Colorado get-together?

Old 12-02-2020, 05:50 AM
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Default December 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 1

It's our holiday posting for the Colorado sewing machine enthusiasts. We have recently had better than seasonal weather, with only a few fairly light snowstorms. What a year it's been. I suspect many will be looking forward with hope to the coming new year.

Our featured members this month are Dianne, James, Cheryl & Chris and Courtney showing us their newest work and latest finds.


Dianne

Dianne got some attachments, which she tells us about:

Acquired this month was a small assortment of Singer attachments from about 1935. This included a #121387 Hemstitcher and picot edger, which is missing its necessary additional parts and manual, so not very useful. A #121704 Buttonholer is complete, with all parts and the manual, but in somewhat rough condition and will need some work. In excellent condition is a #121111 Pinker Attachment. I have the hand crank type for several years, and was always curious about the attachment. It seemed to have had the contents of vacuum cleaner dumped on it, but once cleaned up looks and functions nicely. Manual and special attaching screw are also present. Once oiled and attached, this worked nicely on my 15-91. It is a fun attachment, possibly useful in the future. The curved edge it cuts is more interesting than the sharp zigzag of a pinking shears, and probably less likely to fray badly. I can see this attachment most useful in clothing construction rather than the quilting I now do, but possibly a use will be found for it. Pinking does seem to create a lot of lint!

Dianne


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Cheryl & Chris

Cheryl and Chris have done some beautiful wood finishing work.

We went ahead and bought the 1875 American #1 treadle. The machine was complete except for a bobbin winder tire. Oddly enough, the bobbin winder is attached on both sides to the machine so we saw no way to get a new tire on. We looked for set screws and such and came up empty, so we used some of our green belt material to make a tire. Then I wound a bobbin. Getting it to sew was interesting. The latch holding the strange bobbin case in the machine was stuck, so that took a bit of work to get moving again. The tension discs were rusty and dirty so I took them off and polished them up, along with the rest of the tension mechanism. I have never polished such tiny discs before! The needle that was in the machine was an old and cruddy Singer needle, which I replaced with a Schmetz needle. It took a bit of adjusting the height of the needle to get it to pick up the thread and sew properly, but now it sews reliably. It is noisy, as are many old machines, but moves easily now. Another thing that interesting about this machine is the belt. It is made from a spring and looks quite old, but functions great. Were these ever original to a machine or was it someone's good idea of a replacement?

Chris refinished the 1883 Davis cabinet and bonnet. He still has the drawer fronts to do. The cabinet was missing more than half of its shellac and the rest was dirty, dark and damaged. He used denatured alcohol to remove the shellac and then sanded the wood smooth before reshellacing the surface with amber shellac. There were some deep black marks we think might be ink stains that are just going to have to stay along with some deep scratches. We call them "history." The wood came out quite reddish compared to Singer cabinets we've redone. There was no stain apparent on the wood, so we're thinking it might be mahogany. The drawer fronts in the pictures are not refinished yet
and show how dark and opaque the finish used to be.

I had promised to sell some of my more common machines to make room for my new acquisitions. I've put up a Singer lotus 66 in an oak parlor cabinet for sale and soon will be putting up a Singer VS2 in a cabinet.

cheryl and chris


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.... to be continued
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:57 AM
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Default December 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 2

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.... to be continued
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:05 AM
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Default December 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 3

Courtney

Courtney sent pictures of some of what he's been working on.

I still have not been able to do a lot of work on sewing machines because of the pandemic. I have done some sewing. First, I finished my "Sugaridoo" ¯ quilt along top. I had a great time working on it and talked about it some last month. "Sugaridoo" is a YouTube channel and a blog by a young lady named Irene in the Netherlands. Her quilts are very different from just traditional squares and so I learned a great deal from her. I have included a picture of the completed quilt top laid over a bed. Now I have to get busy and get it quilted! Second, Connie found some fabric with old books printed on it. She bought a yard and wanted to make face masks for her writer friends. We set up an assembly line and finished the masks.

