I did it all by myself!

How do I sum up today??? Exhausting, exhilarating, weird, unusual, outside my comfort zone any of these and all of these!

I went thrift shopping this morning on my way to Red Rocks Amphitheater for a stair climb workout. I walked out of the store with 3 sewing machines for $120! Now before you say haven't you got 10 already let me explain that 2 are not for me. This is the trunk of my car on the way home:

My friend Tami of http://tamichaulk.blogspot.com/ said yesterday whilst we were at the fortnightly Green Bag Lady get together that she'd like me to keep an eye out for another cheap Singer machine for her, so when I saw this 401a I thought it might fit the bill and if not I knew that the Green Bag Lady Project could use it. So I got home and oiled/cleaned the machine as per the manual and it was as slow as wet week, the first dud machine I had bought.

So after some googling I decided to take out the motor and follow the instructions on this Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPfCADyz_rE

Here I am you can see the stunned look in my eyes. I couldn't believe I'd gotten this far!!! My husband usually fixes the mechanical issues with my machines but he is in Australia on a business trip atm.

The next step was to actually pull that motor apart! I was a little disconcerted when parts fell out of it as I did that! One of them the video later explained the other one well it mustn't be important LOL!

That little copper bit on the end is the commutator and I had to sand that... easy... but getting the two bits of motor back together again took a while after that, but nothing worth doing is easy right and this is for my wonderful friend Tami who is a fellow Bagette for the Green Bag Lady Project, read about it here:

So it got real messy and wasn't easy but I had a ball, it was fun to challenge myself!

Now that 401a may be the best running machine in my house and it won't be here for long LOL, but I think I'll try this on my 301!

One of the other machines was a Kenmore 51 for $30. I bought this specifically to get it running and donate it to the Green Bag Lady Project. We have some volunteer sewers who don't have machines or have machines that don't work well, so Teresa the Green bag Lady and I decided a couple of vintage machines might be better than cheap modern machines. especially considering we only need to do straight stitch to complete the bags for the project.This machine is oiled, tension set and ready to go, I even sewed several bags on it to make sure!

So yes there was one machine in the trunk for me, it is a Singer model 15. But it really irritates me when collectable items like this get written on in thrift stores like this:

But I learned recently in a Pyrex collectors Facebook group about these Mr Clean Magic Erasers. I wasn't convinced when I opened the box but seriously these things are awesome look a simple wipe and the writing is gone:

So I used Howard's Restore-a-finish and lemon oil furniture polish on the cabinet to make it shine. Then I began to clean and oil it as per the manual instructions.

But after all that she still doesn't sound right, she makes a nasty grinding noise and I've had enough sewing machine maintenance for one day, so this can wait until hubby gets home next week and we'll solve the problem together.


  1. well you certainly excelled yourself 3 machines and so well done repairing the first one Glad you have left one for hubby, do not want him feeing redundant! I have yet to see a sewing machine in a charity shop but I know a lady who got a bernina for £30 and it works like a dream

    1. I think I'd die from excitement of I found a Bernina!!! Most thrift shops here don't have machines worth buying but I've found one or two shops that seem to frequently have great machines, they aren't close by but are worth the drive😸

  2. I really appreciate you picking up the Singer for me, but doing all that other stuff was way beyond what I expected. You amaze me! I think I would be afraid to take the motor out like that!

    It's great that you found a machine for the Green Bag Lady project. I certainly agree with you that a vintage machine is going to be much better than a cheap modern machine.

    I think I need to get some Mr Clean Magic Erasers for my house. They sure seem to work great for cleaning! It's sort of sad that you got the first two machines up and running just fine and didn't figure out what was going on with yours. Thanks again for all you do!

  3. OMG!! I can't believe you did all that...GOOD JOB!! You won't believe what I picked up for $15.00 this past weekend at garage sales...TWO antiques...and they work!!! I thought of you...LOL!! I'll be blogging about them soon...if not to just announce my discoveries on your Thrifty Thursday linky!!

    1. Valerie you are becoming an expert at suspense!!!! Lol

  4. Wow! You certainly are handy!! I bought an old Singer like the last one at the Thrift store, but it still is in the case. I'm not mechanical at all, so I will have to have my repair man give it the once over.

  5. I like to be thrifty and save myself money but these machines are worth spending money on to repair if you don't want to fix them. They are a great find, congrats on yours!

  6. THANK YOU SO much Marianne for getting the machine for Green Bag Lady and the one for Tami too. You are SUCH a gem!!!!!!!!


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