How old is you machine
How old is your basic sewing machine? Mine is over 30 now and since it works great I just can’t see buying another ( can use money on fabric and supplies). My serger is over twenty years old and still works great. If you have bought a new one recently, what do you like best about it.
I have a Viking that is 28 years old. It needs a tune up right now, but it's my old reliable and has been all over the state with me so I can't bear to part with it. I have a newer Fresia inherited from my mom and I'm thinking about buying a serger. However, I'm really slow at making up my mind what I want so it may be a few years before the serger is in the house...
I have a 25-year-old Pfaff 1222E and that's my 'youngest' machine. I've also got an early Featherweight, my grandmother's treadle, and another, unknown brand treadle. They're all from the 1930's. Oh, and a serger, too. I don't know what I'd do if I had to look for a replacement!
I have a 1970's Kenmore and a 1999 Lisa by Husqvarna Viking. I can honestly say that my Kenmore sews every bite as good as the Viking. The differences are:
I have to set up every stitch manually---the machine does not "advise me" but the old Kenmore Manual does!
The Kenmore does not have built in "fancy stitches" but it has cams that do the same thing.
The Kenmore has a flat bed, the Viking has a free arm. After sewing for 30 years with a flat bed, the free arm is nice but not necessary.
The Viking has various different needle positions so you can position it to sew more to the left or right of center. This is nice. With the Kenmore you have to move the material.
The Viking has more control over whether the needle stops in the up or down position when sewing.
The Viking allows you to load the bobbin with the machine still threaded.
The Viking does not have to be oiled.
The Kenmore buttonholer is one of those attachments with cams. It makes flawless buttonholes consistently. The Viking has a fancy attachment that counts the stitches backwards and then replicates them forwards for the second half of the buttonhole. It makes a very nice buttonhole but has to be set up very carefully or it jams and makes a mess.
So all in all I love both of these machines and I don't think one is really a lot different from the other. I do mostly garment construction and the usually home projects --drapes, pillows etc. I have a little PE150 Brother embroidery machine for the odd embroidery embellishment that I want. I also have a 936 Huskylock serger that has added the most versatility to my sewing projects.
My "work horse" is a 22 year old Bernina 930 named "Bernie". He is the "Old man" of my sewing room. I also have a 5 year Janome 4800 that does all the stitches that Bernie does, plus gives me the option of 2 alphabets. The serger is a 6 year old Juki655, aka "Satchmo" because of the big, wide, sewing area. Finally, there is "Babe", the Baby Lock blind hemmer. This past summer, my husband helped me repaint and reorganize the sewing room. All I have to do is invite my 2 cats to "hang out", and It's quite a party!
I also have a Bernina 930e that's around 22 years old. It is a jewel--does everything I ask, and never gives me a moment's trouble.Recently, I inherited a 1964 Bernina 730 that has been niceley kept in storage for some time. Gotta have my genius Bernina mechanic go through it to determine if it will become part of my family, though.
The older Bernina machines just keep going and going. Mine was even in an accident (it fell off of a table back in 1990) and even though my mechanic at the time could not fix it, he sent it back to the factory and it's been good as new ever since. It's only needed 1 replacement part (the area that holds the bobbin case) since then and it's had 2 tune-ups. Good Luck with the "New Baby"!!