I have spent some time emailing back and forth with James about Willcox and Gibbs machines. So I though I would send a couple of pictures of a W&G treadle I picked up visiting my daughter in California a few years ago. The machine had been left out on a back porch and the top was totally ruined. Both the machine and treadle were totally in pieces when I picked them up. I brought the metal parts of the treadle home on in my luggage on the airplane (when we could fly before the pandemic.) After I got home I was well pleased with how the drawers had come out when I had refurbished them so I asked her to send me the bonnet. It was in pretty sad shape. Totally black with water damage and about ready to fall apart because all the glue had gotten wet. When I got it back to Colorado, I glued and clamped and glued and clamped for about three weeks before it had any constructional integrity. I was able to sand off the outer portions of the bonnet enough to refinish it. When my daughter came out for a visit she brought the top. It was in very bad shape. The veneer had all turned black and was coming or had come off all over. I removed the veneer and found the underlayment was actually in recoverable shape. I fixed it up and then put on some walnut veneer because that is all I had. I finished it and It came out quite nice. One of the picture I have enclosed show the walnut veneer quite obviously but this is only because it is in direct sun. In the house you really cannot tell the top is walnut and the bonnet and drawers are oak. I had to make a fold up leaf as the original was totally in pieces.

Courtney


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James

James has some things to share with us, along with a lot of pictures.

I have gotten quite a few sewing related items since the last meeting. This is not all of them!

First is a 1904 Singer 24-7 that arrived mounted to a board with a 1950s motor and pedal attached. Since the wiring was so bad, I bought a new L bracket motor with a motor block and electric pedal. I took off the L bracket and reused the flat bracket that was on the old motor. It runs fine now except I broke the needle so I am waiting on new needles to arrive before I can actually sew with it! Of interest is the unusual foot that is on the machine? Does anyone know what it was used for? It looks sort of like a quilting foot that uses a bar.

Next is a box of attachments and accessories for "The Automatic Sewing Machine". Based on the lettering on the attachments I believe this was for a machine made by the National Sewing Machine Company called the Eldredge which looks very much like a Willcox and Gibbs chain stitch machine. These accessories will fit a Willcox and Gibbs as well as very similar looking machines. They will also fit a Singer 24 as they are bed mounted. There is an envelope that originally held a manual for the Western Electric portable sewing machine which was a chain stitch machine that looked liked a Willcox and Gibbs. Inside the envelope was a little leaflet on using and attaching the Western Electric sewing motor.

Last is my big purchase since the last meeting. It is a 1879 factory dated Willcox and Gibbs English hand crank. Courtney was nice enough to send me a belt of the correct length along with his home made ferrule to attach the ends. I did have to get a replacement spool pin since the original was missing. I ended up having to file down the end of the brass knurled thread of the replacement spool since it was rubbing at the back end of the hand crank. I still need to work on loosening up the presser foot bar as it will not lower.

The box is the original carry case for the machine. It is in pretty rough shape but everything seems to be there except the front plate cover for the lock and the original key which would have looked like an old fashioned skeleton key.


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.... to be continued
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:11 AM
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Default December 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 4

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.... to be continued
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:17 AM
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Default December 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 5

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Old 12-02-2020, 06:21 AM
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Default December 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 6

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Seb

Seb sent us his news from France. He is a teacher and there, as here, the business of education has people working overtime. He writes:

Once again I'm afraid I will have to pass on this month's meeting and material sharing. Work is eating up most of my days. I've had my Singer Touch and Sew ready for trying new bobbins for two weeks without finding time to sit in front of the machine.

Yet, I've seen a listing for a Singer 48k with almost pristine Ottoman Carnations decals nearby for a very very reasonable price. If I can get my hands on it I will have Something to contribute for the next meeting
Have fun everyone !

