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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Another Singer Domestically Speaking, Of Course

Moss Rose
Goodman and I were browsing our favorite local antique store yesterday, actually looking over a treadle cabinet that I was considering for my hand-crank 1915 machine,  when another browser walked up and began talking about the old portable Singer his mother and grandmother had used years ago.  We listened and found out he had inherited it, and that it was stored in the CRAWL SPACE of his house.  Argh, a damp, dusty, buggy crawl space in no place to store a sewing machine, but on with the story.  He said he had no family members that sewed, but he wanted it to go to someone who'd use it and appreciate it and then offered it to us for only $35.  He knew its worth full-well, but his emotional attachment to the machine and wanting it to be used seemed to be his guide for selling it to us.  We finished browsing the store and met him later at his house to pick it up.  I didn't get a chance to try it out first - he didn't know us from Adam's house cat so he brought it out to the driveway, we paid him and left with it.
Here's a look at how the case looked before cleaning:

At first the wheel wouldn't turn at all (usually a sign that the motor is frozen some way or other) so Goodman sprayed a silicone lubricant into the grease openings on the motor casing and let it set until the motor was saturated.  It took a few hours of waiting, but the motor turns and is working smoothly now.  This is an after cleaning photo... it was covered in grime when we got it. 
Grease holes are the silver upright cylinders on either end of the motor casing.
While Goodman was busy with the motor I looked the machine up on the Singer site and found that it is a 1928 Model 99-13 portable.  It's really too heavy to be carrying around at about 30 pounds, but that's how they billed it back then.  It was a 3/4 sized version of their Model 66.  Here are some ad plates that the Singer Company used to advertise this machine back in the early 1920s.  (Click the pics to see them better.)


  Someone at the Singer Company must have been a birder.   Love. that.



Here's our new girl all cleaned up but not quite ready to sew.  The tension needs adjusting, but that should be done soon. 

 The finish is in pretty good shape except for a 1-inch spot on a corner of the base that is a bit rusty, thanks to that "crawl space", no doubt.  Not a big worry though.

Several attachments, 6 bobbins and the original manual were in the cubbyhole in the base.  Love the gold trim on old Singers.  The Singer Co. even named each set of decals for their machines.  This set is called "Filigree."
The main reason I really, really love old Singer sewing machines...  They will last forever if you keep them oiled.  Recently my second-hand, but still pricey Pfaff 2170 sewing & embroidery machine bit. the. dust.  I'd had it only 4 years.  It will cost $800 dollars to fix it.  I don't think we'll be paying that to fix it as there's no guarantee how long it would work then, either.  Obviously buying it was a costly mistake.  And it's not even cute enough to use as a doorstop whereas the old Singer machines are.  I have two other vintage Singer machines if you'd like to take a look at them:
A 1915 Hand-Crank Portable Model 15 and a 1953 Model 301a .

In my search to identify some attachments I found this clever gif depicting the interlocking twist that keeps us sewists in stitches. Brilliant.
Source

What's for dinner - a copycat version of Red Lobster's clam chowder and cheese toast.  Lip-smackin' good, it was.  Wishing y'all a wonderful week.

35 comments:

  1. dang! what an awesome serendipitous purchase! her face and features are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, Theresa. It is an awesome machine.

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  2. In all my sewing years I thought it was "magic" that created the stitch ;0) Thank you so much for the moving picture, it explains it so well even I can follow it. I still think there is a touch of magic in there.
    Hugs

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    1. Hi Cally! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I've always thought the way the machines lock the stitches was mysteriously convenient, myself. ;)

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  3. Those old machines are beautiful! Thank you for sharing her story with us. And what a bummer about your "new" machine! They just don't make things like they used to... Happy Monday to you! And I am sure it is after that lovely deal on the black beauty!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, JES. This machine sure helps soften the blow of the Pfaff's demise. Goodman is considering taking a repair course, though, so it may rise again, yet. :)

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  4. I am soooo happy for you! And you are so right. They don't machines the way they used to. People kind of snorted at me when I bought a top of the line (which isn't all that fancy) Necchi about fifteen years ago when I began quilting. But I'll tell you what.......it has never had to be taken in for repairs. I mostly work on a Janome now. It arrived with an issue with the presser foot. Once that was resolved (we're talking a UPS road trip back to the factory) it has been fine. Seems like my friends are always having to take their Pfaffs and Berninas in for repairs.

