Thursday, December 17, 2015

 I keep an eye on the Ebay and Gumtree listings for sewing machines in my area, just out of interest.  I've been wanting a treadle with Tiffany decals for a long time, but I never found any nice ones for under $500.  I was almost resigned to the fact that I'd have to pay that, or go without, when I saw this one on Gumtree.  I was already in Adelaide to visit the DD, so I just popped round to have a look, and it was in nice enough condition to buy. 

It's been restored, not very well, but at least the decals haven't been scrubbed off. It was $180, and I was happy to pay that because I haven't found a cheaper one, in this condition, in this area, in years of looking. 
The woodwork was sanded back, stained with an un-natural red stain popular in the 90s, and the edges painted black.  Not what I would have done, but never mind.  The machine is fine, which is the important thing.  I couldn't test it, because the drive band was in three pieces, but it turned over smoothly and the bobbin case was intact.
When I brought it home I had a pile of work to finish, so I couldn't do more than get it inside.  I admired it while I slaved away at the computer until one night I snapped.  I went out to my stack of machine parts and rummaged around till I found another leather drive band; after a few attempts I had it the right length, and the machine was working again.  I had to adjust the bobbin case as it was way too tight, but with two minutes work this old dear was sewing perfectly again. 
You have to love a machine that is so well engineered it's almost impossible to wreck it.  Her number was assigned in 1909, so she's over 100 years old.
I'm not sure the bobbin winder will work, it doesn't look like all the others I saw on Ebay, so I will have a little play with that later.  I still have no spare time to sew, or fiddle with sewing machines, but once the Christmas rush is over I will sit down with this old girl and get to know what she can do. 
 This certainly isn't the original bobbin cover, just something the restorer bunged on there to fill the gap.  I have spare ones in my stash, so it will get replaced quick smart.

I don't know what her name is yet, maybe she'll just be Tiffany.  I'll decide that after I've known her a bit longer.


Sue SA 1:58 PM  

You appear to really know your machines, so glad that you found one to love and fix properly. I have an vintage hand crank machine but no idea how to work or fix it, so for now I just admire its beauty. I hope you get to enjoy using yours over the Christmas break.

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