Category Archives: Sewing Machines I Love

What Was This Sewing Machine Used For?

The sewing machine shown below was recently discovered in one the old mills in New York Mills, NY. It was brought to the November NY Mills Historical Society. We are trying to figure out what it was used for. There are no markings whatsoever on this machine. It was lovingly cleaned by one of the historical society members.

New York Mills, NY has had textile mills from the early 1800’s till until 1956. They manufactured muslin, wool, corduroy and during the war years Jungle Cloth.

The sewing machine is about the size of a Singer 221 Featherweight. Does anyone know who made it and what it was used for?

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My Sewing Machine Obsession

Sewing Machine Obsession
I went to my Bee last night and my friend Faye asked is I wanted an old sewing machine (well, YEAH). She wasn’t sure what it was. We went up stairs and opened the case. I saw right away that it was a Singer. Not only a Singer, but a 1955 Singer Model 99K. I sewed on that model for over 20 years before succumbing to computerized sewing. Research says it was made in Clydebank, Scotland, but the machine shows Made in Canada. I brought her home last night, and this morning I oiled and cleaned her, got her all adjusted. She sews beautifully!

I know I’m repeating myself, but below is the rest of my Vintage Sewing Machine Obsession:

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1924 Singer Hand-crank
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1939 Singer 221 Featherweight
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1953 Singer 301a Slant Needle. This machine reminds of a locomotive.
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1953 Singer 15-91. This machine has really beautiful stitches, perhaps because the tension is on the front plate and offers a straight line from the thread spool to the needle.
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1958 Singer 404 Slant Needle
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1961 Singer 503a. I need to play with this machine, it has many cams for decorative stitches.
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1969 Singer 237 Fashion Mate. I learned to sew on a machine like this in high school.
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Davis New Victory Treadle
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Davis Vertical Feed Treadle
Free Westinghouse Sewiwng Machine
Free Westinghouse class 15. I bought this because it has Statue of Liberty decals on it! I call her Libby.

Below is my Idle Hour, another class 15. I absolutely love the colors of this machine. This is the heaviest machine I own, sews great. It reminds me of Vintage Buick!
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I Just Can’t Help Myself

Do they have self help groups for sewing machine collectors? It started with the Davis Vertical Feed Treadle made in New York. Then the Davis New Victory Treadle made in Dayton Ohio. Then the 1924 Singer hand Crank, then the 1939 Singer 221 Featherweight, Then the 1969 Singer Fashion Mate. Then the 1958 Singer 404 slant needle. Then the 1953 Singer 301A made in Anderson, SC. Then the turquoise Free Westinghouse from the 50’s with Statue of Liberty decals on it. Then the 1953 Singer 15-91 in the cabinet, that I still haven’t refinished yet. Then also from the 50’s the pink and grey Idle Hour made in Japan. The newest addition is a 1961 Singer 503A. Which I obtained from Good Will. It runs great but the needle tension needs some adjustment. I have it on zero but it is still tight.

Singer Model 503A
She’s a beauty.

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I have attachments and oodles of cams.

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I haven’t even told you about the 4 Baby Lock sewing machines I have, not to mention the Nolting Mid-arm! Lord have mercy.

Myrtle May & Me

I decided to take Myrtle May out for a run. Myrtle May is my Singer 301A, hey that rhymes! She had been cleaned and tuned up and she now purred like a kitten. Not bad for a gal that is 60 years old. You see, Myrtle May & I are both turning 60, we were both born in 1953.

I ventured into sewing room number 2 where I park some of my sewing machines and set up Myrtle May and my Babylock Serger. I had 3 shirts that had been cut out since last summer and this was a good day to give Myrtle May a workout and git em done!

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I have been wearing the same shirt for 10 years. It started out with long sleeves and a collar. First the long sleeves went, then the collar. You see, I am a Flasher – Hot Flasher that is is. I love cotton shirts.

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This is a gift from my Aunt Judy for my birthday. My two dachshunds don’t know what to think about them!
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Meet Libby

Meet Libby

This is Libby. I’m a sucker for anything “Statue of Liberty”! She has a statue of Liberty decal on her base and her motor. Libby is a Free-Westinghouse, made in Japan sewing machine from the late 1950’s. She sews a straight & a zigzag stitch. Free doesn’t mean she was free, Mr. Free made sewing machines. She has been thoroughly clean and re-wired and now purrs like a kitten.

Libby’s case arrived a bit smashed. It is made of wood, so I decided to try to mend it (what did I have to loses). I reinforced the broken corner using drywall tape and proceeded to decoupage her. I have never decoupaged anything before, but I think I did ok, and now the case has been reborn.

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Another Davis Vertical Feed

Last week in my blog I talked about cleaning one of my treadle machines. Well, I couldn’t leave the other one dusty. I had not opened either one in over ten years. The first one I discovered is a New Victory by Davis Vertical Feed Sewing Machine Company of Dayton, Ohio. I bought it about 1998 in Occoquan, Virginia. When I opened my other treadle I saw it was also a Davis Vertical Feed. I bought this machine in 1980 in Utica, NY. I think it is just so ironic that they are both made by Davis Sewing Machine Company, originally from Watertown, NY. My next trick will be to actually sew on one of my treadle machines.

Davis Vertical Feed

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When in Doubt, Clean Something

My Davis New Voctory Treadle

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The Holidays are almost over and things are quieting down, now what…. Whenever I feel a little lost I clean and/or organize something. I decided to dust one of my treadle sewing machines. This is a New Victory treadle sewing machine made by Davis Sewing Machine Company. I don’t know exactly how old she is. I think she was made around 1920.

The founder of the Davis Company, Job A. Davis, began the small scale manufacturing of a sewing machine around 1860 in New York City. In all likeliness, he may have manufactured a sewing machine similar to the New England or Common Sense chain-stitch sewing machines that were popular in the 1860s and early 1870s. This would explain the “Vertical Feed” mechanism used on later Davis machines.
Although Davis machines created a lockstitch, both styles of machines used a walking foot to feed cloth through the machine. Like the New England and Common Sense machines, Davis sewing machines featured a walking foot, or “Vertical Feed,” which by the 1880s, had become a peculiar feature of the Davis sewing machine.
Lacking feed dogs, the Davis machine used a kind of “walking foot” to move cloth forward with each stitch made. These machines continued to be manufactured into the 1890s, at which time they were replaced with more conventional models employing feed dogs.
In 1869, the operation was moved to Watertown, New York, where the Davis Sewing Machine Co. was incorporated and began the large scale manufacture of the Davis Vertical Feed sewing machine from 1871 through 1886. After 1886, the operation was moved once again to Dayton, Ohio where production continued from about 1889 to 1924.