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.

Unknown said…
I acquired one of these machines and it takes off running at high speed as soon as it's plugged in. Does it have an on off switch? Mine did not come with a foot pedal. Is that how it's controlled?
Erika Mulvenna said…
Hey there "unknown" and thanks for stopping by! I see you also have one of these little toy sewing machines. My machine does not have an on/off switch, and the foot pedal was included when I purchased it. Yes, it does seem like the foot pedal does control the speed of the machine. Best of luck to you! - Erika
Unknown said…
I just bought a SewRite sewing machine.
Can you explain the bobbin area? How does it work?
Is there a bobbin?
Size of needle?
Is there an owner's manual
Erika Mulvenna said…
Hi Unknown, thanks for checking out my blog. As mentioned in my post, I used a manual from a different buy similar toy sewing machine to figure it out, you can find that link here:

There is not a bobbin, but a circulating hook that forms the chain stitch from the single thread. Best of luck! - Erika

Erika's Top Trending Posts: