Riches beyond the dreams of mere mortals!

I've posted this elsewhere, so you lot might as well also know just how
daft I can be...
A Live Journal friend who works in London said she was having to toss a
pile of sewing machines in a skip from work, and would I like a few to
see if I could get them working. Might be some sort of a Cub in there
and some pre-historic Berninas...
Stupid question, really. I said Yes, natch...
She filled the car. There were THIRTEEN! Eep! Himself was somewhat put
out... She had a horrid journey down from Hackney to Kent, where she met
up with another pal, and we supped on white wine, chicken and chickpea
tagine, and fruit flan... After unloading a dozen sewing machines (she
kept one for a friend), stray feet, umbilical cords and so forth from
the car. We parked them in the conservatory.
On Saturday Morning, having woken with a jump at 7:00am, I did a quick
triage of the machines. The result of this was:
One Viking Husqvarna something-or-other (late 70's model) with too much
missing to be worth fixing, given that it was seized solid. Great shame
- it should have been a wonderful machine.
One Jones Type 15 rip-off: ugly grey, rotten belt and broken case. Not
worth fixing as there are millions about and it has limited apeal for
re-homing... I scavenged the bobbin case for another machine.
One pair of mid 90's Jones labelled Brother plastic entry level
machines. Ropey stitch quality, bits boxes and all bits missing. Not
worth fixing to pass on, given their quality. Couldn't find a
replacement bits box anyway...
These four were put on one side for the tip run on Sunday. Poor things
were just not worth the time and effort as they would never be complete.
One plastic almost new Brother machine: entry level, but decent stitch
quality for the price bracket. No bobbin case (type 15, so easy and
cheap to replace) and no bits box contents. No manual - but I downloaded
a free one, so that's OK... No spare feet, but does have the general
purpose one. Will take generic feet. Saved to pass on.
One plastic Toyota, of a similar type to the Brother. Missing bits box
and contents, and the spool pin (one of those idiotic plastic things you
take off and put in the bits box to pack away, rather than the nifty
shove down into the machine type... ), but both no problem to replace.
Again, missing type 15 bobbin case, and no manual... Saved for pricing
up the missing bits, and to pass on...
After looking up the prices of bobbin cases, I rang Helen Howes, and she
has a couple of spare type 15 bobbin cases that need a bit of polishing,
so I shall do them up for these machines. They'll be fine, given the
limited life of such things.
One Frister & Rossman Cub Four in perfect working order. Missing the
bobbin case (another type 15!: gave it the one scavanged from the
Jones), and no bits box contents. No manual. Again, no problem, as I
have another with all the feet and stuff, and the manual. This is a
charmer, and worth all the bother of sorting through the machines on its
own. I shall keep this one for the kids. It's a great model for kids to
learn on: solid as a rock, impeccable manners, lovely stitch quality,
several nice stitches, and small, so easy for smaller kids (some of the
year five kids are minute!). Like my other one, the plastic has
discoloured badly, but this has no impact on the working of the machine.
It looks lightly used and feels great.
Two Bernina 807's... Standard late 70's school issue. Red plastic cases,
should have an extension table, usually bought for schools with only one
foot. Schools tended to buy a dozen or so machines but only a couple of
sets of feet, as most dressmaking classes in those days used only
straight stitch, a bit of zigzag neatening, and the zip foot... Hems and
any fancy finishing was hand done (well, until the teacher's back was
turned and I read the manual! Then I showed her I could do all the fancy
stuff, and knew how to play with the ruffler and such... Um...). Feet
for these are still available as they are the same fitting and variety
as are used with the brand new 1008's. They both had their foot controls
and decent cables, and bobbin cases. One had the correct extension
table, but one had a 707 table in with it. Shame, as it doesn't quite
fit! My long time pal and mother of my goddaughter took the complete one
home with her after I cleaned and oiled the innards and cleaned up the
machine head and the case. I sent it home to her younger daughter Rozi
with a set of screwdrivers and oil, new needles, a pair of long tweezers
for digging fluff and gunk out of it, and a cleaning brush. If she takes
to sewing and likes the machine, I'll send zip foot and a couple of
others for Christmas... I downloaded and printed off the manual for her.
The important thing about the manual is it shows how to take the covers
off for cleaning and oiling. The other needs an extension table. If my
LJ pal can find it at work, all well and good. If not, I'll try to shake
a pre-loved one out of my contacts...
