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Vintage sewing machines

mariehoge | Posted in General Discussion on

I have been thinking about collecting vintage sewing machine. However, I know absolutely nothing about what prices seem to be reasonable and if I am being ripped off or even if the machines are fixable if they do not work.


Could anyone shed some light on this subject?




  1. ChrisHaynes | | #1

    Personally I have no clue.  I have seen vintage sewing machines for sale on http://www.ebay.com which would give you an idea of what some are going for.  I have also seen posts on some lists of folks getting deals like a Bernina 950 for $50 at a place like Value Village (WAHH!!!... complete with all sorts of doo-dads).

    BUT!!  I did find this really cool website made by someone who collects the vintage machines, it even has cool animations on how stuff works:


    and this:


    have fun!

  2. seww | | #2

    I only have 1 vintage machine , a Singer 99K ( 55 years old) . My parents bought the machine for me about 10 years ago at an auction and paid $20.00 . I rewired it myself and recently installed a new motor ( the motor was original ! ). It is not difficult it do simple repairs on a basic mechanical . You can probably find some books at your library . But if you do mess up , take the whole thing ( all parts ) to a sewing machine shop and they will assist you with what ever you are trying to do . I have found that if you show an actual interest in making something better ,the mechanics are more than will to share their craft . Good Luck ! Check at GoodWill and Salvation Army for older machines for cheap .

    1. ccolehour | | #3

      I do see older machines all the time at secondhand stores, and some of them I would definitely buy if I had more room. I don't know how to figure out what is what, but I think there are vintage sewing machine clubs, for instance, I'm pretty sure there is a vintage Singer machine club.

      I got my Bernina 830 at the ShopNSave for $100 with a lot of attachments, the case, and the instruction manual. But I've been thriftstore shopping for years, and this is only the second time I've ever seen a Bernina. The first time, someone else had it, and I followed him around the store forever, waiting for him to put it down! But he bought it...


  3. gabbeh | | #4

    Here's a great place to start:

    International Sewing Machine Antique Collector's Society


    be sure to  sign-up for their newsletter!

    Also Featherweight Fanatics:


    has a newsletter that's very helpful.  It's not ALL featherweight machines.  I quote from their homepage, "Featherweight Fanatics is a mailing list devoted to Singer Featherweights and other older machines. All Fanatics are welcome to join. For a free one month trial just send an e-mail request with the subject subscribe or unsubscribe to [email protected] "

    Also, any search engine search on "Antique Sewing Machines" will give you lots of information.  The number of collectors is mind-boggling!

    Hope this was helpful.

    Judith (gabbeh) accidentally introduced to sewing machine collecting...or more precisely, new to the rescue effort of the old sewing machine "put out on the curb and too beautiful to pass by".


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