The Girls

I have an affinity for old sewing machines.

DH purchased this for me after he saw me pining over one on Ebay.  

I started sewing on her when I started my Easy Street Quilt.  I absolutely love to piece on this machine.  The downside?  There is no 1/4 inch mark, you can see that I have blue painter's tape to mark the 1/4 mark.

Jane she is a Singer 500A  I had to have her, loved the dial in the front, reminds me of the Star Trek Emblem on their shirts.

DH just cleaned her up, greased and oiled her.  She doesn't have a case, so she is going to get a sewing machine cover at least.   She got new spool pins just recently.   Maybe someday we will find her a cabinet.
The picture below shows Jane's cover that I made recently.

This is Marilyn she is circa 1953 she is a black 301 with a long table, they make one that is a short table too!  I love this machine she is quite the little workhorse! DH purchased her for me for Christmas.  He is such a wonderful hubby!


  This is Dinah.  DH purchased these for me a couple of days after he purchased Marilyn.  She was on craigslist.  They were selling her for $50 in the cabinet.  They saw no value in the machine, it was basically the cabinet they valued.  When I saw the cabinet I had just seen old marketing ephemera that showed what the original original cabinets looked like and this was it and it was in spectacular condition.

This is the original cabinet that the machine came in!  It has great wood and veneer and is kind of art deco looking with all of these wonderful rounded curves.  The bench came along with her and she sews like a champ.  I love sewing on her, and it is wonderful especially when you are sewing borders and have lots of weight and fabric.


The blue beauty is my modern home.  She was found at an estate sale in a cabinet which was less than reputable.  No place for a girl like her to be hanging out in.  So DH removed her and she has been sitting waiting for a new home for a couple of months.  She is a Japanese machine based upon the Singer model 15.  The only difference is that usually these clones have better motors.  I have scoured second hand stores, flea markets, craigslist, antique stores, and estate sales looking for a cabinet.  Unfortunately if there is a cabinet it is either in terrible shape, and not worth the money they want, or it is missing the hinge pins that would hold the machine in place in the cabinet.  Embarrassingly I realized recently that there was an old Kenmore sewing machine sitting in the attic.  I do not like the machine, it belonged to someone else, but it was in a cabinet, that looked pretty sound, just in desperate need of a facelift.  The cabinet is in the process of getting refinished. I need a few nice days with weather above 50 so I can use the man cave to paint in.  I could prime in the basement, but cannot paint there.  When the cabinet is finished, and the Modern is rewired we will take more pictures of her to add to this page.  I want to call her Millie, in reference to the film Thoroughly Modern Millie since she is a modern.  Here she is in her new home.

I just love how she turned out, and the little pink glass know has bubbles in it and is so cute goes perfectly in my sewing room. 

This is the first sewing machine I ever purchased.  I had one that my mother had given me, that was very temperamental.  Sew for 15 minutes then wouldn't work again for days.  I purchased this when it was brand new it was a floor sample and at the time was 1/2 price and it cost me $525 at the time.  It is a Singer 1425N.  It has a bunch of built in stitches, the button foot where you snap it onto the machine, put the button in and it makes perfect button holes every time.  I made many dresses, tops, gowns, and my first several quilts on this machine.  She was broken  a few years ago and I could not find someone to repair the machine.  DH found one thanks to his friends and it was fixed.  Unfortunately the nature of mechanical things with gears it will take some time before it smooths out, so right now she sounds very loud to me.  I still love to use her though when I want to do straight line quilting with a walking foot.  She is my baby, and that is her name. 

This is my Viking/Husqvarna 855.  Her name is Astrid.  She was a gift from my ex husband.  I love the machine, and she is what I use for FMQ.  For piecing I do not like her so much, and just discovered the reason is because the feed dogs are too far apart so it is very difficult to keep a 1/4 inch seam because she actually only would have the fabric running on one feed dog.

Scarlet is a singer featherweight which was a barn find.  Totally siezed, all corroded, paint completely gone around the bottom of the machine.

Right now she appears orange, she is more of a fire engine red.  She just got her decals today, will go to get her clear coats, then taken to the sewing machine guy to make sure she is timed, and running like a champ.

Scarlet update*

 DH has her put back together, but she is going to the sewing machine guy for a tune up to make sure she is put together right. She returned and I actually sewed on her today.  DH was surprised.  I guess he thought she was going to be my trophy girl. 