I learned to sew on my mother's 1950 Singer. I still have it, and when I need a straight stitch with no problems, I use it. My first zig-zag Kenmore with cams is living here, but basically unused. Around 1980 my daughter used her summer wages to purchase a new Singer portable. If more than one of us here is sewing, as if for a wedding, it is put to work; it only sews straight and zz, but with no bother. My favorite machine is my Pfaff 2473CD. I bought it used around 8 years ago, and I am very happy with it. It's only personality problem is that it encourages me to sew more, different, increased difficulty and when I am changing threads, fabrics, etc., there is a certain amount of adjustment required, for which my tolerance varies greatly. Oh, yes, my husband owns a treadle Singer that came from an old camp house and he won't part with it. It won't sew because the leather belt is stretched beyond use, but I believe it would. Galey
I have a 22 year old Viking 980 and I want a new machine but I don't really need one. The only complaint I have is that after so many years the electronic button sensors sometimes don't engage right away. Sometimes I hit the reverse button to finish off my seam and it doesn't back up. This might be due to it living in the basement for the past 15 years and the moisture might have affected it. Otherwise my Viking sews pretty much the same as when it was new. I have had very few problems with it over the years as well. If I were to buy a new machine now, I think the Janomes look like the most for your money, but I wonder how much people like them after a few years.
If the leather belt on your husband's treadle is still intact it can be cut and the ends reconnected. Many dealers still sell treadle belts (used by Amish). It would be fun to get the old treadle going. I sewed on my Grandma's as a child and treasure the baby quilt she made on it for my daughter.
Thank you for the information. This machine is one of my husband's prize possessions and I will give this information to him. I'm not sure he would even let me sew on it! Galey
I got my Elna Super in 1970 and I still love it. It runs so smooth and quiet. I got a second computerized Elna 800 for our summer home but it cannot beat the old girl. My repairman says the old one is a much better machine
I have a Bernina 1230 that I couldn't live without. It's a 1987 model. I can't imagine parting with it for something newer and more gadgety. It does everything I need. Much as I love "Bernie" (my, aren't we original in our naming), my true love is "Aunt Harriet" my 1947 Featherweight. I inherited this from the beloved aunt who taught me to sew and it's still going strong. She makes the most perfect straight stitch you could imagine. Lastly, I have written elsewhere here about my love/hate relationship with the serger I bought off e-bay (and have lived to regret).
my favorite of favorite machine is a pfaff332 made in1955 it does embrodier it will sew leather you can quilt with it it is the best also have a featherweight which was my grandmas . i love pfaffs to me they are the best
Most posters have machines that are quite old! Impressive!
My oldest machine is a Singer from the early 1980s. Mostly because I couldn't bring my old one from Europe, because it's a different voltage. Otherwise I might not have bought this machine. I picked this brand solely because it was what I was used to!
I do have a newer Viking (Platinum) which I bought just a few years ago. I Love this machine. It is so much quieter and has so many more options! I'm not into machine embroidery but I love the built-in alphabets I now have. I use them (and the decorative stitches) a lot for stuff I sew for my kids.
My most recent creation: kelly green shorts with a silver thread decorative stitch along the pocket openings -- the design decisions (the green fabric and the silver thread, in particular) were those of the girl wearing the shorts, my 6 year-old daughter. I just sewed them up for her... They're actually cute on her. Even my husband thinks so, and he was quite sceptical when he saw her choices!
My machine is a 1966 Singer zig-zag with twenty cams for different decorative stitches. It was a wedding gift from my new husband's parents. I was so proud to have it, and even now, when I think I might enjoy a new machine with some of the wonderful features, I can't bring myself to give it up. It has a drop-in bobbin that is wound in place, a feature that I love. One problem is that the bobbins are no longer well-made - they have a different shape than the usual bobbin - and I have to throw away about 1/3 of the ones I buy. This machine has seen a lot of use, from clothes for myself, my son, when he was small, and my daughter, who learned to sew with it, to home decorating. I have loved using it, and wish that I had kept a collection of pictures of the many sewing projects. Thanks for starting me on this trip down Memory Lane!
Speaking of bobbins, I also have to throw away about 1/3 of the new bobbins I buy for my Singer. Either they don't fit the winder (I can hold it down with my finger) or they have nicks on them that catch the thread. Why do they do that, when you buy the size recommended? Very annoying.
