Sewing machines and tools 1/30 what variety of sewing machines to you have?

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Posted 1/30/2013 by TheBiscuitScraps in NSBR Board
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TheBiscuitScraps
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:05:09 AM
Let's talk about our history with sewing machines and why we bought them.

Straight stitch vintage
Ziz zag mechanical
Computerized
Embroidery
Serger

I've always had I've always had mechanical sewing machines. Since I don't sew much, I felt that would be my best bet.

Funny story from this weekend. While this thread is not about quilting machines, I thought this could have applied had we been in an embroidery machine shop. DH went with me to a quilting shop in Annapolis on Saturday. As I was selecting fabric, he wandered around the store and saw the long arm quilters. He came back to the shop clerk and me, asking her what they are used for and why do people purchase such high end machines for home use and was that going to be in my future. He looked like a deer in headlights.

I assured him I was not going to be investing in any high end machine until my next life and that that would probably be a different husband. LOL

However, those who do have high end machines...tell us about it. And those who have other types of machines...what drives you in your decisions on machines.


Carol
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nlwilkins
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:54:34 AM
Ok, I am going to admit I am one of "those" with the high end Bernina, the 830. The one that costs almost as much as a car. I also have the next model down from the high end, the 640. (You could buy a used car for what I paid for it - LOL) I use the second machine for taking to demos, classes and retreats. The first machine is too heavy to be toted around.

I love my machines. They do machine embroidery as well as any kind of regular stitch you can think of. I have lots of attachments for them as well, the ruffler, the circler stitch attachment, the felter, basic stitch regulator (though I don't use it much as I like to FMQ on my own)to name a few.

I made the plunge right after my mother died. She left some money that I wanted to spend on something that would be worth it and not fritter it away. Now when I sit down to sew I can have happy thoughts of her.

I sew every day and I also teach sewing, quilting and embroidery classes. I have been sewing since I was 10 years old so now it makes 51 years of sewing. My BS is in Homemaking so I also taught sewing in the public school system.


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candleangie
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:09:33 AM
For as much sewing as I do, I do not and will not own an expensive machine. I'm too hard on them. lol

The kind of fabrics I work with, doing ballet costumes, are covered in sequins, glitter, little plastic sparkly things, etc etc etc. They get down into the machines and I have to pull them apart and clean them out CONSTANTLY. If I'm going to mess up a machine, I would rather mess up a $400 machine than a $4000 one.

I have a ridiculous love of old sewing machines, and somehow they seem to find me. Like puppies. haha I just got rid of two old singers that were just totally past their prime.

For my day to day sewing at home, I have two identical Janome machines.

One that travels around with me to the theatre, or to my sewing partners house, or where ever. It's fallen out of the back of my car, been knocked over in the car about eleventy hundred times, has been repaired by my husband twice, etc. haha Did I mention I'm hard on machines? The other one stays at home in my sewing room, and it's in much better shape.

At the ballet school, I keep an older machine. It's a pink Brother from the late 60s:

It sews like a champ, has a beautiful even stitch...straight stitch, zig zag, blind hem, etc. And it's SOO quiet!

And then I have a pink Atlas machine like this at home:

I don't sew on the Atlas, although I would if I was in a pinch. It's got a really nice even stitch. But, it's also a side thread needle, with a funny bobbin size that I can't seem to find. This machine sits on top of a cabinet in my living room where I can gaze fondly at it. lol

I have a giant soft spot for the old colored enamel/painted machines. Pink, teal, green, etc.


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sunny 5
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:15:13 AM
I learned on my mom's featherweight singer machine. I sewed clothes, tents and climbing harnesses on it.

I made my wedding dress on it.

my dh bought me an electronic elna when we were first married. it gave up the ghost after 25 yrs...
so I bought a janome 6600 from my mother in law (who is a serious quilter) and still have a featherweight.

kellybelly77
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:37:02 AM
Candleangie- I am so freaking jealous of your pink machines!!!!!

I have a couple of machines......

