Singer 66-18 knee patching?

Old 09-25-2019, 08:07 PM
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Default Singer 66-18 knee patching?

First off, Hello everybody! First post here 😊. Iím a complete newb to sewing. More of a chainsaw and tractor kind of guy. But in my never ending quest to become more self sufficient I have decided that I need to be able to sew. Nothing fancy, but just to take care of the clothes I wear out on a day to day basis.

I purchased a singer 66-18 in a nice little wooden cabinet from an older lady for $40 in working shape. Brought it home, cleaned it up oiled it with the correct oil. Greased it with the correct grease. Replaced a few bits and pieces and now it seems to sew pretty good, At least for my limited knowledge 🤷*♂️.

Now, after all this preparation I go to start my first project. Fixing the never ending holes in the knees of my pants. And this brings us to my dilemma... how do I sew a patch on the knee of my pants with the base of the machine in a table as it is?!?! I have scoured the internet for hours attempting to come up with a solution to no avail. Surely there must be a way? I feel like back when this machine was being produced most every household would have had knees to be mended right?

Thank you for your time in advance
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:23 PM
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The machine it self doesn't take any grease, just oil. The motor takes grease, but if you apply through the grease ports, the modern synthetic greases don't wick into the bearings. There are one or two alternatives especially made for the old machines, or you might have to apply directly to the bearings. Some later motors were lubrication free. You can use grease on treadle irons, but only if you take it appart.

All the cast iron straight stitchers were flat beds. You need to fold down the legs and sort of work around the area by turning the bulk of fabric. Some people keep a freearm model for this reason, but mending pants should generally be fine on a flat bed. It has a lot to do with getting used to it, my suggestion is to persevere.
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:32 AM
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Welcome from western NY and happy quilting
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:33 AM
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Welcome 066logger. I understand your dilemma. The pants legs and/or seat can be rolled up and stitched. I have sometimes turned them inside out so I could sew the patch on the outside. I have also used a free arm and even that can be rather fiddly. I finally decided that it was easiest way for me to patch pants legs was to take out one of the seams. I was working with jeans that had one seam that is flat felled (generally the inseam) and the other is just a plain seam (generally the outside seam). I undid the outside seam so that I could get it a little flatter. I did not do the entire seam so that the pocket and hem were still attached. Then patched the places that needed it and stitched the side seam back up. I would not go all the way to the hem, maybe a few inches above and depending on the how the pocket is stitched a few inches below the pocket. I still had to be careful not to get any excess fabric caught in the patch. I sometimes would use a light weight "Stitch Witchery fusible web" on the corners or edges of the patch and iron it over the hole before taking it to the sewing machine. I found it easier to keep in place than pins.

Hope this helps.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

Last edited by OurWorkbench; 09-26-2019 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:22 AM
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Whew. nothing like jumping into the deep end. I am a beginning sewist and wouidn't dream of a a patch like that.

You have a great machine and I wish you well. Welcome aboard.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by OurWorkbench View Post
Welcome 066logger. I understand your dilemma. The pants legs and/or seat can be rolled up and stitched. I have sometimes turned them inside out so I could sew the patch on the outside. I have also used a free arm and even that can be rather fiddly. I finally decided that it was easiest way for me to patch pants legs was to take out one of the seams. I was working with jeans that had one seam that is flat felled (generally the inseam) and the other is just a plain seam (generally the outside seam). I undid the outside seam so that I could get it a little flatter. I did not do the entire seam so that the pocket and hem were still attached. Then patched the places that needed it and stitched the side seam back up. I would not go all the way to the hem, maybe a few inches above and depending on the how the pocket is stitched a few inches below the pocket. I still had to be careful not to get any excess fabric caught in the patch. I sometimes would use a light weight "Stitch Witchery fusible web" on the corners or edges of the patch and iron it over the hole before taking it to the sewing machine. I found it easier to keep in place than pins.

Hope this helps.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
It is a bother to undo that seam - but it does make knee patching a lot easier.

If you are unsure of what is a flat-felled seam, google it for illustrations.

My Mom patched many many pairs of pants for her husband - and that is the technique she used.

The "not flat-felled seam" also usually has a lot of thread in it to remove - the seam usually has some type of overcasting on to minimize fraying.

When you sew that seam back up - this is a straight stitch only machine? - sew a line of stitching 1/8 inch from the edge, and about 1/4 inch from the edge - in addition to re-sewing the additional seam - to prevent fraying/raveling. Denim is notorious for fraying.

Last edited by bearisgray; 09-26-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:19 AM
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How are you doing? It's a bit of a bother, but in my experience usually easier if you fold down from the top of the pants. It is usually within doable. Full size clothes are easier than small childrens cothes.
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mickey2 View Post
The machine it self doesn't take any grease, just oil. The motor takes grease, but if you apply through the grease ports, the modern synthetic greases don't wick into the bearings. There are one or two alternatives especially made for the old machines, or you might have to apply directly to the bearings. Some later motors were lubrication free. You can use grease on treadle irons, but only if you take it appart.

All the cast iron straight stitchers were flat beds. You need to fold down the legs and sort of work around the area by turning the bulk of fabric. Some people keep a freearm model for this reason, but mending pants should generally be fine on a flat bed. It has a lot to do with getting used to it, my suggestion is to persevere.
I ordered the special sew retro grease thatís supposedly specifically formulated to melt at the same temperature as the original motor grease. And yes, only the sewing machine specific oil on the machine itself. Iím sorry I wasnít clear on that. I think I like the idea of ripping the side seam out to have full access. I like plenty of room to work. Well, now to find a seam ripper 😂 thank you all for the advice! I really appreciate everything you all have suggested. Iíll try folding the pants leg up as well. The problem is some of these tears arenít super small. Iíll report back on my progress as soon as I get to play around with things.
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:23 PM
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Also, thank you for the terminology. Just the things like the different seam types and that my machine is a flat bed type are extremely helpful in my googling endeavors!
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:54 PM
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Since you are hear to learn freearm machine is something to take a gander at too. Not your machine, but hey, few among us only have one. Though most freearms are a bit newish for this group.
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