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Thread: Vintage Sewing Machine Shop.....Come on in and sit a spell

  1. #39851
    Junior Member makitmama's Avatar
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    Cil




    I'm a Queen.... at least my pantyhose say I am!


    (proud caretaker of a magenta 221, purple 222, assorted 66's, a 301, a pink Atlas and Monarch, and Granny's 201-2.

  2. #39852
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I checked Craigslist this evening. There are some nice machines available. A complete treadle for $25, another for $350 and they weren't much different. A 'rare' 201. Interesting, but no Jones handcrank. Y'all have me wanting one.

  3. #39853
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muv View Post
    Miriam - I think the men tend to fall in love with the machines first, and then they want to sew, whereas with us gals it is generally the other way round.
    I am one that was attracted to the machines before the sewing. My mother let me sew a little bit with her LBOW 301A when I was a teenager back in the late 60s, and then in the late 70s, I made a cut-out in the top of a small desk for my wife’s first sewing machine, a 3/4-sized MW Signature URR-266. Other than that, I didn’t touch a sewing machine again until 2006, even though I sewed leather by hand for years while doing leathercraft. (Still have Mom and her 301A, but the URR-266 and desk got away from us.)

    In 2006, my wife asked me to look at a customer’s sewing machine at her fabric shop that was acting up and she couldn’t get it going. I did get it going, and once I began learning about the mechanics of sewing machines, I was hooked. I’ve bought, sold, traded, parted-out, and repaired machines now for almost 7 years. I catalog each machine that is mine (not customer-owned), and I acquired my 516th machine this month. It’s a 1957 Singer 401A in the snap-on portable case that I serviced up to gift to our DIL for Christmas.

    In the beginning, my wife helped me test-sew machines that I worked on, and soon was teaching me more about how to sew. I more or less taught myself how to sew with my leather-sewing industrial machines, but she introduced me to mending customer jeans with a Singer 538 Stylist. It wasn’t her choice of machines, but one that we kept at her work station for occasional free-arm mending. She uses a Singer 401A for nearly everything. Since the Stylist was setting there not being used much, I began sewing with it. I used it for about 4 years, and then switched to a Singer 834 Stylist that I’ve used for 3 years now. Basically the same machine, but I don’t have to change cams from multi-zigzag to regular zigzag anymore. I just have to move the control. I’ve mended about 80 pairs of jeans this year so far, including the closing up of torn crotch seams, reattaching hip pockets, and replacing bar tacks. I replace zippers in insulated coveralls with it too. The 834 came to me with a broken hook gear that I replaced, and have been using it ever since with no problems. I’ve done a lot of embroidered patches on uniform shirts with it (over 600 this year).

    Most quilters think I’m nuts, but my favorite type of sewing is mending jeans. I guess I can identify with the guy that got hung up in a barbed wire fence, or forgot that he had welding rod in his hip pocket and ripped it off. I’ve been there and done that, so I know the feeling. I remember being grateful that my wife would mend my jeans after one of those “close encounters” of the “ripping kind”.

    Yea, I’m a man that sews, and I like to do it. I especially get a charge out of the young people that select funky contrasting fabrics for me to use to patch their designer jeans to fill the hole behind the strings (the strings can NOT be trimmed off!) so that they can keep stylin’ without letting (more than they’d like) to hang out....

    CD in Oklahoma
    "I sew, I sew, so it's off to work I go!!!"
    ThayerRags Fabric Center
    http://thayerrags.com/

  4. #39854
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    I'm enjoying reading these stories from the guys about how they go into machines and sewing.

