18 August, 2015

Hand-Cranked Sweetness

I'll bet you thought this post was going to be about homemade ice cream, didn't you? Nope. It's about this Singer model #20, hand crank operated, child's sewing machine. I don't exactly how old this one is, they were manufacured from the 1910 through 1975. I've had mine for quite some time and it's quite old. My husband gave it to me years ago, it was an antique at the time. I set it on a shelf and have displayed it over the years, I honestly never gave a thought to actually using it or even that it might stitch at all! It's only been recently, when Gregory's been visiting (he adores all things mechanical!) that he asked if he could really sew (with thread), as opposed to "air" sewing (turning the crank and running scraps under the presser foot that fall into a heap behind the machine). I got serious about researching the machine and investigating the possibility of actually bringing it back into functional mode. I never had an instruction manual for it, I had the original box that it came in and the clamp that attaches it to a table top, that's it. Luckily, I found a free download for the manual online and printed it out. I ordered some needles specifically for it, it takes a rather rare 24 X 1 needle. Mr. Goodneedle took a look at the mechanism underneath and made one simple adjustment and, just like that, we were off and stitching!
The machine has no bobbin; it makes a chain stitch, and a very nice one at that! In this photo you can see the stitch on the top side. I turned this practice piece upside down to show the chain stitch as it looks on the backside (as indicated by the arrow), it's a little thicker stitch underneath but equally pretty.  I am impressed by the engineering that went into this machine as well as the longevity, with NO maintenance whatsoever over the years that I have had it, for it to pick up and stitch so effortlessly this morning is a terrific testimony to a well built machine. It still could use an adjustable seam guide, I'll have to order one; it was an original attachment that screws down into a threaded hole in the bed and will be helpful when the grandchildren use it to keep the edges straight as they crank the fabric though.
I needed the assistance of additional lighting to thread the needle, I'm sure a child's eyes could handle that task easily without one. But, the thought occurred to me when I pulled out this flashlight, if we have a power outage in the future all is not lost... now I can still sew! 
Life is Good!


KaHolly said...

Another testimony that proves they don't make things like they used to. Gregory will be so delighted.

jude's page said...

What an amazing machine, no maintenance all those years, they sure don't make things like they used to!

straythreads said...

amazing machine! I had a pink toy sewing machine when I was a little girl , it was the source of constant frustration so my mom let me sew on the big machine and Ive never looked back

Quiltdivajulie said...

I need to go look at the one in my studio - it was my mother's and I remember stitching on it when I was very young, before she let me use her powered Singer. Mine has an instruction leaflet that I adore because of the cover art. Perhaps I should actually READ it (giggle).

Tanya said...

What a wonderful piece of machinery! I have never even heard of a machine that does a chain stitch.