We wish everyone the best, to stay safe and well. See you next month!



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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #152 
Great Idea!!!
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Reply with quote  #153 
Cool.  Sort of a forum within a forum.   :-)
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Reply with quote  #154 
Thank You John and Janey for pulling this together!
It is always intriguing to see what everybody is working on with what machine!
Next month remains to be seen and if absolutely necessary, this seemed to be a great method of viewing.
Dorothy
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Reply with quote  #155 
Thank you Janey and John for this post! It's quite fun to have this virtual get-together -one has to find fun wherever one can in this sad period. Bonus, it allowed me to take part 😉 Thank you for including me 😉
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Reply with quote  #156 
That was very informative and fun to read.  Thanks to Janey & John for putting it together.  And thanks to all the participate.
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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #157 
Yes, thanks to those who participated.  It was nice to have Seb join us, who wouldn't have been able to physically attend.

Seb, you are right about the 191 not being seen much in USA.  I think there was a 191J from Canada and a 191R made in Mexico.  That is a neat light that isn't seen here, unless made elsewhere.  I also like the nose plate.   Do you have a manual for it?  I'm thinking that it might have a manual that is pictures only, without any written descriptions.

Thank you, all, for reading and commenting.

Janey

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Reply with quote  #158 
Hi Seb and Janey

191Js do indeed show up with some frequency here in Canada as they were made in the 1950s at the old Singer factory at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The earlier black ones seem less common, as is the case with 301s.

Cheers

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Reply with quote  #159 
Janey It was fun to participate! You're right about the light, it must be a French specificity because I've only seen such lights on Singer "B" machines... My grandma's tan 15B has the same.
I don't have a manual for it, the friend who gave me the machine has a black 191B with the manual though. It is extremely similar to the manual that was supplied with my grandma's 15B; it is a sort of "sewing guide" along with the user manual. It's called  La Joie de Coudre (the joy of sewing) 64 pages.
On this blog http://baldesoursonnes.canalblog.com/archives/p80-10.html  (scroll down), you can see a couple of pictures of this manual for the 191B. I could scan mine (for the 15B) if you're interested.

Andrew I don't remember where I read this or if I dreamt it but I think there are some differences between the 191J and the 191B... maybe something to do with the bobbin case...

Here the 191B is often "grandma's machine" along with the 15B. They were almost always supplied in the grasscloth case, wooden base with extension which made them the modern "portable" machine of the post-war era. Typically the daughters of the 191B owners bought the Singer 374 Starlet / Genie in the 1970s. [wink]

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Reply with quote  #160 
Always so interesting to see what folks are doing, especially now with our challenges to congregate. 
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Reply with quote  #161 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OurWorkbench
 I'm thinking that it might have a manual that is pictures only, without any written descriptions.



Someone on my VSS French forum shared the manual for the 197B and this is the one with pictures only [wink]
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Reply with quote  #162 
That baby Brother is a nice one. The only thing missing is the carded accessories - little hangers, pin cushion, needle threader, scissors, buttons, tape measure, etc.....

Cari

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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #163 
It looks like Colorado may be lifting some restrictions, however, we will try our "email" get-together again for our May 2, 2020, get-together.  For those who do not have our email address, please feel free to PM us to get it, should you wish to participate with us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cari-in-Oly
...The only thing missing is the carded accessories - little hangers, pin cushion, needle threader, scissors, buttons, tape measure, etc.....


Do you have pictures?  We would love to have you join us for our "virtual" May 2020 get-together.


Janey

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May 2020 Sewing Machine Get-Together

We're having our second virtual get-together during this time of social distancing. Restaurants in Colorado are not expected to re-open until later in the month of May and even then there may be some restrictions on people gathering in close groups. So, for now, we're still being safe at a distance. Several people have contributed to this month's get-together, so let's get the virtual meeting started.

Courtney

Courtney has been working on a few things that he shared. He wrote a description of each and included some pictures for all of us.

Hi everyone. Hope you are all staying safe and healthy.

Last month I mentioned I was working on a machine quilting frame. I do have it at least up and running although it is not ready for prime time yet. I have a six foot table that allows about a five foot travel. I have made a Flinn type frame which should allow for most any width. If I have a wider quilt, I envision quilting the first 5 feet then moving the frame and sewing machine back towards the start and then continuing to the end of the quilt. This way I do not have to have a 10 or 12 foot table set up all the time.

I had a piece of Lexan that I bought at a garage sale some time ago. It was just big enough to make the two ends. For rolls I have used 1 inch square oak rods I had. I have two set I can use. One set is about 86 inches long and the second set is about 52 inches long. I drilled a hole length wise into the ends of each rod and then inserted a ¼ inch hanger bolt. For the knobs I pounded a T-nut into a short piece of wood. Right now I am using the 52 inch rods for testing.
Courtney-Comp1.jpg 

I the set up could be run with just operator control but I have a "Quilter's Cruse Control" stitch regulator that attaches to my Singer Studio 16 sewing machine. I have included a couple of pictures. One shows the stitch regulator attached to the machine (top) and the two rotary encoders (bottom). Right now I am a bit concerned that the stitch regulator does not allow full motion of the machine but I have an I idea that I am working on. The other picture shows the sewing machine and quilting frame set up for use. Sorry the pictures are not great but I am doing all of this down in the basement,
Courtney-National two spool both.jpg 

Jeannie Current a woman from Indiana who got my contact info from the local quilt shop, wrote me an email about needing a spool plate for National two spool machine. I looked around and found a couple of spool plates on eBay from other National machines that I thought would work. She bought both and they do work! I have included a before and after picture.
Courtney-Kenmore2.jpg 

Some months ago at one of our meetings I mentioned a Kenmore model 48 machine I had purchased at a garage sale. It was in a very nice, very cute mid-century modern cabinet, pictures of which I think I have passed around at one of our meetings. I have finally gotten around to refreshing the machine. The machine is in wonderful shape and really only needed a bit of lubrication (see picture). I did replace the foot control with a modern electronic one, although it did have a good quality carbon knee controller. Because of space limitations I have put the machine in a portable case. The machine had barely been used and contains all the instruction books, cams, and accessories. One interesting thing about the machine is that all the accessories are high-shank and I can use them on my big Singer if I want. It is appropriate that I show the machine this month because it weighs 40 pounds and a picture is easier to show off than lugging the real thing to one of our breakfast meeting. Another reason it is appropriate is because it was purchased May 1, 1961. So it is exactly 59 years old this week!