I have a Kenmore that I bought in 1970, and it does a lot of things that my Singer, bought 6 years ago, won't do. It makes much better buttonholes than the Singer (I made a mess on a new blouse putting in a buttonhole with the Singer), never breaks the thread or grabs the bobbin thread like the Singer does. It makes more pattern stitches. The only thing it doesn't do that the Singer does is have an open arm for hemming pants legs. Hmmm, maybe I should just get it out of the garage and put the Singer away!
I don't know, Autumn, the bobbins are probably made too cheaply. My bobbins consist of two clear plastic pieces which screw together at the shank, and I just think they're too crudely fitted together. The original ones never gave me any trouble, except for eventually breaking. But the new ones catch and snag the thread, and I think there's a gap in some of them at the shank, which does something to the winding. But I liked that you could see through the top and know exactly how much thread you had left. And because of the screw-together pieces, unloading a bobbin of thread no longer needed was a cinch. No more un-reeling. I thought it was super that I didn't have to remove the bobbin to wind it. I'm laughing at myself at what I considered a luxury after sewing on my mother's old 1930's Singer, especially in view of the nice features on the new machines, like needle-threaders, needle-up or needle-down stop positions, ability to move from thick to thin fabric layers, etc., without even getting into decorative stuff at all. And actually, I don't need most of those features most of the time.
The first thing I did when I bought each of my new machines was throw away the plastic bobbins. They don't hold up near as well as the metal ones do. I now have over 100 metal class 15 bobbins. All of my machines except for the Featherweight take class 15. I never unwind bobbins to reuse them. I only have a dozen bobbins for the Featherweight but as I fill them up, I'll keep buying more untill I have enough (another 100 bobbins isn't outside the realm of possiblities) to not to unwind them as well.
Nice to have that option, metal bobbins. My old Singer doesn't take any other kind than the plastic ones, which are an unusual shape: very shallow and wide, with the top "flange" wider than the bottom. Advantages about equal to the disadvantages, I guess. And if I had 100 bobbins, where on earth would I store them? I'm already storing all those spools of thread. I have a problem throwing anything away!
The machine I sew on at the bridal shop is an old Singer Athena 2000, the first Singer to have a wind in place bobbin. I have 9 of them and probably won't be getting any more. They are expensive. Class 15 bobbins, even the metal ones are way cheap in comparason. And Featherweight bobbins not much more expensive than the class 15. For storage, I have a 4 drawer dresser in my sewing room. The top drawer holds the thread and bobbins. The thread is stored in shoe box lids, sorted by color. The bobbins are kept with the same color thread, in bobbins storage trays. The 2 bottom drawers keep the serger thread, again sorted by color. The 2nd drawer from the top has sewing machine tools, parts, etc in it.
Nice "filing" system. "...at the bridal shop"? Does your Athena 2000 have plastic bobbins like mine, then? My machine is a "Touch & Sew" model 603E. Just curious. Are you designing, making, altering, at the shop, or all three? Do you find that your old machine does it all for you, or do you also use sergers or other equipment?
Edited 7/8/2006 4:16 pm ET by Josefly
Yes, the Athena has plastic bobbins. We also have a Singer Featherweight (with metal bobbins) and an old Singer 4-thread serger (14U64, I think--it uses regular Singer needles which is nice) which we have set up for 3-thread since we only use it to finish raw edges or to roll hem. We bought the Athena because the old Elna finally died and could no longer be repaired and we needed a machine that would do buttonholes and zigzag. For narrow hems on chiffon and organza we still use the Featherweight. And because there are 2 dressmakers at the shop. I do mostly alterations and some restyling of purchased gowns. The other dressmaker does most of the custom work as well as restyling and alterations.
WOW! Someone else is still using an old 14u64!. I still have mine and even though I sold Singer's for years and there were many newer sergers after that one , I prefer it because of the tension system. I remember when the 14U64 arrived at the store and one of my sales ladies sat down to figure it out. At that time , sergers were industrial machines and this was the first one to sell for home use. Many, many miles on mine.
