Sunday, 12 November 2017

It's Amazing..

...how grunge accumulates

Bill Holman taught me to always take this part out (from Singer 99 and 66 machines) and check that the little rollers do still roll. This one was particularly grungy, but still moving.. Rinse and replace

Friday, 27 October 2017

Buttonholers!

And zigzaggers

Now, buttonholers have to be one of my favourite attachments. They are chunky, magical, work soooo much better than any modern machine's automatic buttonhole, and are fun.  This week I spent a happy day testing, oiling, completing, checking, boxing-up, and making manuals, and here  is the result...

A whole shelf-full of goodies..

And then, some zigzaggers too..
Page here
http://www.helenhowes-sewingmachines.co.uk/bigatts.html

and more to come, including a Singer Swiss...
and a lovely ZickZack Wurker...

All for sale, of course..

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Just Like Buses...

I have a liking for Willcox and Gibbs chain stitch machines - beautiful, useful, and cute..  And, like buses, they come along in bunches.. This week's intake

Treadle number 1 - a most beautiful beastie, with a convoluted and pretty iron base. It's tiny, and surprisingly heavy
Side of the irons

And the plate - it has a wooden pitman and a really nice little concealed drawer in the top for the tools. It came to me from a local contact

Number 2 has a much lighter and more elegant set of irons, and a rather crude single-layer top.

This one I collected (from a top-floor flat!) in Bedford, and for all it is lighter, not a heck of a lot lighter by landing number 3. It came with a most curious thing - a Guhl and Harbeck with a Willcox and Gibbs hand crank (loosely) attached - I think this may be a Straw Hat machine. No foot, but my box of Odds has provided a good candidate..
And then, this little beauty, yesterday

With a box, tools

and more.  Fettling time!
All three will be for sale, pretty soon

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Bananas

Well, how else would you describe this little treasure?
Most definitely Banana coloured...


I took this one to the Festival of Quilts, and used it to demo quilt blocks on the Guild stand all weekend, then sold her and all the others I took with me.. One blue, three black, one most definitely in need of custard.
Made probably by Vickers, in the late 1940s, this shuttle machine was well-mannered and quiet, and, apart from having to wind bobbins more frequently than I am used to, quite the most delightful old girl.. Gone to a new home near Bedford, with a Blue Alfa for company

Now, back to Counting things...

Thursday, 7 September 2017

A is for Alphabet...

From a customer, much excited with her Alphabet Stitcher attachment.. Posted with permission



Hi Helen, Received the Alphabet Stitcher this morning and am pleased as punch! Thank you so much. There is a little story attached to this. I have a New Home Memory 7 which I bought in 1981 and it's still going strong with the help of a service each year. The shop where I bought my machine had the Alphabet Stitcher attachment for sale and as money was tight at the time I bought the machine and the first letter (A) and was planning to buy the rest of the alphabet a bit at a time but before that happened the shop went out of business and I never got to acquire the rest. How lucky I was to find your online shop. I found you through a google search for an Alphabet Stitcher.
Thank you once again and all the best.
Kind regards
Julia

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Breeding Treadles

(They need privacy, but I hope these two will make an industrial ZZ between them)
Singer Improved manufacturing, probably from about 1880. In it's original treadle and from the son of its long-time user (probably not from new)

Elegant ironwork

And, my birthday present to myself, a Singer 216g zigzag treadle.. It came with a horrid motor, which we discarded

School-house treadle.. 1950s, so about my age

Decals from the 216g. I don't think these are on any other models

Badge from the IM

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Art Nouveau Elegance

This beautiful boy came in to gather a key and be opened again to the world.. Such lovely decals



They don't make them like this any more..