Vintage Sew-Rite Toy Sewing Machine

Just picked this little baby sewing machine up at a flea market this month! This little baby was priced just right, even if it didn't work I could display it and not feel like I paid too much.

Here's some before photos when I got the Sew-Rite home. It was a bit dusty with some paint chips, and I could tell right away that the thumb nut was missing from the tension assembly up top.

I tried to do a little research about the Sew-Rite, but this machine is a bit of a mystery.

I found one forum in which this machine was discussed as being manufactured by the Hamilton-Ross company in the 1950's, but couldn't find anything else to substantiate that information. I did find a downloadable manual for a very, very similar machine called the Essex Miniature Machine. With this manual I was able to figure out how to thread and work the Sew-Rite.

Here's pictures after I cleaned up the Sew-Rite, and with the help of a very patient Ace Hardware employee, I found a nut with some washers that work in place of the missing thumb nut.

I didn't have high hopes for this machine, as everything I read about the toy chain stitch machines is that they just didn't work that great and would not produce a good stitch.

Also, the needle size for this machine is super funky - it's very short, and I've not been able to locate any replacements. This is the original needle that came with the machine.

But despite the old needle and the funky altered tension nut, she DOES SEW! Chain stitch machines use just one thread instead of a top and bobbin thread. While the front looks like a normal stitch,

the back looks like a mini-chain, almost like a single row of crochet.

Here's a little video so you can see the Sew-Rite in action!


Your machine is made by the company that made my Betsy Ross chain stitch (mine sews, too). Congrats on your great find and getting it fixed up.
Excellent find Erika, for a vintage toy it still puts out a very nice stitch and is pretty quiet.
Erika Mulvenna said…
Thanks Joe! It is pretty quiet, I do love this little machine.
Anonymous said…
I understand the sewing needle size 24x1 fits many toy sewing machines including Betsy Ross and Sew-Rites.

PS. If you know some one who works with sheet brass as a hobby they may be will and able to made additional types of feed for the machine. I am hoping to get one of these machines myself for chain stitch embroidery (upside down) and will be making some extra feet for myself.

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