Monthly Archives: November 2011

Willcox and Gibbs Chain stitcher

Wow.  Blogger went and changed.  I suppose it is a free site, so they can do what they want, but so far I am not a fan  I’m getting old.  The music is getting too loud, I find I am deeply offended by phone calls after 9PM, and those teenage girls at the high school need to go hame and put some more clothes on before they come outside again.  And I don’t like blogger changing.  hmph.
The machine pictured above is a chain stitcher, which means no bobbin, so no bobbin winding.  BUT it means that if the seam is cut, or breaks, the whole thing can come raveling out, just like the stitching on the dog food, or bird seed, bag.  On the other hand, chain stitches are more flexible.  I use this machine for making muslins, or first drafts, of garments.  If I need to change a seam, ZIP it is out.  It also makes a pretty faux embroidery.  This machine was a splurge for me, I think I paid $100.  It is missing it’s case.  It came in an old suitcase that did mot fit it, and smelled really musty. Since the case is basically a wooden box, I might make one someday.  I have all of the attachments, and i feel very lucky to have it!

Breaking up is hard to do…

This is The Elna Supermatic.  For it’s time, it was an absolute revolution.  It used cams to make fancy stitches.  The folded up silver bit is the knee lever, instead of a foot pedal.

This was the Transforma.  The short of cash woman would buy this straight stitch model, and then save her pennies. When she was ready, she took her machine in and they added the cam mechanism. At that point, it became a Supermatic.

These were the first vintage machines I bought.  They have a friction drive mechanism that can go bad, and the repair is simple.  Actually, I have repaired both of them.  But, like an idiot, I forgot to use them in the last few years, and so the drive wheel has gone flat again.  I’m taking it as a sign.  I have (gasp) too many machines.  These are for sale, along with another Supermatic, as a herd.  I miss them already!  So green, so cute! So Swiss made.  I have to not think about it too much, or I’ll buy them from myself!  ( I wonder if I would give myself a good deal?)

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Singer 66 before and After

Remember this?

It is now this.  I am quite pleased with myself.  The box was painted with red acrylic paint that I thinned with water.  The details were done with paint markers.  I have to paint stuff I built, because my carpentry skills…well, lets just say they are still under development.  You know the saying: A little putty and a little paint, makes a carpenter what she ain’t.  Instead of the more usual storage area to the right, under the crank, I chose to make a bed extension to the left.  I think I will add some brass handles on the sides, to make it easier to carry.

Even through there are wobbles and goofs, the overall effect is pretty.  Reminds me of a painted caravan from one of Kaffe Fassets books. Below is a detail of the machine’s decals that served as the inspiration for the design.  (NB:I would not do this type of decoration on an original base or box.  It that case, I think it is more timeless to restore it to it’s intended appearance.  But if I build it, I get to play however I want.  The people at my future estate sale can talk about me all they want!)

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