Category Archives: Vintage Antique sewing machines

Make Your Singer Sing (Part 1)

Make Your Singer Sing (Part 1)

Hello Dear Friends and Readers.  This is an almost Antique Singer Treadle Sewing Machine.

I was lucky enough to recently acquire this beautiful machine.  The cabinet although dusty and soiled appeared to be in very good condition.  On opening the lid the machine looked ok too.  The decals looked pretty decent.  There is some wear.   The chromed parts of the machine beginning to show slight signs of speckled rust, but not dreadful.

This machine is a 66K Singer, made in 1923, set into a treadle cabinet with the beautiful Lotus Patterned Decals.  There were ten thousand of theses machines made according to ISMACS.  Not a huge number really.  Having said that if you interested in sewing with vintage machines, getting a Singer is great, because they are so well made and there is still availability of parts.

Through bitter experience, I have learned that the best thing to do when commencing the cleaning up of these machines is to keep it simple.  Begin by just using lint free damp cloths to remove all dust and grime.

This may take a few goes as there are a lot of hidden holes.  This OK.  Just keep going till its. cleaned.  this includes the cabinet and wrought iron frame.

The next thing is to open the bobbin case.  Remove the bobbin and clean all around the bobbin area as much as possible.  use a soft brush to brush into crevices to remove lint.  Next is to remove any jammed thread and lint, from around this area just as you would any machine.

 This may take some time.  I use a combination of small scissors, a stitch cutter and needle and tweezers to remove the lint.

In this image you can see the  red felt which is a wick for the bobbin race,  the stitch cutter is pointing to it.   Thank you to Debbie Cowger for pointing this out to me.  Please see her comment at the base of the post and a link for changing the wick if need be.

Once all the lint is removed I now clean the machine with Singer sewing machine oil.  That is all I use.  Using lint free cloths I soak them reasonably well and just rub the machine all over especially the chromed parts to clean the rust and embedded dirt.  It won’t be perfect the first time.  It may require coming back to several times.  But this is better than damaging with harsh products.  This is very gentle and will not damage the machine.

I do the same on the wrought iron work.  I drip oil into all the oil points too.  This machine has still got the treadle belt.   So I refitted it hoping to get it ready for sewing.

Now I discovered that there is one screw missing from down where the Pitman rod connects to the wheel so it will not treadle.  Oh dear.  I tried so many screws but I could not make anything fit.

I’m hoping I can find one, but I’m not sure yet.  The machine is otherwise beautiful.  To be continued…

Hope you enjoyed this post. Best of luck repairing your machine.

Here is some further inspiration.

Sashiko Daisies by Treadle Free Motion

All the best,