Friday, 23 December 2016


John has been cleaning up cases and sorting them out, while I have been servicing the heads to put machines up for sale - we've had a good week and have seen several walk gently out of the door, mostly intended for under-the-tree places...
And here, nice cleaning traces from sorting out catches..

Tuesday, 6 December 2016


Lateish Singer packets - the endless ramifications of the needle packets are fascinating.. early ones are masterpieces of fine typography and are worthy of a small but possibly slightly boring book...

Friday, 4 November 2016

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Featherweights are like buses

 You don't see one for ages, then half a dozen arrive at once

We had two Singer Featherweights in for rewiring recently, but we haven't had one for sale for three or four years.

Last week these four arrived in a bunch;

A white one
 Two 221ks

 And a 222
All in good condition with cases and pedals, I've already looked at the wiring and they need a bit of work, but all are pretty good for their age.

They will be for sale, serviced, tested and guaranteed, on our website soon, let us know if one, or more, of them takes your fancy.

Featherweight wiring after...

Remember the two featherweight sockets In this entry?
This is the worse of the two after rewiring;

First I cleaned out all the melted rubber, and bits of insulation.
Then I put new sleeves on the motor wires and added new wires to the ends.
Completely new cables to the light completed the job.
All the connections were covered with heat-shrink sleeving.
After reassembly the machine was tested and is now back with it's happy owner.

Sunday, 2 October 2016


The box of rufflers-awaiting-testing got a bit full

this is just the last few.. So, one treadle, one screwdriver, lots of little strips of fabric...

and much gentle muttering...
Meanwhile, my collection (I REALLY don't collect sewing machines) appears to have grown by two

This little Grain toy, much-loved and slightly scabby

And this German-made Bing, complete with box

Oh, dear...

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


Bill, Marcia, me, Cindy, breakfasted and ready to go...

And at breakfast, with the Frog and Bear dining deluxe experience...
From the left, Nancy, Theresa, Chris, Bill, Kristen, Me, Marcia

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

TOGAteering in the USofA

I've been a member, and lately the webmistress, for Treadleon, a site for Old Sewing Machine Users, for many years.. This year, I was invited by Bill Holman to attend the River Rat TOGA, in Lake City, Minnesota.. Bill and his delightful wife Marcia have been most gracious hosts, driving me about; buying dinners, putting me up at a most elegant B and B (this is a far different thing from a British B and B; here this is the height of elegance and style), not least sponsoring my air fare..
And we have had a most delightful time all round, fixing, talking, eating, and admiring..
Herewith images, in no order

More later, now for bed...

Monday, 19 September 2016

Dodgy wiring - we can fix it

Two Singer Featherweights have arrived at the workshop to be rewired.
They are both clean, nice looking machines, but when you look beneath the surface....
Note the bare wires - sixty year old cable can do this and the outer insulation is dropping blobs of nasty black goo everywhere.
The damaged sockets will have to be replaced as well, luckily one of the owners had a spare socket - the flat pin sockets are rare.
Both of these will have new wires with modern sleeving to make sure they are safe, and the pedals will be rewired as well.
More to follow when I get to work on them.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Sunday, 28 August 2016

New Blog, New Toy

Welcome to my new blog - John and I will be posting amusements, information, tutorials, and stuff from our Sewing Machine Life here
So, this is the New Toy.. Tiny, cast-aluminium hand-cranked Ideal sewing machine.  I've wanted one of these for ages, but they have tended to be beyond my pocket.. This one is missing a spool pin but seems otherwise complete. It's a chain stitch machine with a foot feed, so no feed-dogs.. Remarkably simple and extremely charming..
I haven't attempted to get it to sew yet, but I will report on that soonest...

Badge from the lid (tin..)

Machine in all its glory

Patent mark on the cloth plate

Head and foot. Apparently this is the earlier type A (of two sorts), and was probably made between 1919 and 1922. Although the design was patented by Leslie Salter before the First World War, this interfered with production..