Sunday, April 29, 2012

Caught the Antique Bug

Ever since I have had difficulty sewing sticky Velcro with my sewing machine, I've had it in my mind that I needed an industrial sewing machine.  I was leaning towards the new Juki's and Brothers but they were pretty big machines.  Then, I read  Shannon's post on her Singer 15-91 and how she's been wanting another one.  I started doing research and decided, hey this is probably what I am looking for.

So, I started researching and looking.  I ordered a totally rebuilt one from a distant sale and I'm waiting on it's delivery.

In the meantime, there was an antique singer sewing machine on our local Craigslist for $15 that looked identical to the one I just bought.  I thought, hey, I'll get it for spare parts...  And there I now owned two antique sewing machines.  But this one must be a replica because it has a stamp on it that it was rebuilt and there is no singer logo on front.  It says "Rebuilt by Sewing Machine Exchange Inc. with Sewing Machine Exchange Inc. Parts Used Exclusively" on the inside of the machine neck.

Then, I thought, wouldn't it be cool to put it in one of those antique looking singer tables?  We looked at the photos of our local auction house we like to frequent on Fridays and sure enough, there was a table like I was thinking about.  We went, I peeked at it ( I don't inspect things very well at auctions, I like the surprises you sometimes find.)  I peeked in after winning the auction for a very low price and there was another sewing machine in it.  This one was a treadle machine that was very ornate.   Turned out to be (from my recent research) a 1916 Singer Red Eye treadle machine and cabinet for under $75.  It needs A LOT of clean up and refinishing.

Right after that, they auctioned a suitcase looking item that my husband saw was a sewing machine and no one was bidding on it.  He bid on it and won it for $4.  Turned out to be a brother sewing machine that looks exactly like a Singer 15-91.  Ok, so in a matter of a week, I now have 4 antique sewing machines for super great prices.

The distant sale 15-91 machine was completely rebuilt everywhere with a warranty.  The local craigslist Singer replica sews like a dream.  Tight stitches, wow.  The singer treadle machine needs some serious TLC.  I want to redo it.  The treadle works and moves the needle but the treadle belt broke from neglect and age.  So, I have to order another one and clean and refinish everything to get it working.  The cheap $4 brother machine sadly does not move the needle.  There must be a broken belt inside or something.  The motor turns the wheel but the needle doesn't move.  I'm tempted to experiment and figure out how to fix it.

All this and I really don't have a lot of free time anymore.  I recently went back to work after a long unexpected break.  So, that's great!  But, now I have even less crafting time!  Hopefully I'll find that balance again!  Now, I have the antique sewing machine bug.  I want to learn everything about them.  Modern computerized sewing machines are awesome, but, sometimes I'm afraid to sew difficult things on them for fear of costly breaks.  So, now, I can run that denim and leather and Velcro all I want!!

Thanks for stopping by!  


  1. where the heck do you live to find all these in one weekend!!! i've been looking for another 15-91 for years with no luck!! i guess i'll have to broaden my horizons and pay for shipping :)

    yes, i'm totally jealous- but i'm happy you found one. i haven't found anything that my little 1591 can sew thru.

    that brother machine is slick!!

    now all you need is a featherweight... hehehe

    i'm going to do a post one day on all my vintage singers machines- i only have 7 :)

  2. You are sooo lucky. I just brought my Grandma's old cabinet like the one u got at auction into the house today. I want to use it for a entrance table cuz after I got it I found it has no machine. But it also doesn't have any of the wooden top except for the piece with the large rectangular hole cut from it! If anyone has an idea of what I could top it with to look nice, I'd be happy to hear it.