Category Archives: Sewing Machines

Thrift stores aren’t thrifty anymore,.. and buyer be very wary.

My earlier post today brings me to two things I’ve been noticing lately.  Thrift stores really aren’t thrifty anymore. Depending on what you buy there, they may be dangerous as well.

They appear to be setting their prices based on the asking prices on e-bay.

As for e-bay pricing lately…. don’t get me started.  Continue reading Thrift stores aren’t thrifty anymore,.. and buyer be very wary.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.

The sewing machine hunt last week started with the loss of a machine. I had answered probably a half dozen ads in the local buy and sell.

2 of them responded.

The seller of the first one was a thrift shop, and had only posted a picture of the back of the machine and called it a singer antique sewing machine. In the picture, there was a price tag that said $150, but i didn’t know if that was current. I emailed looking for the model or serial number and a price.

Looking at the picture, it appeared to be a 3/4 machine with a beige and red carry case.

My guess was a 99 or similar.

The reply was that they couldn’t find a model number, the price was $50, and we should come see it.

Continue reading Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.

Introductions to our sewing machine family, Part 1

It should never have happened really.

See, when I was turning 10 years old, I asked for a bike for my birthday.  When the day came around, the wrapped box looked suspiciously small to be a bike.

I got a sewing machine.  For my 10th birthday.  The relationship with that machine was doomed from the start really.

Singer 290C
Singer 290C circa 1984 – Machine with an identity crisis. It’s not quite a stylist, and it’s not quite a Touch and Sew. (Yes, I still have it, but one day I will put it on ebay or Kijiji and make room for another machine.)

Continue reading Introductions to our sewing machine family, Part 1

Oops, I did it again! – Updated with Pictures

Saturday was Morinville’s Town Wide garage sale.  Every spring, the town has a garage sale, where people can rent a table at the Sports center, or just put their stuff out for sale at their homes.  The town publishes a list of the “registered” garage sales, and tons of people show up from far and wide to take a peek at people’s stuff.

This year, with my “new” hobby, I set off around town with my treasure map in hand, to see what I could find.  I promised from the outset that I wouldn’t buy any more sewing machines, unless they were exceptionally special.  No more rescues for now.   I can’t even find enough time to work on the ones I have.

At first it was easy.  I kept finding late 70s machines to mid 90s.  No temptation at all.

Ah, the best intentions… Continue reading Oops, I did it again! – Updated with Pictures

What a Pile of …. rebuilding your carbon pile button foot pedal. A complete tear down.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t detest the button-style or bake-lite foot pedals.  I just don’t trust them.

Last night, I was sewing my very first applique.  The tedium of the cutting and pressing finished, I thought I’d sit down to do some of the stitching.  This is slow speed sewing, especially because I’ve never done it before, and satin stitches on my first machine would spark many colorful arguments between myself and the machine.

I made it about half way around the perimeter. Then, speaking of sparks…

I heard them.  It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard in a sewing room. bzzzzzzt, pop pop…. a weird sound like rushing water, a hum that got louder, and then crackling noises coming from below my sewing table.

This was accompanied by some warm toes

Continue reading What a Pile of …. rebuilding your carbon pile button foot pedal. A complete tear down.

Sewing articles to come

  • Introductions to our whole sewing machine family, and how I ended up collecting.  It should never have happened really
  • Feet and attachments – They’re an addiction all of their own or “Style boxes, can I help you assemble yours?”
  • Featherweights and their poor sore feet
  • Oil Cans – Dating them
  • Screwdrivers – Why they’re so hard to find, or little boys with mommy’s toys
  • Basic adjustments you can do to make your sewing machine love you again
  • An impromptu article – What a Pile of …. or rebuilding your carbon pile button foot pedal.  A complete tear down.
  • A Kenmore? How did that happen? Or “another way to up your machine count”
  • Tension – Not just the stuff between your shoulders
  • Fade to white – Experiments with “whitening” products to revert the yellowed color of your plastic machine back to its factory color.

Please let me know if there are any articles you want to see, and if I have access to the items I need for the article, and the knowledge, I’d be happy to post about it.

A find at the local V.V. Boutique

Or Value Village to the uninitiated.

Normally this is a place I avoid, but my recent quest to find all of the books in the “Singer Sewing Reference Library” has me haunting all of the thrift shops I can find.  Next weekend’s quest will lead us to the flea markets.

I was really only looking for the books, honestly.  Then I decided to wander over to the furniture section, to see if there were any machines there, just for fun.  So many of the machines I’ve been finding in the thrift stores are incomplete or “not working”, so I felt not a lot of risk.  Besides, hadn’t Ryan and I just been talking in the truck on the way over here about me not looking for another machine?  Really, I have all that I need, the only one that I might look for would be a really good “zigzagger”, for some finishing work, but it really wasn’t a priority…

Then it happened.  Continue reading A find at the local V.V. Boutique

Singer Sewing Machines – And they’re OFF!! Updated with Pics!

Do you have a Singer sewing machine with the Featherweight style Bakelite Foot Pedal? Sometimes it’s also referred to as a Button Pedal. I’ve seen them on Model 15 machines, Featherweights (Model 221/222), Model 99 machines, Model 128 machines, 400 Series machines, and I’m sure there are others. They’re the most common pedal I have in my sewing room.

Singer Bakelite foot
Singer Bakelite foot


One of the most common complaints I see about this pedal is that you press and press and press and the machine does nothing,.. then suddenly it takes off like the winning horse at the races!

Another problem the older ones suffer from is “running on their own”.

What I don’t see a lot of is how to fix either problem. Lots of people suggest throwing that foot out and replacing it with a new one, or a “more modern one”.

Waste not want not, right? Continue reading Singer Sewing Machines – And they’re OFF!! Updated with Pics!