Three Bernina 707's... Classic puke green jobs! All three had extension
tables, power cables, a bobbin case and a foot, and work perfectly. The
machines show signes of 40+ years of wear and being dragged from pillar
to post, but being tough old birds, they have survied. No sets of feet,
and one of the plastic cases is missing the handle and has some breaking
up on the hinges of the case, but it is otherwise in fine fettle. One
comes in the old late 50's suitcase style case, in need of some minor
repair... No telling which one at this point, as all five Berninas were
in random cases with random extension tables! And there was a manual! It
shows the suitcase style case in the pix, but will do for all three. I'm
in the throws of scanning that so I can send them out with a manual when
they get rehomed...
Riches beyond the dreams of average, at least! If that extension table
doesn't show up, I will see what it costs to replace. If I can get one
for under a tenner, I'll do that so it can be passed on whole.
So, currently we are up to 28 machines in the house and one cross Alan!
The Cub 4 will stay. The Brother and Toyota each need a couple of cheap
parts and will then easily find homes with kids.
The Berninas will take longer as they are cosmetically challenged, but
fab to use. I'm hoping to pass them on to students. I've just seen one
on offer at one of my parts and accessories suppliers for £175!
Reply to
Wow Kate!!! No one ever calls me and says "I have a few machines." LOL A course, then there would be all those new kittens Mike would have to find homes for too..... Could do a "take a machine, get a kitten" event I suppose. LOL Great work (and I know it was WORK) getting that many of the homeless cleaned up and on their way to new loving homes.
Maybe if there are parts you want from the supplier, you could do a swap? If they sell the Bernina they have on hand, they might be willing to take one of yours in trade for something else. Just a thought. The worst they could say is no. ;)
All I did was move dirt this weekend. Will have to get pictures when all is said and done. ;)
Reply to
Sharon Hays
Fabulous, Kate! It is truly wonderful when those sturdy old machines are resurrected and passed on to another generation of sewists.
Beverly, who would have a real hard time parting with some of them....
Reply to
BEI Design
Mostly the cleaning part it done with a scrubbing brush and detergent on the cases, and a wipe round with a damp cloth on the heads after a quick de-fluff and oil. These old Berninas have been bashed about a bit in being moved from pillar to post (or round half of the old Inner London Education Authority!), so the cases are filthy and battered, but did a sterling job of protecting the machines inside! There's the odd paint chip on the machines, and the classic worn bit below the free arm where the table clamps on, but otherwise they show very little sign of wear.
Someone who wants a machine that SEWS, and has a handful of useful stitches, is going to be a winner. A MUCH better bet than a modern plastic thing for £100 or under that won't actually do anything much, despite the raft of fancy stuff, and wears out in less than five years with moderate use...
Oh, I'm on to that one! I did say to the shop I spoke to that I'd be happy to swap a 807 table surplus to requirements for a wanted 707 table surplus to MY requirements!
I went and played on the railway! Local mad enthusiast (no, he's got enough dosh to collect vintage cars and steam engines the way I collect sewing machines! He must be merely eccentric...) has a narrow gauge garden railway, and as it was a steam day yesterday (Bank Holiday here), we went and rode on trains and drooled over traction engines and a pink threashing machine!
Today was shifting dirt off machines day.
Reply to
Rozi certainly enthused madly, so that's ONE already gone to a good home!
I have terrible trouble parting with some too... Hence the 3 Elna Lotus machines, the 3 hand cranks, the (now!) 2 Cub 4's... Parting with all those Berninas is going to be really hard. I keep reminding myself that I already have the Bernina 1005.
Reply to
After many years of HARD usage my Bernina 730 just plain wore-out but I got another for free so I was ok. Now the second one is worn-out (as in Game over man!) but my repairman was able to put together one functioning machine from the 2 and I'll pick-up both tomorrow when my friend with a car can give me a lift there and back.
Anyway, I now have duplicates of the accessories such as the extension table if you are interested! Just mail me at arkiv2001[at] and maybe we can make some type of trade, say a package of fabric scraps for a package of sewing machine bits.
Reply to
On 5/26/09 9:21 AM, in article
Wow! Sounds like Christmas in June at your house and Besides, you'll make some people so happy as well. Emily
Reply to
Emily Bengston
I also try to give old SMs a new home, but I only get 2 or 3 at a time since I have limited space. Right now I have a older Kenmore in Florida that will find a new home in the Fall. Last Fall I put 2 in a yard sale that were working just fine, and gave 1 to a friend's daughter. I also help friends to get their older machines working right again. Barbara in SC
Reply to
Bobbie Sews More

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