2 regular sewing machines, both Brother
a serger- Brother 1034d
an embroidery machine- Brother PE 770 or is it 700....
and a vintage Necchi- it's baby blue!!! It sews smooth! I dont use it often though because its really heavy and my sewing table groans when I put it up there!

For my birthday in a few weeks I've talked my dh into buying me a coverstitch machine! Hopefully I can find one at a decent price.


Kelly

hobbygirl82
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:46:08 AM
I'm not great at sewing, but can make blankets, doll clothes and occasionally a skirt or really simple dress for my kids. That said, I just got a nice Brother machine from their Project Runway line for my birthday. My first machine is a Singer from the 1980's I think.

Both are good for the little sewing I do and can manage, LOL. I hope one day to have the time to learn to do more than just basic sewing.

I can't wait to one day make costumes and maybe quilts like you ladies do, I just have to find some extra time first.

candleangie
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:50:49 AM

For my birthday in a few weeks I've talked my dh into buying me a coverstitch machine! Hopefully I can find one at a decent price.

DO NOT buy the one that Singer makes. It's a piece of crap. I am seriously about to give mine to goodwill. It's that bad. I can't/won't even sell it.

Viking makes a really good coverstitch and it goes back to being a serger when you need it to. I'm a big fan of multipurpose machines.


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GamGam
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:24:40 AM
I love the sewing threads(no Pun!), and wish I could post some photos of some of the things I've done, but don't have a PhotoBucket account. Anyhow, since this is about machines, I'll tell you what I have. For sewing, a 7570 Pfaff--an older, metal-case model which is a workhorse and I absolutely LOVE the way it sews. Bought it used 5 years ago, and it is so dependable. Sews so well doing piping and top stitching. I kept my Brother Pacesetter 6000 when I bought the Pfaff because it is so easy to make buttonholes on it. Just snap on the buttonhole foot which holds the button, and ready, set go.

For embroidery, I have a separate machine--Janome 300E. Love it. Beautiful stitches and zero problems with it. Had it 7 years. And for sergering I have a Juki 734DE. And I love it. Makes the prettiest rolled hems. So I have not brand loyalty, but am grateful for the machines and the space to have them out all the time. I converted a bedroom to my sewing room.

And I'm a bit wordy this morning. Hope I haven't bored you.

dynalady
My soul is fed with needle and thread

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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:28:08 AM
I learned on my grandmother's old White. Very basic, but it got the job done. My first machine of my own was a Lady Kenmore in 1971, right after DD was born. It was top of the line then. Even had cams to make fancy stitches. It was a great machine and still going strong 25 years later when I finally gave it away and got a new one.

Pfaff 7550. Top of the line, computerized, more bells and whistles than I thought I would ever use. I've used them all! While I was still taking my lessons on it the 7570 came out. Pfaff's first computerized sewing/embroidery machine. Exactly the same as the 7550, but with the addition of the emboidery unit and software. I thought it was very cool, but what would I ever embroider? Then 2 years later and DD and DDIL are both pregnant!

Enter the 7570! I was going to trade in the 7550, but decided to keep it instead. I embroidered for those babies like crazy

Now they are no longer top of the line, but they are fantastic machines that still do as much and more as I need, and I have no plans to get anything new.

I did at one time have a serger, but I sold it long ago. I never did bond with that thing and never missed it.

I also have an antique Singer treadle. It works, and DH cleaned it all up and put on a new belt, but I have never yet gotten around to finding out how to wind the bobbin and thread the machine. I really need to do that. Both DGDs have played with sewing and like it, and I'm sure they'd get a kick out of using the treadle. Put old Singer info on my to do list!

P.S. Carol-did you see my review of the Satinedge foot on the other thread?

Edited because I somehow got paragraphes out of order







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A Complicated Lady
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:18:49 PM
I had a friend that did machine embroidery and I wanted to learn. I talked to her and to a local dealer and ended up with a Janome 350e.

