Yup, I officially have a problem

Look what followed me home...

Hello, my name is Tanit-Isis, and I have a thrift-store sewing machine problem. I made it one whole week without buying a machine.

The evil masterminds at Value Village had this out to tempt me. What really put it over the top is the little box of accessories—hemmers! binders! RUFFLERS! not shown in the picture because it was in my hot little hands waiting to be pawed through. Also, it has its bobbin-case and everything in place.

Wish me luck. The motor runs and things go up and down, but I’m not convinced I can even thread this one. I’ve found threading diagrams for older Domestic models but none exactly like this.

Tyo has dubbed it the “Army Sewing Machine,” and despite giving me well-deserved crap when I showed it to her, spent the rest of the evening opening it up and cleaning it out. Perhaps I can train her to be my very own personal sewing machine mechanic?

I got a new bobbin case for the White, as well. I’ll give an update on her pretty soon.

This has to stop. Now.

Unless a nearly-new, fully-functional serger or coverstitch shows up, anyway…



Filed under Sewing

58 responses to “Yup, I officially have a problem

  1. That machine should not be a problem to thread. The tension is on the side, right? You might want to look at a Singer 15-91 thread diagram, which should help. Email me if you can’t figure it. Lovely machine!

    • Thanks, Peter! Yeah, it’s on the end, as is the up-and-down-arm thingy (oooh, my technical terminology!). I’ve never dealt with a screw-type tension adjustment, either. I will totally hunt down a diagram for Singer 15-19.

  2. It’s SO cute! Dammit, why aren’t there any thrift stores on my way home? Seriously!

  3. Beangirl

    um… but that’s pretty much AWESOME. Nobody ever has junk like this around here. Ever.

  4. OH MY GOD! join a program!

  5. Ha ha! This doesn’t seem like the worst addiction a person could have… πŸ˜‰

  6. I think you might be heading into storage problem. πŸ˜‰

  7. Michelle Jadaa

    well its great when they go to a good home,wish every machine came with a written history…..i imagine when and why it was purchased and what wonderful things did it create….wouldnt that be fun:)

  8. I’d categorize this on par with a shoe addiction. A girl can never have too many! Love the green.

  9. But at least you’re giving them a good home! πŸ˜‰ I’ve had to restrain myself lately because I’ve seen some real beauties in the thrift shops, but have barely enough room to fit the two sewing machines and serger in my sewing corner. Boo-hoo! :/

  10. Sewista Fashionista

    Have fun with the new machine! If I saw a functioning serger at the thrift store I would so go bonkers! I actually have a daydream where a sewing angel senses my need and bestows upon me a brand new deluxe serger. I keep waiting but it is looking like I will need cold hard cash. Alas, (sigh.)

  11. Oh that one is just cuteness! No wonder you couldn’t leave it there.

  12. Haahahahaahah! You’re as bad as me I swear :)!
    Oh, I’ve just downloaded the free 15-91 manual & emailed it to you hun :)! Threading guide is on page 14 onwards.

    P.S. I managed to smuggle home from work my handcrank Singer last week without hubby seeing (he got home later than me so i was being sneaky!) He doesn’t know I bought her back in February yet opps!) She’s hidden in the loft under a cover for disguise in case he pops up there (P.S. She was a heavy *ugger to get up the ladder to the loft too!!).

    • Oh, thank you! You’re an internet angel of mercy ;).

      I am laughing at your illicit sewing machine purchases. You know you have a problem when you have to start hiding it, right? (I was SO wishing I hadn’t told Tyo about it when I picked her up from dance… I could probably have smuggled it in without my hubs noticing.)

  13. So that’s why people have children…so that they have free sewing machine cleaner uppers!

    I think sewing machines should be like school textbooks, where there’s a little form where you fill out what year you used it and what condition it was in…how awesome would that be for sewists down the line!

  14. I can’t help but think of Peter every time I see a thrifted machine, and look, he’s the first to comment!!
    Have fun with your new toy! I confess that I bought one this week too – a 1958 Elna Supermatic!

  15. What a sexy little number! Love the color! Once you have the needle in, it should be pretty easy to figure out which way the thread goes. Hopefully it’s not bass-ackward like my Singer 301 where you thread the needle from right to left…..

