Costume design, vintage sewing machines, painting

Vintage White 415 Sewing Machine

Here we are again, this is getting to be a habit! I mean, I already have the habit of being a sewing machine hoarder, now I just need to justify my (growing) collection by writing about it!

Today’s lovely is a White 415, made in Japan. I’m not sure of the exact year, but I would put it in the very early 60s. Anyone know for sure? This machine came to me through a friend whose family was moving & they found it in the attic. I was told that there was a problem with the bobbin, but for $10, bobbin-schmobbin I didn’t care! I went to pick it up and was first struck by how CLEAN the machine was! Everything is in great shape, including the wiring. Either she was well cared-for, or rarely used. Here’s what greeted me:


Pretty, no? We have everything you’d expect: original instruction manual, droppable feed dogs, easy to understand dials for stitch length & width, 4-step buttonhole, stretch stitch, and a variety of presser feet and throat plate covers. The stretch stitch is wonderful!


Some new (or new to me) features: “Lint Cleaner/Anti-Binding Device” No idea if this actually does anything. It’s the red piece in the bobbin assembly pictures. My Morse 200 has something similar, but they’re REALLY trying to sell it with this machine. Couldn’t hurt though, I suppose. She also has a “Creative Embroidery” feature which I’m hoping to try out soon. It basically allows you to control the stitch width while the machine is in motion.


On to the bobbin issues… we’ll file this under “Operator Error”. What’s wrong with this picture?


YEP! The shuttle race cover is on backwards, and the owner couldn’t figure out why the shuttle race cover clamps wouldn’t clamp. Well, the fitting pin wouldn’t fit correctly and the little nubs that the clamps latch onto were, well, facing the wrong way! So, I just flipped that little baby around and snap, snap, clamped it on properly. Thankfully, I don’t think the previous owner tried to sew with it in this position, and everything ran smoothly.

But wait, what’s this?


Just when I was starting to feel so cocky, I noticed that the needle position was stuck to the left. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to center (Keep in mind, this is my first White machine). Now, some of you are probably chuckling, go ahead, I can take it. It took me an hour to figure out that this *is* the straight stitch position for this machine πŸ˜‰ I only figured it out by looking at the straight stitch presser foot and throat plate cover, and noticed that the hole was to the left. Wow, this is going to be hard to get used to!

So, when all is said and done, this machine needed very little clean-up and maintenance. I did peek under the hood to check out the motor; all was clean & clear. After a basic oiling and wipedown, she was ready to go, and sewed a beautiful stitch with no adjustment necessary. She’s pretty powerful and as quiet as my Morse 200. I highly recommend this machine, it does everything I need and nothing I don’t. I can take it on location without too much grunting.

Two final shots of typos in the manual: Someone had a problem with their bottons, but their boobins seem fine πŸ˜‰


2 comments on “Vintage White 415 Sewing Machine

  1. Suzanne
    May 14, 2015

    I have a White model 415 in my possession and I’m pretty happy with how it can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. I was sewing a Little Bo Peep costume and it had to punch through two layers of taffeta, a gathered skirt, a gathered bustle, and the bodice and it did it without a fuss. My little problem is that it came without its zipper foot and my local sewing store did not have a replacement that fit it. Any ideas?

    Also, my bobbin assembly came out recently and I can’t figure out how to put that lint cleaner dealy back in with it. Do you have a few more pictures of it that I could reference?

    • tinkerbeth2
      May 18, 2015

      Hi Suzanne,
      Yes, it is a lovely, tough machine! Unfortunately, a friend of mine talked me into selling mine to her about a year ago, so I can’t check the zipper foot or the lint thingy! Let me look around a little to see if I can find any other pics πŸ™‚

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This entry was posted on February 6, 2013 by and tagged , , , , .