Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Singer 185J

Here is my newest baby. Yeah, like I needed another machine. But here she is in an "after" (cleaning) picture. She's minus her plastic base and cover because of poor packing. It broke during shipment. We're going to be refunded our money on the item plus shipping. So, this item is free. But to be honest, I'd rather be out the money and have the base/case intact.

I spent last night cleaning her up. Cute, huh?

Below are the broken pieces and base. Drat. Makes me sad/mad. Replacements are NOT easy to find, if at all.


Here's another pic below of a clean machine. She runs, but the needle tension assembly needs a going over. I can wind a bobbin and when I threaded the machine up, I could get the thread through the tension discs but not easily and the thread won't pull through them and the tension dial is on ZERO...so, that will take a little work on my part. But it's doable.



Got this on eBay for a sweet price. I already belong to a Yahoo Singer Featherweight group and last night I joined a Yahoo vintage Singer sewing machine group and was then able to download a $10 repair manual for free from them. They say this machine is a little workhorse. It's just like the Singer 99 model, but with an updated look/color. It was made in 1954.

Funny, but I'm going to be taking this machine into the bathroom. Our house was built in 1954 and it has a green tub that looks very similar to this machine. Hmmmm....I'll let you know! :)

I've already got some bobbins for it (class 66) and after fixing the tension assembly, she'll be ready to rock and roll. Oh yeah, the light bulb needs replacing.

The Lean Green Machine will be added to a well stocked herd. I also have a Bernina 150QE, a Simplicity sewing machine, two Featherweights (one is a centennial and I need to sell it...anyone?), a Simplicity serger and a Janome Coverpro 1000 machine. Oh yeah, DH has a Bernina 614 model which is about the same green color as this beauty.

Ok, enough already. There she is.

Have a great week, everyone!

Addendum: I have been inundated with emails/comments requesting a manual for this machine. Join the Yahoo group entitled "vintagesingers". Go to the file section and then click on "66-99-185 information". The manual is the first item in this directory. Do not leave me a comment here if your blog is set on "private". I promise I won't answer it.

27 comments:

Rhoto said...

CUTE baby, Donna! I was "made in 1954", too! ENJOY the nice, straight stitches from this 'lil workhorse!!
Rhonda in Montreal (PR.com)

Charisma said...

LOve the new baby DOnna! ALthough your baby is older than my mother! hahahahahaha!

Rhoto said...

Well, I know MOM's really busy these days... How is Baby? Sleeping thru the nights now?
Soft hug,
Rhonda

Anonymous said...

just wondering how your husband likes his Bernina 614? I am considering buying one for my children, but the booklet is not included and the seller says she couldn't figure out how to thread it...
TIA!

Julie said...

Hi - I just received the exact same machine from my husband's parents. I'd love for them to see me using it and was hoping I might be able to get a copy of the manual. Any chance you could email it to me?

Thanks so much!
Julie

Donna Hodgson said...

Anonymous: He hasn't had a chance to use his Bernina 614 yet. Go figure.

Julie:
I will send you the manual, but I can't access your blog. Figure out how to send me your email and I will get you the manual.

Cane said...

Hey Donna - Found your blog & info on the Singer 185J on a Google search. I have my Nana's old 185J and am in search of a downloadable or online manual or something that could be faxed perhaps. Why wait when technology is here for us?! :) Did join & tried searching in a Yahoo vintage Singer sewing machine group like you joined but couldn't find a manual from them - free or otherwise....any way you can help?! Any pointers appreciated. Thx, Candace :)

Cane said...

Hey again Donna! Maybe I was tired when I initially was tooling around the vintage singer yahoo site but this AM, I did find a 16 page manual....but my Mom said it's a 'Service' manual instead of a 'User' manual....she is the one who really knows what she's doing, not I. But she was looking for instructions/pic on how to thread this 185J model....she HAS it threaded & it's stitching so I am thinking she has it right. But she wanted proof/comparison. It's an old machine & we are trying to get it going. Any pointers? All help appreciated!

Bonnie said...

There is a darling 185j at an antique mall near me. I've been eyeballing it,but they want $100 for it! Is that too much??? It's just calling to me to bring it home,but like you, I don't need another machine.....or do I?! :cD

Bonnie

ms. green said...

Hi Donna, I'm so glad I found your blog! I just bought an old singer 185J and am looking for a manual. Would you be able to email it to me as well? Thanks so much!

Bob Peloquin said...

Seems like the Yahoo group "vintagesingers" no longer exists. Donna, have you set up another group somewhere else?

Bob in Massachusetts
early 60's 185J

Anonymous said...