I have two more machines, one is a treadle which I got from my great grandmother.  She was stored at one time in a storage shed so she is in very rough condition.  The person who put her out there tried to have her refinished, but it was just not the same, and I don't open her often.   Her name is Essie.  Maybe someday I will pull her out and see if DH and I can get her running and maybe treadle.  


 The MidState is another Japanese machine based upon the Singer Model 15.  Her name is Colleen, and she was found and purchased at the same time that Scarlet was purchased.  They were bundled together for a total of $35 together.  We have not done a whole lot with her, yet.  Her cabinet is very beat up but very sound, she may need a home remodel, and she is definitely in need of a rewire.  She is called Colleen because of these two features.

See the super cute shamrocks?  Wow you can see how really dirty she is and how much she needs some love.  Maybe after Millie and Scarlet are finished.

Finally I have another featherweight that I found at an estate sale.  She was missing some parts.  DH and I worked on her a bit today.  She is going to go live with my mother and sister in Oregon once we get her up and running.  I love my featherweight and I hope they love this one half as much as I love mine.

*** Update  The machine was cleaned, tuned by the machine guy and sent home with my mother.  She adores the machine and takes it with her when she travels and goes to quilt group.  

Meet Sophia she is a 99K.  DH purchase her for my birthday, and she was only $40.  She needed a new belt and a straight stitch foot.  I think that the one she came with was a zipper foot.


I don't think she was used much in the past 60 years, and she was in very good condition.  She is very tight but is loosening up a bit now. The only thing that seems to be wrong with her is that she has lots of "crazing" in her paint where she may have been stored somewhere that while dry had extreme temperatures.

 This is Flora she was sitting in a little cubby under the basement stairs at my MIL house.  She is a White Rotary, she is cast iron and has all these beautiful embossed and relief flowers and scroll work on her.  Flora was in a cabinet.


The cabinet had a small broken part up where Flora raises out of the cabinet, and I worried that if she shook too much while she sewed she would break.  While the cabinet is not in pristine, I think I am going to mainly leave her as it is, maybe lots of oil, polish and she will look a wee bit better.

One side has this wonderful cupboard with shelves, and in those shelves was Flora's original manual, accessories, and some other tools, and the original oil can.  That top is a small drawer which swings out and is full of bobbins.  A Girl can never have too many of those!

The other side of her cabinet has a hinged drawer that will open up where you can store your current projects. In that bin was the piece that was broken off.  So DH took it and glued it back together.  He is so handy and talented.

The only real problem with Flora is that she is in desperate need of rewiring.  DH will do that when he has time.  I can't wait to sew on her.  She is such a beauty.

I am almost embarrassed to admit I have acquired a few more machines over the past couple of months.

Twice a year the Flat Rock Historical society has a flea market at the Flat Rock race track.  It is only for one day and you will find all sorts of treasures.  This is what I found this year.  The man wanted $75 for it.  If you look at the case you see a little belly button looking hole in the base.  That is where the kneebar went to run the machine. There was no kneebar so I made a deal and got it for $25. 
She is a Singer 128 Blackside machine.  What is a Singer Blackside?  Per Singer Sewing Info

During the period 1941 to 1953 Singer occasionally produced what are known as ‘Blackside’ models. Unlike the standard machines, many of the normally bright plated parts utilized a chemically blacked finish instead. This is thought to have been in response to shortages of nickel and chromium.
It is a characteristic of these machines that there seems to have been no hard and fast rule as to which ‘Blackside’ parts were fitted. Generally needle plates, bobbin covers and faceplates etc. would all be Blackside, but various knobs, levers, screws etc could be either bright or black. At the same time Singer also produced a range of accessories, tools etc and even bobbins that were blackside. Generally blackside components had the same Simanco part numbers as their bright plated counterparts.

Not only is she a blackside she is a crinkle.

Also in roughly the same period Singer produced some machines with a ‘black crinkle’, ‘black wrinkle’, ‘Godzilla’ finish. Whatever you call them, they are extremely RARE. Research indicates that Singer only produced limited runs of models 66, 99, 128 and 221 with this finish, and these all date from the 1941 to 1953 era. 

That gorgeous faceplate is black.  According to the guide she was made in 1941 I think that I am going to name her Hedy after Hedy Lamarr. Dh and I found another blackside which did have a kneebar, we are going to use it as a parts machine since neither were complete and both needed some major work.  I also will have to learn how to use a bullet shuttle bobbin. 

