Friday, March 18, 2011

Fair Lady?

Lest you think I don't care about anything but Necchi and Singer, let me show you my latest acquisition - a White Model 764. I have seen it called a "Fairlady" or "Fair Lady"on the internet, but see nothing on the machine itself to substantiate that.




 I have been hoping to run across one of these for many years because I just like the looks with that integrated handle. Until today, every one I had seen was either way too expensive, or in poor condition, or both. I happened across this one in a thrift shop while I was searching for an AC adapter for some wireless headphones. One look at the immaculate paint and the $20 price tag and I didn't even spin the balance wheel, just bought it then and there.

 When I got it home and started playing with it, I found the bobbin case jammed in the shuttle race and the check spring out of adjustment. Oh, and it was missing the presser foot.  It took less than 10 minutes to get it sewing.

 It is in exceptional condition, not a chip or scratch on the paint. Any imperfections you think you see in the photo are either reflections or dust. That's the secret to collecting vintage sewing machines, go for the cosmetic condition because the mechanicals can be replaced, but once the paint is gone, it's gone.

  The engraving on the bobbin cover (it's not a slide plate 'cause it doesn't slide - maybe it's a hinge plate) says "Selected for the House of Good Taste New York World's Fair".  That puts this machine's birthday around 1964.

31 comments:

Tammy said...

Hi Ed,
That is indeed a fair lady! What a beauty and reasonably priced as well. A great find, what are you going to sew with her?

My Franks said...

Wow. That is one pretty lady. Something else to keep on the look out for!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a gorgeous machine!

Ed, I want to thank you for maintaing this blog and so generously sharing your knowledge.

Thanks to what I've learned here and from other collectors online I was able to recognize a good thing today when I saw it.

I just snapped up beautiful Japanese Singer 15 clone at a church rummage sale for $30. (Name: Premier Deluxe) It's a classic 1950s shade of turquoise with cream accents. It came with a box of accessories (including an adorable little oil dispenser), 15 bobbins, and a neat, handwritten note from the owner who had donated it. She said it was a great machine and she was sorry to part with it.

The machine has a sticker on it from a local repair place indicating that it had been serviced four years ago. The belt looks new. So i decided to give her a whirl immediately.

I was able to sew straight out of the box. I can't believe how quiet this machine is. It just purrs. My other machines are a featherweight and an Elna Supermatic (dark green).

Again, thanks for all you do. Before I read blogs like yours I would have never thought to own an old machine. And now look at me, I need a support group for my addiction!

Jeannie said...

Hi Ed,

My son asked me to keep an eye out for an older all metal machine he can used on his catamaran to do sail repair as well as other sewing tasks. Any suggestions? I am a sewing machine addict but have to admit I don't know as much about vintage machines (except my dearly beloved featherweight). Thanks for the help.

sewing machine repair said...

very nice blog thanks for the tips

Anonymous said...

Ed,
Old White's made in Japan are awesome!
How is the 4 step button hole on this machine?
Jonathan

Sally said...

Hello! I was wondering if you could help me find information on a Sterling sewing machine. It's black and I'm guessing from the 1950s.

My email is keisersa@gmail.com

THANKS!
Sally

Stitch Nerd Sewing Supply said...

Hi Ed,
Love your blog. I passed on a beauty just like this one back in December and still regret not buying it. :(

chamindika said...

hello! I ran across your blog when researching what sewing machine to buy. Someone is selling a 1963 Singer 600E for $150, I was thinking of buying it, but was wondering if that is a good price, what do you think?

Andrea said...

Wow what a nice fair lady machine
a very good model and in good condition
I was brought up with metal machines and still pine for them, but alas i have succumbed to modern technology and have a brother do do all my hard work still thanks to your site I can come back and visit some old familiar machines
Cheers Andrea

supermom said...

Hello Ed,

I've just been reading one of your old posts from 2008 with a list of sewing adjusters manuals and I was wondering if you might know of a source for the adjusters manual for the Singer 201-2. We recently bought one at a thrift store. It runs great but does need a good cleaning. I tried to search on-line but haven't found anything so far for the 201-2. Thanks for any help you can provide.
(supermomnocape at yahoo dot com)

Ed Lamoureux said...

I don't have an online source for a 201 adjusters manual,but I do know of some 201 information out there. On the ISMACS.net site there is a 201 instruction manual that contains fairly detailed information, for an instruction manual. Click on "Enter ISMACS International", click on "Manuals", click on "Singer Sewing Machine Company". There are also some guides to rehabilitating sewing machines on the Tools for Self Reliance site. Go to TFSR.org, click on "Publications", click on "Sewing Machine Manual". You will find guides to rehabbing various sections of various models and some specific instruction for the 201. - Ed

Jonathan said...

I'm always shocked when I look at the prices of new computerized sewing machines, especially ones that can do embroidery. I don't own one but I bet the internal parts are no where near the quality of these vintage machines from Japan.

