Sunday, 16 July 2017

Singer 222K Featherweight Sewing Machines


I have been eyeing up 222Ks for ages, watching them slowly rise in price sooo accidentally bid for one on Ebay!  And got it!

 It arrived, very well wrapped.  How exciting was Thurs?

Looks nice and shiney but really mucky when you look properly.

Lots of very old fluff, no sign of any oil on the other moving parts.  The drip felt underneath was like new with just a couple of dried oil marks which tells me it hasn't been oiled much at all.

 The mother of all thread jams which has been there for donkey'years.  Didn't want to take this bit apart so got out a long pair of tweezers and a sharp blade carefully cutting and pulling the loose ends out.  It took a little patience.

 Quite a mucky job.

When I plugged the lead into the machine, it ran on its own.  Damm.  Googled and found the solution, phew.

With the power and machine unplugged  I took the foot pedal apart by undoing the screws in the rubber feet, then turn the pedal over pressed the button which pushes the cover off the controls inside.

There were 2 noise suppression capacitors in the foot which can fail and cause power to operate the foot without pressing the switch.  They originally stopped the sewing machine interfering with the TV but modern tellies aren't affected anymore so these are no longer needed anyway.

All clean, polished, oiled and ready to go. Came with its original feet and a Singer rubber mat.

Made a new Liberty fabric bag for the foot control and leads.

I tried it out, the bottom tension was way out so adjusted that.  The motor seems quite powerful, its faster than my 221K, its definitely quieter. The 222K is lovely to use.

The bed slides off so you have a really neat free arm.  There also a lever next to the stitch length lever which lowers the feed dogs.  How cool is that?

There was an original label from the shop which sold it in 1954.

I refurbished the case, the inside is in really good condition.  One of the lock catches has been bent and is starting to crack, I was going to try and straighten it but had second thoughts, it might snap off so left it alone.

Told my sister Sandi that I had bought one which got her going and she accidently bought on as well!

She brought it over for me to see so had a quick check over it.  Its in super condition and has been oiled and looked after.  But when I checked the gears, they were covered in what looked like axle grease!  Errr, big clumps of it, good job we looked, if that lot had got warm and melted it would have made a huge gooey mess inside.  As usual I forgot to take a photo.   Got it all cleaned off.   Gears do need lubrication but use Singer Motor lubrication, if you can't get it April's Sewing Shop in the USA sells it. They do really good tutorials on how to look after your machine. Here is a link  

Happy Days

Monday, 10 July 2017

Singer Sewing Machine 221K - Folding Iron


In America, Singer produced a folding iron to go into the case along with the machine.  I have never seen one of these irons for sale in the UK, I am a frequent user of Ebay and have seen the USA ones fairly regularly.

My sister went into a local Vintage Shop in Yorkshire and found two vintage folding travel irons.  They are not a Singer brand but very similar.  She kindly gave one to me, as you can see, its hardly been used at all.

It comes in a neat well made case.  Haven't tried to see if it will fit in the 221K case, I suspect it might be a bit of a squeeze.

It very comfortable to use and its got some weight about it so lovely to iron with.

Full instructions included.  Not sure that I will be plugging it into a UK light fitting, will use an adaptor.

 All tucked up.

This is what I normally use next to my Sewing Machine.

Was using the 201K today as I needed to sew some leather.  The iron goes really well with it, much  better than plastic!


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Silver Presentation Box Refurbishment


I had this boxed set of Silver Plated napkin rings made by Walker and Hall of Sheffield, I expect they are somewhere around 1910ish but that is a complete guess, they may be older. They are a family piece.  I use them at Christmas. The box was looking a bit tatty and as I had just refurbished a couple of Singer Featherweight Sewing machine boxes, had the idea of tidying this box up as well.

Here is the before

Used the same technique using a Sharpie black pen to colour in all the dings and scratches.  Looking better already.

Then two coats of black shoe polish being careful not to get it on the gold lines.  Drying and polishing each layer.

All done.


Saturday, 10 June 2017

Singer 221 Service and Case Refurbishment


The lovely Sarah from Drawn Threads (DrawnThreads) was given a Singer 221k by a relative. She was so thrilled.  She brought it to her Needles and Pins Group on Tuesday so I offered to tidy the case up for her as I had just done mine.  So home it came with me.

The outside had the inevitable dings and scrapes of 60 years of use.

The inside was even worse.

Gave the outside a clean with a damp cloth making sure that I didn't get it too wet.  Ideally, I wanted to do the same with the inside but didn't want to introduce any moisture  inside the box as they tend to get mildew and this was already showing signs of having had it.  Stuck down a few bits of peeling edges using UHO glue.

After cleaning the outside and letting it bake dry in the conservatory, the sharpie black pen was used to colour in the scratches and marks.  Then two coats of black shoe polish gave its final finish.  I left each coat to dry before buffing.  The locks were cleaned with a wet cotton bud and Bar Keepers Friend.

