Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sewing Machine Collector's Tip

If you collect sewing machines, one of the issues you may have discovered is that each machine has it's own unique way of doing things. My machines cover a wide range of production years, and are made by many different companies that have completely different mechanics. 
It is challenging to remember how to wind each type of bobbin and then correctly place the bobbin into the bobbin casing or into the machine if there is no case. Each of my machines take a different kind of bobbin and here are four different ones from the machines I use regularly. The long bobbin is from my Singer treadle (vibrating shuttle), below that is the Featherweight bobbin and case, bottom left is the Brother bobbins, and top left are the Janome Gem bobbins which don't need a case and drop right into the machine.
Each machine uses a different bobbin winding procedure, and the bobbin is placed with the thread coming off the bobbin in either a clockwise or counterclockwise fashion. The machine will not sew if you don't do all of this the proper way!
This is how I deal with the technical confusion...
I photocopy the page from the owner's manual that tells me what I need to remember. Then I laminated these instructions and cut it to the approximate size of a playing card. I keep the card with the machine it belongs to. Here is my Blue White (Japanese Clone) instruction card telling me how to insert the bobbin into the case. I can always remember on this machine how to wind the bobbin because it's visible and easy. But I can never remember which way the thread should come off the bobbin before I put it into the bobbin case. 
Here is my Sweet Baby Jayne Featherweight card telling me how to correctly insert the bobbin (which is opposite to the Blue White).
I always have the information handy when I need to rewind the bobbin, without having to search for the manual and try to locate the information within the manual.  
Easy peasy and you're ready to sew on any machine at any time! A person could also solve this problem by only having one machine, but what fun would that be?!?!

13 comments:

  1. Great tip! I have a few different machines and I always have trouble remembering which way to insert the bobbins into the cases.

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  2. You are a smart lady!! I am just using one machine right now, but in the future, this is a great idea for me!

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  3. What a great idea! I have two machines I use regularly - A Viking and a Janome. And everytime I switch machines.. I scratch my head for a minute. This will save me some confusion!

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  4. Good idea! You're so right...each machine winds differently. I have 5 machines (2 that I actually use all the time) but they are different manufacturers with different size bobbins. I have a Mercury (Japanese clone of a Singer 15-91) and a Singer 328K. These older ones couldn't be more different.

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  5. I don't consider myself a collector, but I do have 5 machines--each one different. I think this is brilliant! Thanks for passing along the tip!

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  6. What a great tip...I have 5 machines too...(is that like the magic number to have?) anyway they are all different and different bobbins too. That White machine of yours is different...most bobbins run off anti-clockwise.

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  7. You are the Smartie today! I don't have all of my manuals. Guess I need to go and find a couple to make a copy to put with my collection...

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  8. You are the Smartie today! I don't have all of my manuals. Guess I need to go and find a couple to make a copy to put with my collection...

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  9. My girlfriend calls these 1st world problems. Glad you found a way to keep it all straight !

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  10. Thanks for the great tip! I have 4 vintage machines and this will solve my memory problems!

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  11. What fun indeed? I never intended to have more than two - but the number just keeps growing :*) Great tip - thanks!!!

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  12. I wind most of my round bobbins on a side winder bobbin winder. I wind several at a time. Easier for me, and I can wind several bobbins at a time. Another problem is threading the machines. They all thread differently, and even the way they go thru the needle is different on many machines. I print out a manual for each machine, put the pages in sheet protectors and try to keep the manual with the machine. I even 'flag' the pages for threading (top & bottom) to make it easy to find in each book. One machine I purchased last year, had numbered stickers to show how to thread the top of the machine.

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  13. What a great tip. I only have 2 machines, I always forget how to wind the bobbin on the one I don't use as much.

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