Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

My other Classic / Vintage Obsession... Sewing Machines.

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

My other Classic / Vintage Obsession... Sewing Machines.

Old 01-31-22, 10:12 AM
  #276  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Colorado
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by LeicaLad
But wasn't your mom thrilled to see this end result?!?

Gawd, how I love this thread! Keep 'em coming.
She was, indeed! I understand the above photo made it’s rounds to many of her friends as she bragged of both the machine and her son!
theofam is offline  
Old 02-01-22, 07:04 AM
  #277  
Senior Member
 
jonwvara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington County, Vermont, USA
Posts: 3,769

Bikes: 1966 Dawes Double Blue, 1976 Raleigh Gran Sport, 1975 Raleigh Sprite 27, 1980 Univega Viva Sport, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1984 Lotus Classique, 1976 Motobecane Grand Record

Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 760 Post(s)
Liked 650 Times in 345 Posts
Originally Posted by theofam
One phone call, my mom was down. She had decided to part with her grandmother's treadle Singer sewing machine and cabinet. I said, "I'll take it and restore it!" She was ecstatic.

So, many hours restoring the wood cabinet, tearing down the machine itself, lots of cleaning and 10s of coats of lacquer resulted in this:




I got it sewing again, but I prefer to use electric machines over the pedal-powered treadle, so it sits.
So what if it sits? So do most of our bikes. But it has the perfect amount of patina. Nice work!
__________________
www.redclovercomponents.com

"Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long."
--Ogden Nash
jonwvara is offline  
Likes For jonwvara:
Old 02-11-22, 08:57 PM
  #278  
Senior Member
 
scarlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 2,091

Bikes: Ron Cooper touring, 1959 Jack Taylor 650b ladyback touring tandem, Vitus 979, Joe Bell painted Claud Butler Dalesman, Colin Laing curved tube tandem, heavily-Dilberted 1982 Trek 6xx, René Herse tandem

Mentioned: 80 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 964 Post(s)
Liked 1,451 Times in 723 Posts
At long last, here's the Bernina.
Not a real beauty like some of these machines, but this thing is a workhorse, and a great one! Never bunches or jams, gives plenty of warning before even thinking about breaking a needle, goes in reverse easily, and does all the zigzag stitches my grandma liked for holding things together and tidying up ragged edges. I really didn't realize I knew how to sew just by looking at my ma and grandma when I was a kid, but I just sat down and started and it worked, first time ever trying. I think a lot of machining translates to sewing. It reminds me of TIG welding because of the foot pedal, and of milling because it has a feedrate and a stitchrate (like feed and speed on the mill!). I got really into it as a way to satisfy my desire to machine things during the shutdown when I had no shop access.

I did a couple elbow patches on sweaters, patched some pricey flax linen bed sheets, and put velcro on my SIDI shoes to teach myself, but the real prize was this Big Angus Engquist Argus Agnes tent from REI's Garage Sale. Needed a new zipper, so there I went!


I cut the teeth out of the old zipper, but left the tape behind as a hem facing to sew the new zipper onto. It was a fair bit of work, but $200 off retail is a fair bit of money saved! Now can bring it on tour! After sewing I decided I had left enough of a mark on the tent, I changed its name from Big Agnes to Big Engquist as an homage to my Swedish heritage.
__________________
Owner & co-founder, Cycles René Hubris. Unfortunately attaching questionable braze-ons to perfectly good frames since about 2015. With style.
scarlson is offline  
Old 02-11-22, 10:51 PM
  #279  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20,304
Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3461 Post(s)
Liked 2,824 Times in 1,993 Posts
My wife has a Bernina - circa 1993.

Very good - I have another Pfaff coming tomorrow. My other favorites of theirs are 545 H-3 the big bobbin machines.

looking for a big Adler Zig zag ... rare beasts
repechage is offline  
Old 02-12-22, 02:38 PM
  #280  
Senior Member
 
scarlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 2,091

Bikes: Ron Cooper touring, 1959 Jack Taylor 650b ladyback touring tandem, Vitus 979, Joe Bell painted Claud Butler Dalesman, Colin Laing curved tube tandem, heavily-Dilberted 1982 Trek 6xx, René Herse tandem

Mentioned: 80 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 964 Post(s)
Liked 1,451 Times in 723 Posts
Originally Posted by repechage
My wife has a Bernina - circa 1993.

