Saturday, March 02, 2013

New Home Model U Adventures!

This is the hand crank machine that came home with me from Georgia last week – I found this one in Braselton, off of I-85.  If you have a chance to wander, Braselton has 3 really great antique malls to wander through!

I have never used one with this kind of tensioner before –called a “leaf” tensioner ---but because ALL the parts were there, and the booth was having a sale marked 10% off on EVERYTHING  this little beauty came home with me for a whopping $67.50.  I couldn’t leave it there for $67.50, could  YOU!?

The “badge” says New National….but if you look at the machine bed you will find a gorgeous decal of a greyhound sporting the words “New Home”.

This is a New Home machine!

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I dated the serial number and found this machine to be made in 1925.  I would have guessed it to be older, so remember looks can be decieving!

When I first spotted it and gave it a quick assessment, I found that it moved pretty well, although quite sticky after who knows how many years of un-use, and very importantly ---all parts were there.  Often on these top-tension machines, the metal tension plate will be gone, unscrewed by some un-knowing person and lost ----and the shuttle and bobbin were in place.  Miracles!

I felt that even though I am unfamiliar with how the threading of this beauty would work, that with some help from my vintage machine friends, we could get this sweet thing up and running.

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She’s got class, she’s got style!

And pink thread to show how the threading goes…

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Leaf tensioner

In the words of the manual I was able to print off: 
Threading the Machine and Needle:

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Put the spool of thread upon the spool pin, then with the left hand catch the thread in the slot and draw up between the spring and cap toward the needle bar. 

Then under the spring eyelet and up through the slot in the needle bar down back of the staple—

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then with the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, catch the thread in the center of the staple and draw toward you around the hook of the take up, then down through the eye of the needle from left to right, leaving about four inches of thread free.

((Is this not the weirdest threading set up you’ve ever seen?!))

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Test sewing!

I have no idea how old the thread on the bobbin was.  OLD.  And navy blue or black.  The shuttle had way too much tension on the thread, so I had to monkey with the screw on the shuttle a bit ….lefty loosey, righty tighty…..and also with the tension on that top leaf tensioner to get things balanced.

On any machine, I always start out with two different colors of thread…one top, one bottom – so I can TELL what is really going on with the tension.

Also – this needle is VERY VERY dull!  It’s the one that came with the machine.  I had tried swapping out for a “regular” new needle, but it won’t pick up bobbin thread – the needles are just that much different between the old new homes and new "standard" needles, so back in went the dull needle.  I’ll have to order some.

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Here the tension is prefectly balanced.  What you see as “black spots” is actually just showing through the holes the needle made…the threads are locked between the layers of cloth and I can not feel “bumps” on either side of the work.

We really CAN learn something new every day!

And you have to read the paragraph that was at the front of the manual…..

“We cannot urge you too strongly to read this booklet carefully. 
Do not attempt to run the machine until you have followed thoroughly all of the directions for winding the bobbin, threading the shuttle, etc, so that you are certain that the machine is properly threaded for sewing. 
Remember that a little time given to the study of instructions before commencing to use the machine will be found to be of great advantage.  Anyone can learn to use this machine.  It is simple in construction and requires so little change for any kind of work that its operation can easily be understood. 
Attention to the instructions and a little practice will enable anyone to successfully use the machine.  Do not attempt to use the attachments until you can manage the machine with ease on plain sewing.  If at any time the machine fails to do its work promptly refer to the instruction book.”
Love it!

Have a great Saturday everyone --- oh, don’t forget the Saturday Yardsale going on over at Coloradolady!  I was going to list some things, but we are out on an adventure today up into the blue ridge --- gonna go tromp through the snow!


  1. You were right, I would have had to buy that machine also! How beautiful!

  2. Hello Bonnie,

    Lovely machine, and great to see it is stitching again. That machine needed you to rescue it!

    Today's adventure - I was driving and husband was passenger... went past a second hand furniture shop, HUSBAND noticed two machines outside. A couple of hours later we were going home and passed the same way. The machines were an indifferent 128K hand machine with a missing slide plate and a gleaming 201K treadle. You can guess the rest. I acquired my third treadle, 1936, with original manual, box of attachments and 13 bobbins.

    MORAL OF THE STORY - Buy husband wine or beer at every opportunity and he will load the boot up next time you are out shopping.


  3. OK, this was number oodle doodle 8^}
    What about an extension to the basement, with ample light from above, and a sign:
    This way to the Working Sewing Machine Museum!
    Entrance fee: (fill in an amount to save for the next machine)
    You'll never have to walk alone, because all the Singer and Household and Greyhounds' walking feet will join you.
    If prices go up, you might guess who's to blame.....
    Laughing my threads off in Amsterdam,
    Love Irene

  4. Oh tha is a pretty one! I would never have been able to figure out the threading of that machine, and I always say most mchies thread the same.... Watch my mouth!

  5. Anonymous12:16 PM EST

    What a beautiful machine! Just FYI, I do use "regular" needles in my New Home machine. The way you can do that is to remove the slider plate over the shuttle, then move the needle down in the needle clamp a little at a time until you can see it picking up the bobbin thread. You can't leave it all the way up in the needle clamp like original needles, but the original needles are thicker/fatter. I can use a finer (and more easily obtainable) needle this way. Again, *gorgeous* machine, great find! The ones with shuttle-and-bobbin, and leaf tension, are my favorites.

  6. Oh yes! I would not have been able to resist that beauty either. Were you aware that "New Home" is today's Janome? She certainly has sleek elegant lines.

  7. Love the antique sewingmachine. Nice and shiny :-)

  8. A lot of times with old machines you will never be able to find a correct needle. What many of us TreadleOn-ers do is keep moving it down the needle shaft incrementally until you have it low enough to pick up the thread. Mark the needle so you know where to aim for next time. It is a lovely machine. Thanks for bringing them to the forefront of quilters minds again.


  9. Beautiful machine! I am learning so much from you and comments from others on your blog. Even Featherweights don't like the new finer threads or needles. I had skipped stitches for the first time ever when I used Masterpiece thread--it was used to Coats & Clark! I've also gone back to using Universal needles with my Featherweights.

  10. What a beautiful mschine!! I have been wanting one of these for ever! A hand crank will be my next purchase; I just haven't been able to find one in my area. Thanks for sharing with us!

  11. Hi Bonnie ...I have a New Home treadle machine I love it ...it gives me the best straight stitch ....you mentioned that you have to order new needles for this machine ...where do you get them from.
    I have also just picked up a Singer Featherweight 222K ...it is just fabulous ....and I'm still just playing with it


  12. Love love love this vintage machine!
    How did you date it? A friend gave me a Janome L-392 and I haven't been successful at finding a website to date it.
    Any suggestions? Anyone??

    Thank you

    1. Hi, Bonnie. I have an old National, too, but not quite that old. Anyway, compare the dull needle to a new needle. The old needle is likely much longer. You can compensate by not pushing the large end all the way in. But, the old long needles can be purchased off ebay. Enjoy. She's a beauty. Lane


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