As some of you will have seen from Twitter, I got a new toy on Friday night:
In case anyone was wondering, yes, we’re still very much in love today.
A kind friend in the US rang the Singer 1-800 line for me, since they were supposed to be able to tell me the model number from the serial number. I need the model number to get the right manual, so I can make sure it’s all working properly. This is more complicated than it sounds, since it has what’s called a vibrating shuttle (no sniggering at the back, I can hear you), which apparently you need an engineering degree to thread properly.
See? Not exactly your standard bobbin, is it? Thank heavens for the internet, is all I can say. Within 2 minutes of searching I’d found a pictoral guide to threading it, and I think I may have figured out the model number. That high-up bobbin winder is pretty distinctive, so hopefully the manual I’ve downloaded will be useful. I’m waiting to hear back from Singer to be sure.
Right now it needs a really good clean and oil more than anything. The wheel turns freely, but there are spots of rust on the bobbin and dead things underneath in the wooden case (don’t worry, I’ll take pictures). I think the cleaning is going to have to be done outside so that all the nasties blow into the river, and I don’t suffocate on the smell of the cleaning oil. I also need to work out what the engraved plates are made of, so I can get the right metal cleaner for them.
If anyone has any tips or stories about bringing vintage sewing machines into their full glory, I’d love to hear them. What I really, really want now is the case that should clip onto the machine. If I can’t find one to fit, I’m going to have to make one, I think. Although I do plan to sew with it, this won’t be my regular machine, and the last thing I want is for it to gather yet more dust!
Right now though, mostly what I want to do is stare at it. Go on. You know you want to