Keep safe,

Courtney


Dianne

Diane sent the following:

We were actually out mineral collecting for two days this week.  I'm sure we were at least 10 miles from anybody and had a great time. Here is a short report:

A curious machine sadly became "the one that got away!"  In my experience, Adler is not known for making domestic machines, although their name appears on some of the post-war Japanese models. This one struck me as quite unusual and desirable.  Unfortunately, someone found it even more desirable than I did, and outbid me.  

Dianne-ScreenShot.jpg 

It is much like a machine Courtney brought to a meeting one time, a sleek machine with both a hand crank and a motor.  The controller is a knee bar.  Apparently it was made of aluminum, as it was said to weigh about 12 pounds.  Sigh.  Note that the official name of this Adler Model 25 includes the term Featherweight.  

Today a set of New Home attachments arrived.  They look like they will fit my treadle, and included a shuttle (always handy to have a spare) and two small bits that I couldn't identify.  Cleaning is desperately needed before they can be photographed.

I have mostly been piecing quilt tops for Firehouse Quilts, and next week will start sandwiching and quilting them.  

Stay well and safe everyone.

Dianne


Leon

Leon sent a picture (from Kansas) of a machine that he is preparing for display of its internal components. He and Iris sometimes visit fairs and other gatherings to show old sewing machines. He likes old bicycles, too (the ones with big and small wheels called Penny Farthings) and sometimes even wears period clothing from the time. He says:

So the idea is to drill a few more holes and use a sabre saw and rotary files  to keep this functional but let it's innards be seen as Merry Cranks go take it out to play. I've been collecting the steel sawdust with a strong magnet.  Looks like the stitch length lever is getting magnetized.  There are normally no holes in this area and certainly not 1/2" ones.

Leon-image003.jpg 


Dorothy

Dorothy has been busy sewing masks and sent some pictures of what she's doing. She says:

Hello!

Safer at home and the garbage disposal goes out. It is always an adventure!
I have been sewing the needed masks for family & friends mostly on a modern machine as it moves PDQ!

My next lot of masks are for my Niece who has a Salon for Men which she is hoping to start up with clients May 1. She requested Blue masks.

I moved to my 319W to sew these. It is a nice machine with the possible exception of the foot pedal. I am not a fan of the knob and button foot pedal, so eventually will get an electronic pedal for this machine. I think I have 20 cams. Attached a photo of some which are delightful!

Dorothy-Comp1.jpg 
This is the machine that takes a 206 x 13 needle available in 12 or 14 from Schmetz. I had heard a rumor the Industrial needle DB x 1 would work so I tried it- ( box of 100 size 12 Ball Points left over from my Pfaff Hobbyloc serger). They work! Very pleased!
The butt is round, smaller in diameter, and longer than the 206 x13. Overall length and distance to eye are the same.

Dorothy-Comp2.jpg 

Have a Great month!

Dorothy


Seb

Seb, our newest member and better at distancing than any of us (from France), sent an interesting sewing machine manual. He writes:

Hello, I've been busy all morning and I'm able to send you my contribution...

This is the instruction manual which my grandmother got in 1956 with her Singer 15B75 (aluminum body cast in Clydebank, Scotland but assembled in Bonnières, France)
This booklet is rather unique: it not only has the regular instructions for good use of both the machine and attachments but also many many instructions about sewing tools, dressmaking, free-motion machine embroidery. It gives a lovely insight at culture in the 1950s, tastes, but also the place of women in society. To illustrate this, I have translated the preface and forewords (pages 4 & 5). One nice bonus in this booklet was the detachable measurement card insert; I love that it advises women to check their measurements every six months! On this card, there is also a historical note: a mention of Singer Sewing Centers being present in most cities in Metropolitan France and Northern Africa, hinting at France's colonial past.

Seb-Front Cover.jpg 

I enclose (possibly as a Google Docs link) a picture of my grandma's machine, a picture of the cover, of the measurement card, my translation of the preface and forewords and of course a pdf of the instruction manual.

Seb-Singer15B-1956.jpg 

Seb-Comp.jpg 

Seb's translation follows here:

"Madam,

You have become the proud owner of a SINGER sewing machine, the most technologically advanced of all existing sewing machines.

French-made, heir to a century of experience and technique, well-tested and approved by women in the whole world, your new SINGER has many joys in store for you.
This booklet was made to help you becoming familiar with your SINGER while revealing to you all its secrets and all its resources.

It also contains such practical tips about cutting, darning and embroidery you will find useful.

We therefore hope to contribute to better serve you in this noble task, Women's privilege: Sewing.

The SINGER Company"

  -----------

"Since Antique Times, sewing has always been woman's own way of expressing herself. Throughout the centuries, progress in sewing has accompanied progress of civilization.
By putting sewing machines within the reach of everyone as early as 1851, SINGER has rendered the world a service beyond appreciation.

Eversince, SINGER has been devoted to researching ways to improve family sewing and expanding its scope.

The special attachments, of the most varied kind, will today allow a beginner to accomplish sewing projects with a precision and a finish that would in the past have required several years of practice.

During the cutting and sewing lessons, a beginner learns to make a dress, starting with the fabric and her own personal measurements ; she does it herself under the wise guidance of the instructor, thus avoiding trial and error and many difficulties as well.
Darning and embroidery lessons teach ladies and young girls alike that a sewing machine is not  made to stitch seams and hems only.

The practical knowledge accumulated by SINGER throughout years of research has been condensed in this booklet and in the book « Darning and Embroidery » of which you will find a few extracts thereafter, right after the instruction manual of your SINGER and just before some useful practical tips.

In Singer Sewing Centers, instructors are at your disposal to teach you to make your own dress yourself in 8 lessons. You will thus learn, through experience to dress elegantly and thriftily."

  ------------

Thank you for organizing another virtual Get-Together and stay safe!

Seb

The manual for the 15B is located at https://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/french-manual-for-the-15b-10499603

In an additional email Seb wrote regarding his mask making:
I've settled on the pleated ones: they're quick to make and comfortable-ish to wear. I'm mostly using the treadle 201 so there should not be a problem. To please my 6 year old niece I used the Featherweight (birthday present from my sister) during a WhatsApp video conversation she asked me if I used the "baby machine Mummy got you for your birthday" So I did... At some point the machine refused to sew over the thick of the pleats, I was astonished a Featherweight would refuse to sew 5 layers but it turned out the stop motion knob was slightly unscrewed... A firm rescrewing did the trick.


