Thursday, May 20, 2010

1960s Imperial Sewing Machine - (Ruthie)

This is Ruthie, she was manufactured in Japan and rescued from a premature trip to the dump!
She sews fancy zigzag stitches with built in cams.  The cams are selected by using a stitch selector dial and switching the stitch width knob to "F" once the stitch is selected the stitch width is moved back to "O".  She has an automatic four-step button holer on the reverse dial. 
When I brought her home, she needed a good cleaning, was starved for oil, as well as missing her manual and accessories. 
After cleaning and oiling I tried to sew with it.  The stitch selector dial would not turn at all.  At first Ruthie would not sew either, because the bobbin thread was completely pulled through to the top side.  After fiddling quite a while with the top thread tension, there was still no improvement on the stitch quality.  The bobbin tension screw was the problem, it was so loose it could have fallen out on its own.  A couple of twists on the little screw and Ruthie was sewing precise lovely stitches.  The bobbin winder would not turn either, so I completely disassembled, cleaned, oiled and reassembled it.  Now it works perfectly.  A hair-blower and sewing machine oil were used to unfreeze the stitch selector dial.  The oil goes over the froze up metal parts inside the machine, then heat was applied to get the metal really hot.  As the metal expands the oil penetrates the ceased up parts then like magic the moving parts are free.  I had to replace the bobbin winder tire and the light bulb.  Look at Ruthie's stitches!

After I phoned the lady who gave me this machine she dropped off the manual and accessories. 
Ruthie uses high shank feet, standard class 15 metal bobins and regular sewing machine needles.  There are two buttons control the feed dogs for free motion quilting and embroidery.
For more vintage treasures please head over to Colorado Lady's blog

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Husqvarna 6570 (Ruby)

In 1979 Ruby was the last mechanical sewing machine manufactured by Husqvarna.  She was the top of the line and retailed for $1200 USD. 
In February 2010 I bought her online from a person in Montreal (as a birthday present to me) based on only one very poor photograph.  Ruby has eight plastic cams that fit into a shaft on her backside to make fancy decorative and utility stitches.
When she arrived here, one of her eight cams was broken and another was missing.  There were no accessories or manual.  The worse part was that after I cleaned her up she would not sew.  The transmission that drives the needlebar was worn out.  I could not find anyone in Brandon to fix her so I packed her up and shipped her to the Dominion Sewing Centre in Sudbury, Ontario.  I just got her back a few weeks ago.  
Dominion Sewing rebuilt the transmission, replaced the entire top tension mechanism, fixed the buttonholer, the needle up/down feature,  replaced the bottom screws that hold the motor and plug outlet in place and replaced the right side panel where the light switch and bobbin winder are.  After all this work Ruby was shipped back to me as good as new.
I purchased all the accessories and missing/broken cams from Dominion Sewing as well.  I have only sewn a few test scraps with her, but I sure do like looking at her.  She is red after all.  How many folks have a lovely red sewing machine to admire? 
I bought an electronic copy of the manual on-line and printed it.
Ruby also has an extension table.
The light is designed to be pulled down for finer work or to replace the bulb.  She also has a 5th gear, by pulling out the plastic nob behind the bobbin winder the machine will sew at 1/5th its usual speed with full piercing power for heavy duty fabrics or precise fine work.
This is a small scrap sample of  a few of Ruby's stitches. 
For more vintage treasures please visit Colorado Lady's blog.