Ed, you mentioned you own a Janome 6500P. Have you opened it up? Is it a strong machine?

dakotaessence said...

Hi Ed,

I too have a Fair Lady, called that as they were introduced at the 1964 NY World's Fair. I did research and found some info, you can see it here if you're interested:
http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/16570060

Tamara said...

That's a beautiful machine. My grandmother had a White - not fancy like that one! But, it purred. I still regret not keeping it when it was offered.

I found your blog looking for information on a Necchi Supernova Ultra Mark 2 that was left in a house my son purchased.

Love your blog -

Bayside Gal said...

Hi Ed, I love your white! I found a White Model 65 on a curb recently. The cabinet had a broken leg!!! So they threw it out OMG! She is a little green & white beauty and fun to sew with. I fixed the broken leg on her cabinet and added her to my (growing) sewing room. My grandaughter loves her.

Anonymous said...

Just purchased a White 764 for 25$at NNeck Godwill- just need the hook drive- I've purchsed several to find the right one- anyone have the schematics with part #s??

Anonymous said...

I too bought a White, because the integral handle looked so very ergonomic. Ha! The thing is so heavy it should have 2 handles, and spinner wheels like the new suitcases.
Only problem with mine is on tension dial-- a thin bakelight(?) Disc cracked and without the disc, the screw on end cannot hold the rest of the discs together. Strange description but best way I can. I may visit the hardware store for a metal washer, a very thin one.

Karen said...

I was given by my neighbour a White Fairlady model 769. I am told it was built in 1968-70 when I called a support line. Can you tell me what the value of this machine would be? It also came in a folding table. I am not looking to sell for I am a sewer and don't want to hurt it in any way. Thanks.

Ivy said...

I loved the tip about "the secret to collecting vintage sewing machines, go for the cosmetic condition because the mechanicals can be replaced" Thanks very useful, Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ed, you've been a true inspiration and a great source of not so common info about vintage machines.

I am seriously considering buying a White 764 Fair Lady in cabinet with manual, feet, buttonholer for ~ $65. I like the looks and apparent quality. How did you find stitching with it? Did the "left homing" bother you? Why are some machines made with a left needle position? Is this a pain in the neck when piecing quilt tops?

I also have a few Necchi machines and others. I love fixing them up and am still learning.
Carrie

Anonymous said...

I had to move my sewing room to a bigger one to accommodate my growing number of vintage machines, and it's all your fault! Thanks Ed! :-D

PS: Are you OK? No posts this year.

Alwayskeptintap said...

The engraving on the bobbin cover (it's not a slide plate 'cause it doesn't slide - maybe it's a hinge plate) says "Selected for the House of Good Taste New York World's Fair". ... There you go, that is how she got her name, the Fair Lady!
(haha) Cheers, Cathy

Enjoying your blog and Best wishes on the Quilt Shop venture.

Anonymous said...

I am looking for a manual for a Sterling sewing machine, 105 Deluxe model. I'm guessing it was made in the '50s. Email: patriciacervera@comcast.net. Thanks.

Meg said...

I googled this sewing machine because mine blew the house fuse when I plugged it in tonight. Not so good. I'm hopeful that it can be fixed though.

My mom bought my machine new in the late 60's, and she used it for 30 years before passing it on to me (and updating to a newer model for her house).

Between she and I, it's sewn countless Halloween costumes, school projects and assorted cute items. It's even featured in a YouTube video that I recorded:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs34r_a1quY&list=UUozNIAuEpSxX6YZN7BzFQzA&index=8&feature=plcp

I'm hoping to find a local repair artisan to help me, because I couldn't bear to part with my beloved machine! Really, how many home sewing machines can handle 45 years of continuous use?

Just wanted to comment since I appreciate your appreciation of this special model White :)

Anonymous said...

after doing a little reserarch,I found these machines are one of a kind when it comes to the fair lady,I have a white model # 764 in good condition needing a new home. if interested pls.respond to gizmo48916@yahoo.com thank you kay.

fanchone_1999@yahoo.com said...

I have a Sterling Super Sewing Machine, engraved on it is Delux Model 1958 made in Japan. Its Green with Gold lettering. It appears to have all the parts and an extra presser foot. I cant find any place that would indicate the value of the machine. Can anyone direct me to such a place.

Chelsea Place said...

Awesome! Found this blog entry when looking this machine up. I just got one with the knee pedal and built in table in great condition for free off freecycle! Think it is amazing piece of hardware and can't wait to play with it more!

Beth Toscan said...

Ed, I am looking at one missing the bobbin and needle...
Do you, or anyone else out there with one, know where to buy these these parts, or a different brand that works?

Ted Thomas said...

I have a Model 764 White, Serial No. 80402. My problem is it sews backward.
Does anyone know how to remedy this situation?

Anonymous said...

Ted - the usual reason for this in vintage machines that the power cord is plugged in in reverse. Flip the plug (the actual plug end, not the plug ends of the cord itself) and that may help.