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The birthday gift June 20, 2010

Posted by Judy in Sewing projects.

Our DS just recently turned three.  He’s been totally enamored with sewing machines, so we thought it would be fun to get him one for his birthday.  Not the cheapy toy ones, a real, vintage Singer.  After doing some reading, I discovered that either a Featherweight or a 99 would be ideal for a small person as they are smaller versions of the bigger machines.  I started combing Craigslist and Ebay and discovered that there were quite a few.  Not Featherweights, of course, at least not in our price range!  I ended up finding one that was located about hour away, and I got it for $25!!  Woohoo!  As it turned out, it was in REALLY good shape.  In fact, it was in the best shape out of ALL of the vintage Singers I’ve gotten in the past 4-6 weeks.  Basically, it needed a cleaning, lubing, delinting, and that was it.  The decals were in great shape and the finish was still super shiny.  I had to replace the rubber bobbin winder tire, but that has been the case on all of the machines, and I also had to buy a bobbin plate cover, as this machine was missing one.

So the machine is a 99-31K and it came in it’s own cabinet.  Some of the wood was not in great shape, so I’ll need to refinish that, and one of the legs needs to get tightened up.  By and large, though, it was pretty decent.  And it was only $25, which was WAAYYY cheaper than the kiddie digital camera we were thinking about getting for him!

And now, the requisite pics.

The bobbin case area was sooooo filthy!  It was the filthiest yet!  Yuck!  I don’t have an after picture, but here’s the before pic.

This was the machine before I cleaned it, which is pretty much what it looks like now.

The other major change I made was to remove the motor and convert it to a handcrank machine.  Three year olds aren’t known for their control, so having him use the foot controller seemed like a recipe for disaster, or at least a punctured finger.

My first attempt was to drill a notch in the handwheel so that the handcrank would fit into said notch.  I didn’t work out so well since I didn’t have a drill press, the vise I used wasn’t properly mounted, so it was less-than-ideal, shall we say.  I ended up totally messing up the handwheel, a chunk totally broke off!  Not a biggie, though, since replacements wheels can be gotten on Ebay.

So on to plan B, which was to buy a spoked wheel.  I wanted to keep the original handwheel since that would actually work with the bobbin winder.  Alas, that will have to wait till some other time.  As it stands, the spoked handwheel works great, it’s just smaller than the original handwheel, so the bobbin winder doesn’t fully engage.  Oh well, I don’t imagine he’ll be winding many bobbins!  The only disadvantage to the removing the motor is that there isn’t a light.  But the machine is close to a lamp, so we can still see.

I don’t have a pic of the finished product with the handcrank, but DS totally LOVES to run the crank!  He runs the crank and I run the fabric . . we’ve actually made several napkins working that way.


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