Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Old Sewing Machine

(A Happy Chance Find)
L.O. Dietrich Vesta

Pretty machine with porcelain handle

I found this amazing old sewing machine in our loft. We have lived in our house for twenty years and have a huge l-shaped loft one part of which is/has been a playroom and the other a walk-in mystery of old furniture, photographs and children's toys and instruments and other paraphanalia we have been too busy (too lazy) to deal with. The machine has sat sadly in its case for such a long time that we are all unaware from where it came from. Mr Whizz Kid thinks it may have belonged to either his Mother or Grandmother but I think it was probably left by the previous owner along with some old very large furniture still there and too cumbersome to move.

Complete with case

Well whatever its origin it is quite an interesting old machine that is complete with funny long bobbins, shuttles and even dressmakers pins. The handle is made of porcelain and in perfect condition and it is in perfect running order. All the extra feet and needles are in the case and it even still has its old original lock... and key!!!

Upon a little research I have discovered that the machine was produced between 1904 and 1920 in Germany and was a clone copy of the Singer machines around at the time. They were apparently little used as cheaper clothing and fashions had just started to become available and was preferred by many to the homemade variety used until then.

I must add that both Mr Whizz Kids extremely elegant and sophisticated Mother and Grandmother would never have been seen in handmade and neither appeared to have any inclination towards anything remotely concerned with crafts of any kind so I doubt that they were the original owners. So ... a lucky chance find  ... or serendipity!


The above post made me think of an amusing incident last week. A friend and I were in a small independent bookshop in Richmond Upon Thames and could not find the Arts or Crafts sections - we asked the owner where we could find them and his haughty reply was ...

"We do not have any art or craft or DIY books. People in Richmond are rich and are busy making money - they are not interested in making things!!!"




  1. Boo to Richmond shopkeepers, and Yay to people who leave beautiful sewing machines in lofts! I have been given a singer one fom the same era, they were built to last weren't they, sews beautifully, but my arm did ache!

  2. Lovely old machine. I had one like it once, in the 70s when it was all I could afford. I really missed my mother's electric Singer. Eventually I bought an electric machine and we used the old one as an artefact on our bookshelves in the sitting room. Unfortunately, it was at toddler height and my son, always curious about how things worked, pretty much dismantled it. We found little bits everywhere.
    As for Mr Haughty, what an appropriate picture.

  3. I must just add that on Sunday I gave this machine away to a relative and my photos were not good - so the pics are substitutes and not even the same machine - both have different logos - but you get the picture! I will take a snap of her sewing with it next time I visit! xx

  4. should I ever be in Richmond I will bear his remarks in mind... wonder if the other residents agree with him? love the picture you posted to represent him xx lol

  5. Great find...those old hand machines sew so well!

  6. oooooooooo nice man !!! love the machine will it work !!

  7. I saw the title and had to head straight over. Before long you will be as addicted as me, to viewing all the different brands on ebay. As to Richmond - good opportunity to set up a shop and sell handmade crafts to all those rich people!

  8. You need to yarn bomb that shop!!!
    Love the machine x

  9. Well that's you tellt, as they'd say round here ;o)

    Love that machine, so pretty!

  10. Lovely old machine wish I could find one in my loft..!!

  11. That's a beautiful sewing machine. What a treasure! Shame on the Richmond shopkeeper. The haughty pic is hilarious ...

  12. I have just renovated and restored the L.O.dietrich vesta sewing machine which belonged to my mother in law, Lily. She was an expert seamstress and worked at the Jaeger factory which used to be in Burgess Hill,Sussex.She made all of my wife Julie's childhood clothes on it.Lily's great,great grandaughters,Lottie and Amelie helped me get it out of our loft where it had lain for many years.It will now be on display at the Sportsman Pub/Restaurant which is at Goddards Green,W.Sussex and is owned by our daughter Tasha and son in law Matthew.


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