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New Machine or Use Old Machine?

Sue1245 | Posted in General Discussion on


I am interested in your opionion.  I would like to start sewing again but have a question.  As a young person, I used to sew on my mother’s Singer Fashion Mate 258 (it’s approx. 30 years old).  Should I get that machine repaired or should I invest in a new machine?  In other words, have machine advanced a great deal in the last few years – is that a dinosaur or just as good as the machine’s on the market?

Thank you for your help.


  1. suesew | | #1

    I don't know your particular model but machines today are light years ahead of the older ones. However if you are going to be doing just regular sewing your old one will probably do the job. I may have 400 stitches available but I use one 99% of the time. If yours does a zig zag stitch it would be really helpful. If your machine works I would use it for awhile until you begin to discover what it is you would like to have that you don't have now. And then purchase a machine that fits your needs plus has a little room to grow.
    I suppose another consideration is how much it would cost to have your machine serviced. Around here it costs 70$ to have a machine tuned, parts are more. That's no little expense if your machine is worth very little.

    1. edgy | | #2

      I agree with what's been said. If your machine costs $70 or upwards, you may want to plunk down $200-$300 on a lower-end Janome or good mechanical machine.You really need to go out and do some looking and trying of the new machines. You'll be flabbergasted at what they do. Don't be seduced by a high number of decorative stitches -- chances are you won't use them for quite a while, unlesss you already know that's what you'd enjoy.The high=end machines are $5000-$7000, so $200 can get you an amazing amount of machine for relatively little.No one can stress enough actually trying out new machines, intead of just letting the salesperson "show" you.nancy

  2. Elisabeth | | #3

    Possibly yes to both questions. Yes, machines have advanced astonishingly and yes, a dinosaur can be just as good as a new machine. Much will depend on what condition your old machine is in now. Does it run? You did say "repaired" but if you mean tuned up and nothing was really broken on it when it was put away then all it may need is a good cleaning and oiling to start sewing perfectly well again. If you still have the owner's manual (easy to get if you don't) it probably shows what to clean and oil and you can do it yourself for only the cost of some sewingmachine oil.

    Should you get a new machine? That depends on what type of sewing you want to do and the kind of machinery you like using. Personally I can easily and happily use an old machine. I just need basic stitches and I enjoy having machines that are simple and that I can repair myself. The nice modern machines have a computer chip and can think wonderfully for you. Things like always stopping with the needle up (or down), doing all the steps to a buttonhole pretty much on its own, and knowing when to push harder through a heavy part of sewing, for example, are very satisfying. And then of course the possiblities of decorative stitches and embroidery in higher models.

    I suggest getting your old machine running unless it is a overly expensive actual repair and start sewing and then start looking around at what the new machines are like. There are so many that taking your time and test driving everything on a leisurely schedule is really necessary. Good luck and happy sewing.

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