Weapons of Choice

I love sewing machines.

Old sewing machines, new sewing machines. All the sewing machines.

I love sewing with them, I love researching about them and I love buying them.

No machine should be left to rust away to nothing, forgotten in a shed.

I particularly love machines that are interesting and special along the timeline of invention. There is joy in the discovery and in bringing them back to life.

Each one has its own story to tell…here are mine:






DISCLAIMER: I am an amateur vintage sewing machine collector and tinkerer, I do this for my own enjoyment.

Please do not ask me to help you value your machine. I also will not respond to requests for advice relating to repair or restoration. I am not an expert repairer, I am a tinkerer, I like to fiddle and learn but I cannot help you diagnose problems with your machine or help you repair it. There are some really useful websites on my Online Resources page, linked above.

None of my machines or accessories are for sale and I do not give away, lend or sell my manuals, scanned or otherwise, for free or for any sort of payment/trade.

Thank you.

11 thoughts on “Weapons of Choice

  1. I love this, thanks for posting. I’m after an old vintage machine to do a bit of light leather sewing (an industrial would be overkill for the type of work I’m doing and too big for my flat). I’ve been looking at the Singer 348, and the Grasshopper (both of which it looks like you have).

    Can I ask, which of your vintage machines is the most powerful? Do they all list the watt/ampage by any chance?

    All the best,

    • Hi Adam,
      I’m sorry I don’t know which is the most powerful. Some of the machines have plates listing the motor voltage (for example the Singer Blue Magic says 75v) but I’ve never compared them to each other. I think the 348 would be the stronger machine of those two. I find the most important thing is the correct needle and thread combo and try different machine feet too, this can make all the difference.

  2. Hi, thank you for your web site. Really enjoy seeing your old machines and the projects you have completed. I am just getting into some older machines and wonder where you get parts like belts and bobbins for a Singer 99k and Husqvarna 21a? Many thanks

  3. Pingback: Nobody puts Ami in a box… | the curious kiwi

  4. Hi Mel,
    What a fantastic collection of sewing machines! I have two vintage Singer sewing machine…a Featherweight 221 (1951), and a 99K (1956 ).
    I must say…I love that Elna Grasshopper that you have…is it a good machine? Do you have a favorite? I also have a Janome PRL 18, Janome 3160QDC, Janome serger…and the CoverPro 1000 CPX….nice machines, but I really love my vintage ones!

    • Thanks Holly 🙂 The Grasshopper is a great little machine. It’s very strong and I love that it looks so different aesthetically to the Singers.

      I think the Grasshopper and Singer 99 are my absolute favourites at the moment, there’s just something about the smaller older machines that grabs me. The bobbin winding on the Singer is just beautiful to watch – I want to make a video of it for a more thorough post about that machine…however I have a 1953 Featherweight on it’s way to me shortly…it might blow them all out of the park. I can’t wait to see it in real life!

      • Congratulations on the Featherweight… I love mine, I cannot stop smiling whenever I use her. I am waiting for my 99K to be serviced, my hubby bought her for me on Dec 22…my birthday! We took her to our Singer dealer that day, he had a few other machines he had to fix before he could look at mine. It is amazing that both my Singer machines were “born ” before me! Sewing machines were so well made back then… They will probably outlive me…lol.

  5. Hi , I’m Robert & I live in Mount Isa Queensland Australia & like you I am smitten with “Old sewing machine disease”. I signed up because after reading about your Singer 15 clone , I decided that you are hilarious & could be fun to share collecting experiences with . When I saw your Elna 1 , I went exactly the same color !!. I suggest that you ignore that cat because they know absolutely nothing about sewing machines despite what they try to tell you !!. I have a dog who is also a “know it all”. One of the reasons why I contacted you is that I may be able to help you out with small parts as I have a large number of old “junk machines” that may have just what you are looking for .

    • Hi Robert, thanks so much for your comment. Harriet is generally a fan on my new purchases, but they must all pass through her QA inspection which generally involves a lot of sniffing 😉 I am having a good amount of luck finding most of the parts I need here in NZ but if there is anything I’m struggling with I will be sure to get in contact. Happy repairing 🙂

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