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Life span of sewing machine

HelgaPataki | Posted in General Sewing Info on


What’s the lifespan of your sewing machine before you buy a new one?

I’ve had 3 so far.  The first machine I sold to get an electronic one.  that electronic one lasted for about 14 years and then the stitches started to skip.  I bought a new one, and that one is my present one and I’ve had it for about 14 years as well.   Presently the stitches are starting to skip.

how about your’s?


  1. sewchris703 | | #1

    20 years?

    I got my last new machine because the machine before that needed a new foot control that isn't being made any more.  I'm still looking on ebay and craig's list for that model machine just so I can replace the foot control.  My "new" machine is 10 years old.  Last summer I had in for repair (for the very first time) because the feed dogs weren't feeding the fabric through the machine correctly.  The repair man asked how often I sew on it.  The answer is about 30 hours a week.  He was surprised and told me that it was wearing out.  So I dug out the 50+ years old pink Kenmore and had him rewire it.  Now I sew on that machine and use the "new" machine as my back up and for when I want to use the double needle.  I also have a Featherweight that was build around 1950 according to the serial number.  It needs the gears looked at.  It'll go to the repair man after Christmas.  I use that one for bridal and special occasion sewing.  it does a perfect narrow hem on the finest fabric and sews through multiple layers of gathered tulle like a dream.


    1. HelgaPataki | | #2

      metal vs plastic

      You have a point Chris.  All my machines are/were plastic components.  In my parents house, they have metal/iron sewing machines (with pedal) made by singer.  Yes, they still own them.  these never break and are easy to tune and are past down as part of the household appliance.  They're really reliable and quick to use.   The women love to do leg exercises with them as they sew too. 

      1. sewchris703 | | #3

        "new" old machine

        I just got my "newest" sewing machine for Christmas  It's a 1934 treadle Singe sewing machine, in perfect condition. Now I have 4 antique/old sewing machine to sew on.  3 of them are straight stitch only, no zigzag  And they all do a much better straight stitch than my modern machine, abet slightly slower and much louder.


        1. HelgaPataki | | #4

          More antique the better

          Hey Wow, I want one of those:  My husband is busily concentrating on the search.  I want a sewing machine that does the job.  I've had sewing machines before, and their lifespan ends sooner than the 25 years warranty.  Then using other accessory other than the recomemmended saves time, but then your sewing company has control of your expentature.  In our household the sewing machine is considered a home appliance, thats my househouse as well as the one I grew up in.  I realize a lot of times I broke my equipment because I used metal bobbins that would create a heavy impact when I am opering with plastic machinery.  The metal bobbins have large enough holes to fit a lot of sergers and I like to use good cotton thread as serger thread and it cuts down on my cost of inventory and ensures that my supplies gets used up.  Oh, well, I guess this summarizes why I want heavier equipment. 

          1. sewchris703 | | #5

            Unfortunately, I don't know where to look for good old machines.  I've either been given or inherited all mine.  The 50 yo Kenmore was my mil's.  She sewed dh's shirts on it when he was child.  The Featherweight came from an aunt.  The 3rd machine was my grandmother's.  I even have the owner's manual for it with the warrenty certificate filled out with the date of purchase--Oct. 20th, 1954.  it's 2 years and 10 days younger than me.  My newest old machine is a Singer treadle that my girls got me for Christmas.  A mutual friend of theirs was going to give it to a thrift store.  They asked for it for me instead.


          2. HelgaPataki | | #6

            Good Sturdy Quality Machinery.

            My husband has looked online for good quality machinery.  When we visit the local malls, they don't carry a variety like they did about 10 years ago.  When we ask questions, every agent looks online to answer our questions.  We're adept in what we want and can approach our answers better.  Anyways, all the machinery seen in real time are plastic and that's what I want to veer fom.  I've been there, and the end result is that I continually purchases when there's another solution.  I'm really looking for something trustworthy durable and lifetime. 

  2. lou19 | | #7

    My trusty Bernina is 23 years old

  3. HelgaPataki | | #8

    smashing bobbin heads

    so do I.  I browse at the dollar stores and arrive home with bulk items for sewing.  those bobbins are great for preparing thread for my serger.  I bought this gadget from nancy zieman's site that is a tray you atttach on to your serger and it allows you to use bobbin thread.  then I get lazy and use the same bobbins for my sewing machine and its "always been ok" until one fateful day.  but i do include that into my lifespan of my machinery because to me it is.

  4. Pattiann42 | | #9

    Sewing Machine Longevity

    This can differ from person to person. 

    (1) How good was the machine to begin with (as in no issues with the operation)?

    (2) How much sewing is done with the machine?

    (3) How well does the operator know and use the machine (no abuse)?

    (4) Is the machine properly stored when not in use?

    (5) Does the machine receive professional service (dealers like to see computerized and electronic machines once a year)? 

    I have mechanical machines that continue to operate well after 50 years.  I also have computerized machines that are over 8 years old and doing very well.  I hope this continues for another 20 years.  That will be pushing the length of my longevity and not necessarily that of the machines.  Time will tell.

  5. Teaf5 | | #10

    Currently, 40 to 100+ years!

    I have never bought a new machine; I have a fully functional treadle, a 1970s Kenmore and a 1980s Montgomery Ward, and inherited a newish computerized Singer.  If a machine started skipping stitches, I would have the belts replaced before giving up on the whole machine.

    However, these standard consumer models were never designed or produced to be used 35 hours per week.  You might want to look at the professional models, which are designed for non-stop use.

  6. SewistKitty | | #11

    Re: Life span of sewing machine


    I just read your question about life spans of sewing machines.  My Bernina 930 which was purchased in 1984 is still going strong as are many other Bernina 930s.  If you are still considering purchasing a new machine I would consult "Pattern Reviews" a site which has owners reviewing their own sewing machines and sergers.  Many of the Singer Featherweights are still being used although they do not have the bells and whistles that the electronic ones have.  They are also not cheap unless you can find a treasure at a garage sale, thrift shop etc.

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