A New ‘Old’ Friend and an Educational Journey

Check out my new machine!  And by new, I mean not new at all.  😉
Viking 6030

It’s a Husquvarna Viking 6030 from 1972.  This machine is similar to the very first sewing machine I ever touched, when my mom (tried) to teach my how to sew on my grandmother’s Viking 2000.


My grandmother’s machine. My mom still has it and it still works!

When I saw the familiar dials and stitch samples in the photo on the Craigslist ad, I kinda fell for this machine.

Viking 6030

Since the seller was just a few blocks from my work, it was super easy to go have a look at lunch.  Once I saw the machine run, I scooped it right up and brought it home!


It’s totally legit to buy a sewing machine on your lunch break, right??

It’s yet to be determined if this was a mistake or not.  Through subsequent research I’ve learned the 6000 series of Vikings have some problems related to the fact that they were designed to never be oiled.
Viking 6030

Unfortunately, over time the self-lubricating parts freeze up and the machines stop working.  However this machine seems to only be exhibiting one minor issue, which I think I can fix, so fingers crossed.

I’ve thought about getting an older machine for a while, but to be honest, I’ve been a little scared of it.  I’ve also been thinking I’d like to learn how sewing machines really work, and how to maintain and repair them.  But that also seems a little scary and overwhelming.

Viking 6030

For me the best way to get past something that seems “to hard,” is to just jump in and try and learn as much as I can about whatever it is.  So I did some research, heard about Ray White, who is known for teaching sewing machine repair classes around the country, and signed up for one of his classes.  I also took the plunge and bought this machine.

I’m really excited!  This fall I’ll be flying to Portland, OR for three days to take the basic repair class.  I’d like to bring the Viking with me to class, but I’ve got figure out how to transport it.  It weighs a ton.

Anyway, here’s some more pics of the ‘new’ machine:
Viking 6030
Viking 6030
Viking 6030

It came with the original manuals and sales brochures.  Gotta love the 70’s fashions.
Viking 6030
Viking 6030
Viking 6030

The sewing manual includes tips on sewing with fabrics like terry cloth that were popular at the time.
Viking 6030

The machine also came with most of its original accessories (a few feet are missing), including several cams that allow you to sew different stitch patterns.
Viking 6030
Viking 6030

The “I” cam with the little sailboats and doggies is my favorite!  My grandma’s machine had these same kind of cams.  I remember wearing handmade clothes my mom sewed for me  when I was a little girl that had a lot of these same stitch patterns on them.
Viking 6030

Do you sew on an older machine? Any words of advice?


15 thoughts on “A New ‘Old’ Friend and an Educational Journey

  1. I got a Viking 5610 last year, very similar to my mom’s Viking that she still sews on now & that I learned on when I was a girl. I adore it. I bought mine from a man whose hobby is restoring old machines so I knew it was lovingly tuned up when I got it. That’s so cool that you are going to learn to fix your own machine!

  2. I started sewing a few years ago because I had my mom’s old Singer Genie (from 1975) laying around the house, and thought it might be useful to learn how to use it! It works really well, and the technician who serviced it said that old machines like mine are the best to use these days. But… I switched over to a new machine because I was having trouble finding some of the feet I needed for that specific machine (like invisible zipper, walking foot, etc…) – but if you have most of the feet for this machine it looks like you’re in good shape!! It’s just beautiful! I love the manuals that came with it, too. 🙂 xo

  3. oooo i was eyeing this one on my last hunt. my pfaff 1171 is a self-oiling job too, i just got in there and cleaned out all the seized yellow oil and perfecto! but, if your viking was in use (mine sat in a closet for 5 years) you might be golden. you might want to google search a service manual, or yahoo groups, there’s a bunch of vintage machine DIYers out there.

  4. Nice machine. I have smad. Sewing machine acquisition disorder. 🙂 I’m self taught and have about 13 machines I fixed and kept and another 13 I’ve fixed and gave to anyone who wanted to learn to sew! Congrats. The class you reference sounds awesome.

  5. Wow! I’m looking forward to reading about your class and new hobby. I’m fascinated by old machines but too chicken to open them up or even take a class. Good luck in your new venture!

  6. Wow I’m inspired. I sew on a new machine but my father bought me an old singer (circa 40s I think) which I have packed up under the house. I’ve never tried it. But my feeling is the old ones would be great. Good for you doing the course…….fantastic idea! Jane

  7. if you like vintage fabric too, when you are in Portland for you class, check out The Knittin’ Kitten -http://www.knittnkitten.com/ – I just went there for the first time last weekend, it’s a vintage fabric/craft supply store. it was a lot of fun & had some really unique fabrics and great prices. 🙂

  8. I have this machine and love it. I buy old machines and fix them up to sew with or give to friends and family. It is so easy to clean and repair older machines and they sew forever with just a little maintenance. You can learn so much about servicing and repair from you-tube and many vintage sewing machine sites. Enjoy!

  9. Pingback: Completed: Machine Repair Class | Purls and Pleats

  10. Hey, I’m sorry my english is bad.
    i have this machine too since 1 month, and i love it but i haven’t the operating manual . I search it in internet but i can’t find it. Do you know a website? I have not a zipper presser foot, i think because i have a lot of presser that i don’t know, but i search a new one. Do you know what kind of new presser is compatible with?
    And i’m also asking me because i see you have a lot of cam ( A to I) but i thought that just the fourth one ( a b c d) work. It’s right or it’s ok for all of them? And do you know where i can find the other E F G H I if it works?
    Thank’s for all

    • There is a Yahoo group dedicated to these old Viking machines. It’s called “Viking Pre-1980 Sewing Machines.” You have to request to be added, but there is a lot of good information there, including some user manuals. Unfortunately, I’m not sure about the presser feet or where to get the cams, wish I could be more helpful. Good luck, and enjoy your machine! Mine still has some problems that need to be fixed, so I haven’t been able to use it much.

  11. Hi there!
    Wow, does this bring back memories. You see, this was my very first sewing machine and was purchased for me back in 1973, when I was 13. I made a lot of my own clothes and then went on to make clothes for my daughter. I was actually talking with a sewing machine dealer who also repairs sewing machines today about this very machine. The main issue that this model had (an eventual cracked cam shaft) was due to the fact that, as owners we were not informed that when you are not using stitches from the cams, do not leave it in the machine (i.e.. when doing straight stitch sewing). I will say that my particular machine worked great for many many years before the cam cracked and I believe I would still be sewing on it today, had I known about leaving the cam out when not in use. I just wanted to let you know this in case you were unaware of it. I hope you enjoy yours and even though I now sew on a Pfaff, I still miss my old Viking!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s