Small world. I also sold Singers for many years. I was working for Singer when the Athena came out. It was the first machine that I had specific training on from Singer. My mind must be going. I had forgotten about the Touch and Sews with the wind in place bobbins. I must admit that I don't like that feature because I like to wind the next bobbin while I'm sewing with the first one. It saves time as I use a lot of one color thread in my costume work.
I'm still using my Singer Fashion Mate 252 set into a work table with a fold out extension that my mother bought me in 1971 as a high school graduation present. It sews forward, backward, zigzag and has a blind hem stitch I've never managed to master. It doesn't do well on knits. I'm yearning for and nervous about buying a new computerized machine. My repairman said that it's a good, solid basic machine and maybe I should just consider buying a serger to bring me into the 21st century.
Now that I've read how everyone raves about their old machines, I'm not sure what to do. I'm living in an apartment and don't really have room for "extra" machines. Maybe someone will come up witha portable "laptop" sewing machine?
Hey thats a good idea about a portable laptop sewing machine never know. I dont have a seger have 6+ sewing machines.
Funny, a Janome Platnium is a "laptop" sewing machine. Small, computerized, and weighs only 12 or 13 lbs. Takes up very little space and is a great little machine!
I have a 1974 Sears Kenmore with cams, flatbed, in a cabinet that was my mom's. Dad bought it for her/me for Christmas after I finished wearing out her old one when I learned to sew and used it to death (it was an old cheapee Montgomery Ward machine that was already 40 years old!). I bought one just like it with a freearm when I got married in 1978, but alas I sold it, which I now regret. (Not so much now that I have Mom's.)
I also have a Kenmore 19001 (made by Janome) sewing/embroidery machine that I have probably had for about 5 years. I have 3 Janome Gem Silvers that are about 3 or 4 years old (I used these to teach beginning sewing and for traveling. DDs use them too).
I have 2 Singer sergers, one about 8 years old and one about 2 years old. I also have a brand-new Janome 900CP coverstitch machine that I have had for about 6 or 8 months.
While the Athena 2000 was Singer's first electronic sewing machine (probably the first electronic for anyone) , Singer had Touch and Sew machines with wind-in-place bobbins years before the Athena came out. Mine is a Futura with wind-in-place bobbins. That is a feature I enjoy and I am sorry to hear it causes problems for so many
I have just been given a Futura 2000 machine. It has been standing for some time and was a bit stiff and no instructions to go with it. I have the instruction booklet for the Futura 1000, which is very good. But I can't refill the bobbins. the threat doesn't catch the bobbin. I wondered if it was different between those 2 machines. The threat is going across the bobbin, but not catching it. Otherwise it runs noisely, but fine. The only other option for me would be to take it to the nearest service shop, which is a 3 hour round trip.
I sew regularly on a Pfaff 1472 Creative. I also have a 1975 Kenmore that does amazing buttonholes, as others have attested to. Then there is my Featherweight, CA 1952, white paint, that I just love and am saving for grandaughter. Also had a treadle my MIL gave me that I have given to my daughter and also some sort of machine with elaborate paint on it that I use as a decoration in my living room. It is unsewable. My pfaff, the second that I own, has been wonderful and I have no desire to upgrade. It has all the heirloom stitches that I need and is computerized. My Kenmore keeps my buttonholes gorgeous. I serge on a Singer 14U234, an oldy but a goody.
I would take it in to the shop if you can't figure out the bobbin problem. Is it running loud because it needs oil? Someone here posted a place to order manuals I think, maybe check the archives. Good luck! It is always nice to get free machines!
Thanks for your reply. The service would cost me £35 plus parts. A bit reluctant to spend the money.
I pay a fee to have each of my three computerized machines once a year. The mechanical 1980 Singer and 1970 Necchi I had serviced only when there is a problem or every 3-5 years.