My other find?  Well the sale only goes for one day and there are a lot of salvage dealers and there was one who had 4 pillars that I wanted for our new front porch.  The dealer wanted too much for them so I decided to go back at the end of the sale and see if they were still there.  The vendor right across from him had this and offered it to me for $15.  The case was in decent shape and I thought she just needed some love.

Beautiful case and what was inside?

This Franklin.  They were made by White she has beautiful decals, but needs some major cleaning.  I think at one time she may have been a hand crank which was converted to electric.  She has this huge gorgeous hand wheel. She will be a winter project.  She had the cover to the side storage area with all sorts of vintage yummies.  

 I think this one will be called Nora after Nick and Nora Charles of the Thin Man Series. Nora Charles was played by Myrna Loy.  I will share more once she is clean and beautiful. 

I found this beauty at a barn sale recently.  She has a decent cabinet, and after DH cleaned her up she is a lovely lady.  She is a model 15-91 she is from 1952 and her name is Lise after the Leslie Caron character in American in Paris.  


DH friends are constantly bringing machines or he is finding them going into the garbage pit at work and he rescues them.
 This is a Singer model 66-14 made in 1940  She is a crinkle finish and has an oscillating bobbin.  What does that mean?  Her bobbin kind of twists from side to side.
She is named Carmen after Carmen Miranda. Based upon her dance she used to do just like my bobbin.


  1. AMAZING machines! What treasures you've got in your home :) Thanks for sharing with all of us and linking up today.

  2. have quite a fun collection! I love all your vintage machines. Fun, fun! Thanks for sharing with us...and can't wait to see that featherweight up and running!

  3. Ditto that WOW!!! How do you choose?? Very nice that you love your machines so very much.

  4. I am impressed with all these beauties I would also have a hard time choosing which one to sew on , thanks so much for sharing !

  5. Oh, I love Jane! That is my dream machine to find!

  6. Wow you have some beauties there! So many lovely machines, you're a treasure for restoring them all. :o)

  7. You have fabulous machines! I have a 99k with a potted motor, a 301a short bed and a Spartan. I confess I don't use them. I probably should, huh?

  8. Check out to get the info to make your treadle work!

    1. Thanks for the information when I am ready I will get DH help me make sure she is good to go. He is so super mechanical and seems to love the old machines too.

  9. Beautiful! Thank you SO much for linking up with us!!

  10. Oh this is funny... when i saw girls I was expecting children or is alllll i can say lol

  11. No they are my lovely ladies who have many years of experience and need some love now that they are ladies of a certain age. I have a few more at this time but they need some sprucing up.

  12. Replies
    1. Thanks Hubby did a great job refurbishing her. I wish I had taken a picture of her when we first started working on her.

  13. Holy have quite a collection! It was great fun to read about them and nice to see that so many can now be used. The fire engine red Featherweight looks like a new machine!

  14. Lesley she was all corroded, found in a barn, the only option was to take her all the way to the bare metal and start over. I wanted a red machine, and DH was more than happy to tink with her to get her running and absolutely gorgeous.

  15. WOW! That is what I can say. Nice stash of machines. Great job.

  16. What an amazing page dedicated to your girls. They are all lovely. I'm a bit partial to Rita & Scarlet. I also have a 128 and need to learn the bullet shuttle bobbin. My repairman said that once I figured it out he would call on me the next time one came into the shop which he said is not very often. Again thank you for introducing the girls.

  17. Nice collection! You can get a 1/4" quilting foot for the Featherweights, and for your slant shank Singers. The 1/4" foot for the Featherweight, will also work on your other, low shank machines.

  18. Hello, I just discovered your page and wonderfull scarlet... I'm In France, and totally impossible to find someone to customize a machine... So I'd like to do it by myself. Could you telle me what kind of painting you used?

  19. I love reading this page! I did not know of your extensive collection. It's amazing. I have a few oldies that I would love to have restored. So who is your "sewing machine guy?" If you care to share. Or maybe your DH could train me on how to clean my machines up first then send them out somewhere. I seem to find machines for cheap but many of them need some TLC.

  20. Hubby thinks i have a lot of machines!!!

  21. I love that you are rescuing all these homeless machines!

  22. I am in love with Jane. My eyes literally watered when I saw it. It is from a time when design was influenced by space and atom. I admire your work.


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