James

James sent pictures of two machines that he is working on. He writes:

I am still working on the 1907 Singer 28. I finally managed to take the hand crank assembly completely apart for preparations to JB Weld the broken sections together. I had to get a mechanic at work to loosen the main bolt for the larger gear for me as it was really locked in tight.

I took the slide plates, needle plate and the decorative plates off the machine to clean the rust off of them. Turns out that they will turn black if you leave them in Super Iron Out too long! So I had to use some Brasso to clean the black off.  This is what the machine currently looks like now. I still need to clean the winder and stitch length knob along with the wheel. Although that light rust on the wheel has a nice look, leave it or not?
James-image1.jpg   

Earlier this week I picked up a new acquisition to my collection.  Not often seen in the USA this is a Vickers VS sewing machine  decal type 5 which is a copy of a Frister and Rossmann copy of a Singer 28. I believe it dates from the late 1920s to early 1930s.  It uses a standard 15 needle and has short shank feet.

James-Comp1.jpg 
The parts are not interchangeable between the Singer and Vickers although the Vickers can use some of the Frister and Rossmann stuff like the shuttle and bobbin. I have already ordered a replacement shuttle and bobbin since it was missing. I sent an inquiry for a replacement bobbin winder since some pieces are missing. I can still wind the bobbin if I use my fingers to locate the tread while winding as the holder is still in place. The main difference is that it has a reverse and a different hand crank design compared to the Singer 28. Access to the shuttle is via the rear slide plate not the front. I tried my Singer 28 shuttle and it fits in the cage perfectly but it hits the bottom of the slide plate so correct length but different thickness.

The bobbin winder is very interesting since the design does not use the typical heart shaped cam gear.  Instead it uses the curve of a missing plate to regulate the winding of the spool. The Vickers spools have a little hole at one end that fits into a prong at the right end of the winder.

After I oiled the machine, the crank moves smoothly and well although you can definitely feel the change when the shuttle changes directions at either the top or the bottom of the arc. The needle is disabled for winding via a tab notch at the hand wheel. The handle for the hand crank can be folded out of the way via a pull knob as seen in the rear shot of the machine.

James-Comp2.jpg 

Also notice the little divot hole at the base front next to the winder. That is for a pincushion. There are two round holes under the hand wheel for base drop in conversion to a treadle table.

I will need to clamp and glue and refinish the base since the glue has failed at the mitered corners where there was a biscuit joining the two corners. The area to the right of the hand wheel was a storage bin with a wood knob handle. I should be able to restore things pretty well aside from the long gone center decal in the base, even UV shows no trace as it wore off a good portion of the japanning in that area. Making a pincushion should be pretty easy as well as a lid for the storage bin. The wood top is a different story as I believe it was a curved bentwood top. I may end up just with a rectangular top using a sliding door latch the same size as the latch hardware on the base.

James-image8.jpg 

Can't wait until I get that shuttle with two bobbins so I can sew on this thing!

James


John & Janey

Janey has spent much time researching mask styles and has sewn some of the better ones, picture of which is shown below:  These were the first ones made based on the Olson Mask.

Janey masks.jpg 


Closing

We'll have to see how the month of May goes and decide how we will do our next get together. We will post again next month. Until then, everyone please stay safe and well.



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Reply with quote  #165 
Thank you Janey and John.

This is for James. I had a Vickers just like yours. I gave it away last year, but I may have a few pieces here still, and perhaps the bobbin winder (there were two!) if you would find it useful?
Attached are the only 2 photos I have of it. That bobbin winder in the photo is missing the pull back spring to hold the bobbin.
IMG_0003.jpg

Attached Images
jpeg IMG_0001.jpg (90.99 KB, 8 views)


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Reply with quote  #166 
This is always an interesting read - thank you for  posting.

I love the idea of making those "windows" a machine to get a peek at the innards.  I'm sure this will make a popular display wherever it goes.
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Reply with quote  #167 
I will keep you in mind if I can’t locate a replacement winder for the Vickers. That close up shot of the winder is very useful in understanding what parts are missing and how it works. I am waiting for the arrival of the shuttle and bobbins first. It is interesting how the Vickers has a lot of minor changes between machines even for the same decal pattern. For example that winder is all silver color vs the black in mine. A screw knob for the stitch lever vs the metal tab in mine. Even though based on the decals they are both decal 5. I am guessing they must have used whatever was on hand when they got to the final assembly of the machine. Or perhaps it depended on the base option as you could get different bases like one without the ability to be dropped in a treadle table. A more costly version might have slightly better hardware and paint?
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Reply with quote  #168 
Leon has added some more windows

leon-windows.jpg 

Those will make it easier to oil and will be lighter to carry [wink]

Janey


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Reply with quote  #169 
A little update on my hand crank repair. As mentioned the plan was to JB Weld the broken sections together.

I did heavily grease the bolts and ran them through the gear cover threads several times before mixing up the JB Weld compound. I applied the Weld first to the broken section of the gear cover and wiped away excess Weld on the underside of the gear cover due to concerns over gear clearance when assembled. I left the excess Weld that was squeezed out by the clamp in the bolt attachment area as that will not be touched by the arm.

I did not let the Weld go near the rightmost more broken thread bolt so I have a fairly large threaded gap but there is enough thread I think left for a secure connection. I did a final grease of the bolts and installed them putting more grease on the threads on the back as I moved the bolts back and forth. I will turn the bolts every once in a while during the setting time to prevent the bolts from locking in place.

I did the arm next and oddly enough that was harder for me to do as it kept wanting to shift away. I probably should have left the excess Weld on but it was hard to see with all the shifting wanting to happen.

It should be ready to install in 24 hours. If it holds then I will clean up the area and paint with the engine black to copy the original Japanning.

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jpeg BBDE0784-722E-44DE-9388-2B7581A47BFA.jpeg (477.29 KB, 14 views)

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Reply with quote  #170 
Nice work.  That's a very tricky repair!  Crossing fingers that the bracket holds.  Did you reinforce it at all?

(And, good idea working over the Homer bucket lid -- I assume the JB Weld won't stick to that, right?  I once did a project where I'd been told to cut up a bucket, and glue the sections they way I needed them with construction adhesive.  Needless to say, that didn't work well.)

