Myer Victor Supreme Zig Zag Vintage Sewing Machine.
Hello Dear Friends and Readers. For some time now I have been on a quest to find a vintage zig zag sewing machine . The experience of using antique and vintage sewing machines is so enjoyable. The industrial strength, workmanship and durability of the machine and mechanics are so good. Not to mention, of course the timeless aesthetic appeal!
The comparative simplicity of the machinations make it possible for the home sewer to maintain their own machine. What’s more, the value for money is really incomparable, I think, compared to a modern-day plastic machine. Of course there is no stitch selection other than straight, but it is a beautiful straight stitch, so unless complex stitches are really required or one is an embroiderer, then of course you may justify the price of some of the very sophisticated machines. Having said that, with the right skills it is possible to make beautiful, cut work and lace embroidered fabrics on very old machines.
Anyway moving on, I became interested in finding a vintage zigzag for all the reasons above and durability and strength and beauty of the stitches. A couple of days ago, whilst rummaging around a second-hand store in their sewing machine “graveyard”,I suddenly spied the word zig zag. The machine was covered in leaf matter and dirt. I pulled out the machine with out expectation and the owner dragged it to a power point (it’s really heavy). I found the foot pedal and he plugged it in. The motor made a noise. The hand wheel needed some encouragement to turn. I anticipated the bobbin was jammed so I took my chances for $25-.
This machine has had a bit of a hard life, the finish is a bit chipped and stained. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s a good sign that the machine worked well and was well used and loved! I cleaned it up,. I think it’s the first time I had to tip out all the leaves out of a machine into the garden!
I used a mild detergent to clean up the duco, then dried it off and oiled the machine well. It sews very well. I did make some adjustments the lower tension in particular. Makes a beautiful zig zag stitch. The fifth line of stitching shows the blind stitch. The blind stitch is activated when the machine is set to straight stitch and the silver button next to the Myer Victor label is engaged.
I’m sure it would have been quite a big deal in its day. There is no doubt that these machines carry no real value as a collectable, however as a sewing machine they are really very good.
The image below shows the machine with the zig zag engaged. The mechanism is basic, in that it is necessary to manually tighten the two silver coloured thumbscrews (top centre)in order to maintain the zig zag position. If the left screw is loose, it will bounce back to a straight stitch. The lever, (top left) determines the width of the zig zag.
The image below shows the inside of the top of the machine with the zig zag mechanism engaged. The Spring on the right is under tension.
The following image shows the top of the inside of the machine with the mechanism released for straight stitch.
This particular machine is Japanese. It has an embossed Liberty written on the underside of the machine and Made in Japan in gold engraved lettering. I’m assuming that Liberty, may be the factory it was made in. It has a serial number and it is Model JA12. I Think it was made by Brother. It is a high shank machine. It was brought out to Australia, probably in the early to mid sixties, the motor was made in New South Wales and the Foot Pedal is made in Australia. It was “Badged” Myer Victor for the Myer Emporium as it was known back then. It is a lovely green and white and it features the zigzag stitch, a blind stitch and exposed buttons to choose whether to have the feed dogs up or down. No tipping of the machine required to drop the feed dogs. It has a vertical bobbin like the Singer 15 which can be a great advantage for Free Motion Quilting too. The bobbin is a big bobbin like the Singer 15 which is easily recognisable due to its wider size and holds plenty of thread. ( I believe a great deal of these machines were based on a Singer 15 model.). It appears to have a lower tension adjusting screw located near the bobbin under the needle plate. Another lovely feature, is the door, which opens to expose the needle bar and globe, with a hinged globe attachment to make it super easy to get a hand in to change the globe with absolute ease.
This machine and others like it are very well made and with some TLC, I’m sure they could easily last another 50 years and give plenty of reliable sewing enjoyment. In the image below you can see there is a silver knob on the machine top left. The knob can be depressed if extra pressure is required under the presser foot.
If you are looking at buying vintage machines, make sure it works, before buying. If the electrics are questionable, be prepared to wear the cost of rewiring, or wait for another to come along. Remember the wiring is old and having the machine rewired is the safest option. Also, if you are new to the machine type, resist the urge to change the machine settings until you figure out the workings. Chances are they were set to a reasonable sewing position in its previous life. With old electric machines, when not in use, disconnect from the power.
I had a message from a lady who was missing her Spring from the spring tension assembly. Here is a photo which shows the spring tension assembly components. I have seen similar springs available for a few dollars.
If you enjoyed this post, im pretty sure you will also like,
or even this one…
New White Peerless Antique Sewing Machine
All the best,
26 thoughts on “Myer Victor Supreme Zig Zag”
Hi Susie, I’ve got an older Myer branded machine. I hadn’t really valued it until reading your post today. I’ll have to take another look! I’m wondering if there is anywhere that we can go to see the old manuals for these machines. It always helps! I’m a good fiddler but I haven’t had success with this one. Cheers. 😊
I couldn’t find a lot of information about these machines.
Basically everything I know I have put into the post.
I would be pleased to know if you discover anything new or you are able to get it to work.
I have a couple of vintage Singers, a 1929 66k with original electric motor (Cleo), and a 1941 201K treadle (Vera). Both work beautifully, can handle anything from chiffon to heavy canvas and astrakhan wool, and will last several lifetimes with simple maintenance. Most of my sewing is straight stitch, but sometimes zigzag comes in handy. I have a mid-80s Janome which has served me well since I bought her new, but she does struggle a bit with multiple layers of fabric.
