The last week or so I've been working on a project for the boyfriend, which meant I got to pull out one of my old beauties to sew on.
This is my hand crank Jones' Family C.S. Isn't she lovely?
This is one of the machines that he surprised me with a couple of years back after saving them from being scrapped. What I've been sewing this week involved using a heavier thread, which my Singer is horribly finicky about. Fortunately, the Jones copes just fine with them, so I get an excuse to use her! Actually, she does much better with a thicker thread. Years of sewing have worn a slight thread groove in the tension spring on the shuttle, so it doesn't put much (if any) tension on a modern polyester thread, which are much finer than old cotton threads were. Having just finished up my sewing, I thought I'd take the opportunity to get some photos of her. Enjoy! Please ignore the background detritus littering the table...
The text referring to Queen Alexandra dates her to somewhere around 1910-1915, as far as my searching has found so far. Unfortunately there is no longer any record of serial numbers to help with dating like there is with Singer machines.
The bobbin winders on these machines are truly things of simple engineering beauty. The rubber tyre rests against the flywheel. As you crank it, it rotates the bobbin in the winder. Simultaneously, the worm gear drives the geared steel wheel: the heart shaped cam attached to it pushes the thread guide arm from side to side, feeding the thread evenly along the length of the bobbin. It's a really relaxing thing to watch.
The back is just as highly decorated as the front, with "English Made" proudly emblazoned amidst the decals. These machines are still fairly easy to find in the UK, though the non-standard round shank needles are sadly not. I have 9 left.
And in case you were wondering what exactly I've been sewing, here is a little sneaky peek. You'll have to wait a little while for full photos. I'll be very surprised if any of you can guess what it is!