Made with Moxie: Sterling De-Luxe

February 6, 2013

Sterling De-Luxe

I'm always jealous when fellow bloggers post awesome sewing machine finds from the Goodwill. I found a decent White machine last week at the Goodwill that they were asking fifty dollars for. Fifty dollars! For a not really cute or vintage basic machine. Yes, it was good and worked, but for that much I expect it to be awesome or at least a sweet color. Not 1985 white.

I often browse Craigslist for machines too. I am a huge fan of Craigslist. I met my husband on Craigslist, found many apartments and homes there, hired employees from the site, sold things, got a free dining room table that is now my cutting fabric piling table. The unfortunate part of the Washington DC area Craigslists is that people assume that every piece of crap they sell is valuable. Every used sewing machine is over $100. Seriously.

So early one morning when I saw a recent post wanting $39 for this baby, I snatched it up.

Working or not, I wanted it. The roses on it remind me of my tattoo so I'd have kept it if it did not run. Or at least taken it apart to try and fix it, then put it back together when I determined it was beyond help.
Good news! It runs. Bad news. I had to order it a new belt.
However, I am over the moon about it.
This is what internet research has told me about my new Sterling:

It is likely a Japanese clone of a Singer 15. There were massive numbers of Singer 15 clones made following WWII. They are all different company names and colors, but the same shape and functions remain. I can't find anything about the Sterling Sewing Company. I think mine may be Japanese made, but assembled and sold in the United States. It's got a nice Dodge motor attached to the back.
If you have any information about my Sterling, I'd love to hear from you. I plan on taking her apart, cleaning her out and making her shiny again. (Notice how Sterling went from an 'it' to a 'her' in one post?) I'm pretty psyched about my find.

Sterling is one heavy mother, too. With her case bottom she tipped the scale at almost 45 pounds! The case lining is crumbling and musty. I'll have to ask my husband to build her a nice new wood base.

Ooh! Ooh! My mother in law just suggested I could scrape the case and Modge Podge it with fabric. Awe, yeah.


  1. That is awesome! What a find! I will ask in my fb sewing group if anyone knows about Sterlings.

  2. I have a Singer 15, and when I first saw your pics in my reader, that's what I thought this was! Wow. I love the detail in the fourth photo. (I have no idea what that's called, so fourth photo it is!) This machine is lovely though. What a steal!

  3. Beautiful! I love those old machines. I have a Singer Featherweight I am in love with, so much so I am tempted to write poetry in its honor. (No worries, I won't share.)

  4. I love her. I wish she had a sister that wanted to come live at my house :)

  5. what a beautiful new baby. I to have an old off brand machine that is called a standard but she does not work well I think it's a wiriing issue because she runs full speed or not at all but because I bought it at the Salvation army it has a few things missing. I have been in the market for a featherweight but nothing yet has come my way.

  6. dude! i am totally jealous of this machine!! I would love love love to have something like this...I almost broke down and bought an old pedal foot singer at a garage sale in the fall...but it was still pretty pricey...too much for not knowing if it really worked...someday...i did have the bottom part...the wrought iron pedal part of an old singer pedal foot fall in my lap through freecycle this past weekend, now I have that clogging up my newly decluttered home ;)

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  8. I just got one similar to yours and i'm not really into sewing but trying to learn (paying almost 20 per slacks hemmed is crazy talk) anyway, I got one for 50 and comes with the wooden desk and everything is in great condition. The light bulb is burnt and no belt but, as soon as I hook it up the motor starts going super fast, i press the pedal and nothing changes, any idea what might be? I was hoping it is something i can figure out and don't need to take it to the repairman which I would of course if needed. Any help will be appreciated! thanks and sorry for posting on an old thread...

    1. I hope this reply gets to you, but you did not provide your email address, so this is my only method of response. Nothing happens when you press the pedal because there is no belt on your machine. If it is the same machine, you can order one online. They are inexpensive, too. Get a rounded, stretchable rubber one. I think 13". Email me for more help.


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