Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Sewing Machine - Squealing in Delight - Singer 15-91

For awhile, I've been seeking a vintage Singer sewing machine on which I could learn refurbishing especially the motor. Today was amazing. I found a Treadle Singer 66 that was in very good condition, beautiful cabinet, paint job intact, but it was obvious that someone had been messing with it who didn't know what they were doing (the tension knob was too tight, the throat plate wasn't seated properly, it had a plastic pin for a spool holder???) They were asking $100 but were willing to barter. It looked like a machine I could easily learn to repair, but it was a treadle, and I specifically want to be able to repair the electrical portion. So, we walked away....

I'd told my hubby that I feared I would regret that decision....

Less than an hour later, we went to another garage sale and, VOILA, I saw another sewing cabinet. It had various items sitting on its lid, so I started cleaning it off, and the lady who owned it started to help, and she said that no one knew it was a sewing machine with all of the stuff on it. And, I mentioned that I was cleaning it off because I knew it was a sewing machine and wanted to see it.

We pulled out the machine, and my chin hit the floor. The Singer is beautiful. Its decals and paint are essentially intact and shiny except for the layer of dust that I kept dusting off. It actually took me a few moments to realize that it wasn't a 66 but rather a 15-91, the model that I've always wanted because I can drop its feed dogs and more easily do free-motion quilting on it rather than on my 66, but it also has reverse.

The prior owner was asking $75, and I felt I couldn't barter because I felt the machine was worth at least $100 if not more. So, I bought it.

AK940949 is its serial number which means its birthdate would be May 26 1952. (It's about 20 years younger than my Singer 66.) Its original owner was named Maria and she was from Austria. And, her son died in WW2. The lady I bought it from had received it as a gift from Maria who apparently had sewed with her. But, also, Maria had saved her life. When the prior owner's mother was pregnant, she'd been hemorrhaging and apparently Maria had been there to help out. So, this machine had meant a lot to the prior owner, and she was happy to know that I was going to continue sewing with it.

The above photo was taken after I removed the dust. Ain't he shiny?

Here, I've taken the front plate off, so that I could remove fuzz and icky stuff.

Here's just some of the icky stuff that I removed from the machine. I'm still shocked with all the gunk that was secreted in places. The feed dogs "looked" pristine, but I was scraping lint out of them, too.

Here the bobbin assembly has been removed.

A close-up. I'd previously been scared of taking parts of my sewing machine apart for fear that I couldn't put it back together.

And, here it is. Look at that purty stitching.

Here, I'm trying to show that both sides of the fabric have perfect stitches.

Not, everything is great, though.

I still have a few things to do.

- The bobbin case is rusty, so I'm going to try to replace it.
- The brand new number 15 bobbins that I bought today don't fit its bobbin winder. This has me flummoxed. How the bleep can they not fit? The ancient number 15 bobbin that came with the machine fits the bobbin winder. So, I need to find some bobbins that work.
- The finish on top of the cabinet is badly scratched. I need to figure out how to fix that.
- And, the hubby has confiscated its power cord (fire hazard). The 15-91 borrowed the 66's power cord for today's sewing adventure. So, electrical repair is already beginning.

I am just thrilled that I have a Singer 15-91, and I may be a bit weird, but he's a boy. LOL. He's just a lot more stocky and bulky than my 66.

For comparison, here's a picture of my Singer 66. Yes, that's Bittle pretending to sew.

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