Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I don't know why reading those words gives me such pleasure; probably because I have so few things made in Italy. 

This Necchi was given to us last winter.  I did some re-wiring on the light ( and found a motor in the South River stash.  For weeks this machine was sitting on the bench. I finally cleaned it all up and got it stitching.  Guess what?  I love it.  (It smells a bit musty but that is dissipating with time).

 The tension assembly is so classy.  No way did I take this one apart. 

 Basically, this is the same concept as other, end loading, oscillating, shuttles. (Is that an example of the Oxford comma? Is that even grammatically correct?)
 The race cover, however, can't get lost or dropped.  Very clever.
 I was falling in love and wondered if the feed dogs dropped.  I removed the slide plate and saw this. (Oh, I just love that this little piece is stamped "ITALY"

The presser foot pressure indicator is numbered on the face plate.  I am not sure that is all that convenient.  None of the Singers I use have numbered presser foot pressure.  I imagine it is like the tension assy, the number is arbitrary and useful if you need a reference; e.g. when you switch from one type of fabric to another and back again. 
 There is a little tab just above the spring that fits into the slot on the face plate.
 Not such a good shot.  I have dust in the lens.  New camera on the way today from B & H photo.
I used it yesterday.  I had some trouble with thread nests occurring intermittently.  I did all the usual fixes; new needle, wound a different bobbin, good thread.  Nothing helped until I changed from the large cone with the thread holder to a smaller spool on the machine itself.  WTF?  Why that would matter was beyond me.

I watched the thread as it came off the spool today.  When the thread unwound from the bottom, where the spool is wider, it would catch as it came off.  I could feel it when I pulled the thread off the spool.  I fixed that problem.  I turned the stupid spool upside down.  Now it works fine.  I have large cones of thread in neutral colors.  I want to use it up. Practice sewing is the perfect use for it.

Not many people want these old straight stitch machines.  That's why we have them.  I can see that this machine could be treadled.  It might be strong enough, perhaps as strong as my 15-90, to sew through multiple layers.  I may even try some FMQ.  The motor is fast enough. 


  1. What a pretty Necchi. I need to clean up my Supernova and see if it stitches. I have another Italian machine, too. It is cool to see 'Italy' stamped on the machines.

  2. I love my Necchi BU (the step-up from your BF) because it has more stitches--mostly I just use the straight stitch and the zigzag. I do treadle it. I've used an electric BF, and, yes, I've found it to be just as strong as my Singer 15-90 and 91. Great machines.
    I do love the way the feed dogs drop--and do love FMQ on them.

  3. It is a beautiful machine. You have done a terrific job. The Singer 237 you sold me is Made in Italy! I am still slaving away on the treadle cabinet and hate the way the Antique Oil finish is looking. Very dull and no shine. I just should have bought a really cherry looking treadle cabinet instead of all this. I love the way you can fix multiple brands of machines. You are my Sewing Machine Heroine!

    1. Shucks, Linda, you make me blush. I didn't really have to fix this machine. It just needed cleaning and lubricating.

  4. Is this the "BF"? Legendary Italian engineering, just like their racing cars! Lucky you.

  5. The modern Japanese Kenny's all have numbers on their presser foot mechanisms, from 1-4.
    It is usually inscribed on the post inside the collar.

  6. I love the BF and have wanted one for years. I do have a BC and it's definitely as strong as my 15-90. I don't know if anyone has told you in a while but I really appreciate the excellent pictures you provide your readers. You have a great eye for what you need to capture to correlate with your text. Thanks. I also want to thank you for taking the Kenmore brand seriously. They're my favorite machines and I've found they don't get a lot of respect.

  7. Very pretty Necchi. I have a BU and it is so quiet and smooth it is unbelievable. Only problem is it weighs a ton. Moving it from the shelf to the table is like weight lifting.