  5. #39855
    Junior Member qltgrose's Avatar
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    I agree with Littlebear

    Quote Originally Posted by Littlebearquiltingboard View Post
    I'm enjoying reading these stories from the guys about how they go into machines and sewing.
    Its neat to hear the stories from the guys, I agree! The first guy sewer I met in person was John Flynn. He used to be a bridge building engineer and then he got to tinkering with designing things to help his wife sew and then eventually into quilting. He came to our guild one time and it was a really fascinating lecture. I took a class from him on hand stippling and he signed my class piece and drew a bridge on it. Its one of my favorite WIPS

    Jody

  6. #39856
    Junior Member qltgrose's Avatar
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    Anyone have a 185K? I have one in a blonde cabinet, havent cleaned her up yet, but doesnt need a whole lot.
    Can you tell me anything about them? Who came first, the Featherweights or the 185K?
    Havent decided what I am doing with this one. If I can sell the 201K, might keep this as a back up machine.
    All opinions welcome on this "plan". I wish I could keep them all, but its just not going to be possible!

    Jody

  7. #39857
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qltgrose View Post
    Nancy,

    My roses are yellow with alot of peachy colors in them. The decals are in pretty good shape. I will attach photos. I would like to clean her up and get her and the case all spiffy, but am TERRIFIED of silvering the decals, so I keep putting it off, especially since I paid wayyyyyyy more for the machine than I should have and the decals are in such good condition already. I just read Glenns post about using linseed oil and alcohol to clean up the finish. I am going to try it first on an electric FR White that I have and then if I get the gorgeous results he showed in his photos, will try on my Jones. Shes sitting on a bookshelf now and no, havent attempted to sew anything yet.

    Attachment 382656Attachment 382657

    Your coffin top and mine sound similar. rectangular. I love the details on these machines. I printed off a manual for using them a long time ago, would you like me to scan and send it? If so, just let me know.

    Jody
    Jody, now that is what I expect a Jones machine to look like! Your machine is beautiful! The yellow rose is the one I wanted, but I do love mine! Thank you for the offer, but I also printed off a manual from ISMACS site.

    Nancy

  8. #39858
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muv View Post
    Jody - Your machine is really pretty and should clean up very nicely. Interesting bobbin winder.

    All you need to clean the decals is a dab of machine oil on cotton wool or a soft cotton cloth, then rub it dry again with fresh cotton wool or a cloth. You won't silver the decals with machine oil. The residue of oil on the presser bar and foot will come off easily with Peek metal polish. You will find all the information you need about cleaning vintage machines and using long bobbin machines in my Youtube videos and on the blog - links are below. On the blog you will find a link for the metal polish.

    Nancy - the tension discs need to come off so you can reposition the thumb tab. If I could stick my hands into the computer I would do it from here.
    Needlebar isn't difficult to join. They get irritated if people want values of machines or just go in for a bit of information but make no real contribution. It's worth joining just to get access to the picture gallery.
    Ok Muv, after Christmas I will have more time to spend with my new Jones! I will then check out the tension thumb tab.

    Maybe, I will try joining Needlebar again. I tried once, but gave up when I never heard back whether I had been accepted or not.

    Thank you Muv, for the information!

    Nancy

  9. #39859
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltdoctor View Post
    I am doing ok. I have lots of friends and family. Christmas will be sad this year, but I will survive. Have lunch today with a girl friend and am going to quilt guild meeting tonight. One day at a time. I actually went out and painted the irons on my Wheeler Wilson 9 yesterday. Thanks for thinking of me.

    Texa Jan
    Jan, it sounds like you have the right attitude! Healing one day at a time!

    Nancy

  10. #39860
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qltgrose View Post
    Anyone have a 185K? I have one in a blonde cabinet, havent cleaned her up yet, but doesnt need a whole lot.
    Can you tell me anything about them? Who came first, the Featherweights or the 185K?
    Havent decided what I am doing with this one. If I can sell the 201K, might keep this as a back up machine.
    All opinions welcome on this "plan". I wish I could keep them all, but its just not going to be possible!

    Jody
    Jody according to ISMACS the 185 was introduced in 1958. The FW was introduced at the Chicago Worlds' Fair in 1933. The 185 was only produced from 1958 to about 1964. The FW was produced, although the color changed, from 1933 to about 1970.

    Nancy

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