Friday, December 4, 2015

Vintage Sewing Machine: My Little Singer 'Spartan'

My Little Spartan

Have you ever dreamed of a owning a vintage sewing machine? Since I have been a vendor at shows, selling my hand painted and stitched fabrics, I've been thinking of having a hand crank sewing machine in my booth for doing demonstrations.  Last Friday I saw this machine at our local second hand store . This wonderful organization is run by volunteers and supports community programs. I thank the gentleman working that day who gave me additional information about this machine. After going online I find that yes it can be converted to a hand crank machine.

'Spartan 192' - Singer Sewing Machine
Yesterday, I cleaned and then oiled where I could see moving parts and the oil holes. The motor was working but the machine was very stiff to move. It wasn't until I cleaned and oiled around the bobbin area that the machine started moving smoothly. The spool spindle was missing but I tried sewing anyway.

It's first sewing in ??? years. I was able to hear another Spartan on a Utube video and my machine sounds the very same. It just purrs along. In one video they showed it sewing through multiple layers and then through 3 layers of garment leather. That's my little Spartan!

The Spartan is a specific model of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. It is 3/4 size and research suggests built in the 1950s or early 1960s. It is similar to the Model 99K but with much less decoration. Named the 'Spartan' as it was built as an economy model. But Spartans were also ancient Greeks from the City of Sparta so I already think of my little sewing machine as strong as Greek Warrior
Spartan 192 Model. This model features a forward and backward stitch.
Click here to go to an introductory video that I found helpful. And click here for an online manual. A couple of things I did learn online was that the silver area is NOT where the spool spindle threads in. It is an place to put oil. I read online that it is quite deep and should be cleaned first before oiling. I need to do that yet.

Another thing I learned was that red piece of fluff is an oil felt. DO NOT try and remove it. Thank goodness it didn't come out when I tugged on it. I left the tape on the machine bed for the photo. It delights me to think of the projects that must have been sewn by the previous owner.

The surprise this morning when I opened this somewhat hidden draw and emptied out the contents, I found the spool pin!!! Thank goodness I didn't find it before I did the research and try and put it in that wrong hole on the top.

A drawer that turns out from under the cabinet.
Odds and sods from the plastic bag inside the drawer. Well we know she/he sewed something light green, turquoise and burgundy.
Can you tell I am excited about my new sewing machine. I love it so much, the question is, "Will I really go ahead and convert it to hand crank?" Any feedback for others with vintage sewing machines?

Also this Week

The other fun thing this week was a Painting with Dyes workshop I gave to the local Quilt group. I didn't get as many photos as I should have but I'll post what I have soon. There were some great images painted and I can hardly imagine what the quilters are going to be sewing them into.
Sample piece of painting with dyes. We did a dry brush technique on the candle and greenery with a lighter dye glaze overtop. The two white stripes were created with a pinstripe masking tape resist for a design element that the quilter's are going to have fun embellishing with thread.


Win Dinn, Artist said...

I'm so excited for you with your new Spartan - and wondering whether you'll be able to bear converting it to a hand-crank. I do think it would be terrific to have at a market, though, and look forward to hearing your decision. Lovely candle piece - I'll bet that class was tremendous!

Laura Leeder said...

It's wonderful to hear you sound so excited Eileen! I agree, that it's a terrific idea to have this sewing machine at the market with you. I can just imagine all the quilters eyeing it with envy!

Gloria said...

I can feel your excitement about your little Greek Warrior! So happy for you! I love scouring thrift shops for treasures like yours!

I love the hand-crank machine I have that belonged to my grandmother. It is very heavy but I love the fact that her hands have created on it as do mine, once in a while!