Very good - I have another Pfaff coming tomorrow. My other favorites of theirs are 545 H-3 the big bobbin machines.

looking for a big Adler Zig zag ... rare beasts
Huh neat, a dedicated zig zag machine? Adler used to make typewriters. Partnered with Royal I think, for US sales.
My grandma, my mom, and my ex girlfriend's mom all used the zig zag stitch to mend/darn up holes in my Pendleton shirts after I tore them taking a tumble on rollerblades or what have you. Very useful, gets you back on the road quick, and I've got lots of example work from my teens and twenties to learn sewing from.

The Pfaff 543 is a monster, isn't it? Like, it can sew thick leather and stuff, right?

I've been afraid to push the Bernina on any leather thicker than "garment leather" for elbow patches on shirts. I think its strong suit is the delicate stuff like that tent.
__________________
Owner & co-founder, Cycles René Hubris. Unfortunately attaching questionable braze-ons to perfectly good frames since about 2015. With style.

Last edited by scarlson; 02-12-22 at 02:44 PM.
scarlson is offline  
Old 02-12-22, 02:58 PM
  #281  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20,304
Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3461 Post(s)
Liked 2,824 Times in 1,993 Posts
Turns out my Gift machine is a 138.
needs a few bits, which I think I might have.
save for a bobbin case if it is worn out.
One part broken at the back knee lift linkage.
might be purchase or fabrication time.
I have to see if a part from the 545 fits.
so this one has a zig-zag

just gave it oil everywhere - spins well but not as "free" as the 545's
this machine has a wide but not big diameter bobbin.

looking forward to getting it up and running, has its own table, motor and clutch.


Last edited by repechage; 02-12-22 at 04:18 PM.
repechage is offline  
Likes For repechage:
Old 07-06-23, 01:01 PM
  #282  
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
Thread Starter
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,267

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 129 Times in 96 Posts
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Likes For Sixty Fiver:
Old 07-06-23, 01:34 PM
  #283  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20,304
Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3461 Post(s)
Liked 2,824 Times in 1,993 Posts
Originally Posted by scarlson
Huh neat, a dedicated zig zag machine? Adler used to make typewriters. Partnered with Royal I think, for US sales.
My grandma, my mom, and my ex girlfriend's mom all used the zig zag stitch to mend/darn up holes in my Pendleton shirts after I tore them taking a tumble on rollerblades or what have you. Very useful, gets you back on the road quick, and I've got lots of example work from my teens and twenties to learn sewing from.

The Pfaff 543 is a monster, isn't it? Like, it can sew thick leather and stuff, right?

I've been afraid to push the Bernina on any leather thicker than "garment leather" for elbow patches on shirts. I think its strong suit is the delicate stuff like that tent.
quite a time shifted answer, yes, not shoe sole leather machine but routinely used to sew 14mm thick mixed materials.

the favorites here are the old machines before they went to toothed timing belts. Drive shafts and bevel gears rule. “ desmodronic “
repechage is offline  
Likes For repechage:
Old 07-07-23, 10:01 AM
  #284  
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
Thread Starter
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,267

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 129 Times in 96 Posts
Originally Posted by repechage
quite a time shifted answer, yes, not shoe sole leather machine but routinely used to sew 14mm thick mixed materials.

the favorites here are the old machines before they went to toothed timing belts. Drive shafts and bevel gears rule. “ desmodronic “
Have been working on this Singer 201 for a customer... these are a masterpiece of engineering.

A rotary machine with hand lapped bevelled gears, and the only connecting rod in the machine is the one that runs the feed, full oil lubrication in a total loss system.

It was the most expensive Singer machine you could buy at $150.00 in the 1940's (in a case)... that is like $3300.00 in 2023.

The median income was just under $1000.00 a year in 1940 and most of these machines were purchased on a payment plan stretched over many years.

