My Sewing Machines - and sites for identifying machines

I didn't mean to start collecting sewing machines, and I don't think I have a collection as such, but I do have a few machines and I would like to collect a few more ... so we will see how this goes.


My first sewing experience was on my mum's Singer sewing machine when I was about 10 years old. I'm not sure what I made, probably something for my doll.  I don't know what happened to that machine, will need to ask my sister 😔.


Next, as a married lady, I was loaned my grandmother's singer machine. As a teenager I used this machine to do my home economics 'homework' and recall making a beautiful pink baby dress for my cousin's new baby Emma. Anyway, as a married lady I had use of my grandma's sewing machine and made mostly clothes for our girls. When hubby bought me a compact Elna sewing machine, I gave my grandma's machine back to my Aunty, who owned it.

Elna Lotus SP

I call her Effy - no idea why!
A friend of ours bought a new machine and was selling her little Elna Lotus SP so my hubby bought it for me. This was about 1985. I have no idea what he paid for it, but it wouldn't have been much.
Elna Lotus SP was designed by Marcel Fresard and was made in Switzerland from 1968 to 1978. It was the first compact sewing machine made and it opened up from the top and three sides, hence the name Lotus.  It was the first machine to have its own built in carry case and had the accessories stored in the top. SP stands for SPECIAL as it came with 4 stitches - straight,  zigzag,  buttonhole,  and blind stitch.
Other Lotus models are Lotus EC -economy straight stitch,  Lotus ZEALAND -zigzag,  and Lotus TOP. 

The Elna Lotus SP is on permanent display in MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York.

I have used it so much that the enamel is coming off on the sewing bed.
It is living in our caravan and travels Australia with us. I have made many quilts and patchwork with it. Such a great little machine.

Husqvarna Rose Quilting Machine

I call her Haley Rose - I have always loved the name Haley (but married a Hale!!)
Peter chose and purchased this machine for me for Mother's Day 1998, I may or may not have purchased this if it was my choice. That being said, I do like it and it is my main machine. It has a larger area for quilting and is very reliable. I have used the embroidery component, but the software component let me down. It was quickly out of date, and despite much communication with Husqvarna the only solution was to purchase an upgrade at a cost of over $1 200, so I purchased a Janome Embroidery Machine for not much more. I was very disappointed with Husqvarna at the time, but I've moved on and only use it my Rose for patchwork, quilting and repairs. 

AEG 11220 Machine

I named her Alice E. G. (example) - just for fun :)

Janome Embroidery Machine

I call her Ji-Min - which is Korean meaning Ji -intelligent and Min - quick, clever, sharp.
I purchased this to replace the embroidery function on my Husqvarna. 
I'll write more later ...

Singer Treadle Machine

 I call her Claudia - after the lady I purchased her from.
I have always wanted an old treadle machine. I am in VSM (Vintage Sewing Machine) FB group and love looking at the machines that others have restored. Now it is my turn. Today - 26 April 2016 - I purchased my first VSM. I am so excited and can't wait to bring it home tomorrow. Of course, I will spend the next few weeks researching it and finding out all about it. It was advertised as a 1927 machine, but I have my doubts as I think there are so many inconsistencies, but of course I am definitely not an expert, so researching will be fun - I hope.

First job is to clean, so I need to look up the best way to do this.
Our Handmade Home has some good ideas.

So, what do I know, and what have I found out:
*My machine has a fiddle base
-The 'fiddle' shaped base was phased out about 1891 (or 1895 - depending on the web page), as was the big Singer Logo cast under the machine.

*It is model VS2 - Vibrating Shuttle, and one of domestic machines, I think.
Singer did not have the model number anywhere on the machine, so I am only guessing what it is from what others have said / written. I posted a query on a FB Vintage Machine page and a reply was the first model 27 type machine was a VS2 on a fiddle base - that's what I have. It was replaced with model 27 on a rectangle base, and later became 127. So I have the older style VS2. It is a full sized machine, 35-38cm. It a circular chrome stitch plate covering the feed dogs and 2 split chrome slide plates that run from back to front that covers the shuttle mechanism. VS2 was introduced in 1887.

*The faceplate is plain.
The faceplate on early models were polished plain plates, while older models are embossed with a ‘grapevine’ pattern. I will have to look up dates to see when this changed.
*I think the decals are the Victorian design.
Most of the decals I see on VSM are very ornate. I now can easily recognise the Sphinx and Lotus designs. Apparently Singer did not name their decals, it is the collectors that have named them.

*My cabinet is a five drawer table with a coffin case
These were made from 1895. It has the Singer badge on the sides.

*serial number 10 033 684
Singer dates 9 810 000 - 10 629 999 as 1891.
Singer Sewing Machine Models dates a machine 10356980 as April 1891.
If that is true mine must be early 1891.

1893 Model 27
Great selection of photos here and here .
Complete Singer 27 Attachment Manual

Some web sites for identifying sewing machine
Sewalot by Alex I Askaroff
Old Singer Sewing Machines

My Wish List
Old Treadle Machine - see above :)

1890 Singer - hand cranked
1898 Sphinx Model 27 -