Это моя швейная машинка!

My little sewing machine.

It’s a Soviet PMZ from 1960 (the manual was printed in 1960, anyway). I just got it off eBay for very little. Maybe because it’s not old enough to be antique and not at all uncommon – supposedly at this time there was an overproduction of sewing machines in the Soviet Union.

The PMZ factory in Podolsk was in tsarist times a Singer sewing machine factory. After the revolution in 1917 it was nationalized and became first Gosshveimashina (acronym for “National sewing machine works”), and then “Kalinin” Mechanical Works of Podolsk. The machines were naturally all based on the prerevolutionary Singer sewing machines, but probably with some improvements over time.
The early sewing machines are really beautiful. The 1960 model isn’t so bad either. :o)

It works just fine.

All it needs is some dusting and maybe a little bit of oil. It has been in normal family use, and there is a nice little Russian children’s sticker on the case, and someone has carved “Лида” in tiny letters in the metal.

Thanks to the simple build and the well-written manual that came with it I could quickly figure it out and make the correct settings.
It works with a hand crank and can sew forward and backward. It sews quite fast (the manual states among some other important vital statistics that it can rotate up to 1,200 times per minute …).

I did some serious sewing with it today, and I must say the hand crank system helps avoid the neck pain I often get when I sew! I appreciate that it’s very quiet and has no influence on my electricity bill.
It has much less trouble with thicker fabrics and many layers of fabric than any electric machines I’ve used.
I miss having a zigzag a litle bit, but I’ll just have to make different types of seams for fabrics that unravel easily, use zigzag scissors and a second straight seam for sturdier fabrics, or just do that part by hand like my grandma.

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