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Reply with quote  #171 
If the bracket arm does not hold together I plan to get some metal mesh material and JB Weld the broken section again and tightly wrap the mesh around and slather with JB Weld. It should behave much like rebar material in concrete. I wanted try without this first though as the bracket is a fairly snug fit and making it too thick might cause problems with the hand wheel.
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Reply with quote  #172 
Yeah, I would have tried it without reinforcement first, too.
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June 2020 Colorado Get Together

This is the third virtual first-Saturday-of-the-month get together for Colorado vintage and antique sewing machine enthusiasts. This way of meeting is a lot different for everyone. We're getting the hang of putting it together this way, but its a different presentation than simply recounting conversations that were had over a pleasant breakfast.

It should be noted that some in our group have gone to considerable effort doing write ups and taking their own pictures, which we assemble into the virtual meeting. The written text is much more detailed and the pictures are probably a lot better.

But it doesn't replace the experience of getting together and talking with each other face to face. Consider this extra effort by our group members to show that we like our group and want to keep it together, even through temporary challenging conditions.

With that said, let our show and tell begin.

Courtney

Courtney writes:

I have been playing with my quilting frame that I showed last month but things are not going great.  The frame seems fine but it is tough to teach OLD dog new tricks.  I will keep playing around.   I will have an interesting machine to show next month but I haven't worked on the machine because I have been working on a quilting project.  About a year ago I purchased about 250 five inch denim squares for $5 from the thrift store.  The squares were cut from various pieces of old denim clothing (mostly jeans) using scissors.  I decided to use them and have put together a bed top sized denim quilt.  I used most all of the squares just as they were to give the quilt some character.  I was able to use the large transparent tables I discussed a couple of months ago to work on the quilt and tried something new for me.  In the past I have always spray basted my quilts but I figured the heavy denim would cause me problems so instead of spray basting I tried pin basting.  I was quite pleased with the result and will probably try it again soon.  I decided I didn't want to try free motion on such heavy fabric so I just did straight line quilting.  I think it came out quite nice (see picture.)  Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

Courtney
PS - just finished the quilt this afternoon!

Courtney-Denim Quilt small.jpg 

James

As you recall last time I was in the process of using JB Weld to repair the broken off hand crank assembly for a 1907 Singer 28. This is the complete repaired assembly.

James-image1a.jpg 

I then installed the replacement tension assembly that came from a parted out 1906 Singer 28. The tension spring on the machine side was stretched out a bit too much like an abused metal slinky toy so the spring does not have the proper tension play when thread runs through it. A replacement spring is easy to locate as you can get new Singer 27 tension springs so I plan to order it. Currently it is set at a 45 degree angle and the stitches look good. Because of the “tired” spring I have to press farther on the tension release “spoon” to get the plates to open. Here is a stitch sample.

James-image2a.jpg 

Next on the agenda was to make a simple temporary base. I chose to use some sawdust pressed boards that came from a macrophotography mineral photography rig that I built that came came apart too easily. After hand sawing and glueing the boards, I chose to use  chalkboard black spray paint to dress it up a little. This is a photo after it was dry enough to place the machine on it.

James-image4a.jpg 

There was still a bit of rust on the hand wheel so I took coarse then fine steel wood to polish it up a bit. There are still some things left to do such as touching up the bare spots with engine black paint and carefully softening up the old shellac to clean off the grime that did not come off with sewing machine oil and recoating with new shellac. A good quality wood base will also be built but as I think the chalkboard black paint looks really well paired with this machine it will be used again. The slim foot print of the base will be the same with just side handles to transport the machine. Since you can actually use chalk on it I may put some Singer style lettering saying something like 1907 Singer 28K. Then put a clear coat over the lettering to protect it. Here is what it looks like after cleaning the hand wheel. The day was overcast so it does not pop out as well as the earlier photo.

James-image3a.jpg 

Cheryl & Chris

Cheryl and Chris have been beautifully refurbishing a Singer 66.

Cheryl writes:

I spent some time cleaning up a Singer 66 head and put a crank on it. Chris made a nice box for it using treadle hinges since we have quite a few of them. It may get loaned out to a 13 year old who liked another hand crank I had for a while.

cheryl
Cheryl-1a.jpg 
Dianne

Looking back over our get togethers, you can see that Dianne has a liking for cute little sewing machines. Others of us like them, too. Dianne has another one, this one with both chain stitch and chain drive. She writes:

A recent acquisition is The Little Comfort toy sewing machine.  Who can resist one in such wonderful condition?  The chain drive is distinctive and appealing.  It was manufactured by Smith & Egge Manufacturing Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut probably between 1900 and 1910.  This is a small machine, about 7 inches tall and 6 inches wide, but reasonably hefty because it is cast iron.  The ads for this machine appealed to traveling adults, but also said it was ‘easy enough for a child to operate.’ This one came with its original clamp and shipping box, 3 little packets of Willcox and Gibbs needles and two sheets of disintegrating paperwork which I will attempt to consolidate and preserve.  

Dianne-1a.jpg 

It is a little too tall for the photo tent my husband purchased for mineral photography, so it needed to be carefully set to avoid edges of the background paper and the exact positioning of parts was ignored.  Yes, the cloth guide is inverted, but it might work better that way and obviously I’m not going to do much sewing with it anyway.  It came looking so nice I didn’t even want to touch it!  Nothing needed to be done, and I did nothing.

Dianne-2a.jpg 

The paperwork is going to be a big problem, as it was poor quality paper, probably acidic, and is disintigrating.  A full free day will be needed before messing with it.  The threading for this machine, which came in several versions, seems to involve an unusual thread path that goes under the bar across the front.  As this bar rises, it pushes against the tension spring and moves that mechanism, so it makes sense for the bar to be involved in the thread path, timing when the thread advances and then is stopped.  Several photos I’ve seen show that.  Of course, they could all be copying an incorrect photo posted somewhere!  The stitch length adjustment is different from many, and might actually work.  Hopefully the papers will can be conserved enough to make a scan.

The W&G needles are in sizes 1, 2 and 3 and the packets have never been opened.  They are labeled “Howard Machine Needles” and around a center circular photo of a man with a long gun and a log cabin with smoke coming from the chimney are the words “The Pioneer House Established 1857”  They are labeled at the top: “Wilcox & Gibbs and Smith & Egge”.  Willcox with one ‘l’.  It feels like only one or maybe two needles in each packet.  I wonder what the correct pronunciation is for ‘Egge’?

Dianne

Dianne-3a.jpg 

Dorothy

Dorothy emailed us about what she has been doing albeit not with a vintage machine. She writes:

I have done nothing but sew up one linen shirt from the Style Arc Jules Woven top and did that mostly on the serger.

For those who don't know about "Style Arc," it is an Australian pattern company that also sells PDF patterns that can be downloaded.

