Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Blunders of Modern Technology and An Accidental Purchase

Hello lovelies! I hope that you are surviving the sweltering heat here in the Northern Hemisphere (or the cold if you are down under). I have had NO INTERNET at my week-time digs for the past two weeks so am terribly behind with blogging. I did have my phone but it is so small that I can't read it easily so have been pretty cut off and although I have been keeping up with your posts I have been finding it hard to comment. Just what did we do without internet access? Not blog if I remember rightly. Oh dear. 


So, I have a confession to make, I have been really bad and may have *accidentally* come home a  couple of weekends ago with a "new" vintage sewing machine and then spent a whole Saturday cleaning and polishing her instead of taking photos of my corset progress but I am sure that you will forgive me when you see her. 


I had went to the local car boot fair with high hopes of scoring some vintage fabric or clothes, nothing doing on that score, but I found a stall selling junk and antiques that specialises in vintage sewing machines. They had loads from the 1880's right through to 1970's machines. 


I should have taken some before as she was manky but here she is in all her glory. Sprogzilla really helped me to get this clean, along with a small can of WD40, lots of cleaning rags, a load of sewing machine oil and some proper elbow grease. It was a truly filthy job and I haven't got the paint spots off the case yet but the machine is now spotless, shiny and running like a dream. Just look at the gorgeous "Lotus" decals and the lovely engraved plates.



I love this look of this machine. They really don't make them like this any more. The attention to detail is superb. This is the back of the machine.


I love the decoration. Weight wise this thing is a beast. I can hardly lift her. All her innards have been cleaned, polished to a gleam, oiled and adjusted to sew beautifully. Sorry I forgot to take a pic of the stitch quality so here are another couple of the decals. She goes through corset coutil like a bit of chiffon.



I think that she is a hand crank 66k for those of you that bother about such things. I came to this conclusion as she has the funny foot that is only found on the early models. According to all the details that I can find online, the 66k with the Lotus decals was made at Kilbowie (the "K" I think) between 1902 and 1906. This is at odds with the serial number which does not have any letters at the beginning and according to the ismacs.net Website this dates her to 1889. Either way she is a lovely old lady and I hope that she will be sewing in another hundred years time. 

So, if you have read this far I will be posting things this week in an effort to catch up with myself so watch this space. If you have any info about vintage Singers, or even want to share a link to your prized vintage machines or a comment then I would love to hear from you. I am building up quite a collection at MOR headquarters.

Have a great week!
K xx







14 comments:

  1. Wow! I've never seen a Singer as gorgeously painted as her before, no wonder you had to have her. All that work you and Sprogzilla has paid off, she looks like she's never even been used.
    The lotus design looks almost Indian. I've stumbled across dusty old Singer dealerships in old colonial towns throughout India and often wondered if there was an difference in the look of the old machines. xxx

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    1. Thanks Vix, it really came up well. I had a nice conversation with the couple of old blokes on the stall that sold me this machine, after they tried to palm it off on me as "rare" and failed miserably then they were telling me that they have a customer who comes over from India every few months and buys as many of these old machines as he can. Maybe you have seen some Scottish machines out there? I think that the decals used to change quite a bit, there was a sphinx, and then the lotus, and quite a few more. I think that a lot of these old machines got stripped down and reworked too in just plain black with the "Singer" name on. It is a pity as the decoration is lovely. They had another brand of machine inlaid with mother of pearl and a fiddle base from the late 1800's. *swoon* If it is still there when I go back then it is coming home with me. Xx

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  2. What a beautiful machine! It's the sort of thing that's worth displaying in its own right, and it's practical too. Well worth the effort of cleaning it up.

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    1. Thanks Mim, it is lovely and you can really see a hint in the decals of how design would lead into Art Deco, especially the colours. I do think that she is very pretty but she will be a working machine, she has such a beautiful stitch quality. The only downside is getting used to the hand crank. The inners were solid with ancient grease so it was hard to turn at first. Now it is cleaned it is turning very easily but it took at lot of scrubbing. :) Xx

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  3. Beautiful machine! Great job with the cleaning up

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    1. Thanks Kerry. She is a belter! It is really nice knowing that she came from along the road in Kilbowie. I was looking at some photos of the Singer factory and it was huge. It even had its own railway station that is still there today. I didn't know that but then again I am an "Eastie". Apparently at one time one in three sewing machines in the world was a Singer. Pity the new machines are not as great. I never use the new one that I have and will always go for one of vintage ones. Xx

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  4. I am swooning over it and I know she has such a worthy new owner in you!

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    1. Thanks Josie. She is very pretty. I really hate the thought of these old machines getting scrapped or ending up in landfill. They are a work of art inside and out and with a bit of TLC can sew just as well, or better IMO, than new ones just without all the bells and whistles. Oh, come to think of it she is a green machine as she runs on hand crank-power so is my back-up for power cuts. :) I am really looking forward to making something with her. She sews beautifully. Xx

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  5. That sewing machine is a true work of art and a thing of beauty!

    I can't sew and know nothing about sewing machines but I'd love to have her. It she is as old you think and still sews beautifully, it just goes to show what good craftmanship (craftwomanship even?) is!

    You and Sprogzilla have done a wonderful cleaning job on her she looks like new.

    Have a great weekend

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Veronica, she is lovely. They really knew how to make something that was so perfectly functional look great in those days. Some of the decals on the Singer machines are really over the top. I used to have one of the treadles with a sphinx design on but there are early ones that are absolutely covered in a riot of hand-painted flowers and gilding. They were ridiculously expensive though. I think that the Singer company was the first to offer hire purchase because of this. Not a bad investment if they are still going today. :) Xx

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  6. It would have been a travesty of epic proportions had you left her behind. She is so very, very beautiful. You've done an amazing job of restoring her to glory.

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    1. Thanks Evie, I am really looking forward to sewing something with her. I am dithering about a winter coat so it might be the perfect opportunity. Would really love to sew something from the era that she was made. Spent all last night researching Gibson Girls. What a racy lot. Xx

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  7. She is beautiful! You have done a lovely job taking care of her.

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    1. Thanks Linda, I really do think that the old machines are the best and have the best stitch quality. I really enjoy reading about the machines that you rescue too. I do think that I am getting a bit of an addiction to them now. Just wish that I had some more time to use mine. Xx

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