Meet Elvira!

I’d like to take a few minutes to introduce you to Elvira.

Singer 99k - Elvira - https://www.sewbittersweetdesigns.comSewing runs deep in my veins, the above sewing machine, a Singer 99K dating to 1924, belonged to my Great Grandma, Elvira.  She was my grandpa’s mother and she was a tailor by trade. This is the sewing machine that she earned her living on raising my grandfather and Great Uncle Nick. My mom gave her to me over Christmas and she came home from the spa yesterday. The amazing news is that she still works! There is a short in her light, but that is no big deal, I can get a snazzy little desk lamp instead of using the light that came with her.

Singer 99k Medalion - Elvira - https://www.sewbittersweetdesigns.comYou can see her serial number and in this picture. Considering her age, I think she is in fantastic shape. Probably not worth much to a vintage sewing machine collector but to me she is absolutely priceless!

The cool thing is that she has a knee control rather than a foot pedal, something I haven’t encountered before. This is also one of the models that is used on the popular tv show Downton Abbey.  Pretty cool!  I’m very excited to thread her and start sewing on her, I feel like I will be sewing on a huge slice of my family’s history.


About Melissa Dunworth

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15 Responses to Meet Elvira!

  1. Missy says:

    The 99k is one of the most popular machines for vintage collectors to use, whether it is electric or converted to a hand crank or treadle. I have a 99 that is hand crank. The knee controllers get lost so seem to be hard to come by. Yours is extra special though!

  2. Very valuable to collectors, and priceless to you. My mate just fixed my ancient Singer Featherweight, named “Zinger” by a russian friend who pronounced Singer that way. Until I was given a fancy-shmancy Viking 3 yrs ago, I sewed every day forever on mine, it was a high school graduation gift to my mom in 1954. Then it languished at my daughter’s house and got dirty, misused, and just generally abandoned. All it needed was oil, adjusting, and TLC. Heaven! I have never found any machine that does a better 1/4″ seam. I can do FMQ, and it sews everything. Happy Sewing with Elvira, and do consider getting the light fixed.

  3. Katy says:

    Aww, what a lovely piece of heritage, and how great that it still works. Enjoy!

  4. Susan says:

    Actually, the gold decals look to be in decent shape and she’s still working, so it is worth some money. It will work for years to come. I am surprised they didn’t fix the short in the light. Maybe it would have cost you too much. The knee pedal is actually so easy to become accustomed to. It’s what I learned on in home ec in the sixties, and I think you’ll get used to it pretty quickly. What fun times you are going to have on Elvira!

  5. Susan the farm quilter says:

    Totally cool to get to sew on a piece of family history. You will be thinking about your Great Grandma every time you sit down to play with Elvira! She would be so happy that a member of her family loves her old friend like she did!

  6. Julie says:

    Congratulations on your new to you hand me down! That’s so neat that Elvira can live on through your sewing projects from here to come. I know she’s probably got a mile wide smile every time you take her baby out to sew on. I received a 99 k this Christmas with 2 other vintage sewing machines from my hubby who spoils me rotten in that respect. He’s also an upholsterer by trade so he know the value of having a good machine that will do what you want when you need it to!

  7. Tracee says:

    I love her…..It’s great to know the history that came with her, which just makes her more beautiful.

  8. Lisa L. says:

    She is a beauty!

  9. Mara says:

    This is a fantastic treasure! It’s so nice to meet Elvira! Enjoy sewing on her.

  10. Snoodles says:

    Oh, wonderful! You will treasure her, I know. How sweet to be able to sew on the same machine your grandmother used. Enjoy!

  11. CeLynn says:

    Hello Elvira,pleased to “meet” you! I am sure that you and Melissa will be spending many happy hours together 😉

  12. Oh my! She is so beautiful! And you are so lucky to have this piece of family history!

  13. Michele W says:

    I am thrilled that she is working. Nana Vera would be very happy that someone was using her girl! She was an amazing, independent business woman. Way ahead of her time!

  14. What an incredible legacy you are carrying on. You would make great grandma Elvira proud.

  15. Brandy M. says:

    SO super fabulous! I’m glad you have her now, and that you’ve already got her to, and back from, the spa! Have you been able to sew on her yet?


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