The Brother 190 Super Flairmatic came home with me from the Kapiti Coast, with a friend. This is becoming a common occurrence.
Actually the Pfaff got picked up second, from Wainuiomata, about 60 kilometers in the opposite direction. More about her in my next VSM post.
It was a beautiful day for a drive!
I had no clue about this machine when I first saw it, I just loved the colour and 1950sness. She was only $15.00 and look what she came with:
Ohh, a mysterious tin, I love a mysterious tin! I wonder if there’s anything inside?!
She was also absolutely filthy.
They almost always are.
How do they never look as dirty in the online photos? My enthusiasm always dips a little and then I get to work.
You’ll also see a 1960s advert from the Sydney Morning Herald for the Lemair-Helvetica Flairmatic Automatic Zig-Zag.
I’m never sure which re-badged machines are legit and which are not…
Anyway, what you’ll not see (or at least I haven’t seen yet) in those Google images is this:
She didn’t come with a manual and all the pdf manuals I’ve seen online show nothing behind the presser foot:
Let’s take a look underneath:
So I dug back out that weird blue packet from the tin of goodies and it clicked:
And then I couldn’t get the other half of the cam back out! I struggled for a bit until I took a closer look at the rest of the pieces. Of course it came with a tool for that:
Little tabs and recesses, I was nerding out big time. This is the perfect example of why I love vintage machines and their accessories. It’s ridiculously simple but next-level clever.
I haven’t successfully sewn a button hole just yet. The drive belt was perished and despite coming with a spare Brother branded belt, it’s the wrong size. That’s on my list for the next parts order and I’ll be back to update you.
While investigating further I found an example of a Kenmore buttonholer set on eBay. It has a replacement needle plate featuring a similar cog and full length cams.
I’ve also since seen two more examples of this machine owned by other NZ/Aus collectors in the same colourway and with the buttonhole cog. Neither of those machines came with the accessories and while one lady managed to find a set the other is still looking. So this was clearly an option available for this machine but perhaps only for some markets and only for a brief period of time.
Have you even seen this kind of built-in attachment before?