October 23, 2013

McKay Champion 77 Stitcher (19??)

I wrestled with this purchase for a while; it's always hard to balance need, want, and access.

1st I needed an insole stitcher so I can take my men's sandals to the next level. What I really wanted was a lock-stitch machine but  they are just too expensive. But then I was lucky that the "Lucky 7" shoe repair shop was selling out machines near by.

Petar was gracious to give me a demo on it. She's a big old piece of cast iron, may be 70 to 100 years old, I'm still looking for more in depth info on when they were manufactured. Probably weighs in around 300 lbs but the guys at Grosse Pointe Moving and Storage handled it well.

So far I'm very happy with it having the fun of cleaning, polishing, adjusting, and figuring out what does what and why. 

It's a chain-stitch machine but depending on the project and how you design your works it is just as sound of a stitch as the lock-stitch, its just not what you would use on a Goodyear welt.

I have learned a lot about these machines and am looking forward to doing more than just practice stitches with it. 
It's certainly not a "point and shoot" machine you are really just stitching one stitch at a time, you watch very closely as each stitch is completed and go to the next; that's OK because there is no hurry to screw things up.

Used it officially for the 1st time on a pair of experimental men's sandals. It performed very well, I still need lots of practice, but it did exactly what I intended; reinforce the glued straps.


  1. Funny. I just came across this same machine today but in red. I just love old tools. The man said I could have it. I'm not into sewing but if their is value I'd save it so I didn't get scrapped for metal. Do you know much about it

    1. I think it is definitely a thing to preserve, the number of parts available is so limited that even as a parts machine it has worth.
      Pick it up, oil it down, and set it aside for later.

  2. Wow nice machine, never seen moething like that! gritzner

    1. It is an impressive contraption, I get the most hits on my blog from Russia, India and the like, they must be all over the world?

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