Then I wanted to learn to sew a few years ago, so my DH's grandma gave me her Singer from the 80's. It was a workhorse and once I made a few things with it, I decided I was sucked in to sewing and wanted to get my own machine. I went to all of the local dealers and tried out machines.

I clicked with the Husqvarna Viking Emerald 183. I still love my machine. I primarily quilt now but I have no need or want to upgrade at this time. My machine is perfect for me.

I also have a Singer Serger that I have never used. I'm going to learn one day, but right now my crafting time is very scarce so I try to work on unfinished projects first.


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kittymomma
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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:28:21 PM
I am a newer quilter. My first machine was a Kenmore-I told my family to get something inexpensive until I saw if I like sewing. At the beginning of the month, I bought a Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000. It is great! I am still learning about it though.



mrsk2004
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:05:36 PM
First off, those pink machines are to die for! The Brother looks like my Mom's that is from the 60's only it's light aqua.

I have a Husqvarna Viking Interlude 435 which my awesome husband bought for me. I only quilt, and am very new at that hobby. My first machine was a cheap Brother that was not meant for quilting. It went back to the store and my husband told me to go pick out the one I wanted. It's a $1,200 machine, but I bought the floor model for $700. It sews like a dream and I love it and it helps me quilt better. It doesn't fight me like the cheap machine did.

It's the only machine I have and need, a good friend has several machines, including an embroidery machine, so I just bug her.


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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:44:30 PM
I sewed for years on a 1940's Singer that was my mom's. It has one stitch, straight, and one speed -- fast. It looks very much like a treadle machine, black and gold, and sews beautifully. I made several quilts on it, including free-motion quilting too.

Two years ago, dh bought me a Janome Horizon 7700 -- it does everything but pick out the fabric. My favorite thing about it though -- the automatic thread cutter.



duchess
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:06:09 PM
My first machine my hubby bought me was a Necchi and it didn't work at all. I had to have him come with pliers to loosen the knob on the right so I could fill a bobbin. It stitched horribly - I screamed at it every time I used it. I threw it away and tried on machines and ended up getting a Bernina 150 (it was the floor model so got a good deal). I used it for about 8 years when I decided I wanted to add embroidery to the mix. I still have the 150 which I take to retreats and classes but at home I have my Bernina 640.

My step-daughter just gave me an avocado green Kenmore that she got when she purchased a cabinet at a garage sale. I still haven't tried it out though to see if it works. I just love the 70's color.

I also won a serger many years ago at the quilt stores first anniversary but I rarely use it - only because I don't know how to thread it.

Our local quilt store (that used to sell Bernina) now sales Baby Locks and I have heard good things about them too.


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SarahYoo
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:06:28 PM
I always used my Mums machine when I lived at home - a New Home (Janome) which she bought in the 70s just before my brother was born.
When I got married, she bought a new machine as the New Home had a tendency to drip oil at random moments, and she wasn't willing to risk that whilst she was making my wedding dress, 2 bridesmaids dresses and her own outfit So when I moved into my new home, her New Home came with me. It was fine for basic curtain making etc, and I never wanted to do anything more than that.
It finally gave up the ghost in 2004, and I used some money from a matured insurance policy to buy myself a new one. It's also a New Home, and is a pretty basic model. It has served me well so far. I am just starting to sew more with it (after carting it across the Atlantic, and finding I need to use a transformer ) - in fact, I hemmed 2 tartan sashes last week, and it behaved beautifully. I am hoping to get much more use out of it I am loathed to buy a fancier machine, mainly as I will be returning to the UK in a few years, and unless it is dual voltage then I won't be able to use it on a UK power source...

My Mum always remembers her Grandmas treadle machine - she was a tailoress - and when she was clearing my Nans house, she found a couple of the treadle tables, but no machines.


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PunchPrincess

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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:30:20 PM
I learned to sew in the 1950s on my mom's Singer. It was used when she bought it. It was attached to a cabinet which opened up with a hinge on the top. Once the lid was open, you lifted the machine up and secured it. It went back and forth, had an attachment that made buttonholes and the peddle was a lever that pulled down and you pressed your leg against it to make it go. My mom must have had the machine until 2000. She was going to upgrade to something she could make ruffles with if she had had a granddaughter, but when the last baby was a boy she kept the old machine.

