The Free Motion Quilting Project: Playing with a Miniature Sewing Machine

Monday, April 18, 2016

Playing with a Miniature Sewing Machine

Miniature machine? Really? Yes, indeed! I've been playing with my vintage Essex Miniature Sewing Machine this weekend and stitching small pieces together and enjoying the feel of hand cranking out every stitch.


This little machine was built after World War 2 when sewing machines were in huge demand, but very short supply. Even though it's super tiny, this sewing machine was built for an adult to use and sew and mend clothing. See how it works in this short video:



I found my little Essex on Ebay and when purchasing it, I specifically looked for a vintage toy machine with a case and all tools included. Machines like this often have a guide that screws onto the surface of the machine and a clamp to secure it to your table top. Because the machine is so small, it will tend to shift around on the table so the clamp is really important.

I love taking this little machine on trips because I don't need to worry about a power cord or foot pedal. I store the machine in it's case with a little project ready to stitch so it's easy to pop it into the car and be ready to stitch something fun on the road.

Do you own a hand crank sewing machine? Do you like vintage machines or prefer newer machines with more features? Feel free to ask me any questions about this vintage Essex machine and I'll try my best to answer in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

7 comments:

  1. Hi, I saw one last week in a charity shop (thrift shop) in the UK! A clamp and a manual but no case and no attachment for the bed of the machine. £20. I tried to be good and didn't buy it. Now I wish I had!

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    1. See if you can go back and get it! When it comes to machines I'm a terrible enabler!

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  2. What a gorgeous little machine. I have three vintage toy Singers which also chain stitch. They all sew well, but I've never really used them. I really should, especially when on holidays. I'm a huge fan of vintage machines, they are so reliable if cared for well and I do regularly use my larger old Singers for that reason.

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    1. Yes, you definitely should get them out and play! These machines were built to last and the parts are so simple that even if something did break you could easily replace it. Get them out and just play!

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  3. As a kid, I had a small singer that had a hand crank and sewed a chain stitch. I made all my doll clothes with it! Loved it - AND my Mom saved it so I still have it. Wonder where I could get needles for it.

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    1. You can still find needles for many of these older machines. I also have a Singer 20 which took size 24 needles and I was able to find them still produced by Organ through a seller on Amazon. Just do some searches to find what size needles you will need so you get the right thing.

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