Glad to see I`m not the only one who loves an old machine. I have an old Singer from the early 50s that sews like a dream. Just straight stitch, but will sew through the heaviest fabric. Also I use an old Singer buttonhole attachment for all my buttonholes. It fits on all my machines and makes the nicest buttonholes. They are rounded on the ends- not bar tacked. They look just like fine ready-to-wear. It has cams for most sizes. I bought it at a garage sale about 30 years ago for 50 cents!! My best buy ever!! The machine I sew on every day is a J.C. Penny that I bought from the Mail order catalog. I am always ready to buy a new Janome, but just hate to spend the money while this old one works!!. Some day! Bonkers
Hi I love old machines too. I also played around with so many now, that I feel confident to sort an older one out. But I haven't come across one with this type of bobbin winding. I phoned the shops today and it would cost me £35 to have it serviced plus parts.
I am a bit reluctant to spend the money,
I just got a Pfaff 2124 about 2 years ago, I love it. Before that I had a Pfaff 1171 Tiptronic for 19 years! I made tons of money with that machine, it was a workhorse. She is enjoying life in retirement, I couldn't bear to trade her in.
I also have a Babylock Evolve and a Babylock blind hemmer.
I have take my machines to the "doctor' once a year unless something unexpected happens.
Well I am glad some others besides myself still have the old 1930-1940 Portable Singer. I use mine often with a quarter inch foot for quilt piecing. I love it for classes as the newer "portable machines" are so heavy they are hard to get in and out of the vehicles for classes. I also own two Berninas that I dearly love. My husband laughs at me when he comes into my sewing room and sees the Bernina embroidering and the little singer with me piecing.
Love sewing very relaxing-well most of the time until I hit a snag.
Joan in Ohio
My oldest machine is my recently inherited Singer Featherweight (1954). I also have a generic 1954 machine, also inherited. 3 Kenmores: 1959/60, 1980, and 2002. Another generic about mid 1970s. Most favorite: the Featherweight hands down. I use it for bridal and special occasion. It makes a perfect narrow hem for bridal and will sew through the thickest bridal seam--millions of layers of gathered fabric. I use the 1959 Kenmore for ruffles and 1/4 narrow hems; the 2002 Kenmore for buttonholes (I use the freearm and my old Singer buttonhole attachment) and general sewing. The others are for backup, for sewing with a buddy, and because I can't bear to get rid of any of my machines.
I just bought a new machine in January -- Janome DC 3018. It's not one of those high-end embroidery machines, but it's a solid basic sewing machine. The number one reason was a better buttonhole mechanism. My old New Home (about 10 years old?) could do buttonholes, but it was 4 separate steps and it was hard to keep all 4 sides of the buttonhole lined up.
The Janome has a few other nice features common in newer machines. I like the needle threader (my eyesight is not as good as it used to be) and the drop-in bobbin under the clear plastic plate is much nicer than taking apart the bottom of the old machine. I'm not getting bobbin thread jams like I used to but I would now be able to see what is going on if that were a problem.
As you can see, my needs are not that complicated!
My oldest machine is a 1951 Singer Featherweight that I inherited from my late mother-in-law. I don't use it though. I also have a 1951 Elna (nothing fancy - just straight stitch) that was my mothers, but she no longer sews so she gave it to me. I learned to sew on that machine. I also have a circa 1970 Kenmore that I used for years and years in spite of the fact that it was notorious for sucking fabric down into the throat. It had cams for fancy stitches, but I seldom used them. My current machine is a Quilt Designer I from Husqvarna/Viking and I love it! I sometimes think about trading up for the Quilt Designer II so that I'd have the embroidery option, but so far have resisted the impulse. I'm not so sure I want to get involved with the embroidery side of things. I also have a 12 year old White Superlock 734D serger.
I laughed when I read the topic's title: "machine" was singular, surely most Threads readers have more than one machine? Then I read the many posts. Oh, good! It's not just me.