The inside was hoovered out and then wiped with a clean dry cloth.  Then used one coat of shoe polish to tidy it up, again making sure it was fully dry before buffing.  Not perfect but loads better than it was.

I then turned my attention to the machine, giving it a service, clean and polish. The lower tension wasn't quite right so I reset that.  It needed a new belt which Sarah has ordered along with 4 new rubber feet.  Added a new spool pin felt.

As a surprise, I made a handy draw string bag to keep the dangling wire and plug in so the paintwork doesn't get scratched.

The flip up bed was catching on the foot screw so I used a little clear bumper stop stuck on the screw so it wouldn't chip the paintwork.

 Its hardly visible.

The machine came up quite well.

All tucked up safely.

Sarah had an original key so added a pretty fob for it.

She has been through the mill recently and works so hard with her business, she deserves a treat


Monday, 5 June 2017

Rusty Singer 221 & 201 Bobbins - How to prevent & Fix them


Its raining, a legitimate day off work (no gardening in the rain).

So, sorting out a few rusty Singer bobbins off my 221K and 201K

Why do they go rusty?

If cotton is left on them, it attracts moisture which then rusts the bobbin.  I used to be a lace maker, lacemaking uses 100% cotton fine threads.  They dry out on the pillow which causes them to snap (especially when you leave them on the back parcel shelf of your mini when taking your lace on holiday with you, doh), the cure was to leave a damp cloth over  the pillow and threads to put moisture back into the thread to prevent snapping.

So the dilemma  is to remove all the thread when you finish your project or leave it on the bobbin?  Its not going to rust that quickly so no real need to remove the thread (I hate wasting thread) BUT if you buy/have old bobbins that haven't been used for donkey's years with thread on, remove it.  Its surprising just how many different threads can be on one bobbin.  On the really old ones, the thread is sometime rusted in, you can use a blade to cut the thread but mind your fingers.

This is what you might find.

Easy fix, I used a small file that I found in an old attachment box, its ideal to file away the rust.

 The point is good for pushing a bit of wire wool to get into the fiddly bits.

Wind the wire wool around the bobbin then twist the ends tight.  Twizzle the wool around the bobbin for a final polish.  Then give it a good clean with a cloth, I used a bit of off-cut of wadding.

It doesn't take long to get rid of the rust, it will stay away as long as you don't leave thread on for too long.  My instinct is to put a bit of oil on it like you do where you have removed rust from any other part of the machine but this will mark the thread so best not to do it.

All clean and tidy, tucked up in a modern box.

Tootle pip

Monday, 22 May 2017

Vintage Case Makeover & Garden Tour


Buzz and I had an outing to the Ripley Castle Decorative Home and Reclamation Show the other weekend.  The weather stayed fine and as usual completely forgot to take my camera so here is link  Ripley Castle.  They hold it every year in May.

Of course, I had to buy something.  It would have been rude not to.  Found this interesting vintage leather case with drawers inside.  Couldn't resist.

It was a bit tatty, locks wouldn't work properly.  Inside the lining was pulling away causing the drawers to stick.

Easy fix with book binding glue, brush and wallpaper roller.

Gave everything a really good clean, oiled the locks with Singer sewing machine oil to get them working.  Cleaned the leather case with saddle soap, it was filthy, then polished with black shoe polish.

  Filled with all my favourite things, Singer feet and attachments in the small drawer.

The bottom drawer is perfect for my rotary cutters and blades.

Decided that the inside colour was a bit naff, so got out some pretty papers.

The garden is looking pretty at this time of the year despite 2 bunnies moving in!

Buzz checking up on what I am up to.  The forget-me-nots have seeded themselves all over, they smell wonderful on mass.

The conifer is ready for a hair cut.  Love the purple alliums, if you leave the seed heads on they seed around the garden quite well.  I fill my borders to bursting to save on weeding gardening for a living means the last thing you want to do on a weekend is garden again!

I put this broken pot on top of the cover of the bbq as the wind in the winter was doing its best to blow it away.  A pair of robins have made a nest and are busy feeding their chicks but they are far too wary to pose for a photo so you will have to take my word.

This years tally of wild life in my garden is:  Wrens nests x 2, wood pigeons nests in both the front and rear garden hedges, another 2 robins nests in the front garden (one was made in an old watering can), blackbirds nests, loads of hedge and house sparrows.  The uninvited creatures are the bunnies and I think, rats under the shed!  Unfortunately, the thrush hasn't made its home in my garden so my hostas are getting nibbled by snails.

PS forgot Hegarty the Hedgehog visits the garden, Buzz keeps finding him and won't come in the house.

2nd June - update  One of the fledgling Robins decided that the inside of my house was a good place to visit!  Found it sitting on my curtain pole.  It promptly flew (very badly) across to the other side of the room, then flopped down into a trophy cup on the table (that my partner won) which made it an easy catch.  It objected and pecked my finger, it was soo cute.  Took it back out into the garden to it's very worried parent.