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    1. Thank you, Kay. You're a much wiser sewing machine purchaser than I was, but I have learned my lesson now. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Hello, I just loved this post! Those old Singers were the best! How I wish I had one!
    It was fun to see how that stitch worked! I do enjoy sewing, but mostly aprons and curtains now day's!
    Blessings,Roxy

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    1. Hi Roxy! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I love making aprons, too. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  6. Fabulous! I have one just like it, but the decals are a bit more worn. Stitches like a dream. Aren't you thankful that at one time things were made to last?
    Happy day.

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    1. Thank you, Lady Locust! I stopped by and had a look at your machine, and they are all gorgeous. Yes, I'm really thankful for dependable older gems like yours and mine. Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Day to you, too.

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  7. What a lovely find! I had to make a quick search for "crawl space" as that's something we don't have in our houses here. And ew. Poor thing. I'm glad it survived this well and now it's going to be loved in a good home. ;-)

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    1. Thank you, Alhana! Isn't the English language a puzzle sometimes. Crawl space does aptly describe what it is though. Hope you had a great vacation. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Wow that's nice. My gandma had one just like it !

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    1. Thank you! I wish I'd asked the man what his grandmother's first name had been - I would name the machine after her, I think.

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  9. Oh my, what a beauty! You are so blessed to have this lovely sewing machine - enjoy, sweet friend :)

    Hugs to you!

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie. Goodman and I both felt it was a providential gift.

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  10. I bought a 4,000.00 Babylock before I retired and when I was just getting back into quilting. I had used my 1962 or 3 singer that my mom bought me since that time and had never had an issue with it. The BL is ALL plastic so I never take it anywhere and am keeping my eyes crossed that it will last a few years it has already had a few things go wrong. I take my featherweight to all classes. I am still drooling over your hand crank. Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks Elaine. I think plastic has become a bigger problem than anyone ever thought it would. I'm droolin' over your featherweight, and I haven't even seen it. lol

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  11. Oh, she's a beauty! They just don't make 'em like that anymore. Don't you just love how they weren't only functional but also works of art? Thanks for sharing this wonderful find.

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    1. Yes, Ten Acre, the beauty of these machines is a big draw, too.

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  12. I just love stories like this-so happy you brought her home with you

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    1. Thank you, Kathy! I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  13. Great machine! Have a good week. Blessings, Martha

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  14. Well, congratulations on a nice looking purchase! so sorry that your old one gave out.
    I'm looking forward to more soups soon! Yours looks delish.

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    1. Thank you, Deb. I know I'm pushing it a bit with the chowder, but we loved it anyway.

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  15. You got a wonderful treasure. I have a couple of the 99's that I use often, but my very favorite vintage Singer is the 201. And yes, they last almost forever.

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    1. I had a look at your machines, and they are all gorgeous!
      Thank you for stopping by, Mrs. Muddling.

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    2. That is a beautiful machine. Thanks for the submission to the HomeAcre hop. Feel free to stop by at www.PintSizeFarm.com or another one of the hosts to submit another this week!

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  16. I love the Singer sewing machine. It'a beautiful machine and I'm so glad it's working now. I also like your pretty flowers.

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  17. Oh, my goodness, Toni! That singer is so beautiful and cleaned up so well! What a gem :) I also love the gif of the basic stitch! You are such a rare kind of friend ..valuing the really wonderful things of life :) I'm glad the kimchi is ready and hope that Goodman becomes a fan! You can also add garlic to it :) Blessings!

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  18. What beautiful Singer sewing machines. My mama had one just like this one. What a lovely machine. The chowder looks so good, too.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

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  19. I had to come back and see that stitch video again, plus to say 'Hi'! I just prayed for you also, as the Lord laid you on my heart! Blessings today, Toni!

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Thank you for your comments!