Bits & Pieces
Highlights of antique/ vintage toy sewing machines and notions etc.
Why collect toy sewing machines? For value, for the fond memories they evoke, for value or just for the fun of it? Whatever the reason, part of the fun is learning the history of these amazing little machines.
7-24-2021 Starting a Collection.
Have you fallen in love with toy sewing machines? I surely have. Are you wondering where to find them? Do they bring back memories from Childhood? For some they do. Then the big question, how do I start a collection? There are so many styles of toy sewing machines (tsm), differents ages, colors and rarity. Price, for some starting out is a big concern. There are many tsm on the market at low prices in great shape. But I would like to give you a couple of tips when choosing a tsm for yourself.
Take a moment to look over the machine carefully. Your excitement can cloud the absence of some more important details. Such as, the condition of the paint and decals. The loss of parts and dents not obvious to a new collector. Then there is RUST. If you don't mind, that's ok. If all you want is a toy for a decoration in your sewing room, all is good. But, if you're a serious collector, you must take all of these things into consideration first. Restoring a tsm in rough condition is no easy matter, so, learn what to look for: tension assembly, thread post, handle to turn wheel, thread guides, hook to make chain stitch, needle, paint, decals, and more. Have fun and good hunting.
This is a good example of a tsm in good shape but not perfect. The tension disks are missing, the needle is missing and there is a small amount of rust on the throat plate. The finger guard is bent, but fixable. The paint and decals are in good shape, the machine turns nicely. Not a bad find, if you know how to fix the little things.
5-3-2021 Stitchwell Toy Sewing Machine
The Stitchwell TSM was manufactured by the National Sewing Machine Co. The Company was located in Belvidere, Illinois, U.S.A. The featured Stitchwell TSM is a hand crank machine and was produced around 1920. Most Stitchwell TSM were black cast iron, with elegant stars and hexagon designs and a round throat plate. Ours came in a wooden shipping box. One note about the TSM is that there were many variations in the name on the same model of machine. You may find similar machines with the same decals but different names such as, Juvenile, Elizabeth, Lillian or Roberta. So if you see a similar machine with a different name on it, your right! It was produced by the National Sewing Machine Co.
"Toy and Miniature Sewing Machines", by Glenda Thomas pages 202 & 203.
3-17-2021 Buyer Be Aware?
Know which manufacturer has made the machine you are purchasing or collecting. I recently purchased a Model 1B Toy Sewing Machine manufactured by F. W. Muller, Berlin Germany. I had not seen one before and it was a little rusty. Later I saw another Muller model 1, for sale and it was in better shape, so I bought it. When the 2nd one arrived I put the two side by side and started to notice differences. They looked similar but not the same. I checked my collecting guide and found that the 2 machines were made by two different companies and sold about the same. See the pictures below: .
Model 1B manufactured by F.W. Muller
2nd Machine but, was manufactured by Casige, Gevelsberg Germany. Both machines have a Fiddle base, Front mount presser foot, Hand crank on the front and similar shape.
The difference would mainly be in the shape of the body and how the 2 machines are identified on the table.
Muller Model 1B is identified by a serial number.
The Casige is identified by a Made in Germany stamp.
So, before you buy, make sure the description of what you are after is the machine you are getting. I will.
I am increasingly interested in making my Toy Sewing Machines (TSM) stitch. The best way to ensure your TSM will stitch, is to know the parts of your model before you buy. Without all of the necessary parts, your TSM is just a cute expensive paperweight. Case in point, the Foley & Williams, Midget TSM. I purchased one before I new what it needed to make it stitch. The first machine I purchased looked great to me.
I then bought a second Midget, and noticed a few substantial differences. The first Midget was missing the spool pin, the center curled thread guide and the main center thread guide. The first Midget will not be able to sew unless parts are found to replace the missing one.
When you look at the second Midget you can see all necessary parts to make this machine Stitch!