    • So my Featherweight has the needle that threads right to left. To confuse things in this machine, the needle fits in the holder the same way as the Featherweight, but has to be threaded from left to right. I may have to make little notebooks for all these pesky details!

  16. It’s a beauty though. I had started a problem like that, but soon got over it. Unless perhaps I was to see an overhauled vintage bernina – a machine I want so bad I could cry. That lovely green beats all.

  17. Beautiful color! I’d have bought it too…

  18. Ohh, it’s great. You need a machine for all members of the family right? And I’m sure it was worth it just for the accessories.

    • Yes, now the kids and I can all sew stuff at the same time! (Now I need more sewing room chairs…)

      I just spent some time playing with the accessories. Some holes in my accessories repertoire have definitely been filled! But I still need a flat-fell foot, for sure. (Also, this machine has the weirdest attachment for its feet I’ve ever seen. So the accessories are only good on it.)

  19. I don’t have a sewing machine problem, but if our thrift stores ever got sergers or overstitch machines…..I’d be in trouble!

    The Army Machine is an excellent name. That’s a cute little machine, I’ll be interested in hearing if you can get all the accessories to work!

    • So far, so good… most of the hemmers work except for the really narrow rolled hem; the ruffler works quite well as long as the fabric’s thin (for ruffles AND tucks). There are some I need to investigate a bit further (something called a shirring plate?). I haven’t tried the zipper foot or gathering foot, but those ones tend to be fairly basic in my experience.

  20. Daughter as sewing machine mechanic is brilliant! Just remember that kids grow up and leave home. She’ll still visit, though πŸ™‚

    That machine is very…green. lol Nice find!

    • LOL! Yeah, hubs and I keep looking at each other and saying we’re “over the hump” with Tyo—potentially fewer future years of her at home than we’ve already done. Crazy!

      It is very green.

  21. Sigrid’s comment on a machine for everyone had me imagining you all working away at a bank of sewing machines in your sewing room …. wow!

    • It’s a possibility… although the kids are a bit hesitant about the vintage machines for some reason. Kinda silly, really, since I think they’re much more likely to break the modern Janome.

  22. Blue AND green. πŸ™‚ What a colorful, pretty sewing room you must have.

  23. Hey! If you get a red one next, then along with the blue + green + red = the technicolour trio oui ? πŸ™‚

  24. What an absolutely gorgeous machine! Love the colour! There must be some latent ‘collecting’ gene, that is finally expressing itself. At least sewing machines take up less space than rocking chairs or side-boards, but they are a bit bulkier than kerosene lamps. I can imagine your own little ‘sweatshop’ with your kids hunched over their machines.

    • Of course there is! You have no idea how hard I fight The Hoarding most of the time (being a poor student helps…) At least I don’t have any full cabinet machines yet… (you should warn Grandma I’m gunning for her treadle πŸ˜‰ )

      I definitely need some more seating so that the kids and I can both sew at the same time…

      • Which Grandma, and which of your Great-grand-mothers’ treadles are we talking about. I am sure there are a couple stashed at the farm.

        • Well, I’m pretty sure Dad’s mom has long since disposed of any that she might ever have had (she still has her cabinet machine, though, though I don’t think she uses it any more).

          When I am no longer moving every two or three years I would love to acquire a (functioning) treadle… which one I have no idea as I don’t think I’ve seen either of your ancestral ones. πŸ˜‰

  25. At least no one died and left it to you… (good grief that running joke has to stop. I have the most inappropriate sense of humor ever)

  26. Pingback: All Machines All the Time (Part 2) | Tanit-Isis Sews

  27. Cara

    Hi Tanit-Isis, I just bought the exact same green Domestic Special machine in an online auction for $16.27! It needs a new “motor drive pulley wheel” (the one that goes from the motor and drives the large hand wheel/flywheel). I’ll try to find one through sewingpartsonline.com BUT I don’t even know what the model number is for this machine! Do you know? Thanks!!

  28. Karl

    I just purchased a Domestic Special aka “Army Machine” for $5 it needs some TLC and am looking for a manual. Can you help? Thank you.

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