In this post, you will find 2 very basic video tutorials to use vintage sewing machines
- Brother J-A 28 Model.
- Brother 345.
Vintage Sewing Machine Brother J-A 28
I’m also sharing the manual for the Brother AJ 28 below and you can download it from the link below.
Vintage Sewing Machine Bother 345
Vintage Sewing Machine Brother AJ 28
I was lucky enough to get this vintage sewing machine with its original parts, including the hard plastic case, needle plates, accessories, and manual.
This baby was pretty dirty because her owner didn’t use it for over 30 years.
As the machine was dirty and the needle seemed to be stuck. The owner thought the machine was faulty but I still bought it. This is a rare beauty.
- First I made a quick diagnostic.
- Knowing too little about sewing machines. I turned it on and it had power
- All the parts seem to be working but the needle wasn’t going down so it wasn’t sewing.
- Then, I found the problem!
The owner was using a straight needle plate to sew Zig Zag Stitches! Noooooooooo.
The machine will never sew like that, it will break the needles and could cause major damage… Do you know how scary is when the needles brakes?
So I just changed the need plate for the Zig Zag needle plate that was in the accessories box and everything else was perfect .
I grabbed a sponge, soap, metal polishing cream, and the magic happens!
Have a look at the picture below you can see how I turned a rusty metallic part into a sparkling one.
Don’t be scare to scrub the dirt from your vintage sewing machines
The plastic case tends to get discolored and rusty inside, especially when needles and metallic bobbins have been left for years inside.
I cleaned it to perfection using washing machine powder.
I allow the detergent to work all night long and the next day, I used a hard brush and hot water to lift the dirt. Voila! it was looking like new.
This sewing machine was made in Japan in 1950’s and can sew a variety of materials such as silk, cotton, PVC, darn, and even leather.
You will need to choose the right settings on your machine according to the thickness of the material you will be using for your project.
The thicker the material the lower the tension. Well, I’m not an expert but I just learned by trying different settings in a small fabric remnant.
You will also need to change setting in the the “drop feed knob” ( DARN, SILK OR NORMAL) see the picture below.
This machine also has a Built-in light as shown in the picture below.
In the picture below you can see the Stitch Width Selector ( at the top in horizontal ), the Stitch Length Selector ( below – vertical).
Next to the Stitch Length Selector you will also see the letter “R” which is the reverse option (Backstitch) and the letter “F” which is to sew forward (normal sewing).
I explain that better in my video or at least I hope so. (English is not my first language)
You don’t need to unscrew the Needle Plates! Make gentle pressure and push them to the left.
This machine came with Straight Stitch and Zig Zag Needle plates. Learn the differences in my video tutorial here!
This machines need a bobbin case as shown in the picture below. You need to set the bobbin properly inside the case and thread it as shown in the video or user manual.
Many people ask me where to get spare parts. Here in the UK, I bought a couple of spare parts from Helen Howes web site here!
Do not Forget
Do not forget to keep your machine oiled!
There are small holes over the body of your machine and you can easily drop oil through them. ( I also show this in the video or you can check in user manual)
Sewing is easy but you need to know how to use your sewing machine first. You also need loads of practise! With time you will master your sewing machinewhich is key for a happy sewing experience.
Our advice is to take time to read the manual and to understand how our machines works.
Nobody can do this for you and if something is wrong when sewing, you can be 100% that it is not your machine’s fault.
That’s all. I hope this very long post helps you.