I purchased a Singer 185J three years ago at a garage sale for $5. It is in perfect condition, case, base ect; complete with all attachments (in original box) and the original instruction manual. I didn't realize I had such a treasure until I saw this blog. btw - I don't sew, I just thought it was cute.

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna,

Thanks for posting your pictures of this great machine. Just last week we picked up a mint condition 185J at our dump's free reuse table. Your reference to get a manual is very helpful. We need to figure out how to thread it. Our machine was made in 1962 in Canada. Just love the green color!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Just a few days ago I picked up a 185J in mint condition just needed a but of TLC. I was able to download the manual at www.mastersewusa.com for $5.00. This little machine is so cute.

Anonymous said...

Just got one of these and I can't wait to use it. She needs a cleaning but it will shine when that's done.

Melaine said...

I was recently given the same machine and the thread tension on mine is wacky too. I'm actually wondering if you can tell me what order the parts of tension thing go in, because I'm relatively sure whoever had it last put it together wrong.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I recently purchased the same machine on ebay with a similar situation (poor packing - base broken). However, the seller is refusing to provide any refund. Did you have insurance on the item or just had the luck of buying from a great seller?

Thirty 4 Flavours said...

i have an opp to buy this machine for $60 canadian dollars.

here's the description - Singer sewing machine, green, model 185J from 1954. Serial number JD740724. Comes with 2 packages of needles, bobbins, foot attachment #161127. The machine is in clean and excellent condition. The case is a little worn but solid.

lastly, what kind of desk or table did you mount her on? was it wasy to find?

Marcelle said...

I can relate to the broken case. Mine was broken when received it from an ebay purchase as well a few years ago. I've been hunting for an alternative bottom (wood?) since then. I have made a fitted sewing table for it but sometimes I like to sew in my room and end up sewing tilted with magazines underneath : ) Any suggestion of tables or cases that fit the 185J? Do they fit a 99 case? I found one case on ebay that looks like a green/white featherweight case with a bottom that removes that the machine sits in but the machine came with it... too pricy. Are there other such cases anywhere? Thanks,

Tim said...

I bought a 185J about 9 years ago at a Goodwill store for $8 and it was in absolute mint condition. I still use it quite often and it has never let me down. It did not come with a base so I had a carpenter build one from rosewood; flush fitted and dovetailed - beautiful workmanship! My suggestion for those who find a good 185J of K without a base - grab it and have a base made for it..

Tim - Toronto, Canada

Tim said...

Bye the way - the cost of having such a base made? I have no idea, the carpenter made it in exchange for a good quality (but very used) motorcycle jacket that no longer fit me..

Tim - Toronto, Canada

Rochelle said...

hi donna. I am 15 and my mother recently gave me her grandmother's 185j. I'm very excited to use it, only I don't have any clue at all how to use a sewing machine or how to fix it up. Any advice?

barbara said...

I'd just like to leave a comment for Rochelle. It's so awesome that you have your great-grandmother's (?) sewing machine. See if you can find a manual for it, and just be patient with yourself. It's easy to get frustrated if the machine isn't doing what it's supposed to do. This is a great little sewing machine, and I wish you many years of fun with it.

Denise said...

Hello Donna, my name is Denise and my mom just gave me a 185J that she said she bought in 1962, but I do not know if she bought it new or second hand ... I have read some of the comments here and I think it could have been a 1954 sewing machine. Mine does work too, I am very happy to have it. it is the Machine my mom used every year when she was making our schoool clothes, and some other people always ask my mom to make then stuff too. I will enjoy havinf this machine and pass it down to my daghter and/or grand-daughter in years to come.

Candace said...

I am thinking of getting a 185 in a cabinet for my adult granddaughter. She is a beginner sewer, but seems very interested. It is in a cabinet and the seller says in good condition, I haven't seen it in person yet, it was on Craigslist. I got a 44 page instructions for using manual from the Singer website for free. Would you recommend this machine still. He is asking $75.00 for it and in the picture he sent me it looks to be in good condition. Here's a picture of it. We are supposed to go see it tomorrow.
http://wraggedypatches.blogspot.com/2012/12/singer-185.html

Jodyrose said...

Hi Donna,

Your machine is adorable! I have one I in a blonde cabinet that I am cleaning up right now. Mine was made in Canada and the faceplate is chromed, not painted and my flywheel is slightly bigger than any I have seen. I hope you can find a case. If mine had a case, I would be happier, would take less room than the cabinet! Jody

joy said...

I know you wanted the case to go with your machine, but I have a 185J that fits into a sewing table. It's an incredible machine. I learned to sew on the one I have when I was 7. It's served me well for more than 50 years. Hope you enjoy yours as much as I have mine.