The first machine I bought we got at a pawn shop when DH was in the army. I made all my maternity clothes -- every stitch -- and the baby's layette.

The second machine was a Singer -- very compact and sturdy. They said the case was made out of the same material that football helmets were made from. The innards weren't very good so I bought a Bernina in 1986. I still have it and it runs perfectly. And I can do ruffles because I have a granddaughter.



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mytwoandras
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:43:45 PM
My favorite sewing machine is my Viking 6020. It is slightly older than me. I don't know what about it I love, but I do

I also have a purple Kenmore, a IZEK (powered by gameboy- not sure who thought this was a good idea), a basic Singer, and a serger.


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Mimima
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:48:45 PM
My sister owns a thriftshop, and when I wanted to begin sewing, she got in a Quilting featherweight Singer. Other than not having a drop in bobbin thingie, it works absolutely fabulously and I like it a lot.


~Mimi
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dynalady
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:00:17 PM
Mimi, there are quilters who would give their right arms for a Singer Featherweight







"I contend we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." Stephen Roberts




gale w
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:02:04 PM
I learned to sew on an old 70s machine (it was a blue singer-no idea what year it was made) and then did most of my sewing as a teen on one of those tan singers with the cams. When I moved out, my mom gave me that machine. After a while, the gears kept breaking and since they were nylon, I got to the point where I didn't want to put any more money into it. So it's gone. Not even sure where now. I went through a Brother and a Babylock, both of which I hated. Now I have a Janome MC3500 that is about 12 yrs old and going strong, and a Janome MC6600P that is a couple of years old and is my main machine. I also have a Featherweight but it's making a funky noise so I need to figure out what's wrong with it.

I also have a Singer 66 redeye treadle in a cabinet but I've never sewn on it. It's just for looks, I guess. Someone gave it to me.


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perumbula
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:16:48 PM
I'm feeling a bit inadequate as a seamstress. I have only ever owned one sewing machine: a Baby Lock 1170. I bought it for $150 when my oldest was a baby. It's sewn shirts, hemmed cutoffs, made bags, transformed old dresses, and made some lovely dresses. It sews well and can handle most anything I throw at it. It gets snippy about more than four layers of denim, but other than that it's great. it even does the shiny fabrics well.

There have been times when I have wanted another machine. I have a serger on my list and an embroidery machine would be nice. So far I'm living ok without them. My Baby Lock has a good stretch stitch and an embroidery machine is so far out of the budget that it is pretty much a pipe dream anyway.


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Grom Pea
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:49:57 PM
I am so jealous of those pink machines! I have a Kenmore mini ultra, which I do everything with. I also have a 1930's singer in a table that I broke a screw on many years ago and have had no luck replacing the screw.
I dream of getting an embroidery machine but just cannot justify it. Recently I wanted to give monogrammed towels and thought of getting an embroidery machine, but my husband convinced me to try to make them with my darning foot and free hand them. They came out just fine so I guess I won't get my embroidery machine just yet!


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RST
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:09:37 PM
I have a Bernina QE 440.

For over 25 years, I was sewing on an old base model mechanical Viking. It worked, but nothing fancy, and there are several little "accommodations" you have to do to get a decent quarter inch seam or FMQ. I made many quilts on it, as well as home dec sewing and some garment stuff, but it was getting a little frustrating to use, particularly since I don't have a good Viking dealer nearby.

Then I was in a car accident -- not much more than a fender bender, but it gave me some significant whiplash, which required several months of PT. Part of the settlement with the other driver's insurance was a cash payment fpr Pain and Suffering. Not a huge amount, but a nice chunk of change. I thought about putting it in a kitchen remodel savings account, or buying a nicer couch, but once I saw the check and realized that the amount was almost exactly the price of the brand new sewing machine my little heart was hankering after, well. . .

