Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940

Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940

Hello Dear Friends and Readers, and a warm welcome to todays post.

It has been a long time since I have written a post about a sewing machine. This is basically because I haven’t acquired any new “old” machines nor felt the need…however…..

A few months ago I visited a local second hand shop. while wandering around, I spotted an adorable looking small hand crank machine. I approached the lady and asked for the price. She said it was not for sale as she was giving it to a friend. I was actually a little disappointed.

Nevermind…… Then, a couple of days ago I happened to be walking past the same shop and I thought I would have a wander through. I spotted a couple of interesting items including an old cast iron bed frame.

How nice would this be with a quilt or two on it?

susies-scraps.com

I was about to leave when I spotted that little machine again. I approached the lady again and she said that her friend didn’t want it afterall. I asked her about the previous owner. Apparently she acquired it from a lady who had said that it was working….. and that was all she knew.

It is seriously such a good looking little girl that I decided to get it. Here she is as found. Needs a little cleaning, but not too much.

It is a Transverse Shuttle Hand Crank 3/4 machine.

Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com
Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com

Vestazinha Sewing Machine – A “Little” History

I took it home and did a bit of reading. I suspected it was of German origin but I wasn’t sure. It turns out that all the records for these machines were pretty much destroyed or repatriated to Russia by the Russians, when they took over the factory during the Second World War. This triangle symbol apparently indicates that the machine was built after 1936. https://www.fiddlebase.com/german-machines/vesta/sewing-machines/

The factory was in Altenburg Germany, south of Leipzig and north of Dresden.

Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com
Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com

On opening the base, the number was located. The inside of the base was surprisingly clean.

According to Wikipedia by 1940, two million machines had been built. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesta-N%C3%A4hmaschinen-Werke

I found a very similar machine for sale which was dated as sold in 1946. The number on that machine is 2043258, meaning it was made sometime after mine.. All sewing machine production was ceased in 1940, then recommenced in 1946. During those years it was used for munitions. The machine with a similar number might have been produced after the war. The guarantee is faintly dated 1946. it is being dispatched from Ukraine which used to be part of Russia. Machines made in this factory after the war were reparations and sent to Russia. https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/1398147207/vesta-antique-cast-iron-german-made

So after a good sleep I woke up thinking that my machine was probably made in 1946 too. Reason being, it is so similar to the other one and the decals actually look Russian in their colours and design. They certainly look different from what I could see of their previous machines. I also had a lovely comment from Marianne who had reached the same conclusion, see the comments in the post. Thank you Marianne K.

Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com
Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com

Just as a point of interest I found one site which said that Zinha was Portuguese for “Little Woman”. Also Zina is a name used in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Apparently it can mean welcoming and Hospitable.

All of the decals are in pretty good condition so I do not believe it was heavily used. The base has a wooden veneer coating which has delaminated in places so I will reglue it.

The hand wheel seems large for the machine. The open cut gears can be seen and it has a beautiful folding porcelain handle.

Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com
Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com

Vestazinha Cleaning and Threading Little Vesta

As the previous owner said that it had been working, it did have a needle and I was hoping this was correct. I was inserted incorrectly. It needs to be threaded from front to back. As you can see the nickel plating is a bit scarred. I cleaned off all the major dirt with a soft damp lint free cloth and then lubricated the machine and polished it all using sewing machine oil.

Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com
Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com

The shuttle and bobbin were present which is a bonus and the shuttle was moving freely with turning the hand wheel.

Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com
Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com

The tension spring was initally very tight and sticky. After loosening it and cleaning it threaded up easily. You can see the thread pathway in the orange thread. Also note the unusual but lovely snakeskin pattern on the side plate. The nipple/thread guide which can be seen of the front upper right of the photo is for winding the shuttle bobbin, which I have not attempted yet.

Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com
Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com

After a few adjustments to the tension spring, she is stitching beautifully!!! Maybe a touch tight on the tension, I will loosen it up.

Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com
Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com

The image below is courtesy of Alex Askaroff from his Sewalot site which you can access here.https://sewalot.com/vesta%20sewing%20machines.htm

I believe this image contains the most valuable historical information regarding this this machine. Thank you Alex.

Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com
Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940 susies-scraps.com courtesy Alex Askaroff Sewalot Site.

Unfortunately, it is missing the bentwood case, but no matter as this Vestazinha “Little Vesta” looks beautiful displayed. One of the main reasons for having this machine is that it is very small and portable. Hand cranks in my experience seem very accurate stitchers,

Actually I am really looking forward to taking this outside and sewing in the natural light.

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Happy sewing,

Susie

© Susan Stuklis 2024

14 thoughts on “Vestazinha Little Vesta Saxonia Sewing Machine Circa 1940”

  1. What a wonderful find! I thought about the name Zina meaning hospitable and realized that the Greek word for it is Xenia.

  2. What a beautiful machine with those gorgeous decals! When we had sewing classes at my school (many moons ago) it was on hand cranked machines – maybe a bigger version than yours and not so pretty. Happy sewing Susie 🙂

    1. Thank you! How nostalgic. The classroom must have sounded lovely with all those hand cranks in action! I wonder what you made? I still remember our sewing class at high school. We made laundry bags. 😄

      1. Thanks for your lovely reply. We also had cookery classes so the first item we had in the sewing class was an apron – for our cookery class of course. The girls did cookery and sewing – the boys did metal and woodwork. I was a bit of a tom-boy and would have loved to do the woodwork class. In my 20’s I did learn/taught myself to make things, to the best of my ability – I’ve always loved DIY!

  3. I’m a little sad that I let my 2 Saxonia style machines go, but they were beautiful and sewed so nicely. I may have to look for another. They are such sweet little machines!

  4. Dear Susie, thank you very much for this interesting sewing machine. It’s so beautiful. I think that all the coloured ornaments are in Russian style – isn’t are?
    Have a nice week!

    Best wishes
    Marianne

    1. Do you know I woke up this morning and had that same thought! Yes I totally agree. The colours and design look Russian indeed! I will amend the post.
      Thank you so much! Nice to have your input!

    2. Dear Marianne, Thanks so much. I absolutely agree and I have updated the post to reflect that. Thanks again. Much appreciated.

  5. Thank you Susie for rescuing this vintage beauty! You have really given us vintage machine lovers some eye candy. I hope it brings you lots of joy. I enjoy your site very much.

  6. I am so glad you bought that lovely machine. I have my eyes open for a hand crank – just because. A 3/4 machine would be even better, it’s so beautiful. I have a similar iron bed, not quite as fancy (no brass), but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

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