Seb

Seb won't be able to "join" us this time around.  However, he and Janey have been emailing back and forth earlier this past month.  As it turns out he has come into possession of a treadle that is not a Singer.  He had an electric machine that he had let go of, as he couldn't get the machine to work properly.  As it turns out, the treadle and the electric are the same "brand."  He had sent some pictures and Janey noticed the cute European oil can

Seb_resizedoilcan.jpg 

The electric was/is a DD model and the treadle is a FF model.   Hopefully, when things settle down, he will start a new thread about his Excelsiors.  We'll let him tell you about how things have come together with these machines.  

Closing

We are taking this month by month. We look forward to being able to meet as we did. One way or the other we will post again next month.James


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July 4, 2020 - Colorado Get Together

Our Colorado get together coincides this month with the 4th of July. It was a beautiful Saturday morning with clear blue Colorado skies.

Several of our members have sent pictures and descriptions of their activities over the last month, which we are posting here. Thanks to all who contributed. We all look forward to our regular get togethers as soon as they can resume.

Paula

Paula sent some pictures from a shopping outing.

Hi. I found this at goodwill last weekend. I'm not sure on age, but it is totally cute.

Paula.jpg 

Carol

Carol writes:

I really miss the actual meetings too.

The Choctaw Nation of OK, of which we are members, has a full regalia but for other festive occasions or even every day women wear ribbon skirts and men wear ribbon shirts. My daughter and her fiance Luke were scheduled to get married on the 26th. Since that was postponed, they got together with their friends to celebrate. She had asked me for a ribbon skirt and shirt for the rehearsal dinner, so I sewed them for this party. She picked the colors. And I sewed this month! Getting back to normal.

Carol


Carol.jpg 

Courtney

Dear All,

This month has been busy. Each year the Boulder County Museums has a day of "Crafts and Trades of Olden Days" in Longmont. I take several of my old machines and show them off. Rather than just sit there and talk I take quilting squares and have people sign them. Each year I then make the signed squares into a quilt. Since last month I have finished 2019's quilt.

Unfortunately I do not think they will be having the outing this year in September. I guess I will have to wait until next year to show it off.

Courtney-Quilt.jpg 


I have also been playing around some with a strange little sewing machine. The machine plus motor weighs about 12 lbs. The machine, motor, foot control, and case weigh about 18 lbs so I am sure it was designed as competition for the "Featherweight." The machine has been designed around standard "model 15 parts." The motor and foot control are standard for the time. The upper bobbin is the same as a clone "15" bobbin plate. The lower bobbin assembly is also the same as a "15" clone. It is rather funky looking.

Originally I thought that the top (front and back) was stamped steel but it appears to be thin cast aluminum. The one part (and weakest part) is the table. Since this was just stamped steel, it had gotten bent in a couple of places. I have tried to gently get it back into the original shape. The interior has a cast skeleton of some kind. It is not aluminum or steel. I think it is some kind of pot metal similar to a number of toy machine I have seen. Other than the bent top plate, the machine was in good (but dirty) condition. I took it apart and gave it a once over cleaning and oiling and it does seem to work. The machine had easy to use oil ports. I don't think it gave the Featherweight much competition.

Courtney-Machine.jpg 


Courtney also sent links to several YouTube videos that are sewing related. We have included them in a .pdf (Adobe) file, for any who would like to look at them, attached at end of post.

He continues:

Hope every one is doing well and staying safe.  Until next month....

Courtney

Cheryl & Chris

Cheryl and Chris sent some pictures of their activities this last month. Cheryl writes:

I've mostly been sewing shirts using my quilting stash, but I've also been cleaning up this VS2. The shellac on it was terrible - brown and pealing, plus lots of pitting. Some of the decals were obscured by the darkened and dirty shellac.  I've cleaned that up some and smoothed it out a bit using clear shellac, but some of the imperfections such as deep paint chips will still remain.  I don't need it to look brand new, but the decals are far brighter and are now protected with a new coating of shellac.  It needs a bit more shining up now.

cheryl and chris

Cheryl.jpg 

Dianne

From Dianne:

The Johnston Ruffler Company of Ottumwa, Iowa was early to enter the sewing machine attachments business.  This ruffler, made of brass, has patent dates going back to Jan. 21, 1863; another Feb. 14, 1865, and several more in 1870, 1871, 1872, 1874 and 1888.  The seller had tried to fit it on 1871 and 1875 Howe machines with no luck, but had contact with a woman on Facebook who had a similar ruffler that fit her Wheeler and Wilson sewing machine.

Dianne1.jpg 

There's no doubt about who manufactured it, with information stamped in four places.  Oddly, it is marked "Licensed for Family Use Only" in one spot.  An online search found "Manufacturing, Agricultural and Industrial Resources of Iowa" by H.S. Hyatt who wrote this about the company (misspelling the company name): "Johnson Ruffler & Co. - Too much cannot be said in regards to this enterprising company.  The energy manifested on their part, and the interest shown in developing the resources of our city, merit the confidence of every citizen.  In two short years they have from a limited capital brought their business into general notice, and placed it upon a safe basis financially.  They employ 50 hands at an average salary of $2.00 per day, all of which is thrown into circulation amongst the businessmen of our city.  Their building is 45 by 90 feet, two stories high, furnished with first class machinery suitable for running their business." 

A very different ruffler, as well as a Tuck Marker, also made by the Johnston Ruffler Company, came with a 1898 hand-cranked New National sewing machine by New Home acquired several years ago.  The pair are in a burgundy case, and only stamped with company name and town on the ruffler, and a patent date of Nov. 21, 1876 on the Tuck Marker.  Directions are in the lid, along with additional patent dates. 

Cleaning up this Standard SewHandy and getting it ready to sew has taken some time.  These were manufactured between 1928 and 1938.  This one needs a new power cord, and although the present one tests OK with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, it is disintegrating and unsightly.  The machine sews nicely.  Two books by Darrel P. Kaiser were helpful in working with this machine, "Before the Featherweight  Sewhandy" Volume 1 is History, Volume 2 Maintenance and Repair.  The books overlap and there is repetition, but they were nevertheless very helpful.  To get to the lower gears to grease them, one removes the bottom plate with motor and wiring from the entire top of the machine.  The base is aluminum, but the pillar and arm are cast iron.  Still, it weighs about the same as a Featherweight, Singer 221.  The bobbin is wound on that little stub where the handwheel should be.  The later General Electric badged Sewhandy is all cast iron, and that adds about four pounds to its weight.  The cases for the Sewhandy and Featherweight are nearly identical.

