Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recently, I was able to add to my sewing machine collection.

     Thanks to Tamara, Maggie's co-worker, I have received a new-to-me old Singer sewing machine. She knows I like old Singer machines and thought I would like to have it. You bet!

     This is a 1926 Model 99. It was manufactured in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
     I wondered about the screw/clip on the metal cover to the right. I unscrewed it and nothing happened. Hmmm. I thought it was some sort of motor cover. I picked up the machine to move it and the whole machine about fell backwards. Yikes! You know how heavy these old machines are.

     Oooo, look at that! Turns out there's storage under the machine. The clip was the closure for the storage compartment. I found all sorts of presser feet and gizmos. Cool!

     I know what most of these are for, but not sure of those 3 circle things. I'll have to do an internet search. If you know what they are, please let me know.
And it also came with this cover.
      The machine has a knee operated peddle and seems to work well. Do you call it a peddle when you don't use your foot? The cord looks good. I plugged it in and ran the motor a little. I didn't want to run it too long without having it serviced. A little cleaning, oiling and greasing and I'll be trying it out. Thank you again, Tamara. This is special and so nice.

      Since I was showing you my latest addition, I thought I would show you the other machines in my Singer collection. I went to the Singer  website to look up the serial numbers and find some information about them. It's fun finding out about all these old machines. I think about all the people who were involved in making them and the ladies (mostly I'm sure) that used them to make things for their homes and clothing for their families.

      My husband called me at work one day a few years ago and said there was an old Singer like my mom's (a Featherweight) at a yard sale. Turns out this machine is a 1902 Singer Model 27 with the Sphinx decal design. Sorry, this picture is awful. It really doesn't do it justice. It was manufactured in Elizabeth, New Jersey, as are all my Singers.  

     The wooden box shown in the front of the machine is a cool little thing. It holds all the presser feet.**   The contents look like Frankenstein surgical tools.

      It came in this cabinet, but I'm not sure it was the original; I'm thinking not. It doesn't look like any cabinet I've seen before (like I'm an expert).
      The next one is a 1937 Singer Model 15. My husband found this at another yard sale a few years ago. It came in a cabinet, but no attachments, etc. It is very clean. Since I have so many machines and don't have space for them all in my sewing room/guest room, I am using this cabinet as a night stand in the spare bedroom.

     The last machine is a 1950 Singer Model 221-1, also known as a Featherweight. This model is LOVED by quilters: small, portable (and heavy), but easy to take to a sewing class. It has that great clinky sound. You know what I mean if you have one. And it's darn cute! ("...and gosh darn it, people like me.") This machine had belonged to my mother. Dad bought it for her in their early married years. This is the machine my sisters and I learned to sew on. As a child, I made many a Barbie & troll doll dress on it.

      This particular model of the Featherweight is the centennial edition. Using my cell phone camera you can't see the details on the medallion below, but it has a blue rim around the edge and shows the dates 1851-1951. None of the other models of the Featherweight have it. I knew mine was a centennial edition, but I had not looked up the serial number until today. This was manufactured in 1950. I had always thought it had to be made in 1951 to be one of the centennial machines. Okay, this is confusing. I thought I'd try to research.
      According to the person at seabreezespinners:  "The serial number says it was manufactured October of 1950 although it has the 1851 – 1951 crest. 50,000 were certified for manufacture that month which were destined to go out to the stores in 1951." That makes sense to me. My machine was also made in October of 1950. You have to have inventory prior to January 1, 1951. HA.

Now on to the Singers that aren't black
(wait, that doesn't sound right):

      I also have a 1975 Singer Stylist 534 (Now vintage? My kids would say so.) that I got when I graduated from high school. I used it exclusivly until the early to mid 1990s (when I got a new machine - another brand. sorry). I was like those ladies of old, making many things for my home and many, many clothes for my daughters and T-shirts for my husband. Emily is now using it. She's made curtains, purses, etc. with her Craft Night group. It still runs like crazy. I don't have the machine here to take a picture, so I'm borrowing a picture from this website. My daughter, Maggie, recently told me she feels about this machine the same way I feel about my mother's Featherweight. Awwhhh. That makes me happy.

      This is a toy Singer machine my sisters and I played with. I think it's called Sew Handy, maybe model 20, made mid to late 1950's. I have it on display in my sewing room. I don't remember it ever working very well. The wheel hasn't turned in years (did it ever?). I was the fourth child to play with it. Wonder what that means? I still like it.

       That's all I know about my machines. If you have other information, I'd appreciate the help. The following website has a short history of the Singer Manufacturing Company.

** I liked the accessory box of the model 27 so much, I showed it to my dad. He made a few, enjoying  the challenge of piecing it together just right. The wood grain looks like lace. We thought they would make interesting jewelry boxes. They open up like a little treasures.

     I hope this little show-n-tell is better than Josephine Hedgepeth's blue pillow.   :^P


  1. Hello, I just recently was given a Singer 534 and I'm having great difficulty threading the bobbin case, can you help? I have the original book and all and I'm still at a lost.

  2. I haven't been able to be on my blog in quite a while. I apologize for not responding sooner. I don't use this machine very often, as it's out of commission at the time. I always thread my bobbins with the thread pulling back on itself. My machine repairman thinks I'm crazy to do it this way. He says never, but I learned to do it that way and don't have a problem. See if that works. I'll have to dig out my manual and see what it says.