Singer song of sewing machines

What do you think?

  • I’m still absolutely a beginner sewist, but my first few garments were made at my parents’ place, where I learnt to sew on my gran’s old Singer – which wasn’t powered, so I was using a handle as your dad remembers! The manual for the machine also tells you how you can arrange for a mechanical treadle foot to be added by a Singer engineer, never mind electricity!! I liked learning on it – like driving a back-to-basics old car I think I had to take more care and become better at sewing as a result (as well as yes, having to completely take it apart and give it some real tlc after a long hibernation!) And it was also really enjoyable to use such a lovely old thing. So yes – for what it’s able to do, use it. And it should do a lot, I remember my mum making curtains on ours! Enjoy it :)!

    • Sadly the handle for this machine was disposed of after the motor was fitted, which is a shame, as it would have been fun to have a go at using it. I’m still blown away by how similar it is to my machines – the threading mechanism is largely the same, there is a bobbin winder, the needle is released in the same way and the presser foot is raised and lowered in exactly the same way. Once she’s been given a good clean I reckon I’ll try a project or two. My dad tried to sew pieces of leather for his car using her, but I’m not sure whether the lack of success was down to the machine or his, erm, technique!

      • I guess why change a design that already works? Odd to think about because very little other technology is so well-conserved but I guess even now a sewing machine is more of a mechanical object than most of our other electronics. And… was he trying to reupholster his car?!!

        • Not the upholstery but the roof – he owns a 1936 Austin that he’s been refurbishing, and was wondering whether he could repair the roof using the sewing machine. The verdict was not so much… ended up going to a specialist roof maker!

  • Your “new” vintage machine is definitely a think of beauty. My Mum had one just like yours. In fact the picture of it in your boot with its hard cover made me do a double take and took me right back to my child hood. I would love to have one now even if simply for display purposes.

    • I was amazed how many vintage machines are to be found on Gumtree and Ebay etc, and for around £35-£50. I love how so many people have ‘sewing machine memories’ from childhood! I remember my mum using a beautiful blue machine (not a Singer I think) that was completely unreliable and kept unthreading itself. So many memories… I’d love to know what happened to that machine.