In Memory of Joyce

In Memory of Joyce

When our friends, Annie and Ian asked me one day if I would be interested in Ian’s Mothers sewing machine, of course I said I would be delighted.

When we lose a loved one, it’s very difficult to sort through and part with their possessions.  Let’s face it, we can’t keep everything….

Annie and Ian know I love old machines and that it would go to a good home. I asked Ian if he knew what kind of machine it was….he said he didn’t, except he said – it’s green and it’s got cams!

I must tell you this fascinating part of the story. This machine was purchased in 1965  – new.  It stayed in the family.

Ian’s father had won a lottery, the proceeds of which was a Holden car.  Cars were very expensive.  Most families would have only one car – if any.

Ian’s Mum had a treadle sewing machine. So when dad won the car, they decided to sell it and buy some modern appliances. These were, a new Kelvinator refrigerator, a Victor lawnmower and a Zig Zag sewing machine.  That will give you some idea of the cost of all of these appliances including the sewing machines.  They were expensive!  That means that we get to use these wonderful old vintage machines which hold little monetary value now, however, to the sewing enthusiast they are still very worthwhile.

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So when Annie’s Dad, delivered this to my door, I was pretty excited.  I had a sneak peak, because I have never had a machine with cams before.  Alas, a moment of disappointment, when I realised there was no foot pedal.  I hoped it may have been an oversight.  Luckily Annie was able to find it.  Now to take a look at this machine.

I decided to start from the outside and work my way in.  The case had a lot of ingrained dirt.  I dont know what the coating of the case its.  It has a very fine grain, leather or leather like material, which is almost impossible to clean, so, I thought I would take a chance and use a dilute solution of Cloudy Ammonia.  This is an amazing cleaning product.  I tested a little first and it worked like a charm.  If you decide to do likewise, do a test spot first.  I will rub some cream into it later.

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Now for the inside.  I took the lid off.  Its not green, its aquamarine!!

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So here she is.  I dont think she has seen any action for quite a while.  The fabric on the power cord has frayed, but the wires appear to be intact.  The motor is swinging lose from the back.  The belt appears to be intact.  This machine is very similar in appearance to the Myer Victor Machine.

Myer Victor Supreme Zig Zag

Here is the view from the back.

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Now to clean her up.

As always I use a damp cloth with mild detergent to clean up the duco.  Never use anything harsh to too wet.  It had some yellow staining that I initially thought might be rust,  cleaned off readily.

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This machine has the elements of a Singer Class 15 machine with a big beautiful vertical bobbin.

The motor was easily resecured with a hex nut on the side.  Although not ideal, I secured the wiring covering with some black electrical tape.  I gave the machine an oiling. Pleasingly there was no resistance in hand wheel and the needle moved up and down freely.

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Now for the test.  I plugged her in.  I turned the light switch and it worked.

She is stitching some beautiful zig zag and straight stitch!  She’s pretty gorgeous!

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Im looking forward to testing the cams…..but that’s another story….

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This machine is a Graceline Super Delux Automatic Zig Zag sewing machine from 1965.  Made in Japan.

Here is a memory from Joyce.  Some of her stitching I found in the machine.

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11 thoughts on “In Memory of Joyce”

  1. I commented on this beauty when you first posted your story in October last year. On re-reading it left me wondering whether because of its nMe, it could have been made for Grace Bros. Grace Bros was a large department store in Sydney and Canberra which wa slater sold to Myer.
    Just a thought. She is still Beauty💖😉
    Grace Bros. – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Grace_B…
    Grace Bros was an Australian department store chain, founded in 1885. It was bought by Myer (later Coles Myer) in 1983. There were 25 stores across New South Wales and the ACT, until they were re-branded …

    1. I think you are right Jan. I believe department stores in their day would import machines which they would have branded to their store.

  2. What a classic beauty. I absolutely love the color. Thanks for taking this machine in and showing it some love & care. I can’t think of a better tribute to a seamstress who has now passed on. I received a brand new Kenmore from my parents in 1970 as a high school graduation present, and it also had cams for various “special” stitches. Unfortunately I no longer have it, but owned 2 Kenmores since then, all of them workhorses. Thanks for giving us a peek into this lovely machine’s history. (Joyce’s little stitch sample made me tear up a bit.) Enjoy!

  3. Hi Suzie, I have a machine similar to this, it is packed away in a shed, a different brand but my late dear father bought it for me in 1966 when I had a little 1 yr old girl and I loved making clothes for her on it. It has a box of cams too that I only used once or twice, it does make a loud noise when sewing.. ( maybe needs a good clean) and it is VERY heavy even though a “portable”. I have had several machines since then but could never think of parting with this one, my Dad has been gone 34 yrs this month, and it is a special tie to him. Thank You for sharing the story about Joyce’s machine. xx

  4. What a delightful story. Thank you for sharing. You have a lovely way of talking about your ‘old girls’. Enjoy sewing with her.👏😍💖

  5. What a beauty. After cleaning, even more so. These machines do indeed hold special memories. I let one go a few years ago and have regretted it. I still have a few antiques but have started to thin the herd as my husband remarks. Enjoy this lady, I am sure if sewing machines had a voice she would thank you!!

  6. Thank you for sharing this story. The machine cleaned up really well. I was wondering what the ‘cams’ were, then worked out it was the colourful plastic pieces to make different zig zag stitches. Enjoy your time sewing with your Graceline 🙂

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