Refurbishing a Vintage Sewing Machine was definitely a learning experience!
Can I say WOW? I’m actually super surprised that I was able to pull this restoration off. I’d been commenting to my boyfriend for ages about how much I needed to invest in an all metal machine, or even an industrial, when this Brother Charger 651 fell into my lap! I stumbled into it at a local thrift store for 25USD$ (~17£, 25AUS$) and when I verified it ran, it was purchased immediately.
I chronicled my experiences refurbishing a vintage sewing machine, start to finish, in my latest YouTube video. To be honest, I started at square one- absolutely no idea what I was doing and what to buy. There was a lot of conflicting information online about what works and doesn’t work, so I read, a lot. Please check out the resources links at the end of the post: if you’re taking on a refurbish and restoration, you want to make sure to eat up as much knowledge as you can! Each machine is different and if you’re working on an old Singer, there’ll be extra things to worry about (like the decals!)
The items I bought and talked about in my YouTube video are listed below. I’m sure a lot of these products are not available world wide, but do a quick Google search and you may be able to find counterparts in your area of the world.
Please don’t let refurbishing a vintage sewing machine freak you out! The process definitely is labor intensive, but not enough to stop me from doing the process again. Spend an hour or two a day plugging away at your sewing machine, scrubbing here and there, and it’ll be done in no time. And don’t skimp on taking it in for that final tune up! It was important to take it in to be seen by a professional before stitching to make sure the electrical components were good to go. I took my machine into Serge A Lot here in San Francisco and have nothing but good things to say about it!
Additional Reading Material + Resources:
How to Clean and Care For Your Older Sewing Machine
Pete Olson’s sewing machine restoration process. Bringing new life to an old Singer 301.
Cleaning and Lubricating a Machine Head
The Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog
Disclaimer: This post includes Amazon affiliate links :)