Kindest regards

Seb



Dorothy

And, Dorothy sent us a note about what she's been doing:

Hello!
It was great having Thanksgiving which this year was Beef Roast, Potatoes, Green bean casserole and Mac & Cheese. Pumpkin and Apple pie.
Social distancing with my 2 live-in kids, 2 dogs and 3 cats, which I suspect, is what many people opted for.
The kids went to see their Father with masks on and Outside. Too many people have been exposed to do otherwise.

I have to confess that I have nothing going on regarding sewing machines.
We have replaced the furnace (the old one was from 1975) which caused a LOT of things that were stored in the furnace area to be moved into my sewing room.
Then the shower head unscrewing caused a water leakage (now mostly fixed, but needs to be watched closely) which was contained by covering everything in the sewing room with doggie Pee Pads.
Last night I was finally able to set up and do some slight sewing.
In front of me now is repairs for a Jacket - finish up a purse repair - get buttonholes on a shirt from a year ago - Cut out a fit pair of pants and then consider Christmas sewing.
Christmas season is approaching fairly quick (Surprise, Surprise). I have lots of material, in 1 yard lots so there may be Napkins, bowl cozies and aprons in the making. Might be the perfect time to work on the rolled hem start and stops on napkins. The bowl cozies would be an opportunity to practice my very limited Free Motion Quilting.
Have a Great Holiday season!
Dorothy



In Closing

We will post here again next month. Until then, we want to wish everyone a nice holiday season and a happy New Year.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:38 AM
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Default December 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Addendum

Leon

Leon from Kansas also checked in about what he has been working on

Quietness here. I have worked more on the cut a way 99. Slow progress
Snagged a Kenmore 158.1942 yesterday It looks great but will barely turn by hand. It will likely be given to someone who is not into cast iron. Not bad for $15.00 I hope.Bobbin races is taken apart, but I can probably figure it out.Had a zoomish thanksgiving
.
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:15 AM
  #218  
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Default January 2021 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 1

We hope that everyone had a pleasant and enjoyable holiday season. Christmas day in Denver this year was in the 50s and quite pleasant.

With the holidays behind us, we are presenting the activities of our members for the January virtual meeting. The holidays allowed some of our members more time to work on sewing machine interests and some of us a little less. We have descriptions and pictures of work from some of our members, along with the greetings of others.


Dorothy

Dorothy sent us a note:

Good Tidings to All!

I have, very late in Holiday time been sewing microwave bowl cozies and will expand to a mixer cover for my Niece & Husband. A shirt for Her Father will be finished. Not much sewing.
I heard from a former work mate who showed up in Engineering one day asking if She could shorten sleeves, etc.
She began sewing on a Juki walking machine with the speed turned down and did NOT scream!

Yiyi is from China and shared that She & Cousins were forbade from sewing despite Her Grandmother running a clothing business and sewed clothes on a treadle. Education was the path!
Turns out, if you are 5' tall clothes are not made to fit you. Yiyi had spent a lot of money on hemming sleeves, shirt tails and pant hems. Eventually, a 62C was purchased along with the knit stretch cams and some basic lessons in alteration was done over a couple months.
Yiyi contacted me Monday indicating she had continued altering items on the Elna and is now ready to expand her sewing Journey!!!
Always good to get more people on a machine!

Happy New Year!




Dianne

Dianne sent a note, too. She writes:

Enjoy the holiday on this sunny, warm day!

I discovered yesterday that the blue Brother Pathfinder could become totally jammed up with just the slightest bit of thread in the bobbin area, just like a featherweight. It was a shock, but easy to fix once the problem was diagnosed. Nothing had to be taken apart. Smile.

The holidays are so filled with family memories that it can be difficult to stay positive in the present circumstances. But next year should/will/must be better!

Dianne



Leon

Leon, who is joining us from Kansas, has been working on a fascinating cutaway display machine. He writes about this and some other things that he has been working on.

I have been continuing to work on the cutaway 99. I added paint this weekend to a few of the pieces. The flash made it look better than I expected

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A Harris Number 9 hand crank showed up,circa 1920s made in Germany. I needed a bit of tinkering but is making nice stitches now.