Dianne-2.jpg 
Dianne

James

James shared the following with us:

I keep losing out on machines I am bidding on so have not acquired anything lately. I finally got my replacement shuttle and bobbins from England that fits my Vickers VS sewing machine. The first shipment never arrived and the seller kindly resent the parts.

I was able to wind the bobbin fairly well even with the missing parts on the winder. Currently I am having problems forming stitches as the top thread keeps breaking off.  Interestingly there is quite a bit of variation between the shuttles after comparing the one I got to the other Vickers and Frister Rossmann compatible shuttles. Mine does not have the carry notch near the pointed end but my machine has a different shuttle cage design that does not require the notch. I also noticed that the machine is pretty picky about the thread placement when placing the shuttle in. If I do not place the thread directly to the front of the machine, the needle will not catch and bring the bobbin thread up.

I have included some photos of the replacement shuttle and bobbin. Notice the hole in the bobbin that fits over a pin in the bobbin winder to hold it in place while winding.

James.jpg 

Leon

Leon, from Kansas, shared some pictures from a recent trip out. He writes:

Saturday I did a bit of traveling. I found these machines at an antique/junk shop. I have an industrial 29 that needs some pieces. Maybe this (1890) can be a donor. The 88 Lotus is one that I had been looking for  for a while.  One afternoon of cleaning and oiling had it working again (1906) I had been looking at the Western Electric for three years, and they dropped the price to lower than half of the original. I jumped on it. (1917 ish) The Western Electric (badged National) came with a bentwood case.
Leon-machines.jpg 

Also here are pics of a treadle belt cutter and pliers punch.  Not all may know these.

Leon-pliers.jpg 

Leon

Dorothy

Dorothy has been busy sewing mainly for work, but has cut out a top from her new found fabric. From an email excerpt to Janey, she shares:

I have done little sewing other than work which has been interesting. Production plants closed, but design efforts keep moving forward.

I have been looking for natural fabrics, as synthetics are hot on me. Ordered in a woven hemp cotton blend (55/45) to dye. Linen in light weights. A splendid discovery is a Batik print knit- all cotton and 72" wide from Maggie's Sewing in Longmont! Absolutely a great find in a quilt store. Maggie's purchased the store in the last year and have expanded into another section, which includes a small display of vintage machines!

I attached a photo of the fabric. It is teal & navy with the leaf pattern slightly lighter blue. I suspect it is a Batik wax on an initial light blue ground. Then a 2 step - I can not tell if it is Tie Dye or some sort of splotchy 2 tone print but there is no cracking on the leaves so 2 tone print it is.

Interesting, the selvedge is a rolled hem on both sides! It is a heavy knit, already cut into a tank top ready to sew.

Dorothy.jpg 

Happy sewing to all!

Dorothy

In Closing

We look forward to what the coming month will bring and hope for good news. We will share the activities of our Colorado group (and other welcome visitors) here again next month. Everyone be safe and stay well!

 
Attached Files
pdf Courtney-Videos.pdf (155.78 KB, 2 views)


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A lovely read. Thank you Janey and John.
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Reply with quote  #176 
Thank you, Marie. 

I'm going to attach a .doc (Word) file of Courtney's list of Sewing machine videos.  We decided to do put them in a file rather than embed them, here.

John can open the pdf videos from his computer.  I cannot open from the pdf file, but I can for the doc file.  I did have a problem with one of them, but it can be found at the bottom of http://stagecoachroadsewing.com/

Janey

 
Attached Files
doc Courtney-Videos.doc (26.50 KB, 2 views)


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Reply with quote  #177 
The Fairline machine that Courtney has was made by the same manufacturer that made the Cute little Cinderella machines.

Also, the Standard/ Osann Sewhandy was only produced until 1932. Singer bought Osann, reworked the Sewhandy design and came out with the 221 Featherweight in 1933.

Cari

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Cari,  I keep seeing that "this lead to the Featherweight" repeated but I have not seen one piece of evidence for that.  Mechanically they have virtually Nothing in common.
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Reply with quote  #179 

I have one of those Cinderella machines and immediately thought of it when I saw the skeleton of Courtney's machine. It's cute but not one I'd use for regular sewing. 

cheryl

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cari-in-Oly
The Fairline machine that Courtney has was made by the same manufacturer that made the Cute little Cinderella machines.

Also, the Standard/ Osann Sewhandy was only produced until 1932. Singer bought Osann, reworked the Sewhandy design and came out with the 221 Featherweight in 1933.

Cari


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Reply with quote  #180 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH-VSS
Cari,  I keep seeing that "this lead to the Featherweight" repeated but I have not seen one piece of evidence for that.  Mechanically they have virtually Nothing in common.


Here you go -

https://singer-featherweight.com/blogs/schoolhouse/tagged/before

Cari

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Reply with quote  #181 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cari-in-Oly


Here you go -

https://singer-featherweight.com/blogs/schoolhouse/tagged/before

Cari


Thanks!  Particularly the "A short time later, Singer Manufacturing acquired Osann and, thus, had the machine redesigned and the "Featherweight" name was reborn in 1933"

Although it seems to me the only thing they used was the name, but this sure seems like that is not the case. I'd love to know their source.

Thanks again.

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August 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Get-Together

Our group is again meeting from a distance, sharing activities and pictures via email. The descriptions and several pictures are presented here for others to see.

As an aside, we are sizing the pictures differently due to the fact that the site(s) reduce larger pictures. We wished that the sizes of some of the pictures last month were larger. We don't quite have a handle on the sizing rules yet, so we're experimenting. Any feedback is welcome.


Leon

Leon, located one state away in Kansas, has been out looking and found the following:

This 1899 oddball came my way a week ago. Obviously rebuilt and given a crinkle finish. Delco motor by GM was added with a 2 screw mount under the access plate. No boss for a conventional motor mount.  Quick release tension lever was a big surprise too.  It will turn, but I have not cleaned or oiled it yet. Came (with) the shuttle and one bobbin.  Case is way too new and rectangular.  Not pretty.  Hope all are well.
Leon-vsm Great eastern front c.jpg 

Leon-vsm Great eastern reconditoned badge ID c.jpg 

Leon-vsm Great eastern quick no boss two screw mount c.jpg 
Leon-vsm Great eastern quick release tension c.jpg   


John & Janey

Some years ago, Janey and I were in a thrift store and discovered a pink Atlas. We brought it home. It had a variety of small issues, some of which we worked on, after which we wrote up and posted the results of the new find.

