vintage alfa sewing machine

2 November 2014

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my super modern Brother sewing machine, it does everything but make the tea, but it does lack a little, um, style? Just look at this chunk of metal...

It's an Alfa Challenge semi-industrial hand cranked machine, I guess its from the 1950s/60s, but the design didn't change much for decades. I found this one on Ebay, primarily to sew heavier fabric like canvas, although my Brother machine could do it, I don't want to wear it out. I'm hoping this will manage all that chunky stuff. I just spent the afternoon faffing about, trying to get it to work. Also the machine must have been dropped during delivery because the hand crank was bent and didn't revolve. Luckily my mister fixed it with a hammer. The smell of oil, the fiddly tension, squeaky handle, all remind me of my first experiences of sewing as a nipper on our old Singer (that Singer was the reason I didn't sew again until I was 30!).

I think it's a thing of beauty. 
As you can see it doesn't have a base, probably it was mounted into a desk, so I will have a look around for a donor machine's wooden base.

I managed to tweak the tension enough to make a pouch to keep all it's bobbins in!

And I downloaded the original manual.

Today I cleaned up my shed. I have to get Henry hoover in there every so often as spiders like to come a make nests and other shed is in a spot that seems to attract critters like that. It's fine with a regular hoover. I have lots of fabric to sort out, piles get higher and higher until they topple over.

I found these empty metal tins at Atlantis last time we went there, I'm thinking to use them to store string (with a hole drilled in the lid) and other bits and bobs.

and I mounted my frame looms on the wall to save space (there is one inside the other, clever eh? ; )

ah I love my shed : )


  1. oooh It's lovely!! You'll enjoy it so much and tinkering and getting it sorted will be half the fun! I did some repair on an old Singer 99 handcrank earlier this year and I loved getting it sorted and I love using it too!

  2. Very stylish machine!

    ♥ Franka

  3. I love the sentence - my mister fixed it with a hammer.

  4. What fun you could have with a heavy duty sewing machine! That little white table might make a good base! Saw the gorgeous Pehr on Countryfile last night. Famous already!

  5. I still use my Grannys old hand cranked Singer - sometimes my old electric Bernina is too much of a faff. I love your shed too :)

  6. That sewing machine is fabulous, I've been tempted to buy a machine a couple of times but I don't sew and doubt I ever will so just can't justify it. I think I would be swayed if I ever saw one of these for sale though!

  7. A few drops of peppermint oil in the corners of the shed should keep the spiders at bay

  8. I have a severe case of shed envy! X

  9. That machine! That pouch! That shed! *Sigh* Lovely post.


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