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My nasty $10.00 201 is looking better. I added a thread guide made from light wire. I wonder how long it will hold.

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Hope all are staying healthy and safe.


.... to be continued
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:20 AM
  #219  
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Default January 2021 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 2

Cheryl & Chris

Cheryl and Chris have been involved with several projects that they share with us.

Merry Christmas from Cherry and Chris,
Chris did a bit of woodworking and refinishing this past month and I (Cherry) did sewing.
Chris stripped, sanded and re-shellacked the top of a cabinet for an 1891 Singer VS2. I'd previously
cleaned up the head as much as I could, given how bad the shellac was on it, not to mention all the
paint chips. The plated metal parts shined up. The cabinet top had seen a lot of use and had many deep scratches that weren't going to come out unless it was reveneered.

It also had some staining that went too deep into the veneer. Chris spent quite a bit of time sanding it, then shellacking it multiple times, sanding with 0000 synthetic pads between coats. The top is now smooth and
buffed. We call the deep scratches and such under the shellac "history." If someone wants to reveneer it in
the future, they can have at it.

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I finished a cross stitch of a treadle machine with a cat on it. Chris made a frame for it out of our walnut stash and routered it to give it an old treadle cabinet style.

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I sewed a skirt for my daughter for Christmas using a vintage Gunne Sax pattern from my younger days. I used
the electrified Davis for most of the sewing. I really like how the Davis sewed the many yards of ribbon on the
skirt.

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While I was sewing the waistband on the skirt, Chris took a slow motion closeup video of the Davis foot in action. It is really cool!

New video by cheryl netter
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...VocWVfdnJPYVFB

And Chris got to play Santa some more in his new red night shirt - sewn on the Davis.


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.... to be continued
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:27 AM
  #220  
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Default January 2021 Colorado Sewing Machine Get Together - Part 3

Courtney

Courtney tells us about his Christmas holidays:

Dear All,

Following up from a couple of months ago, I purchased some urethane belting material and made a belt for my little Singer #20 electric machine (see picture).

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I have a few more projects for the belting: the first are new belts for my Singer #24 electric machines and the last is a treadle belt for my portable Willcox and Gibbs machine that I take to “History Fest” and demonstrate to the fourth graders at our “Centennial Village” here in Greeley.

Christmas was quite nice to me. My daughter and her ex-roommate sent me an antique sewing table. Cordelia is still real close to her ex-roommate and they had to do a lot of rearranging so her ex-roommate could make a place for home schooling. The ex-roommate said she would donate the table if Cordelia would pay the shipping. It needs a bit of work but I should be able to do that in the shop. I have included a picture of the table and another Christmas present. This one from my wife, its a Willcox and Gibbs English Handcrank (miniature.) I have also included a close up of the miniature.

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Finally the Saturday before Christmas I got an email from a woman I have worked with at the Boulder County Agricultural Heritage Museum in Longmont. She said that she had an older friend who was sickly and had to move out of her apartment. Her friend had a vintage Kenmore 90 (150.904) in good shape except for the need of a belt and they didn’t want to just throw it away. I made arrangements to meet her at a drive-in in Longmont to pick up the machine. It was generally in good shape except for a few recent scratches. It included all the attachments, a Kenmore button holer, and a compete set of 30 cams. When I got the machine home I looked inside and found that the belt was still there, it was just that the pulley on the motor shaft had come loose and the belt had slipped off. I tightened the pulley, re-attached and tightened the belt. The machine is now running. I was quite impressed with how quiet the machine is. I was also surprised that ten of the cams are double cams meaning that they not only control the zig-zag stitch but also control the direction of the stitch forward and backwards much like the Elna double cams. I was also impressed with the weight of the machine, nearly 50 pounds. It makes a Singer 201 feel almost like a featherweight! I have included a couple of pictures.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
Courtney


.... to be continued
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