Sixty Fiver is offline  
Likes For Sixty Fiver:
Old 07-07-23, 11:35 AM
  #285  
Senior Member
 
etherhuffer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: West Seattle
Posts: 1,419

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker,81 Fuji Gran Tour SE, 83 Fuji S12S LTD, Voyageur 11.8 chrome, Raleigh R300 Touring, Voyageur 11.8

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
Liked 499 Times in 226 Posts
Originally Posted by droppedandlost
Anybody know anyone that deals in old sewing machines in the Pacific NW? I find myself in possession of a 1965 Singer 7-33 that I will never use. My dad used it make "Old West" stuff like the tops for covered wagons and canvas tool bags. Seems to be in good condition but I know nothing about sewing machines. Pics or it didn't happen:

Call and ask for Dan at Renton Sewing Machine in Renton WA. He is my cousin and the main repair person there. He may be able to help you.
__________________
"It's a fine line between absolute genius and sheer stupidity"
etherhuffer is offline  
Likes For etherhuffer:
Old 07-07-23, 01:55 PM
  #286  
aged to perfection
 
mpetry912's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: PacNW
Posts: 1,796

Bikes: Dinucci Allez 2.0, Richard Sachs, Alex Singer, Serotta, Masi GC, Raleigh Pro Mk.1, Hetchins, etc

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 828 Post(s)
Liked 1,238 Times in 654 Posts
Originally Posted by etherhuffer
Call and ask for Dan at Renton Sewing Machine in Renton WA. He is my cousin and the main repair person there. He may be able to help you.
There was a store in downtown Seattle that had probably 100 of those old Singer machines in the window as decoration.

I have a pic somewhere. Was fascinating.

/markp
mpetry912 is offline  
Old 07-07-23, 04:11 PM
  #287  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 1,378

Bikes: a couple

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 563 Post(s)
Liked 862 Times in 455 Posts
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
It seems that I am not the only one here who takes great pleasure in tracking down and acquiring vintage sewing machines (and derailing other threads) and although most of us just take it for granted that a sewing machine sews, they are really a marvel of precision engineering and design, and the good ones will last just as long as a vintage Raleigh with nothing more than regular cleaning and oiling.

Historically, they did as much for women as the bicycle as it freed them to have more leisure time (like bicycle riding) and pursue other employment options, prior to the introduction of home sewing machines it took 14 hours to make a shirt and 10 hours to make a dress by hand... because of this most people only owned a few outfits and there was no industrial scale manufacturing of clothing.

The sewing machine made it possible to make a shirt or a dress in under 2 hours and the mass production techniques used by those early giants were copied by other emerging and existing industries and created others to support what was one of the largest industries before bicycles and automobiles.

I learned to sew when I was very young as my mother was a seamstress and made a good deal of our clothing, she recycled the hand me downs, and clothes got mended until they were only good for being used as patches or quilt pieces.

I just inherited my mom's last good machine which she stopped using over 10 years ago, she passed away several years ago at the age of 83 and even after she became a nurse she continued to sew as it was her favourite activity... this is a late 1960's Bernina and these are considered to be some of the very best machines ever made.



What most people think of when they think of classic sewing machines... this is a 1948 Singer (model 99k) that I just gave to my great niece who is 9 years old. It is not as ornate as some early models but was one of the most popular and successful machines ever made as it was just that good and it was compact which made it a good portable.

My Kenmore is tucked under the table... it is almost 40 years old and is an exemplary Japanese made machine that will easily sew the canvas and light leather I picked up for making bicycle gear.

Nice thing about these older machines is that they just work and work very well without the aid of computers, complex electronics, and as of yet they have only made it as far as using aluminium and to my knowledge there are no carbon fibre machines and they shift manually with a mix of indexed and friction.
My father used to buy and fix sewing machines, you and he would have had a wavelength.
Schweinhund is offline  
Likes For Schweinhund:
Old 07-07-23, 11:09 PM
  #288  
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,107

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental, Cannondale M400 and Lambert, Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 809 Post(s)
Liked 1,018 Times in 664 Posts
All Saints

Originally Posted by mpetry912
There was a store in downtown Seattle that had probably 100 of those old Singer machines in the window as decoration.

I have a pic somewhere. Was fascinating.

/markp
The Clothier AllSaints has a décor with vintage sewing machines both outside and inside. They have/had one in Las Vegas that was like a vintage sewing machine museum. They also had some vintage clothing making accoutrements.

