January 21, 2012

Kenmore 158.13011 (1969)

Another 158 series Kenmore (made in 1969), a gift from Milda. It had some strange issues the worst of which was the main cam screws being loose; a difficult problem to diagnose, I don't think that it caused any damage.

Not the worlds most attractive machine, nothing but the basics, and a blind hem cam.

I will say that it is VERY smooth the Engineers really got this model balanced out well. It has a totally unique spring loaded motor mount; something that could have been on all of the other machines of that day, one that makes tensioning and changing the belt a "no tools" job.

A Scimitar? Bizzaro!

January 10, 2012

Necchi BU Nova (1952)

Having heard the way early Necchi's are spoken of (in hushed tones as if they were made by elves) I focused on getting one that came up on CL. Indeed it is a tight machine. This one built in the 40's  was essentially (as the story goes) never used; it shows no signs of wear however the paint has subtle crazing over much of the surface.
The straight stitch version in the MoMa Collection

The Nova is a handsome machine more so I think than the Mirelli. It is very quiet and smooth. The stitch length control is ingenious however a little hard to get used to.

The presser foot control knob and especially the thread tension knob feel more like instruments than any other machine I have ever run into; each having fine threads instead of the typical vague adjustments on all other machines.

I love sewing with this thing; if I can find any excuse to use it I do. It chugs along nice and slow when necessary and sounds great.

1940 Cadillac V-16 Sedan
Simply Regal!


January 6, 2012

Viking 6570

The 6000 line from the 70's and 80's has quite a following. Once I discovered that it had a low speed gearbox in it I had to get one for myself. I have around $350 into it (after repairs) but they seem to hold that price in the market. I had to have it repaired because of the extent of the problems. It had the standard issue "locked up" control knobs; if these machines sat around (which most all of them have) the knobs will seize up solid. These are not easy or cheap to fix.

It is an interesting machine, much newer than I'm used too. My interest in the low speed gear is not the punching power but the ability to follow curves on my leather shoe parts. It is not a quiet machine either and in the low speed mode it makes a real racket. It also has electronic needle position stop pretty fancy for back then.

OK, the ability to go really slow with excellent control is what I was hoping for... and i got it. The low speed is exactly what I have been needing; it takes hours to make ready each part of a shoe, the last thing you do is sew. I am going through an 1/8 in (3mm) of leather with better control than ever before. So far I am very happy

And as you may imagine the free arm is essential for this type of work.

The Sveed's just can't help it; they do what they do.

After 5 years I'm back to the 6570, I'm going to see if it can replace the Nora (I doubt it) I have adopted using decorative stitching inside of my shoes and would like more options outside of ZZ. 

It is one of the easiest machines to thread and aside from the unappealing mechanical noise (unlike the Necchi) it is a sweet stitcher.