Sunday, September 27, 2009


I had a few days off this week and one day hubby and I visited one of our favorite antique stores in Hummelstown, Olde Factory Antiques (no website, but you can find directions here). It's an old 3 story factory loaded with whatnots and their prices are usually pretty good. On the second floor I found an old Singer sewing machine for $5. I looked twice. Made C come over and look. Yep, $5! I love vintage sewing stuff but generally it's too pricey for my frugal nature. But $5, there was no way we were passing this up. The thing weighs a ton and was filthy. But we bought it.

We got it home and I worked on cleaning it up. The decals are very worn and there's a good bit of rust, but it cleaned up pretty nicely. We did a bunch of research on the Internet and found out it is a Singer 27 vibrating shuttle. Manufactured in 1906 in Elizabeth NJ. It is a handcranked machine. Some pictures show an actual crank you could turn. This one has a wheel making it feel a bit cumbersome to crank for me. The machine could be mounted on a treadle stand and driven with a belt by the treadle (so I'll keep my eyes open for one!)

The bobbin is unlike any I've seen before.
It's long and thin and rides in a bullet shaped shuttle.
The bobbin winding mechanism seems not to be working.
It won't hold the bobbin and there isn't a band to drive the mechanism. So far I've not been able to locate instructions or pictures of how it is supposed to work.

The machine does appear to be in working order. The crank turns easily and quietly. The spool pin is missing but would be easy enough to replace. We are fortunate to have a sewing machine repair man a few blocks from our home. He serviced my Kenmore this summer. He works from his home and is a wealth of information. C and I chatted with him about old sewing machines for nearly half an hour when we picked up my machine. We plan to make an appointment to get his opinion on the machine in the near future.

I don't really plan to use this as a working machine. Although I would be tickled if we could get it into working order. Just for the joy of saying I got a sewing machine for $5! For now it's strictly for decoration.

I do have my eyes open for an old Singer Featherweight in working order though. They are works of beauty and I understand they are fabulous little sewing machines. We often see them at the quilt shows for anywhere from $200 to $500. Someday....

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