Stitched Up

andi knows a bit about sewing machines… after leaving school my 1st job was as a sewing machine mechanic. After working on modern machines I discovered the limits on longevity due to ever larger amounts of plastic being employed. This gives the machine a shorter life span and for the price we accept it… Like most things these days… not built to last and often not repairable as the manufacturer doesn’t carry all the parts after 5-10 years. Hmmm.. I’m sounding like an old fuddy duddy (boy! that sent the spell checker into a spin) It’s a bit true though. I feel things like vacuum cleaners, cars and sewing machines should last longer, unlike toasters and kettles.

Back to the surprise purchase (unseen). The sewing machine was a famous turn of the century (1902-1903) Singer Model 15 . Wow!! Morgie was in Sewing Nirvana! 

Couldn’t wait to whip the gorgeous rounded wooden lid off! (never new they lacquered the wood work… Hmmm) and there it was….. A COPY… A RETRO… A REPLICA… A NOSTALGIC VERSION!… all the way from being manufactured in Taiwan circa 1985 and featuring the “lightning bolt” or “RAF” decals from the 1930s 

The Replica Model 15 (left) and an original Model 28

Replica with plastic knobs and latch (left)

Back Cover (right)
Not bad though, it looks real enough, it weighs a ton, as Gran would say to Grandfather 
“Please lift my Singer onto the table for me…” The casting was good and the machining not bad as are the paint work and decals but the attention to detail is not quite there.

OK lets see if it works.. and after repairing the hand crank she turned very stiffly in places and wobbled a bit. The needle eventually jammed in the bobbin case and broke off! Sad to say the quality of the mechanical bits just isn’t there. 🙁

Bobin winders.

I went no further as there would be no way I’d let any fabric near it! unlike the beautiful 1921 No.28 Singer owned by Grandmother which I still use for heavy duty work and has sewn a complete heavy canvas cover for a ski boat and repaired many a tent etc. But that’s not why it’s been purchased though. It’s for the boutique as a prop and will do that job better than the real thing… why? it looks loved and brand new, very eye catching!!

I guess the thing is we don’t think twice about putting that 8 year old sewing machine onto the grass verge in readiness for the council collection but that machine once used by my meema and my mummy is now 91 years young and still not missing a stitch!