I had decided that I didn’t have room for anymore vintage machines – then I saw this –
and just had to have it.
It is very like the Vesta I already have but a lot later – late 1930’s I believe – and a lot plainer. However the main difference is the hand crank. This machine has a hand wheel with open cut helical gears with the handle being attached to the wheel itself.
It is a very small and comparatively light machine – smaller than my other Vesta – and this model with this hand wheel is called the Little Vesta Saxonia. I can lift it with one hand! The size will make it ideal to take away in the motor home and I won’t need electricity to use it!
It really didn’t cost very much at all on ebay – just £10. It came with its cover in good order complete with key and lots of other goodies.
It actually has most of the things that came with the machine except 2 screwdrivers, 2 of its 4 bobbins and 3 of its 6 needles
I am especially pleased with the items shown in this photo. First the little oil can that doesn’t even look like it’s been used. It splits into 2 to fit in the tin.
Most important is the cylinder shuttle which are very few and far between and those 2 bobbins. With the 3 I have from the other Vesta that makes 5 to share between both machines, so not too bad.
The foot is really interesting – It’s called an edge sewing foot to be used with the edge sewing guide, and is sort of like a zipper foot. The needle hole is open, so I think you would be able to get a lot closer to the zip teeth when inserting one even though the foot isn’t adjustable.
Finally there is the packet of needles. These have the Vesta logo on them so either they were made especially for Vesta or may be just the logo was put on the packet.
The needles actually intrigued me. They are the modern 705 European system – or American 15×1 system if that means more to you – with the flat shank, but the sizing on these needles is different to either of these.
The needle on the right is a modern 705 (15×1) size 110/18 – but this is smaller than the needle to its left which is a size 12 Metwar – a bit confusing.
I did look at the chart in the instruction manual, but I’m not sure the sizing there is relevant to today’s needles as I know things change over time. Anyway I got my Vernier Gauge out and actually measured all 3 Metwar needles and seem to have solved the puzzle. The outcome is
Size 8 Metwar measures 0.8mm = size 80 European = size 12 American
Size 10 Metwar measures 1.0mm = size 100 European = size 16 American
Size 12 Metwar measures 1.2mm = size 120 European = size 20 American
I did have some problems getting the bottom tension right, and for a while I thought the spring on the shuttle was too far gone (there is a line where the thread has worn a groove in the spring) but I took the spring off and found ‘gunk’ underneath and inside the thread grooves. Once I had cleaned this off the spring was able to press down further and give me the tension I needed to get a good stitch – so this one stitches well too!
The rest of the machine is not too bad, but not in quite as good condition as my other Vesta – which really didn’t need any cleaning at all – but all it really needs is a quick clean and polish – I have already oiled it!