Friday, March 9, 2012

Use It or Lose It: Singer 99-13

I'm looking at machine #6 in my sewing machine inventory today, and this 1934 Singer 99-13 is near and dear to my heart. This is the first vintage machine I ever bought, found in a Southern Illinois thrift store sometime around 1990.

The 99's are a 3/4 sized machine, basically a mini-version of the 66, and this model was one of the first sewing machines advertised to be totally "portable." Although at about 25 lbs in the case, it's not quite as portable as a modern lightweight machine or even a featherweight.

Since this is a "portable" machine, it has an ingenious way of storing all of the extras. Inside the wooden case is a space for the attachment box and a place for a metal bar shaped like a question mark.

The metal bar is a knee control, attaching to the front of the wooden base and taking the place of a foot control! It is a pretty cool way to sew, no chasing after a foot as it walks away from you on the floor. This machine really does sew wonderfully, I have always enjoyed sewing with it. I set it up last week and have been doing a little bit of piecing on it, enjoying every stitch.

It really is a pretty little machine. I was drawn to it esthetically when I bought it, and then after sewing with it I completely fell in love. This machine is the reason I continued to purchase vintage sewing machines, because I knew they just didn't make them like this any more.

The only thing I'm doing to this baby is adding some small metal handles to the base to make it easier for me to lift and carry. After I added handles to the wooden base of the 15-30, I couldn't believe I ever repeatedly lifted machines without adding them sooner!

I'm planning on sewing on her again tonight before moving on to the next machine in my inventory - which will be whatever machine I grab off the shelf next!

To see some of the other machines in my collection, you can click on the links below. Happy stitching!

#3, #4, and #5: 1922 Singer 66, C.1900 Vibrating Shuttle, and Singer 114K103
#2. 1919 Singer 128
#1. 1901 Singer 15-30 Custom


Michelle said...

I have this machine too, only the electrical stuff on mine was not in good shape,and it was missing the knee control, so I stripped the electrical transformer out of the case, took off the motor, and added a hand crank kit. I love it! I have another 99, which is newer, since it has the reverse lever, and I put a handcrank kit on that as well. They are just SEW CUTE! I have a Singer Spartan too, still with the electrics. I just love those 3/4 size machines!!!

To see my 66-13, go here:

Sarah said...

I just love seeing your sewing machines! Maybe I can twist your arm to bring one to the retreat so I can play with it a little bit!

JustPam said...

I have one of these, but when I got it, I was getting a "new" one too frequently to keep up with them. I haven't taken it apart to clean and lube it yet. I didn't realize that some had the knee control. How cool is that on a portable machine! I am sure mine doesn't. My favorite is the 301. It just purrs and makes such a perfect stitch.

emedoodle said...

This is a beautiful machine! I love seeing what you do with them too! :)

Khadija said...

I just receive a machine that looks just like this one i'm so excited!
It will be my first machine! I hope it only need to be cleaned an oiled! How I know which model and year is exactly?

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Hi Khadija, congrats on your new vintage Singer! You can check the serial number on the machine, usually stamped into the metal on the front right side of the bed. There are Singer dating chards posted at the ISMACS website (International Sewing Machine Collectors Society), you can look there to find the model and year your machine was made.

Khadija said...

Thanks So Much! Accordin to the ISMCS web, if I understand well it's from 1007!!! Tread it today and tried to sew in it but it seems to be lacking bobbin and bobbin case...

Kayla Britton said...

I was given this exact machine any idea where I can purchase a knee bracket as too I do not have one it is missing ;(

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Hi Kayla, I've not seen new replacement ones for sale, have you checked on eBay for the knee controller?