More recently Janey discovered a pink carrying case about the same color. We have put the pink Atlas in the case and the resulting color-matched machine and case are shown below.

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Seb

Seb, who lives in France, sent us several pictures. Interesting as well, Seb recently moved to a new home, the French flavor of which may be seen in the backgrounds. Seb writes:

Hello!

This month, I have not done much in terms of sewing machines; I bought the lovely Singer 15 with Tiffany decals but I've already shared the pictures. So I thought I would share pictures of the room I rearranged to house my small collection of sewing machines and use as a workspace for everything sewing and arts and crafts. The machines are not really on display; I need to find a solution (sturdy shelves?) for the ones on bases but I don't think I could really display those which are in cabinets... If anyone has ideas or suggestions... 😉
I've also taken pictures of the two sewing tables / cabinets; I don't really know the name for such pieces of furniture in English but they are called "travailleuses" in French.
I've not been in the sewing room much these days; the room is upstairs and the weather is really hot (40°C / 104°F in the afternoon not much under 25°C / 77°F at night).

I hope everyone is doing fine!

Take care and stay safe,

Seb

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James

James writes:

I have not worked on or gotten any sewing related items lately so here is something I got in June a year ago.

As you can see it is a much larger version of the small Singer sewing box that was shown in the July virtual meeting. I have not really been able to find any dating information on these Singer sewing boxes with legs. The best information I was able to find is that they were made in various countries from possibly the late 1940s to possibly the early 1970s. Mine was made in the Philippines and has mahogany wood. It opens up to an amazing 66 inches long when expanded. I have included a hammer for scale.

I do not think it is one of the earlier versions since the outside corners joints are not dovetailed which were probably phased out over the years due to being more expensive to make. The wood is quite nice so my guess it is probably from the late 1950s to early 1960s. It is a very close match to the Strommen Bruk Hamar sewing boxes made in Norway so I do not know if Singer copied these or it was the other way around. Some of the Singer boxes use knobs instead of the long curved section for the box tops.

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Closing

We're taking things month by month and value the contributions of the group members that we present here. We will post again next month. We hope everyone reading this will stay well and safe.



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Janey & John
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Reply with quote  #183 
Once again, Janey & John, always fun to read about the monthly get-together.  Thank you for sharing.
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charley26

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Reply with quote  #184 
Thank you Janey and John. I loved reading about your group meetings whether in real life or virtually. I really love Seb's photos of his sewing boxes and his rooms too.
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #185 
Thanks for the monthly update, Janey and John.  It's great fun to hear of everyone's activities and the pictures are such treasures!
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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #186 
September 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Enthusiasts Meeting

Things are still a long way from normal in Denver. Some restaurants are open, but people largely seem uncomfortable with dining out. Many bank branches have closed entirely with others allowing entry only with masks. Think of the irony in that. A year ago, if you donned a mask and entered a bank it would have attracted a much different kind of attention.

We are again offering an online display of each others' work, with several of our members sending pictures and write-ups of their activities for posting. This month we have lots of pictures to share.


Cheryl

Cheryl got a nice vertical feed machine. She writes:

I succumbed to temptation and picked up a Davis High Arm Vertical Feed. From Needlbar and another website, I was able to determine it was from 1883.
Wow! I have never had a sewing machine that could go over such large humps without balking or keeping such perfect stitch lengths. If I can fit it under the foot, it sews it, even with a horrible old needle I cleaned the rust off (I ordered some new ones.) This will definitely come in handy for some of my projects.
The mechanism is so very different from most sewing machines. There are no feed dogs. The needle goes through the fabric and then, with the help of a moving foot, pulls the fabric along. It's supposed to work well with fabrics that easily slip. Quilters love it for putting on bindings and straight line quilting. It IS noisy though!
If you are wondering where the bobbin winder is, it's on the treadle irons.

cheryl

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Courtney

Courtney has a new acquisition and has been doing some testing, the results of which he shares here:

Dear All,

I do have some sewing machine new to share. I finally got a pre-civil war Willcox and Gibbs machine. It is not pretty but neither am I and it is 160 years old. I am less than half that. I have included a couple of pictures. I have been working on getting her back in sewing condition. I have gotten her to sew but am still needing to do some minor adjusting. At least it does sew. Once I am done with the adjusting I will work on cleaning it up a bit. I have included a couple of pictures. But even the way it is it is better than some I have seen.
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My daughter has a friend who has decided to learn to sew so that she can make some face masks. She has managed to inherit a 1937 Featherweight from her family. At least she is starting with a good machine and not a $60 plastic machine from a box store. She has sent me some pictures of her masks and it looks like she is coming along nicely. She sent me an email asking if she should be looking and buying a zigzagger for her machine. I responded that I did not think that she needed a zigzagger since most home sewing was done with out a zigzag for nearly a hundred years but if she was serious about sewing she might get more use out of a buttonholer.

The request about a zigzagger got me thinking. I have a number of zigzaggers that I have picked up over time, so I decided to have a shoot out with six different zigzaggers on a Featherweight. To make sure everything was fair I kept the same stitch length (about 13-14 spi and a wide but not the widest zigzag) First up is a couple of Singers. The first is the automatic zigzagger from the mid 50's. It has cams and can do a number of different stitches. I have shown the four stitches that comes with the attachment. It did a nice job on a zigzag stitch. The blind hem is strange since it loos like an arch. The last stitch of the arch is rather wide so as to produce the blind hem stitch. The other two stitches are are decorative and shown but not to best advantage since the stitch length is too long. With a shorter stitch length they do look quite attractive. The second Singer is a zigzag attachment only. It only does a zigzag stitch. It produce a nice zigzag but had one problem, the bottom of the attachment was not smooth. I was stitching on some leftover signature squares from a friendship quilt and the fabric got caught on a post that stuck down below the bottom of the attachment. As I sewed, the square got caught on this post. Since my square was backed with freezer paper is slowed and then nearly stopped the advancement of the material so the stitches got very close together. If my squares were not backed perhaps the stitch would not have been retarded as much but it could have caused a big mess if I were to keep going.

