A while ago I stopped sewing and blogging long enough to show you my sewing machines, here and here. Lately we have been spending a bit of time at our parents’ place doing some spring cleaning and in the process have found some lovely treasures.
Mom let me bring this home to show off to you. It’s so sweet! (and it works too!)
Now I thought this vintage Singer sewing machine was a toy machine. But from I have been reading, it is said to be a “cast iron miniature – a SewHandy – built in the 1950s”. Apparently it was a good machine to learn on with its simple hand crank, real sewing machine needle and the resulting chain stitch. It’s all intact and operable!
Now the one thing I would like to know is how can I clean the surface of the machine without damaging it. It has some marks on it and I am not sure what they are. What should I use to clean it? Obviously I will stay well away from any of the mechanisms – gears, wheels, etc. If anyone can offer any information or stories about this vintage sewing machine, or any other vintage sewing machine, we would love to hear from you!
37 thoughts on “Another baby in the family.”
It’s so beautiful! It would be great just as a decoration but it’s even better seeing that it works too.
I’d be scared to use anything harsher than a damp cloth!
Do you know what the finish is? Is it paint or something else?
Thank you! It is special, isn’t it! 😀 It isn’t paint, I think it is “powder coat” a paint process. I saw some on line that were painted and some that were powder coated and this one is definitely similar to that. It has a rather large reddish smudge on it though, so it’s not in the best of shape. But the sewing gears, etc. all still work!
Chain stitch, lovely! So much scope for decoration.
It does a pretty good chain stitch. I’m thinking this is the one I used to make Barbie doll clothes on… Not back in the 50’s though! 😄
What a cutie, and a great size for learning on! And the fact that it’s so solid means it wouldn’t move about, I’m not keen on little plastic machines. I have no idea how it should be cleaned. Give it some love with a bit of oil and see how it sews!!
Thank you. It is heavy. My Mom also had a clamp with it to clamp it on the table. It wasn’t the same colour as the machine, so not the original clamp, but it does fit into the notch at the front.
What a cute machine! I had a little sewing machine for my 10th birthday, it was not quite like that, (it was 1977) but it was where my love of sewing began. It was compact and small so I did not feel intimidated. I made some pretty clothes for my doll – I remember being amazed at the shape of the sleeve it looked so different from the finished article! I still add my sleeves before sewing the side seams.
I hope you discover more about it, did your parents have any information about it? Who it belonged to ?
Thank you. I remember doing sleeves the same way too when I first learned. My mother and my aunt both sewed. My aunt passed away when I was young but she was educated as a seamstress in the 30’s. So this could have belonged to either of them originally. I am finding all sorts of vintage sewing items in my mother’s house. I hope to have a chance to talk to my Mom about it, and anything else I find, next time I visit.
How wonderful, what a great heritage!
What an unusual shape – the plate looks really high! Are you going to make anything with it?
It is sturdy and attaches to the table but I can’t imagine doing a big project with it. It would be nice to find something small to do with this little machine. 😄
Oh I love it! Regarding the cleaning, a soft cloth should be enough. You’ll just embrace all the “boo-boos” – they show its history and character!
That’s true! Vintage does come with some bumps and bruises!
I took a class about maintaining my Singer Featherweight, and they had us use car polish on it. Maybe try it on the bottom, or some other less obvious spot first? It worked like a charm on my Featherweight, to remove layers of stuff on it from my mom’s smoking habit but did not damage the paint or the decals.
Oh! I never thought of that, thank you! Come to think of it my Aunt Helen did smoke. Maybe that’s why it’s got a couple of stains?
What a beautiful little machine! I have a 1910 singer treadle machine that lives in my living room. It is currently being used more like a side table but it is in working order.
Thank you! Well I might have to ask you for treadle machine advice later because Mom wants me to take her treadle sewing machine too! 😍
Linda, if this is the sewing machine I think it is, it’s tiny and there used to be some sort of a clamp and screw that you could fasten it to a bench at the front. If it’s the one I used to sew Barbie clothes on then it’s original colour was a grey. It looks adorable. I hope this bit of info helps. Very happy for you. 👍😊
Yes it is the same one. Many Barbies were clothed with this one! I have the clamp… Should have put it in the photo… And it is a kind of light beige/taupe colour. A pretty dull colour actually!
Linda, the new baby is adorable, but it’s hard to tell from the photos just how small she is, can you give us her dimensions–in INCHES or it will go right over my head. Thanks.
Excellent idea! I should have thought of that! I’m sitting on the bus right now so I’ll answer when I get home. For those of you who are familiar, this one is pretty much the same size as my Necchi Supernova which I blogged about last year. (I’ll get those dimensions for you.)
Just an additional note, as promised, susanonthesoapbox, my baby Singer is about 7″ high, 6″ wide and the crank on the side is about 4″ wide.
I had a similar machine in the early 60’s but I’m pretty sure that was meant as a toy. Yours is gorgeous.
Thank you very much! This one is quite heavy and sturdy and once clamped down you can power through your fabric!
Such a cute machine, so worthy of being on display! I sewed Barbie clothes on a Singer that wasn’t nearly as charming as your’s..but it was so heavy. I had to wait for my Dad to move it to the kitchen table for me when I wanted to sew. How fun to have your baby at home!
Thank you! I think it would have been a long wait if I had to wait for my Dad! 😝 He was an avid sports fan (from the couch mostly!)
Nova Montgomery has a whole section on maintaining the Singer Featherweights. If you google her you should find a wealth of information that you can relate to your beautiful machine. If you can’t find her, let me know and I’ll send a link.
Perfect! I’ll look her up. Thank you!
Wow! Can’t wait too see it cleaned up, the car polish idea sounds a good one. 😀
Yes, I will have to do some reading up about it!
ooh thats amazing Linda.. Love it… So cute.. 🙂 and it works.. a bonus..
Thank you! Funny how when I was a kid I only sewed on an old thing like this – maybe even this one? I certainly didn’t appreciate them as much as I do now!
Now we see the difference in make in each era. ..so we appreciate the older ones better now..:)
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