I recently inherited my mother's 1939 Singer featherweight on which I had learned to sew, and had "borrowed" for the first 15 years of marriage, and so had sewn all my children's clothes. What great memeories! I also inherited her grandmother's Singer treadle cabinet that my father had fitted for the Featherweight when they got married 55 years ago.
In 1989 I bought a New Home Combi. It is a mechanical zig-zag machine (no frills, very dependable) mounted on a swivel plate that turns to convert to a 2-thread serger.
Three years ago my husband bought me a Pfaff2040 for Christmas. My first computerized machine! How did I ever get along without so many features!
Two Christmases ago he bought me a Baby Lock Evolve 8-thread serger. Incidentally, these two Christmases he spent in Iraq, and did his shopping via Internet. Yes, he is a wonderful husband, I think I'll keep him.
My youngest daughter thinks she is getting the New Home Combi when she finishes college this December. We'll see.
My oldest machine is a fully working 1896 Singer treadle; it does terrifically strong and even straight stitching and has delighted children during pioneer days at school.
My next oldest machine is a 1970 Kenmore that has costumed college plays, made tents, sailbags, leather backpacks, my wedding gown, children's clothes, tailored suits, and just about anything that can be sewn. The thread tension adjustment is currently broken, I think because a plastic part has worn away, but I'm sure it can be repaired. It has a great buttonholer and bobbin winder.
My most recent machine is a 1980 Wards Signature, still pre-computer days. It has 27 decorative stitches, fantastic tension controls, and free-arm. I love and use all three!
I love this discussion. My old machine is a 1956 Singer Model 15-125 which I purchased about 1958 when my oldest daughter was Two years old. I took the lessons and began to sew at that time. However, I eventually had four more children and did mostly mending for a while with an off and on small project for myself. When my grandchildren came along I decided to get back into the projects and have been sewing ever since. I can say that I still love that old machine because it does anything I ask it to with just a change of needle or foot attachment. Right now it needs a trip to be cleaned and checked. I do have a new Viking/Rose and although I like the machine I find it rather a nuisance sometimes when I have to fuss with a different needle, different thread and learning all the new quirks sometime makes me crazy. It does embroider but I have not been particularly drawn to all the embroidery things. I like the different stitches. But, to me it is easier to open the old machine and stitch away. Besides anyone who is accustomed to the old machines is probably accustomed to finishing seems, rolling hems, doing french seams and all that sort of thing the old fashioned way.
This has been a really interesting discussion. I currently own6 machines...the newest of which is about 20 years old. My favorite is a tie between my own old Necchi from the 50's and my mother's old New Home, which I learned to sew on. Both offer no zigzag stitch, but consequently sew a VERY straight seam and are great for top stitching. Two of the machines my DH won in poker games, one of which in a commercial, heavy duty job which is great for big jobs like canvas work or upholstery work. One is a free arm, which I thought I "had to have" but actually don't use very often. When I have them all set up in the basement it looks like a factory! In my heart I lust for one of those big wide arm quilting jobs, or a "do everything" computer job, but I know that I probably wouldn't use them much. Heck, I don't use the ones I have like I used to.
you sound like me i have 6 machine last time i counted .domestictreadle with the orignal sale slip when it was purchase my grandmother gave me this machine when i was twelve years old my mother use it for uphosltry still works great.Singer feather weight 1947 also my grandmothers. two praff 332 embrodier. aigzags leather canvas quilting my altime favorite. pfaff hobby never use this one pfaff 2020 use this everyday. The one with the most sewing machine wins.
Hi: I was excited to see your post mentioning the New Home machine. A few years back when I was visiting my daughter I took out a machine which her mother-in-law had given her several years before. My daughter knows how to sew but never used the machine unless she ABSOLUTLEY needed to mend. Anyway it turned out to be an excellent machine for me to sew and mend with when I visited her, this eliminating my need to travel my machine. The instruction book was great and I was able to give the machine a good cleaning and oiling all on my own. The machine also has a great capacity for dialing different stitches. EX: zigzag. It is so exciting to read all these things about peoples likes and dislikes for their machines. I am certainly conviced that I need to keep my very old Singer.
