Yes, I KNOW, I didn't need a new machine. Absolutely every one of my seven, that's right, seven, sewing machines are in perfectly good working order. But for any of you out there that are sewers, and sewers with a sewing machine crack habit, you'll understand. When I saw Dorothy on Gumtree it was love at first sight and I had to have her. Really, isn't she a beauty! I never knew there were any sewing machines manufactured in the color yellow! (or orange....).
Dorothy is an Empisal 'Honey' (I love that the manufacturing gave it a cute name). I have no idea at all what her age is but I suspect early 70's as her whole body is metal and her base is heavy weight plastic. She may have been made during the transition period from all metal to almost all plastic for the 'modern' machines.
Before yesterday when I saw Dorothy advertised on Gumtree, I had never heard of a sewing machine maker called Empisal. After an extensive search on the net I'm still no wiser really as very little information is available on this make and model of machine. There's been some suggestion that she originates from South Africa (or was a popular brand of machine sold/used there) and that Brother or Janome may have either taken over the company or it was a branch that was part of either of those companies. Again, this is all guess work from what I could get from the net. Unfortunately I have no manual for the machine. The individual I purchased it from was not a sewer and said it was her mothers and had been stored in the shed for years and years. All the dirt and grime that I painstakingly took off her will attest to that story. It took me well over 30 minutes to get her cleaned up enough to thread and give a go. And the result? Not bad for an old girl.
|The access panel opened to the left of the needle. This is where the light lives (as the light is turned on from the back directly opposite on the outside to where it's positioned|
|Her fly wheel band is unusual as its rippled. I've never seen this before.|
|Dorothy's underside. All metal sitting in a heavy weight plastic base.|
As with any old machine after the initial clean up and test to see how the stitching is, I wondered about bobbins. There are still bobbins sold that fit some of the older machines (especially for Singer) but with a brand like this I was worried I wouldn't find anything to fit without going through heaps of tests first. Much to my delight, during the cleaning process I discovered LOADS of bobbins in the supply compartment along with a couple of extra feet. So I have plenty of bobbins to keep me happy for a while.
Dorothy has a few issues that I'll have to deal with. One is her feed dog button. The Up is broken off. I'm sure my husband can do something about it as the previous owner kept the broken button.
|The feed dog up and down control. The up is broken off.|
|This is the feed dog mechanism on the bottom.|
P.S. If anyone out there in blogging land has one of these machines, and you're fortunate enough to have a manual - could I get a copy!