Singer Sewing machines

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by scotjimland, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I had an old Singer 98k sewing machine which I inherited from a great aunt. I loved it, made all sorts of stuff for the different vans and motorhomes I had owned.
    Peg bags, window awnings, loose covers, curtains, wind breakers, etc etc. but sadly had to give it away when we went full time. :Sad:

    I decided to find another and bid on one on eBay .. won it for the princely sum of £35

    When I collected I was amazed at how good a condition it was in, had all the bits and bobs, thread still on both bobbins as if the last person to use had packed up and forgotten about it.. or perhaps had passed on.. The only thing needing fixed was the plug that fits into the motor, one of cores had been pulled out..

    When I started it up it literally ran like a sewing machine .. as good as the day it left the factory in 1956 .. (I found the manufacture date from the serial number on the Singer web site) ..

    The point of posting is only to comment on the quality of things from a bygone age, we don't make stuff to last any more.. a machine built to last and if looked after will last another fifty years or more.. what do we make today that has that sort of life expectancy .. or will give the same satisfaction fifty odd years on.

    Of course my daughter said .. Ohhh dad , what did you buy that old thing for , I said.. to make all your new clothes :Laughing:.. she just looked aghast and said.. I don't think so dad.. but when I got it working and was testing on some old cloth I couldn't keep her away.. :Wink:

    jim
     
  2. jomel

    jomel Read Only Funster

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    And a great skill you are passing on too.
    You cant beat good old quality. My first washing machine was a twin tub, way back in the 70's when I was a young bride. It lasted years. I replaced it with an automatic and it broke, so went back to the twin tub. The new auto broke and again I used the old one. Donated it to a friend when we moved but wish I hadnt. I think it would still be running today lol.
    I have a very very old sewing machine in the shed. Its a smaller type one in duck egg blue case. It doesnt work and keep meaning to see if I can get it fixed.
    I dont sit here on puter all day, honest! I stop in between washing, painting, etc.:Blush:
     
  3. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Youve been to Oradour Jim you may have picked one up ther for nowt evey house had one:Doh::BigGrin:
     
  4. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    A slight deviation (RANT:Angry:).

    We have a very tidy '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee, loverly vehicle, 4 liter limited, all the toys. So 11 years old and the ac condensor went. Phoned Jeep, obsolite, at 11 years old! Found an after market in the end and sorted. Weekend just gone the rear wiper motor expired, a not uncommon fault on these and guess what, obsolite!

    A superb, wiper excepted, vehicle, only 11 years, plently to go, she's only just passed the 100k mark and already parts becomming obsolite, crackers me thinks!
     
  5. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Bet you won't be able to keep her off it now. Children today are not brought up to make things for themselves, it all has to be instant this and that, such a pity really. Half the fun has gone wearing or using something you have made yourself. Good to hear that some of the old skills and enjoyment are being passed on.


    Dave:thumb::thumb:
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    and I bet every one would still work ... :Wink:

    If only motorhomes were built like Singers :Sad:
     
  7. The Wallace

    The Wallace Read Only Funster

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    Hi Jim,

    That brings back memories of Clydebank where the big Singer factory flourished for years.

    So many were employed there that they had their own train station.

    There was a tradition among the workers, that, on the day before her wedding, a bride to be would be carried shoulder high, sitting on a decorated packing case, out of the works and down to the pub.
    After the party she was presented with the packing case, because her brand new sewing machine was in it!
     
  8. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    Jim

    My mother in law has a number of Singer machines.. Her favourite is one from 1912 or there abouts.... Dont ask!

    Secondly, she has only recently got rid of her electric cooker which she bought in 1957!


    ShiftZZ
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Dave ..

    Very true.. must run in the family, both my grandmothers and great aunts were Tayloressess , still have fond memories or playing with the treadle, much to their annoyance .. :Laughing: , none would hear of having them being converted to leccy ..
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  10. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    yes they are quite collectable and fetch decent money on ebay, I was lucky to get mine for £35 , usually go for upwards of a hundred ..

    There are some good web sites on Singer machines, fascinating history .
     
  11. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

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    My late father had a hand cranked Singer which he used to make tents-fantastic.
    My elder brother iherited it and left it in his garage and it went rusty!!!
    Hand cranked machines are better for working with canvas as you can control the speed better. Assuming of course you don't have a handy industrial machine.
    Modern stuff has built in obselecence.:Angry:
     
  12. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi
    I remember the factory, .. though not the hen parties.. don't make em like that any more .. .......... nor the sewing machines.. :Laughing:

    jim
     
  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    What a shame.. but it could be restored, much of the rust will only be cosmetic .. the bearing and cams shouldn't be badly affected..

