Tuesday, 28 January 2014


I saw an ad on Gumtree a few weeks ago and responded immediately. Yes free machines. Six of them and no two the same.
Pinnock 101, Regal De-Luxe Zig-zag, Singer 306k, Pfaff 60, Bernina 530-2 record, Singer 287N
It's not as great a deal as it sounds. I promised to re-home as many as I could fix.  Easiest was the Singer 287N. Japanese machine, 1982. Very clean and well maintained. I just checked it thoroughly, oiled it and put it on Gumtree for $30. Naturally it was sold within 12 hours. The buyer couldn't come get it either so I had to home deliver.
The other Singer (306) is missing a few bits that would make it impossible to use as-is. The bobbin case (specific to 306 and 319s) was missing as was the chrome reflector for the light. Neither part is easily replaceable. It was also cosmetically in poor shape. Best part, though, was that it came with a complete set of pattern cams. The Pinnock 101 was a brilliant machine but somehow the hand wheel was badly bent! It absolutely must have been dropped on it. I straightened it out with the vice and some tools and spent many hours cleaning and oiling. Sold it yesterday for half the cost of a service. It was a beautiful baby blue and came with the darning foot. I tested this by doing a little embroidery. It was the perfect machine for this having a vertical bobbin. Lovely machine.
The Pfaff 60 appears to be worthless (they don't sell on eBay) and mine is missing its slide plate, so I guess it'll be staying with me a while.
The Regal de-luxe is a Japanese 1960s machine. It's beautiful and dripping with chrome. Loved it but it had to go. It went quickly too for less than half a service.
The Bernina I'm keeping. I've wanted one for ages but they seemed so expensive. Well, it seems that only applies to 1970s models. One like mine went last week on eBay for barely anything!
Pinnock 101

Regal Super Deluxe

Singer 287N Starlet

A manly machine

I bought a Singer 206K10 around Christmas. It's the industrial version of the 206 which is the earlier version of the 319. Took ages to work out the sub-model but fun. It cost $6.25 and included the irons but no table. Since I'm on school holidays out came the power tools and I built a table top, bolted everything on and tested her out. Wiring very dodgy (started smoking from the light cord) so re-wired it and all was hunky dory. The motor is powerful but is like a conventional motor (starts up when you put your foot on the foot controller). A week or so later a full sized machine with bench was listed on Gumtree for $100. Hmmm... yes I bought it. 96K49 (1952) and very scary machine. The guy hadn't oiled it for ages, it needed a clean and it wasn't threaded properly (either top thread or bobbin), oh and it had the wrong needle. Finally the bobbin was tightened right up. I have no idea how he got it to sew at all when I was there, but even the thread was old and very brittle. Tossed it and gave it a good clean. Now even more scary and amazingly fast. Sewed a new cover for my back seat in cheap (faux suede - it was reeeeaaal cheap) upholstery fabric. A quick stab gets you about 60 stitches! Doesn't seem to matter how many layers either. Anyway, it seems this is the way to do it (upholstery).
I've had to learn about needles and threads, they have to match and you should use the smallest needle you can for the smallest amount of damage to your fabric. A line of stitching had to be unpicked from the faux suede today. Seems it's more like real suede than I'd wanted: The size 18 needle left loads of big holes. Maybe a 16 next time.
That same week, I bought a second machine head for it: A 96K41 (1947). Dec-Jan seems to be a great time to buy an industrial. Saw a Pfaff industrial last night on Gumtree for $90. Amazing. Well, can't imagine I'll be getting rid of this one, particularly now it has a spare head. Perhaps I should call it "Zaphod".
206K10 - yes it's a centennial
96K49 from 1952. Fantastic but scary.