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Nine year old country boy’s mission to find the original owners of a vintage sewing machine

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Tom ShanahanGreat Southern Herald
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Zavier, 9, with his completed machine.
Camera IconZavier, 9, with his completed machine.

A young history enthusiast is on the hunt for the original owners of a vintage Singer sewing machine after a six-month mission to restore the 96-year-old antique.

At the age of nine, Katanning boy Zavier Potter has restored a 1925 66K Singer sewing machine, taking it from a rusted and water-damaged machine to a point where it is fully functioning again.

After coming across the machine in the Katanning Tip Shop in February, he started stripping it down and doing his research.

Parts had to be sourced from all over Australia, installed and the water-damaged timber work rebuilt. Zavier devoted hours to the project, supported by an online network of sewing machine enthusiasts, as well as his parents

The 1925 66K Singer sewing machine prior to restoration
Camera IconThe 1925 66K Singer sewing machine prior to restoration Credit: .

The final stage was to complete the cosmetic repair, which involved stripping down the cast iron treadle frame and the sewing machine head itself, repainting and then replacing the artwork with decals sourced from the US.

Katanning Landcare program manager Ella Maesepp said Zavier had used the restoration to help him earn his newly awarded STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) badge for Cub Scouts. “I am absolutely blown away by what Zavier has achieved,” she said.

“His dedication to the project was amazing, and the final result, beautiful.

“It’s lovely hearing the sound of the treadle whirring away as Zavier sews with it.”

Zavier working on the treadle frame
Camera IconZavier working on the treadle frame Credit: .

While the full restoration is complete, Zavier said the project would not be finished until he found the original owners.

“We figure it has to have come from a local family for it to end up at the Katanning Tip Shop, and I’d like to know its story,” Zavier said.

Anyone with information can call Mrs Maesepp or Zavier on 9821 8616.

Zavier, 9, preparing the machine for repainting
Camera IconZavier, 9, preparing the machine for repainting

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