Monday, September 17, 2012

My New (Old) Vintage Brother Charger

My new sewing machine!

I recently purchased a vintage Brother Charger 031 sewing machine at Good Will for $18. I have been interested in getting a sewing machine for some time but I didn't want to invest a lot of money because I wasn't really sure how much I would use it and I didn't want to necessarily do any big projects, just a bit of mending here and there. I knew Brother was a decent brand (they use it on Project Runway after all) and I liked that it had all metal parts, I have heard that vintage sewing machines are better because of this and less likely to break down. I figured for $18 it couldn't hurt to give this one a chance.

Well after I got it home I noticed that it was missing a presser foot, screw and bobbin case so all those needed replacing. Luckily sewing machine parts haven't changed much in the past 50 years so I was able to get replacements for all my missing parts for about $22 (more than I paid for the machine but oh well).

After getting all the parts I needed I realized I had no idea how to thread this thing. I am not an experienced seamstress and while I used to sew a lot when I was a kid it's been years since I have made anything using a sewing machine. This machine is also different from others I have used because it is so old. I searched online and couldn't find any instructions on how to thread this particular type of machine. Finally through trial and error and with some help from my mom I figured out how to get it up and running. I am now posting instructions on how to thread a vintage brother charger sewing machine both for my own reference (in case I forget how I did it) and for others who might be trying to figure this out.

1. put your thread on the thread spool on top of the machine (duh, right?)

2. pull thread through the thread guide on the top of the machine.

This is where it gets tricky. This picture is a bit confusing (my apologies) but this is the left side of the sewing machine. 3. bring the thread down from the top of the machine and wrap it around the tension spool going front to back. 4. pull the thread through the lever as shown. 5. Pull the thread through the little wire thingy (not sure what this is called). 6. Pull the the thread down through the thread guide on the side of the machine. 

7. Pull the thread through the second thread guide on the side of the machine, moving down toward the needle.  8.  Pull the thread through the last thread guide, this is the small wire one just above the needle. 

Sorry this is all blurry, it was a low light situation. 9. Pull the thread through the eye of the needle. 10. Slide the thread through the middle of the presser foot and pull it off to the side, leaving about 2 inches spare. 
I'm so happy I figured this out and I can finally use my new machine! Next up I will show you my first project that I made. It's super simple but being the novice that I am I'm quite proud of it.

14 comments:

  1. I think that you need to reverse the order for "4" and '5" in the threading, I think the thread goes between and around the tension disks, down on the left, and up on the right, all the way back to straight up,so that it pops behind the little finger on the tension, then it goes to the take-up spring (take the thread down behind the takeup spring and up into the hook of the spring) before it goes to the arm that pulls the thread with each stitch. From the arm, it goes down to the needle, by way of the spiral guide and the ring by the needle, then thead the needle eye.
    Best of luck,
    Sharon Wuerschmidt

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    1. Thanks Sharon! I am really such a novice sewer and just trying to figure all this stuff out on my own so the help is greatly appreciated. I will try it the way you suggest :-)

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    2. i have the same machine if you need any other help!

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    3. i have the same machine if you need any other help!

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    4. Hello .. my name is Karen , I just got one like this in the picture but it is call a Brother Model C 1S0 right beside this .. and when u lift and tilt the machine back from the case that it is sitting in there is this A 16093919 ..Now I have no idea how to thread it or nothing on this machine at all .. Now I do think there is something missing from the top of it , because there is no place to put the thread on the top .. any help I would love to know for I have looked for two days now and can not find out anything on this Machine at all .. I do not even know how old it is ,, Thank u very much for any help ..

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    5. Does anyone have a manual for this machine or know where I can download one from? I'm trying to learn how to sew and have this machine that belonged to my husbands Grandmother. It runs good, but I don't know how to thread it... Thanks in advance. You can email me mail4cindy@windstream.net
      I would greatly appreciate it!

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  3. Did anyone find a manual I have a pink and purple brother tingler 031 from 1959 I would love to find 1 please email me at kelleyj82.jk@gmail.com . Thanks

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  4. I just bought the same machine, thanks for the help!

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  5. I just bought the same machine, thanks for the help!

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  6. Thank you so much for this post! You saved the day!

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  7. I gave the same machine my first project is making a quilt hope I do it good

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  8. I gave the same machine my first project is making a quilt hope I do it good

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  9. I just got a very similar machine (Brother 1361) (it was my grandmother's and my mom gave it to me). I've figured out the threading, but can't seem to figure out how to use the bobbin winder (which is the same mechanism as yours). Just wondering if you or anyone else has had luck figuring that out. Thanks!

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