I spotted a Myer Victor at an op shop the other day, identical to yours, Susie. She weighed a TON, so I figured there wasn’t any plastic inside. Good. Her outer casing is flawless, her innards are spotless. The motor works, but the mechanicals are gummed up. Kerosine and machine oil work wonders on seized machines, so I paid my $30, and took her home. I’ll call her Victoria. Vicky for short. 🙂
I knew nothing about these machines, but your page has helped a lot. Thanks, Susie!
A friend gave me her mother’s old Myer Victor Supreme. It looks a bit different to yours. On top there is a slide movement to alter the zig zag width. The dial for stitch length has a reverse button in the middle.
I have searched the net for a manual without any success.
It had it working for a short time, but now the top thread keeps breaking. Also, can you tell me what the what are the up down buttons for?
All the best. Cheers
Hi Nick, I can only suggest that you give it a good oiling, its amazing what a diffence it can make. As for the up down buttons, I’m just guessing without a photo, that that is for moving the feed dogs up and down.
Good luck! Susie
Hi Susie, I am grateful to find your post. I just purchased a MyerSuper full automatic zigzag from an opshop for $15 it works wonderfully and is well looked after. There was a cloth in it that showed a straight stitch, I am however unfamiliar with the dials, do you know other machines outside your specific model? Thank you for your time. Kind Regards, Tara.
Thank you for your lovely comment. Congratulations on your new machine. I think you might also find useful another post I have written called “In Memory of Joyce”
I have my Mothers old Myer Victor machine, it’s probably about 55 years old. It still works well, but I don’t have the manual and cannot remember how to use the pattern cogs that came with it.
Do have any idea how I could find a manual or do you know how to use the cogs?
Dear Regina, I have another similar machine with cogs. I will do a new post soon, which may be useful to you. All the best, Susie
Im sooooo chuffed I have just found a working Myer Victor Supreme Zig Zag Vintage Sewing Machine for $70 and it still has its hard case over cover, plus all the feet and bobbins that one could poke a stick at. I want to do some heavy duty upholstery work and recover two heirloom lounge chairs that are way over 100 years old and I dont trust modern day upholsters to do a proper job. I paid a motza back in the early 1990’s to do as such and discovered even tho I provided the fabric that my mother had purchased in the late 1970’s , the mongrels didn’t remove the old base coverings, nor did they restuff the cushions with the coconut fibre they didnt even redo the webbing,GRRRRR .
I came across a 15-20 meter roll of upholstery fabric at an op shop approx 2 years ago and now I get to have fun un picking one chair to use the old cover as my pattern, make a new base cover out of a heavy duty almost canvas like cover then make the removable cover with the found upholstery fabric, It might take me a few years but who cares , the chairs had an Insurance value of over $2.5K each 20 odd years ago so now I can only imagine how much they would be worth and when properly restored the sky will be the limit. Im not the worlds best sewer but when you have a good easy machine to work with and patience is a virtue so I will get there in the end. What fabric would you recommend to use as the base cover for the chairs ? Something sturdy that will NOT stretch crazily?? I may be picking your brains over the next few weeks to get it thoroughly cleaned and oiled. Many thanks in advance 🙂 Annie
Dear Annie, what a super find! Congratulations! I would recommend using calico as your lining fabric. It is sturdy, yet easy to work with and very affordable. Can be easily adapted to other projects, in case you have too much! 😉 All the best for your project. Very clever! Susie
hi, thanks for the great info on the myer victor am looking at buying the exact machine in your article do you think it would be up to working with sunbrella material and do you know does this machine have a walking foot.
thanks so much for your help.
Dear Micahel, I believe it would be fine with the Sunbrella fabric. In regards to the walking foot, no, it didn‘t come with one, however you could try a low shank Brother walking foot. Best of luck!
Hi I have a Myer automatic and cannot find where to wind the bobbin. Any ideas? Thanks. Maria
Hi Maria, difficult to say without seeing the machine, but on the upper right hand side, left of the hand wheel, there may be the bobbin winder.
Hello, great article! I just found a Myer Victor at an Op shop and bought it for $10!!! I’m not a hugely experienced sewer – I currently own a brother. I’ve managed to get it threaded up and if works beautifully. It is pale green with a dark green stitch length dial. It’s not the zip zag so I have no idea what model it is. I’ve searched the Net for a manual but can’t seem to find one so your post was extremely helpful. Thank you.
That is a pleasure! All the best with your sewing adventures!
Susie what is the round knob on the face of the machine next to the MyerVictor label, regards David .
Hi David. Thank you for your question. When the machine is set to straight stitch, and this button is engaged, it activates the Blind Stitch capability.
Thanks Susie,sorry I realise you already said that in your review. Nice machine,hang on to it Susie.
Can you please tell me is it American, English etc? Do they still exists? Is it a really a Singer? I am after a manual, but I can’t find anything online…
PS how old is your machine.. I have an old fashion plug, that you use to see on kettles..
This machine is Japanese. See all info in the post.
My wife has recently acquired a Myer Victor sewing machine similar to yours. While it sews beatifully in a straight line it will not do any zig zag stitches. The lever at the top of the machine seems to move things on the top (under the cover) but nothing seems to change inside the machine
Dear Peter. My suggestions are to oil the inside of the machine very well. These machines can be very dry after long periods of disuse. The zig zag machinism will not stay engaged unless the thumb screws top right are tightened to keep it engaged. I have updated my post to include some extra photos of the inside of the top of the machine with the zig zag engaged and not engaged. Maybe this will help you to make a comparison with your machine so that you can see if anything is broken or missing. Good luck. Hope you can make it work!