Friday, February 22, 2013

Bernina Record 730 Video

My recent Bernina Record 730 acquisition is a bit complicated with its many knobs and levers, so I thought I'd shoot a video to show what they all did. One problem with having so many sewing machines to mess around with is that I sometimes forget what the various machines do, so you'll have to pardon my hesitation sometimes when describing the various functions. The video is 19 minutes long. I didn't go through all 20 different stitch patterns but you get the idea. The machine is sewing through 4 layers of denim.

The video didn't show the right side of the machine so here is a photo of the two levers for buttonhole and satin stitch.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A What Machine? Jeans Machine

"Jeans Machine"? What was the marketing department thinking? I guess they figured that if it is marketed as handling your jeans project, it will handle just about any home project. So I decided to put this bad boy to the test. Yes, it must be a boy with a name like that.

Starting with Goodwill's $0.99-cent sale, I walked out $3.23 lighter and three pairs of jeans heavier. I now have enough denim to last me quite some time. But I digress. I've seen many ads and videos that show machines sewing through 8 layers of denim, I decided I needed to see how well it works. Bottom line? It worked slick, like there was practically nothing there. I did use a 'jeans' needle, but I would hazard a guess that most domestic sewing machines would do as well. Maybe. I'll try other machines some other time and post the results. On to the video, only 3 minutes or so in length (forgive my sleeve blocking the view so much):

And a couple photos:

Monday, February 18, 2013

What can I say - Necchi BU

A pile of sewing machines in the basement, and what do I do? Buy another, of course. In a cabinet. That's coming apart at the veneer. And the machine is quite neglected and rusty. But there's a story here. Read on.

A couple weeks ago I visited the local Goodwill. Oh, look, a Necchi BU sewing machine in a cabinet. On closer examination, the machine was marked $299.99 on the blue tag. Way too much for me, and I presumed at the time that, even when the blue tags got to 50% off in a couple weeks, nobody would put down $150 for the thing. So there was a good chance this deteriorating vintage wonder would end up being bought by some fortunate person during the $1.29 blue tag Monday sale.

Fast forward a couple weeks, to the Saturday before Presidents Day (two days ago). We stopped in at the Goodwill and saw an advertisement for 99-cent blue tags on Monday, not $1.29. And look, the machine was still available (not surprising). Plans were put into motion to show up early Monday morning. We rolled into the parking lot at 7:40 to find 11 people lined up at the door. Bummer. Eight o'clock and everyone rushed inside, some having scoped out their areas of focus beforehand. I rushed to the place my (a little bold aren't we, since it isn't mine yet) sewing machine had been, and............ it was still there. I got to it in time. A Necchi BU with a box of accessories and owners manual for $0.99. Wow.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

When it rains, it pours...

... and not just because I live in Washington State. I don't know what's going on, but in a little over a month I've acquired 29 sewing machines. Half of them came from the nice guy in Tacoma that I'd blogged about a couple weeks ago. So here I am today, buying a few odds and ends at the local Jo-Anns and noticed a couple old machines sitting in the corner of the sewing center. I innocently asked the nice lady what she planned on doing with them, telling her I tinkered with sewing machines as a hobby. She said she couldn't sell them as part of her inventory since they were not the brands she sells, and by the way, there are four machines, not two. Oooh, goody, I say to myself. I mean, oh, ok.

So she made a call....  The person on the other end of the line gave her a price to sell them for. She said if I buy them, they would obviously come with no warranty, as they are not being sold as part of their stock. Being the cheapskate I am, I offered 75% of her price (her price was a little more than what I would have paid at the local thrift store). She accepted and I walked out with the four machines pictured below. She said to check back at the end of the month.... Somebody stop me.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A couple videos

This morning I decided to have the camera roll while I was oiling my vintage New Home model 270 sewing machine. Even before oiling it, the thing ran very smoothly and was quiet. It may have been serviced recently, as in maybe the last 5 or 10 years, but I'm sure it was ready for a fresh supply of oil. Let me warn you, the video is 29 minutes long... Don't fall asleep.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

When is a Penney not worth a Penny

I suppose it depends on what condition a Penney is in that determines its worth. The (JC) Penney pictured below is hopefully worth more than a penny. It is a model 6940A. Cast aluminum body so it is nice and light, mostly steel parts inside, save for the stitch cams and a gear or two, and a handy carrying handle on top. All in all, it is a fairly nice machine.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Green. The new black.

I have always been partial to the black Singer 15-91s. Gear drive, no belts to replace, simple straight stitch, easy to maintain, pretty much bullet-proof in every way.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Singer 185K base

The Singer 185K I recently acquired was my first of this type. Normally a sewing machine has feet so it can stand on it's own, but this 185K doesn't have feet at the left (bobbin) end, so a large screw on the oscillating assembly rubs on the table when the machine is running.

Pfaff 30 stitch length lever issue

After cleaning and oiling my new Pfaff 30 sewing machine, I noticed the stitch length lever jogged back and forth a little while the machine was running. I could hold the lever in one spot but it would slow the machine down. For a while I couldn't figure out what was causing this strange behavior but determined it must be something to do with the feed dog fork.

Friday, February 1, 2013

No, it's not junk.

Ok, this next photo may look to most onlookers like a load headed to the nearest recycling station. Not so. This is my latest treasure brought home from afar.