A Couple Handcrank Sewing Machines

Well, I missed my goal of one post per month and since today our camera is off in the mountains, I cannot show you what I've been up to. So, I'll give you a hint: one inch triangles.

I talked to someone this morning about teaching children to sew on handcrank sewing machines. I told her I would post some pictures so here we go. This first picture is a Singer model 28K. The K means it was made in Kilbowie, Scotland. It is a three-quarter sized sewing machine. While still pretty heavy, it is more portable than its full-sized sister, the model 27. The serial number was commissioned in 1906. It still sews wonderfully. It uses a long bobbin in a shuttle instead of a round bobbin in a bobbin case like modern machines. There are fewer parts for thread to get caught in, and fewer parts that need adjusting. It's easy to clear when things get tangled up. I love using this machine for paper piecing. I can put the needle exactly where I want it. I backed off the pressure on the presser foot so I can control the stitch length as the fabric is feeding. It can also be moved sideways. (I used it to bind the quilt it's sitting on. Stay tuned for more about that quilt in a future post.)

The following pictures are of a Singer 128 that I fixed up for the granddaughter of some friends of ours. If I remember correctly, it was made circa 1920. (edit: I looked up the serial number. It was commissioned in October, 1919.) I removed the motor and added a reproduction handcrank. I'm not yet confident in cleaning up the machines themselves without removing and/or silvering the decals, so I left this one the way we found it. However, the metal parts were cleaned up. The light was rewired with a short cord so that it would be out of the way when not plugged in.

This website has good information on getting "old" people powered (handcrank and treadle) machines back into usable condition: www.treadleon.net

I would also be willing to answer questions you may have to the best of my ability. If you would like me to help you select, locate, and/or get a machine running for yourself or someone else, it would be my pleasure.


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