My customer, Carol, came over yesterday to revisit her thread choices for her quilting projects. She also brought along 3 sewing machines she had been gifted, as she knows I collect vintage sewing machines, and had asked if I’d be interested in taking a look at them.
After we confirmed her thread and batting choices, we took the machines out. One was a Singer Ultralock 14 serger with lots of rust and the area next to the throat plate was missing, so it would be impossible to sew on it without replacing that part. She’s not looking for a rehab project, so we moved on to the next one.
A Singer Touch & Sew 758 was revealed when we removed the protective plastic bag she had used during transport. The Touch & Sew line, especially in the 700 series, doesn’t have a good reputation. The owners had so much trouble sewing with them, even after taking them to the repair shop several times, they got set in the back of a closet, never to be seen again. They weren’t cheap machines, either.
At first glace, it didn’t look too bad, a bit of corrosion on the throat plate, a bit of light rust on the needle bar, but those are easily corrected. I was interested to open the top and take a peek. Once I removed the top, I could see more rust, but really, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Still, I was certain I didn’t want to take on this project!
Carol said she’d plugged it in and tested it out when she got it and it sounded terrible. Well, no machine is going to be happy after sitting in a garage for a long time, and it certainly needed some TLC.
That was as far as I was going to take my inspection, but, at Carol’s urging, we took the bottom cover off to look inside.
As soon as the cover started to come away from the base, I immediately recognized that we were invading someone’s home. And he was still there. In skeleton form. Graphic images warning: if you want to view the corpse, click on the photo and zoom in to the lower right section of the sewing machine case.
The interior was packed with shredded plastic bags and bits of sparkly yarn from Christmas past. Not surprisingly, we also found that the wiring had been chewed. No wonder this machine sounded terrible! It’s a wonder the whole mess didn’t catch on fire!
I was sure glad I’d put down some newspaper before I opened it up! Gloves were immediately donned, and after I cleaned up the mess, I made sure to use several disinfectant wipes on the table and all of my tools, too!
Carol’s last machine turned out to be a Singer Quantum LE from the early 1990’s. It was in pretty nice shape, although it needs a new power cord. Of course, after the mouse nest, I completely forgot to take photos of the nice machine! Ha!
Carol’s going to take all of them to my OSMG (Old Sewing Machine Guy), Jerry, at Treasure Valley Sew n Vac. He used to work for the Singer Sewing Machine Co, and he specializes in vintage sewing machines. He can use the first two machines for parts, and he’ll service the Singer Quantum LE so Carol can use it for regular sewing while her new embroidery machine is hard at work. Jerry doesn’t work on the computerized parts of a machine, but he said he’s never had to on the Quantum, so I’m confident he’ll get it fixed up and sewing perfectly.
If you’re in the Boise area and have a machine you want serviced, call Jerry, he does a great job. His phone number is 208-870-8148. He’s a vendor at the Idaho Indoor Community Farmer’s Market at 4983 N. Glenwood, which is at the corner of Glenwood and Chinden. Several of the vendors there just moved from the Boise Flea Market at Cole and Barrister. The new venue has a lot more space, some new vendors and a different feel to the place.