    As you say, the hand cranking is better for canvas, leather etc. but I have made and altered quite a few tents and awnings, but the speed controller is old technology. tends to be very slow or flat out .. ie on/off .. :Laughing:
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    nice one jim. i have a singer sewing machine here .used it for years. my mother was also a tailor dress maker. helped in making danny la rues dresses at onetime. i bought 6 early singers at our local dump afew years ago for a fiver, took them to maroc and gave them to the families i know out there .dont think they,ve stopped working them ever since. should have took a stake in their bussinesses seem to be making it work. its quite pleasing to see a finished product like curtains that you open n close every day n think i made that. hope you both have lots of fun with yours. dont put the needle in wrong had me for hours as they dont pick up right. cheers alan.
     
  15. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Yeah, you see lots in Moroc, one in every doorway :Laughing:

    and the needle.. you only do that once .. :Doh:

    jim
     
  16. staging lady

    staging lady Funster

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    Jim, had a Singer 760 mechanical electric machine, not computerised but used cams for decorative stitches.

    Bought it in Whitley Bay in 1977 with tax rebate ( remember those)after birth of twins.
    Cracking machine. Solid, robust.

    During that time my husband's work moved us all over the country. And we needed curtains and blinds for the various houses.
    I worked out in it's life it had made 94 pairs of curtains and blinds, terry nappies,towels,sheets,and clothes for the twins. It never broke down.

    It was still going strong until 7 years ago when the spring in the bobbin case failed and it was impossible to get a new one. So it had to go to sewing machine heaven all for a little spring...:cry::cry:
    Have got a Janome now, but I loved that old Singer and was heartbroken when it went.
    Lucille
     
  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Lucille

    What a shame, like losing an old friend ,.. but I bet someone got it working again, maybe sourced a part from another old machine..

    I watched a TV program the other night about 'make do and mend' .. the sales of sewing machines have almost doubled since the recession started.. mine will soon have it's work cut out when we move into a house again... :Smile:

    jim
     
  18. staging lady

    staging lady Funster

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    Hi Jim ,
    You're right. I sometimes wonder if I should have gone to another dealer??
    The Janome is excellent, but it hasn't struggled with terry nappies and door curtains!
    Lucille
     
  19. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Ma's original Singer was her own ma's treadle machine that had been converted to electrickery. You controlled the speed by pressing harder on the 'treadle' (it had a metal plate on the top shaped like a shoe insole, if we couldn't tread any harder on it, we had to wait till an adult with bigger feet came along and helped us. The machine still folded into the original wood cabinet so you could keep all your dressmaking stuff (and the latest project) all in one place.

    Almost all our clothes were made on it, mum, big sis and I . Some years after marriage, I eventually bought my own in the mid 70's, a Jones. That lives either here or at Pete's eldest daughter's house depending on who had the latest pair of new curtains!!!! Have to say it hasn't had a garment made on it for years but then there is hardly anywhere round here to buy fabric - the one and only shop I know in Coventry doesn't have much choice at all and even when I have thought I might, I've never been tempted by the material. (see that was it for me - see the fabric, covet it and then think now what could I make out of that?)

    I made 2 pairs of curtains for the hall windows last year from scratch as it were - it was the horriblest material I've ever sewn with - every 2 inches, couldn't get the needle through the fabric and had to resort to Pete helping the wheel when we got to all the double double layers on the Rufflette end. And I nearly died of a heart attack when I discovered the going rate for Rufflette, which cost almost as much as the material itself and that wasn't cheap. TBH it would have been SOOOO much easier to have bought a couple of pairs of ready mades and curtailed em all ! (and me mothers old Singer would have ploughed through it all with ease)

    By the time you have bought decent thread that doesn't shred itself halfway along a bit that shows or sheer off and all you need that goes with it .........

    Very very hard work. B--st--d to iron. Look OK up though.

    All in all, a severely disappointing experience.
     
  20. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    it has to be sylko thread or its useless , best cotton you can buy . my mum would turn in her grave if she thought we bought anything else. a friend ended up with my mums sewing cupboard it must have had every colour they did. hate to think of the cost now. she also left a small bedroom almost full of material. you never went in her house with out new dresses or something hung from the picture rail waiting to be picked up. wedding dresses to teddyboy suits she just said oh yes let me have some measurments and off she went. camper seats to making tents never say no its all a challenge.bet she,s up there stitching now god bless her. cheers alan.
     

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