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My second pair of zigzaggers were made by Griest. The first is an automatic zigzagger. This was by far the largest of all the attachments it has 8 built in stitches and I had great hope for this device. My hope did no come through. I could not get the attachment to fasten tightly to the presser foot bar no matter how hard I tried there was always some wiggle. When I tried to do a zigzag stitch it would only make a few stitches and then stop feeding as shown in the picture. The cloth was not caught on anything so I don’t know what was wrong. The other Greist zigzagger was the decorative zigzagger. On the outside and inside it looked nearly identical to the Singer zigzagger only above. The only difference between the two was that id had 6 cams that you could attach to the side to produce different stitches. The zigzag from this attachment was OK but had the same problem with things getting caught up underneath the attachment. In the picture you can see that the stitch looks OK but I didn’t sew a straight line since I was concentrating of keeping it from catching up.

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The last pair of zigzaggers were from Japan. The YS Star attachment produces 7 different stitches. Two of the stitches are zigzag, a wide and a narrow. Unlike the other attachment you cannot adjust the width of the stitch. The blind hem is quite nice as shown in the picture. The two decorative stitches are not shown at their best because the stitch length was too long. At a shorter stitch length they too looked quite nice like the Singer automatic above. This attachment is rather unique since you change the stitch by inserting a plate in the back of the machine. I have shown the plate for the two zigzag stitches next to the attachment. Over all it can do a wide and narrow zigzag, a blind hem, and 4 decorative stitches. This is a nice solid attachment that is not too large. The last attachment was a generic zigzag attachment. It is not fancy but does produce an acceptable zigzag. The only problem is when this is attached to the presser foot there is very little space under the foot to push the fabric.

Courtney-ZZ Japans.jpg 

Over all here is my ranking as to the easiest and best stitch control: 1) the YS Star, 2) the Singer automatic, 3)tie The Singer zigzag only and the Greist decorative zigzagger (these are basically twins on one another) 4) the generic zigzagger. All of the above could be adjusted to give an acceptable stitch. Unfortunately, I was never able to get the Greist attachment to even give a decent stitch so I have to rank it last.

Courtney


Dianne

Hello everyone,

It was a quiet month except for one amazing day in August.  SewLucky, an eBay dealer in Florida, had listed a 1951 Singer 15-91 with refurbished motor.  The 15-91 is my all-time favorite machine, and I never want to be without one in working condition.  But, they do have the potential of problems with the potted motor.  Luckily, I won this auction and the machine finally arrived yesterday.  USPS took forever, but it arrived in great condition, having been exceedingly well-packed.  The machine is delightful.  I’ve been sewing with it this morning, and all seems well.  A base with hinges has been ordered to make maintenance easier.  So now there are two of these graceful ladies in my sewing room.  To my eyes, they are stunningly beautiful.

Later that same morning after winning the 15-91, my other routine search for the first time brought up a Brother FZ-2.  Oh, isn’t that one lovely!  It had been listed as a BUY IT NOW only a couple hours earlier.  I tend to follow directions, so I bought it.  Immediately.  Two special machines in one day.  The seller in Iowa said he rarely picked up sewing machines, but this one looked really special.  It was like a Buick among Chevies.  He also did a great job of packing.  The manual is dated 1956, and I’ve not found a serial number or JA indication on the machine.  It is only missing the cloth guide, ruffler and two screwdrivers.  A bit of oiling and new grease on the gears got it sewing nicely.  The machine by itself weighs 17 -18 pounds and magnets are not attracted to it.  The case, including all the accessories, is about 10 pounds.  Sadly, the case exterior has water damage which seems permanent, but it is just superficial and the case interior is great.  Everything about the machine and case is very well engineered.  It is simple to operate, despite being advanced for its day.  The darning ‘foot’ is a darning spring, but very nice quality.  The bobbin case is unusual, and the stop motion procedure to wind bobbins also.  One can get a peek at the cam stack and other related mechanisms by loosening a front plate where the Pacesetter logo is located.  

Here are a few photos from the auction:

Dianne

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James

James got two new machines, one of which he sent pictures of:

I ended up with two sewing machines last month. The one I want to feature this month is a very nice pink and white Necchi Supernova Ultra.  They made these in the late 1950s to early 1960s. My guess is that my machine was made around 1959 or so. The Necchi features a 3 layer cam with each layer controlling how a stitch is made. Unfortunately it did not come with any cams although it came in a very nice shape Necchi case.  The wiring as usual was in pretty bad shape including the  connection to the molded plug into the 4 prong machine socket so I just ordered a replacement electronic pedal with the correct connections and and the motor runs just fine. The cam stack is frozen so I will have to work on freeing it. Other than the frozen cam stack the stitch controls seem to work just fine.

A couple of interesting bits about the machine includes a rotating needle plate allowing switching between straight, zigzag and double needle sewing.  There is a pull down magnifying glass to aid in seeing to thread the needle. There is also an automatic needle threader that has a hook at the end to catch and pull the thread through the eye of the needle when the needle is at its highest point. I do need to bend the hook slightly sideways as it is lined up correctly, just off a little to the side. The machine also features two toggle switches for turning the machine on and the motor speed.

James
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Janey

Janey got a motor and light for the Singer 319 which replace a black motor and broken lamp that had been previously placed on the machine just to get it working. Now it is all color coodinated. She says:

The 319 came into the herd originally in 2014.  It had a broken motor, light, the controller had been hard wired to the back of the plug and had no power cord.  The next day a Japanese machine with a Brother motor was found and purchased to put the motor on the 319.  I had a black power cord that would work.  John switched it out and a controller bag was made.  I also ordered some bobbins and needles for it and it was put on a shelf.   

Well, last month on my birthday, JoeJr posted a picture of a green motor, light & power cord that sure appeared to be like the ones that belonged on a 319.   As it turns out, Joe didn't have any green machines and I was able to purchase them.

He packed them extremely well.  I did a little cleaning and realized that I hadn't really cleaned the machine.  I cleaned some on the machine - still some places that need some work, but better than it was.  John was able to wire the controller to the power plug which had the controller wires cut inside the plug and switched out the light and motor.  

Pictures of the original motor (gone after Brother put on) with tag, the cut wires, the front of the machine, the back of the machine and the motor tag.

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In Closing

Thank you for reading. We will post again next month. Until then, everyone please stay safe and well.




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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #187 
Diane that is a beautiful example of an FZ2! I wondered if i would find out who bought it, by the time I got the notification it had already sold. This machine was sold for a short amount of time, from late 1956 into 1958 in the US. The bobbin case really isn't unusual, it's an L style rotary bobbin and case. If you PM me, I'll give you a PDF of the service manual for it.

Cari

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Reply with quote  #188 
Janey, thank you again for posting about the Colorado Gettogether.  It's always fun to read and see what everyone shared!
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