Thursday, December 22, 2011
Yesterday I installed this old Necchi in one of my two treadle tables. I've been oiling it and working to get it unfrozen off and on for several months.
This machine had been sitting in someone's dusty garage for several years. It belonged to her grandmother, and she wasn't quite sure how it had come into her possession. She herself had purchased one of those very, very expensive Berninas, but she knew these Necchis had great reputations. They certainly do. In fact, they are such great machines that they should never have the misadventures this poor machine has experienced.
However, this very fine piece of post WWII Italian engineering was stripped from its cabinet. The foot control was lost. The bobbin case was lost. The control into which the light and the motor is plugged was lost. The broken needle was left in the machine, however; no idea why, since so much else had been stripped.
Over the months since it was carried into my home, I oiled, and oiled, and got the parts moving. Thanks to others who appreciate Necchi machines, I was able to get it loosened, and even got the zig-zag mechanism moving.
Last weekend I borrowed an electric drill so I could ream the mounting holes on the machine to 9/32" so they would fit into a Singer treadle cabinet. (Broke one drill bit, no idea how, and had to wait until I could get to Albuquerque to buy another bit--the local hardware store was closed for the weekend.) I also had to purchase a new-used bobbin case and a treadle belt. Usually each machine needs its own belt since, more often than not, each machine has its own distance to the treadle wheel.
After more fiddling than usual, it was in its temporary treadle home so for the first time I could check it out with real sewing. Unfortunately, I can not get it to stitch with true zero stitch width. I'm hoping some of the members of the Necchi Sewing Club, who possess much greater knowledge than I, can help me get the stitch width back to doing what it says it should do. I'll also need to adjust upper thread tension, as well as tension on the used bobbin case purchased from Ryan.
I really need to get to some quilting and binding today--another storm moving in with maybe only 6-12" this time. [It's true that we are all now scoffing at our gullibility when we were assured that a La Nina year would mean very little precipitation!] I've decided to take my other Necchi BU out of the 1919 treadle and put it in the 1936 treadle--and shift the 1936 Singer 15-88 to the 1919 irons and use it for piecing so I can quilt with the Necchi BU that works in irons that work more smoothly. Of course, the downside is that these machines are very heavy.
The upside is that I have countless quilts I want to work on.
Happy quilting. Happy Christmas!