Thursday, 11 September 2008


Last week I watched the modern version of King Kong on TV.
There were some awful monsters in it, in the creepy crawly prehistoric forests.
They were scary.
But not as scary as what lurks under this old curtain in the spare room.


The beast.

Its a Singer 'Irish' Industrial Embroidery Machine which I acquired just after Christmas last year. It has a date stamped on it..1928.
Its very exciting and quite a rare beast.
It has a half inch wide zig zag possibility, and no feed dogs.
Imagine what I could do with this.

But I dare not switch it on.
It has a lamp

and a huge great control pedal
and somewhere decorative to put your other foot.

and a colossal ancient motor
which is why I dare not switch it on.

Not until its been serviced.

It took 4 of us to carry it up to the spare room, and a few days to recover.

I e-mailed Kate Wells about it and she said ''Whats the serial number? Its best if its 107w102''
I checked the Manual.

Lucky me..lucky find.
But still I dare not switch it on.

I spoke to Alice Kettle who uses them at Manchester Uni and she recommended a man who serviced their machines.
I phoned the man who was very helpful.

But he lives quite a way from me.

''Can you bring it here?'' he asked.


Kathleen said...

Funny....hope you didn't get a hernia or something!

Deb Lacativa said...

How exciting! I learned on a Singer factory machine and it had one speed - FULL TILT BOOGIE and watch out for your fingers!

Tricks said...

Hi Jackie,
Do you know if your machine does a chain stitch. I have a feeling it might. I might be wrong but it sort of reminds me of a old workhorse that lurked at college and I'm sure it did a chain stitch.

Small world, so you know Alice. She taught me when I was at Goldsmiths. It was Alice who showed me how to shape my embroidery into 3D. I haven't used that technique for years. Must have a go sometime. I made some interesting embroidered apples in 3D Each apple was larger than life size and took a whole day to make. Happy Days, I loved it at Goldsmiths.
Well, I wish you all the luck in the world with your find. Show us some work when you have it up and running you lucky thing. Tricia

Kitty said...

Can you perhaps hire a man to take it to him? A big, strong man? I like to recommend a big strong man for all life's little irritations and problems, but in this instance I think it really is for the best! x

Michala Gyetvai (Kayla coo) said...

I have just spotted one of your brooches at the NEC..gina was wearing it!

Threadspider said...

What a magnificent beast!


Wow, what a find.

I remember using an old singer when I was very young. But it was not powered by electric I think I had to manually turn the balance wheel.

Paddy's Daughter said...

Wise not to switch it on - I once purchased a very old Singer Featherweight, said to be in working order, and when I used it there was a lot of smoke, burning rubber smell, and blew a fuse. I've had it rewired and something done to the motor, and now she sews like a dream. Good luck with your beast!

Maureen said...

Come on Jackie, tell us how you answered the question he asked???

arlee said...

I had one 30 years ago and wish i still had it!!!!! If YOU won't turn it on, I WILL :} (Ya just rub yer lovely body on it...)

julie king said...

such a wonderful find.lucky you. i had an old singer a few years ago but nothing as rare as yours. what a dilemma you're in. should it stay or should it go? hope you let us know how the mystery ends.

Gretel said...

Yes, get it serviced if you can, imagine how beautiful and useful it would be if it were up and running - and with zig-zag!

Jude said...

What a beautiful machine. I would switch it on, go on..
I'm also with Kitty, get a big strong man to take it.

Anonymous said...

OMG! What a beast, what a lovely beast!
The lamp is fantastic, and I love how it has a foot rest next to the pedal. I have had to improvise with a box to get my feet level!
I hope you can get it going. I know what you mean about being nervous to turn it on, I felt the same for a while when I got my machine (which is a Bernina industrial 950 as we are being all technical,LOL!)
I am Alice Kettles biggest fan by the way, I'm all jealous of Tricks being taught by her at Goldsmiths!
Wish you the best of luck taming this beast!

Victoria said...

Wow! I think it would definitely be worth taking it to be serviced, (even if it means a week on the couch with your back thrown out!)

Gina said...

Oh wow! Fabulous piece of machinery! Get it serviced... switch it on... and use it!

Sophie said...

I was reading about the "Irish" embroidery machine in a really (really) old edition of an embroidery magazine that I'd picked up at an op-shop. I was fascinated and had not heard of it before. I'd certainly love to get my hands on one of those! Now I know what it looks I can keep my eye out.

Lorie McCown said...

ooo what a treasure! Maybe you can slip him some extra $$ to come out? that beetle, egads!

Anonymous said...

OOOOOOO Shes a beauty Jacky I hope you can get her serviced .
Love from sesga xx

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