May 25, 2017

Necchi Lydia 544 (1956) (straight stitch conversion)

Got the Lydia several years ago and with a broken cam-stack and cam-stack gear I just put it in the back

Lydia has the honor of being part of the MoMA collection; a true exercise in Functional Design.

The failings however were in the new materials that plague many machines in the early plastics replacement days.

So it has the standard cracked cam-stack and cam-stack gear, after talking to a fellow SM enthusiast who used hers for straight stitch only I decided to make mine into a straight stitch too.

The entire cam mechanism is a module that loads from the hand wheel end of the machine so it is not too difficult to remove the broken parts.

Another problem was the bar across the top of the bobbin case was bent up and so the case would not engage but would spin with the hook.

A third problem was also plastics related, the spring tension on the take-up spring is controlled by a set screw in this plastic part which broke out.

The fix was to drill thru the center pin and tap the hole all the way thru. With a screw on the back side the spring is held fast.

Has the original pedal
The removable flat-bed
Case and Manual

J C Penny 6910

There are a plethora of these Dressmaker like machines out there but I haven't seen many free arm versions

This thing had many issues and although it possesses the strong sewing capabilities of the Dressmaker it has some quirks.
I disabled the Stretch function because it made horrible noises so now its a good runner.

Had to adjust the feed dogs with a washer different from the one that was already in there.

In general a cheap workhorse.

May 9, 2017

Necchi BU - NA Wiring

After a lengthy search I discovered that there were no simple wiring diagrams for the BU series.

Since the light is one of those 12v things from my 1972 Fiat Spider it requires the transformer to drop the 110v to 12v

Here are photos of both the Nora and the Miranda.

I removed the auxiliary cord from both

The light is chassis grounded so there is only one wire going to it


Based on the two machines I have for reference, use only if you have background and / or familiarity with electrical systems.

I removed the auxiliary outlet on both because the cord was deteriorated.

May 5, 2017

Pfaff Tiptronic 1069 (1980's)

As stated earlier I have been on the quest for the better machine then the Necchi Nora, and also as stated I have become a champion of rotary hook machines.

My Pfaff 332 is more quiet than even the Bernina 830 and quiet is good.

After seeing some reviews and looking over the options on the 1069, 1171 and the like I found one.

I usually am enamored with each new machine and gush over them, if I think they have potential I put them into service and go with the feel of it... do I love it more than the Nora?

The 1069 has a number of amazing features, I'll get to them in a minute. The engineering mastery is what has me sold after the features. This is one precision machine; I'm beginning to think that the 80's was a rare time where old and new technologies converged to make machines that included both old school machining expertise and well developed electronics.

It includes the minimum F,R,L,R and C, and something I just can't get out of my head; needle position. The switch for that and the high and low speed switch are just above the needle.

It is a mostly die-cast aluminum machine with just a few plastic covers; the white part is aluminum and the base.

It had a loud screech when running so I tried to open up the top cover; NOT EASY. I recommend not doing it unless you posses great patience and have experience with plastic covers as I do.

With that off the front cover comes off. The only thing that was frozen up was the locking knob for the hand wheel; they used a white grease that turned hard and froze the hand wheel to the main shaft.
After prying the hand wheel off I was able to clean out all the old gunk and make the system work again. The lock system is unlike anything I have ever seen; very nice.

For those of you that would like to look under the hood I'm including these shots.

Upper thread tension system

Super nice take up threading system

Bobbin winding system


Easy access to the bobbin case (Made in West Germany) and nice snap on foot system

The case is Viking like in that it drops down from the top and the handle comes thru from the machine

The light is properly positioned

 Flat-bed attached
Doors open

Flat-bed second level

Flat-bed swing away

1st attempts at sewing are very favorable, excellent slow speed control however, when I put the machine to the table the foot controller cord was way too short??
As an all aluminum machine it can't match the sound of the cast iron beauties and so at high speed it has a sound.

Then I remembered that it has possibly the only one like it, a take-up reel in the foot pedal!!

I would never bother showing the cord plug and the foot pedal but Pfaff thought of everything.
the fully retracted foot pedal cord, and the 110 cord goes either way amazing!

It really is a strong machine, have tried layers of leather and some of the styles, all good so far.