Saturday, May 28, 2016

A bit more about buttonholers, and zig zag machines.

Since I wrote about buttonholers awhile back, I have learned some new things about them.  Here is a quick link to the original post

Most of what I have learned lately is about buttonhole attachments for zig zag sewing machines.  Of course you can use the straight stitch attachments on your zig zag sewing machine, but it doesn't go the other way.  The zig zag buttonhole attachments use the zig zag stitch on your machine to make the buttonhole, rather than moving the fabric back and forth to make the stitch for the buttonhole.

I got to try this out, with a Griest 1Z buttonholer on a Singer 237, and it made a sweet buttonhole.  I am planning to put this machine into a treadle cabinet, and it will be great to have a machine I can treadle that zig zags and does buttonholes.

So Griest made seven different buttonhole attachments for zig zag machines, they are listed on the box I photographed in the earlier post.

Singer is the big player in the vintage machine world, and they made their version for zig zag machines in the 1960s when they brought out the Professional Buttonholer.  This comes in a model for slant shank zig zag machines, and for vertical needle machines (low shank).  This is the first time there are different plates for covering the feed dogs according to the type of machine you have.

Charlene Phillips wrote a great article for ISMACS

So you have options.  You can use a straight stitch buttonholer on your zig zag machine by setting it to straight stitch,  of course you have to match up Shank type and needle position.  All of the Singer buttonholers up to and including the Jetson's case ones are for straight stitch machines (or zig zag machines with the needle set to straight stitching).  But the Singer Professional, and the Griest models with a Z on the end are for zig zag machines.

Hope this helps someone, it took me a bit to sort it out.  That's what happens when I get most of my sewing goodies from a thrift store!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sphinx Singer 127, another Mother's Day machine.

Several years ago, early in my vintage sewing machine obsessession hobby, I picked up a neat 1962 White sewing machine from a Craigslist ad on Mother's Day.  I guess maybe we started a tradition, because I was due to collect a new treadle and it worked out that the day I could go pick it up was once again Mother's Day.

Isn't she a beauty?  The serial number dates her to 1928, and the ornate decals sure fit the Flapper era.  Beautiful cabinet too, although the top will need some TLC.  

This link to ISMACS show a machine that is definitely a cousin of mine, with some nice clear threading diagrams.

This is a vibrating shuttle machine, it has that bullet shaped shuttle with the bobbin that looks like a little bar, rather than a round bobbin.  I found the VS intimidating for a long time, because it looked so different that a round bobbin.  But once I got my Davis NVF I had to get over it, and I got over it quickly.  Basically, it's a bobbin.  You wind it on the machine.  Then you have to hold it with the thread coming off a certain way and you put it in the shuttle, put the shuttle in the machine.  You close the cover plate and you sew.  No real learning curve, it's just a different way of holding the bottom thread to create a lockstitch with the top thread.

Treadle On has some great info that helped me get over the nerves of the new system: and if you get a vibrating shuttle machine it is really fun to watch the bobbin wind, it's a pretty ingenious mechanism with the guide going back and forth distributing the thread as you treadle. There are some great videos of the process on Youtube also.

Here is a link to a manual, it is a color scan of an original

This one is a bit easier to read

Can't wait to get a belt on her.