I knew it – leaving sewing machines alone with the lights off is dodgy!
Meet the latest addition: late 1950s Japanese Micro Elite. A very real lockstitch sewing machine, and not at all a toy – it will sew right through your finger like the big ones. It does straight stitch with reverse, is a vertical rotary, uses an industrial shuttle, bobbins and DBx1 needles and standard low shank feet. It’s got a 60W 0.3A motor, which works out very powerful indeed for such a little thing with low inertia. It can sew denim and leather like a cotton handkerchief. Bravo!
It folds up its work table for transport in its dainty little case with silver piping!
This also allows easy access to the bobbin – or otherwise you could just turn over the whole machine. 🙂
I’ve had a Singer 221K Featherweight before, but I didn’t keep it because the motor seemed a bit anemic, the bobbins were uncommon and fairly expensive, and the bobbin case cost more than the whole machine… And I like to keep several bobbin cases for different types of thread. But of course the Featherweight is quite a bit bigger than Micro Elite – if the Featherweight is a 1/2 size machine, then Micro Elite is a 1/4 size one: bed length 9.5″ versus 7″, needle to column 5″ versus 3.75″, arm height 4″ versus 2.75″. In fact, these measurements are very close to those of Essex the chain stitcher (see my post on harp space for details on measurements of these and many other machines).