Looking at all the machines and equipment is both sad and fascinating at the same time. Many of these machines are old shuttle machines. Really neat. Most of the machines that I saw in Las Vegas were or appeared to be commercial machines. I'd rather see them used for décor than go to scrap.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 07-07-23 at 11:14 PM.
Velo Mule is offline  
Old 07-08-23, 02:08 AM
  #289  
Senior Member
 
plumberroy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: ohio
Posts: 1,107

Bikes: Surly long haul trucker, Surly steamroller,Huffy Catalina, Univega Alpina 501. Gravity deadeye monster, Raliegh sport , Electra loft 1

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 607 Post(s)
Liked 298 Times in 181 Posts
I have a 1931 Singer 66K hand crank with original bentwood case made for a hand crank machine. I have 2 White model 782 these are late 50's early 60's machines that are beast I have a few other machines. I sold a dozen machines when the pandemic started and everyone was looking for sewing machines to make mask . I used to buy interesting old machines I found cheap and had them setting everywhere. I also stopped looking at shopgoodwill.com
plumberroy is offline  
Old 07-08-23, 06:05 AM
  #290  
aged to perfection
 
mpetry912's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: PacNW
Posts: 1,796

Bikes: Dinucci Allez 2.0, Richard Sachs, Alex Singer, Serotta, Masi GC, Raleigh Pro Mk.1, Hetchins, etc

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 828 Post(s)
Liked 1,238 Times in 654 Posts
Originally Posted by Velo Mule
The Clothier AllSaints has a décor with vintage sewing machines both outside and inside. They have/had one in Las Vegas that was like a vintage sewing machine museum. They also had some vintage clothing making accoutrements.

Looking at all the machines and equipment is both sad and fascinating at the same time. Many of these machines are old shuttle machines. Really neat. Most of the machines that I saw in Las Vegas were or appeared to be commercial machines. I'd rather see them used for décor than go to scrap.
Yes I think that was the name of the store !

/markp
mpetry912 is offline  
Old 12-27-23, 06:55 PM
  #291  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Near Pottstown, PA: 30 miles NW of Philadelphia
Posts: 2,184

Bikes: 2 Trek Mtn, Cannondale R600 road, 6 vintage road bikes

Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 472 Post(s)
Liked 1,026 Times in 404 Posts
I never really paid attention to this thread and sure didn't think I'd post to it but, funny old life. A couple years ago my wife bought a sewing machine and table, from a friend, that could be used to repair horse blankets (horses destroy all horse blankets). I didn't pay much attention to it as we are still deciding where to set up that "shop" area. I was recently inspired to uncover it and pay attention. Turns out it's a Singer 96-10 manufactured in December of 1920. Still in great shape and, relatively, lightly used for the past 100 years. Being an engineer, I've found it very interesting. I now understand how the sewing process works, hook alignment, thread tensions, stitch length adjustments, clutch motors, knee lifters for the foot, etc. And, since I'm fine with making my own camping gear, I'll probably use it. First job is to clean the clutch motor (too grabby) and then slow the whole thing down - currently top speed is around 2200 stitches/minute. I cannot even think that fast.



Oh, that thread on the top is just wound that way to keep it out of the way as I'm cleaning and inspecting. I know the routing is "not quite right".
Prowler is offline  
Old 12-27-23, 07:00 PM
  #292  
Senior Member
 
Kilroy1988's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 2,249
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 981 Post(s)
Liked 1,841 Times in 609 Posts
My father is a tinkerer and I only hope to one day have half the patience he has with fixing things up (although I do get less easily distracted). He's never worked on sewing machines before but over the last few weeks he's been restoring a Pfaff 130 (I think) table mounted machine that he purchased specifically because he'd read it could do some light leather sewing. It's a pretty machine and once it's up and running again I'll have to snap some photos to share here!

-Gregory
Kilroy1988 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bigbossman
Classic & Vintage
865
02-25-24 06:59 PM
Hoopdriver
Classic & Vintage
7
06-19-18 03:46 AM
lhbernhardt
Classic & Vintage
42
03-11-17 02:56 PM
vjp
Classic & Vintage
91
02-28-13 03:46 PM
cehowardGS
Classic & Vintage
178
01-23-11 10:04 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.