Sunday, June 22, 2014

Oh, sweet Davis

My poor old Davis Advance. It's my oldest machine*, manufactured in 1896. I so, so, so wanted to sew on a pre-1900s machine. But the thing just won't sew.

I've tried threading. And re-threading. And using different needles in different orientations. And the results are always the sews a couple stitches, and then stops.

Yesterday it occurred to me that maybe I'm threading the shuttle wrong. This is the Davis shuttle.

When I bring the thread down under the spring on the side, it hangs limply along the shuttle, like this.

It's really loose, and maybe as the machine sews it slips along the shuttle. When I take the shuttle out the thread is often coming out of the back end, instead of the front, like this.

The pictures are fuzzy but there's a little metal finger in the center of the shuttle. I feel like the thread should maybe go under it, or that right?

Any ideas?

* Oldest machine that I can accurately date. I have a German hand crank machine that has a fiddle base and a transverse shuttle, and it looks positively ancient. I have no idea when it was made, though.


  1. You should ask on treadle on, I always have a hard time threading my shuttle, which is why I never use it.

  2. Did you find your answer yet? When you have the shuttle in your hand, like in your picture and the thread is lying limp.....pull it upward under that little metal flap. If it doesn't move up under that flap but starts back out the way it came in....pull the bobbin out and insert the other end in first, then follow down and then back up under that "flap".

  3. Here's a good video showing how to thread a long bobbin shuttle.