I found this Aldens sewing machine a while ago. A loooong while ago, at a local thrift store. I plugged it in, it worked, the price was right, so I took it home. I didn't have a green sewing machine, and it looked pretty cool. So, that was that.
The day after I got it, a friend gave me this sparkling clean, mint (in color and in condition) New Home machine, and so this poor Aldens just sat on a shelf until this week. Since I really didn't need two green machines, I was going to clean him up and either sell or give it away.
My research resulted that "Aldens" was a department store in Chicago area. Many of you recognize this sewing machine as one of the badged Japanese sewing machines from the 50's~60's. Yes, it's made in Japan. Does not say who made it, however. My other green machine was made by Janome.
Cool looking. I know. It has three feed dogs settings, "Normal", "Silk", and "EMBR" which I take it to be free motino embroidery - just drops the feed dogs.
There is a few minor scratches, but the machine is in great condition.
The actual color is brighter than it shows here in these photos, and more green than blue.
The belt fit perfectly! Now he has a bright orange belt. And, Wow. This motor is 1.5 amp. I think I previously said that my Pfaff 30, at 1.3 amp, is probably the most powerful sewing machine I have. I was wrong. My neglected Aldens had this 1.5 amp Westinghouse motor.
After adjusting the tension a bit, he sews beautifully and quietly.
He is very responsive, too.
Ha! I'm very proud of him. Pretty impressive. Hmmmmm. I was going to sell or give him away. Now I have a second thought. I think I will keep him for the time being. He is a much stronger and smoother machine than I'd thought. I'll definitely take him out when I need lots of power.
When I began collecting vintage sewing machines, I wasn't very much interested in Singer 15 clones or badged Japanese machines. I was more interested in 'stylish' or truly classic looking (like the old black Singer) that are also true workhorse as far as practicality was concerned. So, I went straight to old Singers and European made machines such as old Necchi, Elna, and Bernina.
I somehow ended up with a couple of these Japanese badged machines, and they both surprised me. Totally exceeded my expectations.
These are abundant, inexpensive (unless it's pink!) vintage sewing machines that I highly recommend to any sewers who don't feel the need for a free-arm. Especially to newbie sewists who have a limited budget for their first sewing machine. Rather than buying a new cheapie plastic machine for $100, why not spend $30~$50 and get a very solid, reliable, straight forward, easy-to-operate, zigzag machine that will love you and encourage you to sew? Nothing fancy. No decorative stitches or automatic embroidery function - but who needs them, really. 99% of my sewing is straight stitch and a variation of zigzag stitches. Other garment sewers out there, won't you agree? (yeah, yeah, yeah, I love my Bernina 1230, basting stitch is nice, auto buttonhole is nice, so is needle up/down, blah, blah, blah. But you can't get one for $50 and this wasn't my first machine.)
Speaking from experience -- my first machine of my own (I grew up with my mother's machines which were just great) was one of those cheapie plastic $100 machine. It rattled (lightweight plastic will do that), it was fussy and I didn't even know it. I ended up stop sewing for a looooong time, thinking it was me. I thought was a bad sewer. Took a good 20 years to figure out that it WASN'T ME. But it's true. It did cause me to stop sewing, except for occasional Halloween costumes for my kids, for a good 20 years. (OMG, 20 years, really....?!)
Anyway, I'm back, and I'm happy to have discovered the power of vintage sewing machines, and good quality sewing machines. I also learned how to take care of them. You own something nice, you take care of them. It loves you back.
I also made him a foot control cover, and gave him a red spool pin cushion. Now he's well color coordinated. Ohhhhh, I forgot to photograph it, but the foot control is also green. Love ya, Alden!