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Thread: Necchi Lydia 544, anyone have one?

  1. #1
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Necchi Lydia 544, anyone have one?

    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.

    I had to think long and hard about adding another girl to the hoard/herd but I could not leave her there to an unknown fate. I will have to find a manual because this sewing machine is not intuitive. I don't think I would have ever figured out how to thread her without finding a Youtube video. She is one grimy, dirty girl and will be today's cleaning project. I am fascinated by this sewing machine because she is so different in every way from any of my other sewing machines. I will be posting pictures of her later today.
    Sweet Caroline

  2. #2
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    What a wonderful purchase! Have you joined the Yahoo Necchi group? It has tutorials and, of course, answers to questions. My Necchi is so basic that I haven't had many questions, but a Lydia would be different.

  3. #3
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    I may consider the Yahoo Necchi group. But only because this sewing machine is a "horse of another color". And I really want to get into her innards. From what I have been able to determine from the Internet is that Necchi Lydias can have plastic camshaft issues. I oiled her well yesterday and played with all of the knobs and sort of figured out how she functions.
    Sweet Caroline

  4. #4
    Super Member chips88's Avatar
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    i love seeing what everyone gets a special machine. love to see pics later. just oogle over them.

  5. #5
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Yep, can't wait to see pics! How about some "before" and "after" pics?
    ~~Cathy~~

  6. #6
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    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.
    ~~Cathy~~

  7. #7
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    I have always referred to mine as neck-ee.

  8. #8
    Super Member Yooper32's Avatar
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    Having cavorted with mine for over 40yrs. I can vouch for NeckE pronounciation.
    Yooper32 aka: Donna B

  9. #9
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    Yes, my first instinct was to say Neeeeecccccccchi because it sounded so Italian, but indeed it is Necke. LOL

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    I just cleaned a Lydia. She is a beauty! Rotary bobbin, powerful motor. Well built and thought out.

  11. #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; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  12. #12
    Super 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!

  13. #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~~

  14. #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

  15. #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 :

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...t-t202598.html

    I hope yours is alright.
    ~~Cathy~~

  16. #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!

  17. #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

  18. #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; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  19. #19
    Super 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!

  20. #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.


    Attached Images Attached Images




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

  21. #21
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Wow so beautiful on top and what a mess on the bottom!! Yup every single one of my cams are broken. Looks like yours faired better. Good luck with it. I'm still having an eternal debate over mine. Since she's missing the foot pedal I haven't a clue as to whether she will even stitch a straight stitch. So good luck taming the tension beast. :P
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

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    Hello --- sorry I am late to your Necchi Lydia party

    I just opened my mom's sewing machine (she passed away in the 90's and I am just now getting the nerve to open it) and lo and behold it is a Necchi Lydia 544, complete with all the parts and the manual! If you are still in search of the manual, I would be glad to get a copy to you. It looks like a wonderfully solid machine. Can't wait to play a bit with it! I'm a weaver and sewing handwoven fabrics is tricky unless the machine is sturdy! I'm so delighted to find my new little gem!



    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    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.

    I had to think long and hard about adding another girl to the hoard/herd but I could not leave her there to an unknown fate. I will have to find a manual because this sewing machine is not intuitive. I don't think I would have ever figured out how to thread her without finding a Youtube video. She is one grimy, dirty girl and will be today's cleaning project. I am fascinated by this sewing machine because she is so different in every way from any of my other sewing machines. I will be posting pictures of her later today.

  23. #23
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artsymatilda View Post
    I just opened my mom's sewing machine (she passed away in the 90's and I am just now getting the nerve to open it) and lo and behold it is a Necchi Lydia 544, complete with all the parts and the manual! If you are still in search of the manual, I would be glad to get a copy to you. It looks like a wonderfully solid machine. Can't wait to play a bit with it! I'm a weaver and sewing handwoven fabrics is tricky unless the machine is sturdy! I'm so delighted to find my new little gem!
    Thanks for your offer. I did acquire a manual for Naughty Lydia. Naughty because I never could figure out the tension problem as she still managed a straight stitch. Naughty Lydia is still sitting in the closet for "time out". When you have a chance, remove the case and check if the plastic cam stack has fractures. If it doesn't you have a double treasure, your mother's sewing machine and intact camshaft.
    Sweet Caroline

  24. #24
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    Dear Caroline,
    my mother has not manual for her "NECCHI Lydia3 Type 544". Please, can you provide to me User's Manual for "NECCHI Lydia3 Type 544"? (the simplest is PDF file by email)


    Thank you for answer in advance.


    With kind regards


    Petr Hladik
    Czech Republic

  25. #25
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    Dear Proflex1,
    my mother has not manual for her "NECCHI Lydia3 Type 544". Please, can you provide to me User's Manual for "NECCHI Lydia3 Type 544"? (the simplest is PDF file by email)


    Thank you for answer in advance.


    With kind regards


    Petr

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