sewing machine

Hello again! I’m back with an update on my adventures cleaning my Singer 66. As I mentioned before, it’s from 1923 and quite dirty, gunky, rusty etc, so I’ve slowly been disassembling and scrubbing everything.

Most recently I took apart everything on the bottom of the machine, cleaned it, and put it back together. I’m a little exhausted from doing the tutorial over on my blog, so I hope you’ll forgive me for just posting a quick before and after here.


I’m not exactly a clean freak, but seeing all the parts shined is extremely satisfying. If you want to see the process, head on over to my blog post!


Singer 66

by Claire on May 27, 2012 · 11 comments

in 1920s

Hi everyone! I can’t contain my enthusiasm, so I have to share this purchase I made with you…

It’s a Singer 66, and the first antique sewing machine I’ve owned. I’ve been teaching myself to sew for a few years on a machine that I think is from the seventies. It works fine, but lately I’ve been admiring vintage sewing machines more and more… and becoming increasingly curious about what it’s like to sew on one. I love Peter’s blog over at Male Pattern Boldness and seeing the different machines he finds and fixes up. I suppose I can owe it to him that I took the plunge and bought this machine after seeing it on Craig’s List.

As you can see, this machine needs a lot of cleaning. Happily, though, all the parts seem to operate quite smoothly. It even came with most (or even all?) of the original parts. Check this out:

I haven’t actually tried out any of these attachments yet, nor have I even threaded the needle and given it a go. I’m going to try to give it a thorough cleaning first, which it really really needs. It has been in a smoking household for many years, and I’m not sure if all the grime is from that or from something else. It’s pretty dirty though. I used Peter’s helpful list of vintage sewing machine resources as a starting point for the cleaning process. You can find it here.  I also found this amazing website: My Sewing Machine Obsession, which has wonderfully detailed photos, diagrams, and instructions detailing how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble several types of vintage sewing machines. Elizabeth of My Sewing Machine Obsession recommends using Dr. Bronner’s almond oil soap because it is very gentle, and cleaning the outer body of the machine with q-tips – so I started on this yesterday. Here’s a quick before and after…

Getting this far took a lot of q tips and the better part of the afternoon. I guess I have my work cut out for me! I won’t go on for too long here, in case not everyone is interested in seeing many many photos of this lovely new acquisition of mine. But if you are interested, I am going to try to document the whole clean up process over at my blog: Feel free to drop by!