Monday, November 18, 2013

Singer 115

(Note the color of thread sitting on the spool pin.) Yesterday I went to Betsy's to sew.  I wanted to take one of my machines.  She has plenty, no worries there.    I just thought it would be fun to play with this darling little, albeit worn, hand crank.  (I had it out to wind a bobbin for the 306.  I had removed its BW to reduce interference with the coil spring belt.  Works great.  Same bobbins.  I am so stinking clever to have thought of that.)

I packed the 115 up and trekked on over to Betsy's for our Sewing on Sundays session.  I wanted to make a vintage apron using an old one Betsy had as a pattern.   I found some nice vintage type fabric in her stash. The pattern calls for bias tape as accent and to finish the edge.  I made the bias tape myself.  True I had to refer to instructions found on the WWW.   Mostly to remind myself how it is done.  (Ahem)  The red check fabric is perfect.
I wound up a bobbin and was all set to go.  I love to wind a bobbin with this type of winder.  It is just so much fun to watch.   
I popped the bobbin in the shuttle and threaded up the machine and tested the stitch.  AWFUL.  The only way to get any kind of stitch at all was to wind the top tension ALL THE WAY DOWN to its tightest setting.  It would skip stitches and generally misbehave. 

The bobbin case seemed to have quite a bit of play when in the shuttle and I wondered if I was missing a part.  Tonight I looked at some photos that I took when I serviced the machine and looked at the machine itself.  Everything looked exactly the same. 
 I threaded the machine with some handy blue thread and popped a bobbin of yellow thread in the bobbin case and VOILA, perfect stitch.  So I put the red thread in again.  AAAKKKKK.  Terrible stitch.  Just to be sure, I tried the blue and yellow combo one more time.Again, it made a very nice stitch but with a wobble or two here and there on the underside. 

Out came the needle and sure enough, rough tip aka BOB (Big Old Burr).

It's late.  I'm tired.  I don't know what it is about red thread and this machine. I am not going to fuss with it anymore right now.   Fortunately I can finish the apron project on the 306K.  It isn't so fussy. (I had to put the motor back on the 306.  That noise from the coil spring belt drove me up the wall).

I am relieved, though.  I was a bit worried that my little 115 was a goner.  WHEW.  It is just so adorable and I love the bobbin winder.


  1. This is my treadle machine! I have to say, it is trouble free. It is what I do all of my crumb/scrap quilting on. It sat for about 40 years without being used and was just dry and dusty inside. I can't imagine why the red thread issue. What kind of thread is it? The hand crank version is lovely. I have not been able to master cutting bias binding. Can't wait to see the vintage apron.

  2. I have a 15-91 clone that DOES NOT like big spools of thread (or they way that the thread is wrapped on the spool)...have to use bobbins for upper thread.

  3. What no photos of the apron??

  4. It IS very cute - I'd be interested in more photos too!

  5. Did you get a good stitch before you worked on the machine? I'm just wondering.. I have two 115's that have their original bobbin cases. They look very similar to pictures I've seen of the "new-style" ones that you can order, BUT the originals don't have the squiggly-tail thread guide that yours and the newer ones do. Wonder if that somehow influences the stitches. Hoping that you can work on it to get a good stitch with the new-style bobbin case because one of my "originals" is pretty worn.

    1. I am pretty sure that the problem was the needle. Someday soon I will check on it with a new needle.