Vintage sewing machine

Mark, his Mum, and I went to New Norfolk in Tasmania and had coffee in a little shop that was tricked out with vintage everything. We sat on retro sofas surrounded by fabulous “props”. Just for interest, I’m wearing the Calvin Klein top I wrote about in my last post.IMG_4610

Anyway, one of the things in the shop was this glorious little sewing machine. I hunted around on it to see if there was a price tag, but sadly no. I loved the colour, and instantly decided that I was going to find one, come hell or high water. I needed a sewing machine to leave at my Mother-in-Law’s house for me to use when I visited. IMG_4609Fast forward a couple of days and I’ve got a new, old, sewing machine, and I’ve named her Alberta. She was Mark’s Aunt Fay’s machine and was bought in 1958 and generously given to me this week – how stunningly lucky am I??  Aunt Fay was a tailoress back in the day and this machine has been immaculately maintained.

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Note the colour? A bit less turquoise and slightly more duck egg blue. This is an H G Palmer  Princess sewing machine and research shows that it is a generic sewing machine made in Japan and sold everywhere under different brand names. This one was badged by the H G Palmer department store in Sydney. The electrical components are Australian, apparently.

There are some lovely elements to this machine, apart from the colour. For instance, look at the light – how cool is that?

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The machine hasn’t been used for years and years, so I ducked down to the shops and bought some sewing machine oil and set about cleaning and oiling it. I downloaded the manual from the inter webs so I knew which parts needed oil (lots of them, apparently).

Not unexpectedly, there aren’t too many tools with the machine so I needed a brush. Cue Mark’s Mum’s pastry brush – perfect and she assured me it wasn’t used for anything to do with cooking! Look at how little dust or lint there is in this machine!!

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Once we cleaned it (and that’s Mark’s hand BTW), it just purred along. It sounded much better and I managed to find a stray piece of thread caught in the bobbin case which may have caused a problem or two with the sewing. Interestingly, the bobbin system is identical to the Bernina so I felt really comfortable with taking it all apart for cleaning.

It’s a zigzag machine, and there are cams that give different zig zag patterns. The machine also came with a variety of feet and a collection of bobbins. The case looks brand new, which is really unusual. All the ones I’ve seen on the internet have been really beaten up.

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The attachments come in these really cool little boxes, which are duck egg blue plastic. FullSizeRender

I was overjoyed to see this needle threader. How cute is this, and what’s more, it works!!IMG_4653

A last look at this beautiful machine. I’ve already made a couple of tiny little things on it, and done an alteration for MIL.IMG_4655

Fadanista

37 thoughts on “Vintage sewing machine

  1. What a beauty! People really took good care of their things at that time. How lucky you are to inherit it! With your ever expanding collection of sewing related machines and tools, you could open a Sewing Museum in Perth. And since you’re also lucky to live in a buzzing crafting community, you would have great success and help!

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  2. That looks like a well made sewing machine that should sew over anything you can fit under the presser foot. I have a similar Japanese machine made in the 1960’s, and I was very impressed with how well made it is. The only thing I found a bit disconcerting is that it will only straight stitch with the needle to the left.

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  3. Thank you for posting the link to the instructions. Saved me searching too much. Yours popped up in an image search I did to prompt my memory, as mine is in storage, and requires a little attention to the electrics in the pedal ( I think )
    I was lucky enough to pick up an old singer 201 in working order, which has prompted me to look into the HG Palmer Princess I have. Looking to expand my capabilities with the princess. Again, thanks for the link. N.

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  4. If anyone is looking for the electric blue H G Palmer Sewing Machine Manual, the straight stitch model (which is the same as that Victor machine you wanted to buy, above), the Morse sewing machine is exactly the same and you can download this manual for free at …
    https://tinkerbeth2.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/morse1.pdf

    If you are looking for a video on how to thread this machine and the bobbin, then you can find how to do that on youtube here, using a machine that is basically the same, just with a different badge name …

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  5. Hi
    I have picked up the same machine today from the recycling centre. It has the attachments box and the box with the 18 cams too. The machine is in excellent condition the cover is a bit worse for wear. I have also found the orginal machine manual. I believe that this machine was donated from a deceased estate and donated by the family. My good luck and a bargain price.
    Rosemary Ormeau Qld

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  6. Hi I am cleaning out my mum in laws home and have come across a h g palmer princess sewing machine. Should we be holding on to this sewing machine. It’s an amazing looking sewing machine, but needs a little tlc

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    1. If it has all the attachments then yes, hang on to it. They sew so beautifully and are really well built. They aren’t worth a lot of money so the sentimental value is more. I love mine!

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      1. Hi
        Isnt it funny I have the same machine and so does one of my friends. Didn’t realise there were still so many in good condition around. I heard they are selling for around $250 or so. Im keeping mine and using it.

        Enjoy using it.
        Rosemary

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  7. Nice machine Fadanista, unfortunately I do not have any cams for my HG Palmer , not that they are essential , it is a lovely machine, hang on to it , the value of it will increase year by year, I have another HG Palmer will try and send you photo, good luck , David.

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