Singer 99k and some bags

I always had the idea, that straight stitch machines were ‘better’ to sew on and had better control.  Sometimes when I am making, I am often on a race to the finish so I can get extremely slap-dash, and I thought a straight stitch machine could help me get the neater finish (spoiler alert – it didn’t).  Anyway, there were three potential straight stitch machines  – a 99k, a 201, or a 221/featherweight.  As the 201 and 221 were too expensive, I got a 99k.

Singer 99k


Its made in 1953 according to the serial number and for a 3/4 machine, its plenty weighty – lord only knows what weight a 66 or 201 would be.   I really like the mock alligator case – seriously these old sewing machine cases are like air-hostess luggage – so cute!

The first job the machine had was to remake a mock-suede bag.  I made this last year, but the singer excelle didn’t really ‘get along’ with the mock suede and the final finish was a bit rough, and either way I didn’t even use the bag as the pink didn’t really tie in with anything.  The other side of the fabric was plum so I just took it apart and turned it all around.  The second time I did not do as much top stitch, but what the machine had to sew, it did very well.


I also ran up some more purses and bags in an effort to use up scraps, and old belts and zips.  These purses are from Noodlehead.

noodlehead pencil cases.jpg


The back pack is still a work in progress – I had a raincoat last year I was remaking and it was quickly going south as I didn’t have enough fabric, but I did manage to use it up in this back pack along with some old belt pieces – I will probably make a fabric strap or use old belts as the shoulder straps.  I think its slightly too big and also could so with some interfacing so I will be tweaking it over the next few weeks.


I also made a bag from some denim scrap and used a belt cut in 2 to make the handle.  the machine even sewed through this thick belt.  I was turning the wheel by hand for going though the belt, and even then I was beginning to feel like  a person that was deliberately cruel to sewing machines…

I then got a bit carried away and started on this butterick blouse and used some of the white fabric.  I was a bit quick and overconfident and the top-stitching is rather nasty so I have put it to one side and will redo it next week- reverse engineering my bad sewing habits will take more than the singer 99 I think.




6 thoughts on “Singer 99k and some bags

  1. Cate says:

    Oh, I love your machine, he’s so cute! (Sewing machines are always male in my eyes as they’re such a pain in the butt sometimes!). I like you faux suede bag, it has quite a vintage feel to it. I have a few bits of faux leather in my stash that I often think should be made into bags. xx


    • upsew says:

      Thank you Cate- the faux-suede is based on a 70s bag. I am not really a bag person so it will probably be only used for ‘events’. it was to go to the wedding (last post) but it looked rather odd with the coat so I adapted one of the pencil cases (red one) instead and put a wrist strap. I have some old suede here and thinking of maybe challenging the 99 again!


    • upsew says:

      Thanks Aimee, they were a great way to use up scrap fabric, but I now have far too many noodlehead purses – got a bit carried away……the plum one is a nice idea – it has yet to be road tested as I tend to stick to shoulder bags, but I do like bags that adapt!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sewing40damgate says:

    Love the backpack – very stylish. I have just made one – using a commercial pattern and an old dress. It needs some modifications and I am worried that it looks a bit silly. And always keen to catch up on old sewing machines – I saw one in Oxfam the other day, but resisted making an impulse buy. It had a spindle bobbin and I wondered whether it wouldn’t hold much thread?

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thank you Kate – I got a vogue pattern on etsy with a back-pack as I would like to make a tidy one for my sister – and I know she would use one. Would love to see how yours is working out -bags are my new favourite way to use up scrap fabric and unsuccesful projects, ….. that spindle bobbin sounds interesting I have only seen them on the facebook page for the vintage sewing machine – replacment bobbins seem to be an issue……I was asked to look at some machines by a local charity shop to see if they worked…..and I did – and ended up getting a not-quite-working-yet featherweight – so one machine may have to leave to make way……..

      Liked by 1 person

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