My sister and I stopped by our favorite Goodwill last week, and I spotted a vintage Singer machine in a cabinet that I recognized as a 15-91 because of the distinctive potted motor on the back. It was a little dusty, but otherwise looked super clean. There were lots of accessories and bobbins in the drawers, and the price tag read $30 — I freaked out! When I got home I removed all the hardware attaching it to the cabinet, because I don’t have room for another piece of furniture in my sewing room, and Gordon used the wood from the cabinet to make a base.
Although it looked good and was running nicely, I’ve read enough to know it needed to be completely re-wired. Gordon ordered the items we needed (round terminals, new motor brushes, grease wick material and wires), and then we set about taking the machine apart. I was a little nervous (especially when we broke open the motor), but fortunately we were following this amazingly detailed, 20-step online tutorial that walks you through every step with gobs of photos.
After the wiring and greasing was done, I took apart the bobbin and tension assemblies (following directions in the 15-91 manual), and oiled the whole machine. The only thing left to do is polish the two chrome pieces. It sews like a dream and, a fun factoid — it was made in 1947, the year I was born.
I still have 3 sewing machines (Bernina 1000 Special, Bernina 540-2 Favorit, and the Singer 15-91). Last year I gave my Bernina 830 Record to a quilter I met online whose 830 had just died, and she could not afford to buy another one. I found that even though the 830 was a wonderful machine, I was so used to my 1000 (which I’ve been sewing on for 25 years), that I wasn’t really using the 830, and I didn’t need both of them since they are very similar. Plus, it felt great to be able to help out another quilter.
And, because it’s still Free Pattern Friday, here is a cute cottage which was part of a small lot of British transfers purchased on Ebay. The pattern was too rough to clean up in Photoshop, so I just ended up tracing it. Click the image to enlarge.