This time I was surprised.
This machine is not a Featherweight! I picked it up - or tried to pick it up - to tote it to the outlets but it was so heavy I had to ask my husband to carry it. There was a needle and a bobbin but no spool on the top. Surprisingly, it stitched, though the dull needle poked holes into my fabric. (No, I don't always carry scraps of fabric but I was looking for a specific color of fabric for a project.) The price was $20.20. My husband said, "Buy it!" I deliberated a few minutes, then put it in our cart. This evening I had time to pull it out and take a closer look at it.
As you'll see in the photos below, either the machine was well-loved but not properly cared for or it was mostly unloved. Notice the speckling (from what?) and all the dust. Ugh! Where to begin?
The finishes on Singers seem to be very fragile and they don't all respond the same way to the same products. I don't think I should use water but I'm not sure what to use.
The cover on the bobbin case gave me an idea of the machine's age, though I wasn't able to read it till I took the photo.
I looked on the Singer website and found that the machine was made in 1915. I tried to get in touch with the Singer company to get the model number but haven't been able to get through yet. I need the model number to order a manual.
The machine has been used recently enough to have a plastic bobbin and plastic tape guides near the needle. Notice how the back of the presser foot comes down at an angle? It looks odd to me.
I put a new needle in and put a spool of thread on top and threaded it how I thought it should go. I plugged in both plugs -- one into the presser foot/knee pedal cord, the other into an electrical outlet. Then I pressed the presser foot to stitch. Uhhh, I had something wrong because the spool thread came out and got lost. After threading it several different ways and changing the bobbin to unwind counter-clockwise, I was finally able to sew. Looks pretty good....
... until you turn it over.
Is the problem the threading, the tension (which I don't know how to adjust), a mechanical problem (that will be expensive to repair), or is the machine unrepairable? I hope it's one of the first two!
Here are photos of how I threaded it. Any thoughts, anyone? Aside from the obvious nail to hold the thread at the top, all the other parts look like they're there (to eyes inexperienced to nearly-100-year-old sewing machines). It seems like it threads into the needle from the left.
If any of you who read this have experience with old Singers, I would be grateful to correspond with you.
Some other things I've noticed about this Singer sewing machine are that
- it's belt driven
- it has only one stitch length
- it goes forward only, and
- there's no obvious tension knob
Happy stitching to you!
This is a Vintage Thingie Thursday post.