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Thread: Necchi Lydia 544, anyone have one?

  1. #11
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Lucky! i just found one... but all the cams are broken. she turns but does not change stitchs or any of that sort. so bummed out over this!
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle
    Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight
    my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758
    Flower, Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66
    Singer 99K
    Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  2. #12
    Senior Member Pollytink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    [FONT=comic sans ms]I purchased a Necchi Lydia 544 at GW on Tuesday. The price was $29.99 but with I had a 10% off coupon and it was senior citizens 10% off day so she cost me $24.00. She does not have the cover, or any other attachments. But she came with the foot controller and I was able to plug her in to test the motor. She runs.
    Hi, Caroline! It's me, Polly, who has the Necchi sm group on Yahoo. And hello, Irene/Kittywolf too. I have not so good news about the Lydia, unfortunately. She's infamous for having a cracked camstack and sometimes broken smaller gears. She was the first Italian Necchi that they tried using plastic in and the combination of the plastic and metal parts in the camstack did not fare well together. Over the years most of the camstacks developed cracks to one degree or another. If it's not cracked too badly she'll sometimes still do straight st and zz but no dec stitches. You can take the black end cover off by the handwheel and look inside. You have to remove a little screw in the knob to get it off first. Some of our members do have intact Lydias but not many. The camstack are or at least were available but at about $90-120. The small gears in that camstack compartment and in the bobbin case compartment may also be going bad. Irene just got one (she just joined our list) and found hers is badly cracked. I'll keep my fingers crossed that yours is still intact, at least enough to use her....let us know how it turns out! You can join the group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/necchisewingmachineclub/
    and the sister group where we have a manual and a service manual too. If you do join, just tell me in the comments that you're Caroline from the QB. I cringe every time I see a Lydia on ebay and try to clue the seller into this so they'll check it out. One last week did and changed his listing to it being a parts machine. She's so beautiful it's a shame she has this problem. There are so many other vintage Italian Necchis that are wonderful so don't give up if you'd like to have one. We like to say that now that you've planted the seed, one will find you very soon!

  3. #13
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbagepatchkid View Post
    I was just watching a few videos about the Necchi SM's and I'm wondering which is the correct pronunciation of Necchi. The 3 versions that I heard were....Neck-ee....Neh-chee....and Knee-chee. I've always said it this way-- neck-ee. Inquiring minds would like to know how everyone else pronounces it.
    Hi Pollytink. I think you would be the perfect person to answer the above question. Every video that I've watched on Youtube has a different pronunciation . I don't have a Necchi, yet, but I have been a member of the Yahoo group for awhile (Chickendust1953). A friend of mine has a Necchi Alto in a cabinet (sp?) that she wants to sell me but I'm not sure what a good price would be to offer her. From what I've read about them I get the feeling that they are not the most popular of the vintage Necchi's.
    ~~Cathy~~

  4. #14
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Thanks Polly for all the information about the Lydia. Mine is all cleaned up and I was unsure how to look inside to check the camstack. I did order a repro manual which should arrive sometime this week. I am keeping my fingers crossed regarding the camstacks. I will be joining the Yahoo group, thanks for the invite. Lydia is such a pretty girl after her bath. I hope she isn't a wallflower.
    Sweet Caroline

  5. #15
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Here is the link to Kittywolf13's thread about her 554. It has some good pics of the broken cams. Such a sad sight :

    Necchi 544 Excited then Upset!

    I hope yours is alright.
    ~~Cathy~~

  6. #16
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    First you need to know that the screws are thinner then average flat head and will strip the screw of you try to force it. So look around and see if you have one that fits properly. ( my father had one.)

    There is a tiny screw in the knob on the side of the machine. (the knob with the different stitches shown all around. All black knob)
    Remove the screw, be careful because it is tiny! And then remove any of the screws on the four sides of the plate. After you remove those screws the plate should slide right out over the knob that turns the needle. (no need to unscrew that one) that will give you a clear view of the cam stack. Now just rotate the wheel that move the needle and it rotates the cam stack. You should be able to see of anything is wrong.
    Good luck!

  7. #17
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittywolf13 View Post
    First you need to know that the screws are thinner then average flat head and will strip the screw of you try to force it. So look around and see if you have one that fits properly. ( my father had one.)

    There is a tiny screw in the knob on the side of the machine. (the knob with the different stitches shown all around. All black knob)
    Remove the screw, be careful because it is tiny! And then remove any of the screws on the four sides of the plate. After you remove those screws the plate should slide right out over the knob that turns the needle. (no need to unscrew that one) that will give you a clear view of the cam stack. Now just rotate the wheel that move the needle and it rotates the cam stack. You should be able to see of anything is wrong.
    Good luck!
    I did that this AM.Sort of figured it out. AND, yep, cracked camshaft. But not as bad as yours. I had a feeling that it was cracked. But I am not going to relegate my Lydia to the parts pile. If she will still sew a straight stitch then I will keep her. I am having DSL issues and the repairman will be coming tomorrow. I will post my pictures then. Keeping fingers crossed as I have replaced my old computer, DSL modem, and wireless router thinking that was the problem. Aaargh!
    Sweet Caroline

  8. #18
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    I hope she will at least straight stitch for you then!!
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle
    Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight
    my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758
    Flower, Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66
    Singer 99K
    Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  9. #19
    Senior Member Pollytink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbagepatchkid View Post
    Hi Pollytink. I think you would be the perfect person to answer the above question. Every video that I've watched on Youtube has a different pronunciation . I don't have a Necchi, yet, but I have been a member of the Yahoo group for awhile (Chickendust1953). A friend of mine has a Necchi Alto in a cabinet (sp?) that she wants to sell me but I'm not sure what a good price would be to offer her. From what I've read about them I get the feeling that they are not the most popular of the vintage Necchi's.
    You're saying it right.....NECK-ee! The Necchi Alto's were the machines Mr. Jolson starting making after he left Necchi. I don't have any experience with them....maybe someone here has one. Many of the earlier Japanese machines, if all metal inside, are good sturdy machines. I'm prejudiced, of course, toward the vintage Italians and don't feel the post-Italians come up to the same standards. But, that said, I've heard good things about the N-A's. And as we say on the N list, a machine is worth what the buyer is willing to pay!! We suggest you check around the various selling sites, e.g. ebay, craigslist, etc. and see what they're selling for. And it's condition has a lot to do with it too. Be sure to try sewing on it too. Good luck and keep your eyes peeled for a vintage Italian....you'll love them....just don't buy a Lydia, LOL!

  10. #20
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Update to Lydia

    Ooooh she is such a pretty girl! I have decided that her name will be Naughty Lydia. She has spent quite a bit of time under the sewing table in "time out". I took her out of "time out" a couple of days ago in order to see if she had changed her ways. Well, she has changed a little bit. Sews a very nice top stitch but the bottom stitch is loopy although not as bad as in the beginning. Tension issues, AAAARGG! Looks like more "time out" time until I have time to further my Necchi fixit skills. I received the repro instruction manual and did discover that the flat base of the machine slides out so she can be used as a free arm machine. Cool! Also, there is a switch on the back that drops the feed dogs. Another cool! And she has a a built in needle threader. Way too cool! It pays to read the manual completely front to back, LOL.

    Also a picture of the cracked cam shaft. Not as bad as Kittywolf's but not worth the time, effort and $$ to fix.


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    Last edited by Caroline S; 10-23-2012 at 07:16 AM.
    Sweet Caroline

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