Friday, April 9, 2010

New Toy = Playtime on the Viking 6010

NancyK, this is for you (and for me too!).

I mentioned that I was hopeful the new/old Viking could be set up as a topstitching station. NancyK emailed me and asked if I had tried it out yet. Well, that was all the motivation I needed.

I wound my one and only bobbin (gotta fix that!) with Gutermann upholstery thread. I threaded the needle with the same thread. I put in a 120 topstitching needle, pulled out a RTW jeans scrap I keep on hand for patching up my sons' jeans, and I was off!

(Click on the pics for bigger versions.)

1 = straight stitch over 6 layers of denim, low gear
2 = zz over 6 layers of denim, low gear
3 = ss over 2 layers of denim, regular gear
4 = three-step zz over 2 layers of denim, regular gear

The backside of the stitches over 6 layers of denim. (The darker stitching on the bottom came with the jeans.)

Above: The 6 layers of denim between the arrows

Buttonhole (because I knew someone would ask!). This machine has a 4-step buttonhole. I just winged it so it's a little crooked on the first leg where I started.

Back side of buttonhole

Conclusion: I'm sold! All of this stitching is with upholstery thread in the bobbin and no tension adjustments. I just threaded it up and off I went. I definitely see a topstitching station in my immediate future.

* * * * *

Other likes and dislikes:

1. Like: The light. It's big and bright. And …

… you can pull it down for when you need extra brightness. At 40-mumblemumble years old, that's more often than not these days. ;-) But isn't that cool? (Uh, the light, not my old eyes!)

2. Like: The honkin' big and heavy foot pedal. I don't think this one will be sliding quite as easily under the table.

3. Like: An in-your-face button for dropping the feed dogs. Now dropping the dogs isn't hard on my D1 but I do have to slide off the freearm cover thingie and if it was sitting in a table it would be even fiddlier.

4. Like: A lever for instantly releasing foot pressure. No screwing something up/down. Just open the sideplate, push the red button up and in and voila, no pressure. Push it back, and you're back to where you started. There is also a numbered dial right next to the instant-off lever where you can dial foot pressure up or down. Admittedly, I hardly ever, ever adjust foot pressure on my D1 because it adjusts itself, but I still think this is a cool feature for an older machine. Why don't the newer machines have this? (I'll take pics later so you can see what I mean.)

5. Dislike: No needle positions or needle up/down. No Needle up/down doesn't bother me at all. But I do miss my 25 needle positions on the D1. But that just means I'll have to topstitch a little slower instead of relying on my cheater edge feet. :-)

6. Dislike: No on/off switch. My Featherweight doesn't have one either. You just yank the plug out of the machine and it's off. Well, yeah, but how much brainpower would it have taken to make a power switch? Not a big deal, but just weird.

7. Like: Her smooth curved body. I know this is why I don't like Berninas — I can't look past their angular bodies (sorry Bernina owners, it's just me). I grew up with (and into!) this shape and it … er … shaped my preferences. I also love the shape of the old black Singers. These old girls and me, we have our curvy figures in common. :-)

So, maybe now I'll go sew something for real. I've got the whole weekend ahead of me. Woot!!


  1. Thanks Debbie! really nice topstitiching on denim. It is possible to do topsitiching without relying on our lovely needle positions! Being able to sew so many layers without having to screw down the tension is a big bonus. I love the bright adjustable lighting. Much better than my viking platinum. My 960 had better lighting than I have now, but no where as good as your new/old machine.

  2. She's purty. But the old Berninas (around the same ages as the Viking) were curvy. :-) They aren't anymore (I'm thinking that started with the 930 in the early 80's).

  3. You don't need needle positions for top stitching. Use your blind hem foot! The "fold guide" works great as a topstitching guide. :)

  4. Nice! I am impressed. I have a D2, but I also have a few older singers and my old Ward's Signature sewing machine that I picked up at a rummage sale in pristine condition over 12 years ago - that baby has miles of sewing on it. Right now my daughter is using it, but boy, I'll have to keep an eye out for a 6010 for a replacement in case it ever dies. I was looking around online and found a Viking 6030 ( - where can you find online information about the self lubricating?
    Have fun with your new toy!!

  5. El,
    There is a Yahoo group, VikingSewingMachinesPre1980 where you can ask questions about these machines. It's run by Bill Holman, an OSMG who is extremely knowledgeable.

    I'm 99.99% sure that the 6030 was the first of the 6000 series machines that is self-lubricating (and I looked at the ShopGoodwill site and didn't see any oiling points in the top like my 6010 has) and so, if it hasn't been used and/or serviced regularly, it may have the common problem of these Vikings, of the lubrication stuff solidifying and freezing the machines. You always don't notice it with a cursory checkover, like someone who is not a sewer would do.

    They can be cleaned out and re-lubed, and there is a list of recommended Viking servicers on the Yahoo group above. Apparently, not all authorized Viking servicers are still trained on these older machines and so you do need to find one who knows their stuff. It will also depend on how much you want to invest in restoration - I "hear" it's around $200-300.

  6. Thank you so much for the info, Debbie! I didn't even think about the lubricating holes - great tip. I will keep my eyes open for a 6010. Don't really want to mess with the self-lubricating. . .

  7. I'll bet that baby will topstitch through wood! But use a large needle. ;-)

  8. Nice buttonhole! If you really want a switch I think you can add one yourself, that type of electrical work is pretty easy to do and Loews/HD should have all the components.

  9. I'm seriously trying not to look at ebay for one of my very own. I'm only up to 4 machines. I need to abstain. Dang you.

  10. The topstitching is BEAUTIFUL!!!! So straight. What a great find.

  11. Have you ever used Trudy Hansen jeans patterns? I have been reading this blog about them.

    Heather at email dot com

  12. I have the same model sewing machine.. my mom got it when I was probably 10 and I loved it from the first day. She gave it to me as a wedding gift. If you need copies of manuals just send me an email. englishlopswyoming @ yahoo . com (remove spaces). I love my machine and have gotten it fixed of a major problem once... but I have a feeling it needs to go in again.. the reverse button is getting pushed in by the stitch length dial. Was online looking for advice for fixing it myself when I came across your post about appreciating this machine like I do. :)

  13. I also have a 6010 and love it .As for the on and off switch,because it doesn't have one, I put an extra bobbin on the bobbin winder and the machine will not "go" as long as it is on the winder. It is safe if a child tries to sew! Hope this will make it easier to accept no on-off switch

  14. Got one of these workhorses from my then-husband for my 21st birthday. Paid the grand sum of $328 which was big money at that time. It more than earned its keep.
    I used to sew/tailor nearly every day, making both my kids' clothes, all my own clothes, jackets for The Man, and a large number of quilts. The machine never skipped a beat.....routine maintenance was the only thing necessary to keep it performing perfectly to this very day. "Friends for Life"


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