Friday, May 23, 2014

A New Vintage Sewing Machine . . . Housekeeper Deluxe

Today my neighbor let me know that her son didn't want the sewing machine that he had won at the auction. He thought he had been bidding on a treadle machine and it wasn't what he was looking for. So she asked me if I wanted the machine, if not they were trashing it.  I never turn down free sewing machines! Of course I said yes!

Here is a picture of it in its present condition . . .

Pretty dirty isn't it?

I noticed that the case, even though the top is broken, is made of wood.  That means that all that dirty, torn covering can be taken off and something new and pretty applied to the wood and the top glued back together. I am wondering what design should I put on the cover? Should I use fancy scrapbook paper or should I use really nicely designed fabric like a paisley.  I am looking for suggestions!

My neighbors son said that the machine works.  So that's a plus. He said the needle went up and down when he pressed on the peddle. But he never threaded it because he didn't know how. I needed to find a manual so that I could thread it and test it to see if it really works and has a good stitch.  So I went searching on the internet and found a company named "Sewing Manuals".

I was on their website for about an hour searching for this machine. The name on the machine is "Housekeeper Deluxe" Model 400.  I couldn't find a name for the manufacturer, just that it was made in Japan.

While I was searching the internet for manuals I read a lot of information about "badging" sewing machines. The machines were manufactured in one style over and over again, then sold to big retailer stores.  Several different names of stores or companies would be put on the machine.  Thus you could buy a "Housekeeper Deluxe" and it would be the same as a "White" sewing machine, but with a different name!

This machine is not a straight stitch, it has zig zag and cams for decorative stitching.  So with all this information in mind I went to Sewing Manuals online. As I stated before I spent a good hour trying to find the "Housekeeper Deluxe, Model 400".  No such thing!

 I remembered that they were essentially a "White" sewing machine and looked under "White".  They had dozens of machines!  Luckily, they put a picture of the sewing machine model next to the description.  That is what took so long. Looking at the different model pictures and comparing it to my sewing machine.

I finally found a picture that matched almost exactly.  The only difference was the upper arm thread guides in the picture were spring like curly cue type.  Mine were just straight flat pieces of metal with holes for the thread.  Everything else matched exactly. You can see the "flat upper arm thread guides" in the picture below. One is in back of the words "Push down to darn" and one in front. The dark square hole to the right of those words is where the cams are placed. The cover is laying to the right of the square hole.

I am so glad that I found this manual. Now I have the correct threading diagram, which is extremely important.  The machine came with one bobbin and no cams.  My next step is to find the correct bobbins for this machine. It does not say anything in the manual about size of bobbins. It only has the size of needles.

Here is a picture of the bobbin that came with the machine and the bobbin case. The bobbin case is inserted on the left side under the feed dogs in a sideways position. In the picture below you can see where you would insert the bobbin.

After I get the correct bobbins and clean the machine well, get the stitch correct and re-cover the carrying case, maybe I will look for the cams that go with the machine.

I will be posting more pictures of the progress that I make on getting this machine clean and nice looking.

If you need a manual for a sewing machine, I recommend that you go to this website.  They have hundreds of brands and models.