Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Machine and cleaning machines

On Monday, while running errands, I dropped off several bags of stuff at the thrift store.  Of course I had to go inside and see if they had anything I needed.  I'd gotten a third of the way thru the store (with an empty basket, no less) when I spotted this!

Trapezoid case
I've seen pictures of this case before.  I sauntered over (ran, actually) and carefully opened the lid....

Singer 301A sewing machine #NA344107
Well!  I quickly closed the case (hard to do since the machine was in upside down) and didn't even check to see if all the parts were there.  That case went into my previously empty basket, then I checked the price.  $19.99.  SCORE!  Oh yea, on Mondays (yes, it was Monday) people who have Savers cards (they are free) get 25% off everything they purchase.  Woohoo!  Total cost was $15! 

This Singer 301A sewing machine is from 1951 (thanks for dating it for me Michelle).  The Singer 301A is like the big sister to the featherweight sewing machine.  They use the same bobbins, bobbin cases and needle plates.  My model has the long bed instead of the short bed (the part that folds down to make a sewing table).

long bed, and light works
I unpacked my new machine when I got home.  It is missing the bobbin case, but, it came with 2 bobbins.  The new bobbin case will cost me more than twice the cost of this machine. 

Yesterday, I cleaned 2 machines.  This one was pretty dirty and stained.  I think it was in a house of smokers, by the color of the stains. 

lots of yellowish stains

more dirt

these stains may be old machine oil

stains under the light cover area

stains where the hand wheel goes, yuk!
There wasn't much lint in this machine, but, because of the stains, it took a while to clean.  I didn't get all the stains removed, but, I'll work on it again.  You can see in the above picture that the bobbin winder tire also needs replacing. 

Here is my new machine, all cleaned up, and packed properly this time in it's also cleaned up case.  I have a friend with a featherweight sewing machine, and, I'm headed over to her house later to see if this machine sews with her bobbin case.  The motor runs very nicely, and the wiring is great.  Did I mention that this machine only weighs 16 pounds?  That is what the manual (free download) says.  

my clean Singer 301A
Back in February, I found another sewing machine.  I posted about it here.  It had all it's parts (some bent or busted) and it was dirty!  This is a Japanese version of a Singer 15 machine.

Challenge sewing machine motor (Sears motor)

see all that dirt?

bent thread tension spring

Yuk! where the motor was
lint in the bobbin area
This machine cleaned up nicely!  The motor works on this machine, and, after replacing the tension spring, belt and bobbin winder tire (ordered last spring), the machine looks much nicer.

Challenge sewing machine

back of machine, see how much cleaner the back is now?
I put this machine back into its cabinet, and it is now in my new sewing room.  This machine does NOT have a light, but, I have several moveable lights in my sewing room, so, it shouldn't be a problem.

All dressed up, ready to sew
This machine will keep it's motor.  It still has that 'old motor smell' since I didn't run this motor at full speed for several minutes.  I'll do that in the next day or two.  I haven't threaded it, or tried to sew with it, but, I'm sure she will sew nicely. 

Now I have three sewing machines in the new sewing space, waiting to be used.  Anyone up for a sew-in? 


  1. I'm so proud of you for doing all that work and spending the money to save these machines from the landfill. Atta Girl!

  2. Another wonderful find! Both machines look great.

  3. Well Done! I bet you are doing the happy dance, I would be.

  4. Another fabulous find! I must be doing at the wrong thrift stores . . . hehehe.

  5. What a great find!!! I agree with Danielle----I'm shopping at the wrong stores!!!

  6. You are truly a "miracle worker" with older machines!! Wow! They look great when you finish with them!

  7. I love seeing all your old sewing machines. It's fun to see all the before and afters!
    My father bought me a Singer 99k. It's in beautiful condition. Even the case and manual are in immaculate condition. I also have a Singer model 28 hand crank, possibly made in the early 1900's? It runs but it needs a cleaning up. I wish I were as brave as you, taking all your machines apart and putting them back together. Maybe one day....

  8. I'll be right over!!! I would love to be able to look over your new machine - it looks like a beauty! Congratulations on the great find :*)

  9. I love the 301s. They take the same bobbins as the featherweights, but I have heard that the bobbin cases are different. Even with the price of the bobbin case you got a great deal on a great machine!


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