Edited 6/21/2006 11:08 am ET by pinkit
Having read all of the posts made so far, I found it very interesting that most of the responders, certainly myself, rely on our old faithful machines. I really thought I was one of the very few people left on this earth who had no computerized machine and had not joined the the ranks of "modern" sewers. I see all these fantastic machines at my local Joann's and figure everyone but me must own one! It's nice to know I'm not alone. My original Necchi and New Home can't even zigzag, but they do the very best straight stitch ever. I wonder though, 6 machines and no electronic wonder or serger among them! I must be getting old.
Hi: It was so much fun for you to mention the tredle machine that was your grandmothers. I actually took my first stitches on my mother's old Singer treddle. How I wish it was still around. I think Mom gave it up when she inherited a very good model electric Singer after her Aunt, who had been a manager for the Singer store in Boston MA, passed away. I see these old machines, sometimes in pretty bad shape at Estate Auctions up here in New England where I live. It always makes me sad. Sometimes the attachments get seperated from the machines. The last Auction I went to with my daughter there was a box of attachments without a machine. The dealer said they never found a machine. SAD. Thanks for your input I have really enjoyed every post.
I have a Pfaff 1222E which I love. It stitches evenly and doesn't falter no matter what I feed through it. For the type of sewing I do, it's perfect. (I still do some tailoring and some couture sewing.) I did break down and buy a Huskylock 905, which I use but my Pfaff is still the reliable workhorse.
I have a Pfaff 2030 I just bought it a couple of years ago and I haven't figured it all out yet. I started with my mother's simple straight stitch green singer, then My husband bought me my first machine about 2 months after we were married 30 years ago and it was a Brother that you turned a dial on for the different stitches rather than dropping Cams in, I moved into a Athena by Singer and then a computer Model by singer and sewed on that for over 15 years and when it died it was a sad day. I finally moved over to Pfaff and I must say I do love this machine. I had a singer serger but that fell and seriously checked out of active duty and I purchased a Pfaff Serger actually about 3 years before I bought my Pfaff sewing machine. This has been an interesting read, I had read another disc. and they were talking about how all the sewing shops are closing we have the same problem where I live or what is open is really limited in the selection, this is too bad for I end up travelling a great distance to get good quality materials. Does any one else have this problem the little shops closing?
It is not just the little ones closing, but the big ones offerring so much non-sewing items and so little fabric that is good enough to invest my time in. Sad.
I've got my mother's 1956 Singer that my aunt bought her when the news of my anticipated arrival was revealed. My mother used that machine to hem diapers. I learned to sew on it, and still love it. It's just ... durable.
When I was in university, broke, and needed/wanted to make some curtains/do basic upholstery I bought a Brother. I'm amazed that nearly 30 years later, it's still hanging in, and capable of most uses I'm interested in.
I'm constantly tempted by something more mmmmm upscale, but so far ... no need. Want, yes. Need, no.
I am so sick of so-called fabric stores that have half of their floor space in crafts or home decor. Not only that, but they don't seem to care much about the customer. JoAnns is a nightmare, not enough clerks, stand in long lines to get cut and then checked out. There is a fairly new Hancock's near me, so I was happy to see that. But a couple of days ago I was in it and the temp. was set so low that I got goose bumps and had to leave before I wanted to. It is very frustrating that the fabric shops don't seem to consider the customer any more.
I am afraid the days of the quality fabric shoppes are a thing of the past. We have a new store opened not to far (about 15 minutes) away but as for the quality it is dubious at best. But they did name themselves "Bargain Fabric Outlet" Sad to admit I may not remember quality fabric if it was suddenly presented to me.
I was told on inquiry about quality fabric that it would cot so much to carry it that we would never buy it in the first place. Maybe there is some truth in that. We sew because A) we need to create and B) we want to save money, and finally C) we like the superior fit.
