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Posts Tagged ‘vintage Singer sewing machines’

ISMACS (International Sewing Machine Collectors’ Society) has recently made the vintage Singer serial numbers available on their website.

At the Singer Sewing Company website, you can get a certificate for your vintage machine using the serial number.  It’s really good fun!  They also have lots of historical information and pictures relating to vintage Singer sewing machines as part of their 160th Anniversary celebration.

Happy Quilting!

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This is one of my much-loved vintage Singer sewing machines.  She is called the Bluebird of Happiness, and she’s painted pale Sky Blue with dark blue accents.

She is a 359K straight stitch machine, manufactured at the Kilbowie factory in Clydebank, Scotland.   She has an EY serial number, which is not listed in the Singer archives, but from Internet research, I think she is probably a 1967-1969 model.

I have heard this model described as “low end,” but that phrase sounds so derogatory.   I think she’s a wonderful sewing machine, so I prefer to think of her as “priced for the modest budget.”  🙂

There is nothing low-end about the way she performs — a nice even stitch every time, and she is extremely quiet for a 40-something-year-old mechanical sewing machine.

I wanted to be able to use her for a full range of sewing tasks, so I have been buying new accessories for her from time to time.  She now has a vintage Singer buttonhole attachment for dressmaking:

and a vintage Singer zigzag attachment for overcasting seams and making decorative stitches:

I also wanted to piece quilt blocks with this machine but was having difficulty maintaining a consistent 1/4-inch seam.  I looked all over for a Singer 1/4-inch foot to fit her and could only find one for Featherweights (Singer 221K) that would have to come from America, and it was very, very expensive.  So….I made my own 1/4-inch foot adaptation for this machine using a low-shank connector and a snap-on foot that were salvaged from another brand of machine whose motor had burned out and couldn’t be repaired.

See what the Bluebird can do now!  We were happy before, and now we’re overjoyed!

Happy Quilting!

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After we left our children at school the other day, my friend Jeanette asked if I could come around to her car because she had some sewing stuff in the boot (trunk) for me.

It was 30 metres of grey corduroy!  Some of it has been cut, but most of it is still on this huge (and heavy!) roll.  She had started recovering her living room sofa but got frustrated along the way and decided to just buy a new sofa and be done with it.  I don’t blame her — that’s a very hard job.

It’s lovely fabric, very good quality but too thin for clothing — so what in the world can I do with it?  Our living room is mostly jade green, so grey corduroy won’t work for us.  I’d really like to use the fabric for some kind of charity/donation project.

I thought about making reusable grocery/shopping bags for the next school fair and decorating them with brightly coloured twin-needle machine embroidery — but that’s my only idea so far.  Even Nigel the Quilting Dog is drawing a blank on this problem!  😉

And my biggest dilemma of the day — do I have to count this fabric in my stash report?  Yes, I suppose to be really “legal”, I should count it.  And then when I sew it up, I’ll get to count it as a big finish.

I have been sewing a lot this weekend but haven’t finished anything yet.  I’ve been using two of my favourite vintage Singer machines — that’s Nancy, the 185K, on the left, and Gloria, the 404G, on the right (and the corduroy in the middle!).  😉

Here are my figures for the week:

Bought this week:  0
Received as a gift:  33 yards (30 metres)
Bought year-to-date:  16 yards
Used this week:  0
Used year-to-date:  24.5 yards
Used (net):  -24.5 yards

To see how others are getting along with their stashbusting this week, please visit Judy’s blog.

Happy Quilting!

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I have two new additions to my sewing machine collection this month.

This is “Emily,” a 66K treadle with the Lotus design, from 1917.  Her cabinet could use a little work, but the machine itself is in perfect working condition.  She is just sitting in the living room right now, but eventually I will find a place for her in my sewing room.  We thought we didn’t have room for another treadle, but…sometimes exceptions just have to be made.  🙂

Our other new baby is “Esmeralda.”  She is a 327K from about 1962, and she does forward and reverse stitching and zig zag.  She is the prettiest shade of sage green, although this photo looks a bit grey-ish.  She also has her own little green extension table.  I believe this model was marketed in the United States as a “Spartan” brand, but it’s got a Singer badge in the UK.

And finally, more sewing machines — but the kind that are much easier to find room for in the sewing room!  😉  I thought this fabric was so cute, I just had to buy a yard.

My Stash Report for this week is:

Bought this week:  1 yard
Bought year-to-date:  10.75 yards
Used this week:  0
Used year-to-date 18.75 yards
Used (net):  8 yards

To see how other quilters are doing with their Stash Reports, please visit Judy’s blog.

Happy Quilting!

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Here is the latest addition to our sewing machine collection.  This is a Singer 201K, manufactured on September 10, 1952, at the Kilbowie Factory in Clydebank, Scotland.  If you know a machine’s serial number, you can trace its heritage here on the Singer site.

I’ve been wanting one of these machines for years, but they usually cost a small fortune.  This time, I was lucky and just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  The International Sewing Machine Collectors’ Society (ISMACS) says the Singer 201 “is considered by most collectors to be the best sewing machine Singer ever made.”  They have an article about the Singer 201 with great photos and detailed information here.

Singer 201K

We like to name our sewing machines, and this one is called Peggy.  She came with a foot  pedal and mains lead (electric cord), a knee control lever, an extension table, and a lovely case.  We picked her up last night.

When my daughter got home from school today, she took Peggy for a test drive.  My little one has just turned 8 years old, and she is already very interested in sewing.

Test driving the 201K

I’m pleased to see that she has been listening to my talks about sewing machine safety, and she is keeping her fingers well away from the needle.

This is what she was working on.

201 Free motion stitching

Free motion stitching on a scrap of muslin.  Pretty good for a first-timer.  I think I can definitely see quilting in her future!  🙂

Happy Sewing!

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