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When to buy a new machine and which?

calliemarsh | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I have an old Touch N Sew Singer in a cabinet–it was given to me in 1969 or thereabouts.  I was sewing with a heavy fabric recently and the bobbin broke completely.  It is as if I sheared the gears.  Nothing connects to it at all.  Would it be difficult/expensive to fix?

I sew infrequently, although I used to sew quite a bit.  I have heard people talk about Singer Featherweights.  Are they good for non-serious sewers like me?  Are the new ones, the Featherweight 2’s, good?  Are there better machines I should look at?  I am overwhelmed with the technology that has happened in the last 35 years!  Help! and thanks…calliemarsh

Edited 1/9/2005 6:30 pm ET by calliemarsh


  1. Elisabeth | | #1

    The new machines are so different from the old, so much plastic for starters. Even if plastic has gotten really good over the years I can't help thinking of Fisher-Price when I look at the new machines in the store. There is a wonderful yahoo group called wefixit with people who love and fix old sewing machines. You might pose the question there, someone might know exactly what happened to your machine and what to do about it.

    If you do need a "new" machine there are lots of good oldies in great working order on ebay and the prices they are going for are pretty good. I just bought an early 60's Viking on ebay and I can't wait for it to get here!!! My one and only machine, also a Viking, that I have had for 20 years finally decided to break down and I was looking for a backup. I'm not familiar with the Singers but I know some people on the yahoo group are. Good luck!

  2. kayl | | #2

    Sounds like you have some broken gears in teh Touch and Sew... may or may not be worth fixing. Featherweights are ok machines if you want to do straight stitch only.

    My personal suggestion is that you might want to try some new machines out, perhaps concentrating on the better mechanical machines and the electronic (non-computerized) machines if you feel intimidated. I
    the old mechanicals for some things, but after making eight quilt tops
    on an old (and still nicely stitching) Kenmore between Christmas and
    New Year, I found myself longing for my Viking 350, an electronic.
    Why? The Viking has a non-jam bobbin arrangement, tensions that stay
    where I want them and are easy and non-finicky to adjust; I can switch
    stitches without fishing a cam out of the machine; I don't have to oil it, and the needle bar stops in the up position automatically, so I
    don't have to rethread all the time because I forgot that the old mechanicals you have to use the handwheel. Oh yes, the electronic machines have the full "punching force" of the motor even at very slow speeds. And buttonholes of whatever size I want are a cinch.

    Anyhow, my suggestion is to go machine shopping at the best dealers you can find. Take with you some fabric you ordinarily sew with, and some fabric that raises your blood pressure when trying to sew. Take a list with you of everything you thought you'd like on a machine, and everything that bugs you about your current machine. Then go interview some machines. Warning: you will probably have sticker shock. I did six years ago when I got a new machine. I'd gotten things down to two machines (a Viking and Pfaff) I liked, but thought they were *way* overpriced. DH the engineer went back and looked at the two machines, and slightly preferred the Viking, so bought it and brought it home to me. And you know what, it's been worth every cent.
    I've sewn more than I had in years (I'd previously used a couple of old White Dressmaker straight stitchers), a Singer 301 (big brother of the featherweight) from a very warm place, and worn out a cheapie multistitch White in less than a year. The Viking has just continued to work right for me, mile after mile of thread. I enjoy sewing more.
    And I've still got one of the Dressmakers that I use for machine quilting.

    So my suggestion is to go look at new machines, try them out, and then
    evaluate whether you want to try to repair the old one, buy a used machine, or a new machine. There are a couple of things on the Threads website you might want to look at:http://www.taunton.com/threads/pages/t00130.asp and

    I'm not pushing the TOL (top of the line machines)... it's just some of the features of the TOLs are starting to show up in less expensive ones.


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