If it is going to cost me as much to sew a good dress as it is to buy one I know I maybe tempted to buy one and alter it accordingly. That is easy for me to say though as I have little faith of quality fabric showing up at my door. So I sew with the best I can find and pray the hem stays even when all is said and done, and I am usually happier with the results.
I too, have a Pfaff 2030 and I really like it. The only things that I don't like are 1) the basting stitch which is not nearly as good as the Elna's, and 2)the fact that the compound zigzag - stitch No 4 will not flatten enough to be really useful. I don't know if this is just my machine or if the others are the same, but I end up not using it at all.
I do like the walking foot, the needle threader and the way the buttonholes all come out the same size. This machine is about 4 years old.
My last machine was an Elna non computerised (dont remember the number) and I still have an Elna Lotus which is 32 years old and still works.
My basic sewing machine is a Pfaff 6270, so I guess it's about 8 yrs' old. I have the Pfaff 7570 Embroidery machine and the Pfaff coverlock serger (don't remember the model number), which I got while I was working for a sewing machine dealer. I also have a lot of vintage machines.
Why so many machines? Well, it's kind of like people who lived through the depression. After it was over, they would hoard things because they didn't want to go through hardship again.
My first machine was a cheapo machine, $100 in 1983 and I had to put it on lay-away to get it. When I went to pick it up, the man told me it would be $20 more for the carrying case and the foot control. I kind of went ballistic on the guy and he backed down. This was a portable machine and the foot control was permanently wired in. I never bought anything else from him. But that machine was bad news from the beginning, I would get so frustrated with it because I couldn't get an accurate, straight seam allowance, it would chew up my fabric sometimes. I did a lot more ripping than sewing and expanded my swearing vocabulary by leaps and bounds.
I almost gave up sewing entirely, thinking it was me. I was quilting at that time and I ended up doing a lot of hand-piecing. About 15 years of that and I kept hearing about Singer Featherweights but had never seen one. I decided I wanted one and DH found it for me. I could not believe the difference! I had straight seams! I had no problems with the machine and I discovered that I really can sew! DH kept finding vintage machines and bringing them home!
Finally, I tried a few of the computerized machines and bought the Pfaff. I love it! I still use the vintage machines sometimes, just for fun. DH and I were invited to display our antique and vintage machines at the State Museum here in South Carolina a few years ago and I sewed on a treadle machine during the show.
What about that first machine? My brother asked for it and I passed it on with an evil grin, sending it's curse along with it. He just uses it for mending, so I guess it's o.k. for him, but I know it's just waiting for some unsuspecting person to try to sew an accurate seam on a delicate fabric.
I had a Singer Futura from 1975 to 2000 when I bought a new Baby Lock Ellure with embroidery. I love my new machine. it does beautiful embroidery without problems. It has lots of stitches that I use, but recently I realized the straight stitches are not as straight as I would like. If I ever catch on my sewing I will take it in to be serviced. I also have a Baby Lock Evolve that I love, it is so easy to use and understand.
I would love to find a Singer Featherweight for a reasonable price, the ones I see here in Connecticut are ridiculous. I gave my old machine to a friend that is Home EC teacher at a city high school and she gave it to one of her students that was really interested in sewing and wanted a machine. It had a beautiful pecan cabinet but my new machine didn't work in it at all.
My main 'chine is a Pfaff 1222E which I bought new in 1981 to replace a Singer Genie (a high school graduation present from my parents). That Pfaff is a great machine!
Over the years I've purchased a treadle machine, New Home I think, but the decal is worn off; I inherited my grandmother's 1935 Singer treadle, and I purchased a 1938 Featherweight from a co-worker whose grandmother made 'pin money' by sewing doll clothes. I sometimes take the FW to quilt classes.
I also have a Pfaff serger.
Edited 4/18/2007 6:07 am ET by Meg
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