Singer Sphinx 27/127 Restoration 3

She’s apart!

So I finally figured out how to get this machine’s “drivetrain” out. All it took was a map gas torch (that I finally broke down and bought this past week), a BFH (big effing hammer 😉), and some patience. I figured it was along those lines, but I was so worried about breaking the casting I was scared to try it. Then I saw a YouTube video from a channel called NATRA. I’ll try to link it, but no promises it’ll be a good link forever.

That video also showed me that you can take the head off of the base. I had no idea. I mean, it makes sense now that I’ve done it, because the casting would be awfully complicated in one solid go, but I’d never seen anyone take the base off before. The more you know, or something. That part actually came apart easier than I expected. There are three screws on the bottom that hold it on, and a couple of pins that line it up. Give’er a little heat, a couple shots with an impact driver, and voila! I barely tapped it with the rubber mallet, and it popped right off. Now she’s ready to be cleaned, stripped, and painted.

For the paint, and this is going to be controversial, but it’s my machine that I’m saving from the metal recycling, and I’ll do as I please. So…

She’s gonna be metallic teal. I love the way teal and gold look together, so it’s a no brainer. It’s also the only time I like the look of gold, as I’m more of a silver/chrome gal myself. The only thing left to decide is whether she’s going to be reborn as a Sphinx or if she’s going to get the art deco decals. I really like both, and either way she will be beautiful. I do lean toward those ungodly expensive Sphinx decals though, because…well, I’ve always been fascinated by the Sphinx, and I don’t want to erase all of her history.

Singer Sphinx 27/127 Restoration part 2

So I’ve disassembled nearly the whole machine, except for the inner bar that runs from hand wheel to needle bar/feed dogs. I can’t get it out, which means that the broken fork won’t come out either (I already have a replacement fork). Based on parts I’ve found online, the bar itself looks to be in rough shape anyway (mine has a groove where the fork sits, and I’m not sure it’s supposed to), so I’m thinking about taking it to the farm to see if my father in law’s plasma cutter can cut it in half without damaging anything else. *But* I don’t want to cut this one until I have both A. Verified that the groove isn’t supposed to be there, and B. the replacement part is in my hands. So between that and fall harvest + wheat drilling, all of my work on this project has been put on hold.

On another note, the Sphinx decals are stupid expensive compared to all the other reproduction decal styles for whatever reason. So my sphinx may become a Celtic knot style or whatever is cheapest if I end up trying out painting it (and it won’t be black either. Currently I’m thinking either metallic royal blue or metallic royal purple. The candy apple red is also a gorgeous option, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)

Singer 27 or 127 Restoration Attempt

So, uh, it’s been awhile, eh? I guess you could say that life kind of got in the way. I’ve thought about restarting this blog a time or two, but it just felt awkward, you know?

I’ve had two old treadle machines in my garage for several years now, and in the great garage cleanup of 2021, they just kind of kept being in the way, especially because their stupid casters only roll one way. One belonged to my great grandmother and while it’s cosmetically ok, she’s locked up tighter than Fort Knox. It’s not a Singer though, it’s a Montgomery Ward or something. The second machine, and subject to my clumsy restoration attempt is a Singer 27/127 from 1901. It’s the Sphinx design, and while I’ve seen them beautifully restored, this one is a sad, sad machine. Everything moves like it should, but the bed paint is missing in large chunks, the decals are worn away, and it’s missing the front needle plate. The cabinet is a wreck too, but we’ll get to that later.

Since the Singer is basically trashed, I figured I couldn’t make it worse, so it could be someone’s parts machine if I couldn’t make it look good. I’d also like to make it sew, but one step at a time and all. I’ve got some pics of my progress so far, they are more for my reference, so they’re not aesthetically pleasing or anything. And yeah, this old girl is FILTHY.

I found a blog that has several posts that seems like they might be helpful to myself and anyone who is doing machine restorations. It’s called pungoliving, I’ve tried to link to it below.

As of right now, I’ve got her nearly completely disassembled. I tried to leave components that were grouped together (i.e. the bobbin winder assembly) together for now so that I don’t have to keep track of any more hardware than necessary. I also broke one screw that I think was already cracked. It looked like a poorly made Phillips head screw when everything else is a flat head. So that might be fun. I found the Singer Adjusters Manual for this machine online, and I’ll try to link to it too, if you’re interested.

I used some Simple Green and some Goop on the paint to see about getting most of the gunk off. Even though I plan to try my hand at painting it I don’t plan to paint the other one, so I am testing out what works best on this one without removing the decals any more than they already are. It looks better, but there is still a lot of sticky discolored spots, and also parts where there the paint (or decades of dirt/oil) crackled.

Until I get an ultrasonic cleaner or something to finish getting all the gunk off, that’s all for now!


I finally quit whining and decided to do something about my old sewing machine that I’ve always ranged from “meh” to extremely frustrated with.

Meet my new Juki DX7!


I will admit that I didn’t really research this machine, but I researched it’s predecessor/sister/whatever the F-600 to death. I’m pretty sure I read every. single. review on the internet for the F-600. There were maybe a handful of negative reviews and everyone else highly recommended it. So when I saw there was a newer version that seemed as though it was pretty similar, I decided to just go for it–I didn’t even test drive it in person. And if you know me, this is pretty much the opposite of how I do anything.

We’re off to a slow start, because it’s a significantly more computerized machine than I’m used to, but I’m impressed with the power this thing has. The first thing I sewed with it is some jeans hems, and it fed through like it was quilting cotton–didn’t even hiccup over the bulky seams! My Pfaff couldn’t do that on it’s best day.

The buttons on it are a bit awkwardly located from what I’m used to, and the stitch selections are also a bit weird (seriously, a smartphone style hard touch screen would be awesome), but thankfully, most of the stitches you’ll use regularly are on the 9-key pad. I’m also trying to get used to the machine wanting me to use the up/down presser foot button after it cuts the thread instead of being able to use the lever just any time I want. It has a lever, but sometimes it doesn’t do anything. It sounds like a tiny thing as I type it, but this is a huge adjustment for me. The thread cutter feature though? That is the. BOMB. Seriously, I love it. I also love the needle threader that works every time! Even when it was new my Pfaff only worked like 25% of the time. And the lights! So much light under this machine, I feel like I’ve been freed from the dark ages!

The one thing that made me hesitate to buy any machine that wasn’t a Pfaff was the lack of IDT (or paying a fortune for that option on other brands), but so far the box feed has been just as good. And, this machine has something that Pfaff doesn’t offer on a similarly priced machine–presser foot pressure adjustments. If you’ve never had this feature, you may not realize how much better this makes your sewing experience, but trust me, it really should be a standard feature on every machine at every price point. Period.

So far I like it, even though I’m still working my way through the niggles. I’ll try to remember to do an update after I’ve had it a while and share how I feel about it by then. I certainly wouldn’t turn anyone away from it, especially if they are used to a more heavily computerized machine already. If you are coming from a low tech or mechanical machine, the curve might be steep.