The 2001 Super Programatic, an Italian Lemair?

Buckle your seatbelts because the ride gets bumpy following this!

Ask anyone in sewing machine repair and collecting and they'll tell you that Lemair sewing machines are all Brother sewing machines from Japan but that's not entirely true. In my borderline OCD habit of reading everything that links to Lemair sewing machines, I came across references to models "made in Italy" but I always assumed it was just a random mistake. That is, until I found a photograph of a "made in Italy" marking (right) on a Lemair-branded sewing machine, a closed Gumtree sale for a Lemair 2001 Super Programatic (yes, that's how it is spelled on the machine's logo).

The clincher for this was the photograph of the manual for this machine which had a stylised graphic of Europe on the front page (left), on which it says, "My Sewing Machine; Lemair; E 75". On a whim I did a Google image search on "Sewing machine E75" and the first image was an exact match fo…

The Lemair Sewing Wiki, a work in progress.

In the course of searching for a manual for my Lemair 803 Boutique I ended up with a bucket-load of information about Lemairs (and Brothers and Nelcos and...) so I decided it was a good excuse for finally learning how to make a Wiki!

You can find the home page for the work in progress - and a wiki is always a work in progress! - on this link...
Lemair Sewing Wiki

Hope some of you will find this useful and contribute to it with your own knowledge of the brand! I'm finding that using a wiki is a great way of structuring a web presence that collates knowledge on a subject in a way that the wider community can contribute to.

The Lemair's one-armed Brother

To complicate the matter even further my Lemair 803 shares the same basic appearance as the Lemair 604 which had a 'Free Arm' base and a few cosmetic differences such as the feed dog dial facing forward and the backing plate behind the pattern dial being chrome.

I've found three examples of the Lemair 604 online...
Vintage Sewing Machine Lemair 604, eBay sale (Left). Note the vinyl carry case.
Sewing have a web page of parts for this model with a low resolution photograph that shows a slide-on table on it.
Sewing machine on closed Gumtree sale with a rather nice case with a repairable handle.

Although I've never found any photographs of one, I'm pretty sure this is based on the...

Brother 604 Pacesetter
The only reference I've found to this machine is from manuals on TIAS (The Internet Antique Shop).
The users guide is available as a pdf download and printed.
The Parts Catalogue and Service Manual is available as a pdf download and printed as well.


A Lemair is my Brother!

Many years ago, on a whim, I bought a sewing machine for my daughter at a local market and it served her purposes for a few years until, eventually, she outgrew it. What we ended up doing is, because she sews more than us, we gave her mum's old machine (which was still more modern than the market machine) to her and kept the other one.

Fast forward to retirement and we find ourselves with the time to pick up new skills and renew old ones with a sewing machine we knew nothing about. It was a Lemair. This one in fact...

Now, if this were a car or a computer, not only would you be able to find official manuals, articles and all sorts of after market info about it, you'd be able to find company histories of the people who made it. For sewing machines the online support for old machines is much more patchy. Most major companies have a fair amount written about them but about Lemair, I have been able to find very little.

So, innocently, I dip my toe into the deep blue seas of the…

Life's Odometer

Another birthday has come and gone, another click-over on life's odometer, 62 this time, so, once again, it's time to take stock of my health and fitness. I actually train for the week of my birthday as if it is a competition event that I want to achieve well at. Part of the reason is because I am a vain man who likes to impress people with the level of my fitness at what is perceived by most to be an advanced age. I hasten to point out that there are people with far bigger challenges than I, people who are older and fitter than I and people with health and injury limitations who would put my small triumphs to shame.
In fact I have an implacable critic that I desperately need to gain the respect of. It is someone from whom I cannot hide my weaknesses, who knows all the mind tricks, the gamesmanship that I use on myself and others to hide folly or lack of determination. Nobody knows my strengths and weaknesses like I do and because of that, like most, I am my own harshest crit…

Safety: Libertarian issue or gender issue?

I was embroiled recently in an online debate that got a little heated between myself and someone who I admire and respect, a free-spirited woman who took offense to a post from a man who was quite transparently wrong in his motives and point of view. I took the opportunity to make my viewpoint on safety known.

Safety is not a gender issue. I am a safety professional in a safety-obsessed industry. My life and career is founded on safety. I live and breath safety. If anything, safety is a civil rights issue. There is a perceived polarity between safety and liberty in that people see safety as an infringement on their personal liberty. Like a true Trekkie I'll try to give the case for both and see if I can craft a middle line that will cover the major issues of both sides.

As a young man, as is the wont of young men, I took chances. I loved to run the ragged edge of danger. In some cases I did it without knowing and I can only recognise it in hindsight. Walking though Capetown alon…

This is your child

See this? This is your child.

You have this wonderful person, this piece of you,  for eighteen years. During that time you cherish it, protect it, build all sorts of fun and loving memories with it. You don't want to let it go but that's it's nature...

You wind it up, point it in the right direction and then let it go, watching them as they race across the horizon.

For eighteen years you have your most cherished possession. You take pride in teaching them all that you believe is good and right in the world but you know that you won't be there to guide and protect them all their lives so you encourage them to become independant and make their own decisions. As a teenager you have the right and responsibity to correct them if you think they are going wrong but once they reach adulthood you have to let them go. In modern society we say that eighteen is the cut off point although some mature earlier and sadly some never reach maturity at all.

When that time comes, you have…