So, I've been enjoying my Bernina immensely. It's definitely a luxury, and if something were to happen to it, I couldn't afford to replace it, not with the decade of kids in college looming upon us. But since I do have it, I love it.

RST


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Nantini
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:14:01 PM
I have a 1970 model Singer that's my workhorse. It does just a few stitches, but its all I need. I also have a BabyLoc serger that I've had since the 80's.

I also have that "so crappy" 5.00 machine I bought to sew on scrapbook pages. I bet you all are super envious of that one.

I really don't have to have a great machine, I can work on about any of them. I think it's more about knowing how and why to do things a certain way.

howjudi_ofyou
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:19:13 PM
While I would love to own a fancy high end (expensive) machine, I can't justify it right now. My last 2 machines took swan dives - my son pushed my Hello Kitty Janome off my sewing table and broke it in half and my husband broke my first Brother machine while sleepwalking one night.

I currently have a refurbed Brother that I like, but I'm looking to upgrade in the near future. I'll pass my Brother down to my daughters, who I'm teaching how to sew.

I bought a serger last year, but I haven't even turned it on yet. It scares me.



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Pridemom
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:37:41 PM
Like others, I have/had several machines. My mom gave me a 'So Fro machine she bought at So Fro Fabrics. It was terrible and the tension never adjusted right. I swore a lot at that machine and thought it was all my fault.

Dh bought me a Singer in '96 from a sewing store. It taught me that I could sew. I still have it, but it locks up easily no matter how often I take it in.

I bought a Kenmore computerized machine 7 years ago. I loved it, but it got zapped in a power surge.

I replaced it with another Kenmore and it sews well for a lower end machine.

A few years ago, I found a 1965/67 Singer 500a/Rocketeer on Craigslist for $75. She will sew through anything and I her. I was gifted a 503a that needs cleaning and I plan to regift to a good home.

I also have an old black straight stitch Necchi that deserves a loving home. I used her a few times, but she deserves a home with a quilter.




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Sue Pea

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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:56:47 PM
I love how people are describing their "vintage" machines from the 1970's. I was a young teen in the 70's and I bought my first machine, a basic Kenmore, with the very first paycheck I ever earned from a real job. I wanted to sew and the old machine my mom had didn't work very well. I used that Kenmore for many, many years (I still have it) and got another Kenmore sometime in the early 90's that is still a lower end machine but has some additional stitches built into the machine. I have sewn all kinds of clothing, costumes, pillows, and other things on those two machines.

I've started doing some quilting, though, and after quilting a very small child's quilt on the Kenmore, I realized I could never quilt anything much bigger without having a machine with more throat room. So I recently got a Janome Memory Craft 6300, but I have not really used it yet. I am most excited about the fact that it came with its own extension table for quilting!


Barbara
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gale w
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:44:31 PM
I looked up the blue singer I learned to sew on, and it was actually made in the mid 60's. It was a Singer 337. The tan one was a Singer Touch n Sew and I think it was made in the 70s. I read that there were a lot of problems with the nylon gears so I guess I wasn't the only one.


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**GypsyGirl**
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:56:01 PM
I learned on my mother's Singer 301A nearly 50 years ago. She still uses that machine to this day! It's an amazing workhorse. When I went off to college, she loaned me her Singer Featherweight, complete with a case full of attachments! Would you believe I gave it back to her later? I must have been nuts! Youth is my excuse. Oh well, I'll get it back, as well as my Grandmother's Featherweight, at some point in the future.

My first machine of my own was a Singer Diana 560. It was one of the first electronic Singers. I loved that machine and made many an outfit with it. The last big project I made was all the bedding and curtains for DD's nursery. Then I fell out of love with it and it sat in a closet for many years, until I got rid of it a couple of years ago.

A Bernina 910 replaced the Singer. I just thought I loved my Singer until I sewed on the Bernina! That machine has made so many things and will always have a place in my sewing room. I still use it on occasion.

Two years ago, I finally decided to upgrade to a fancy schmancy embroidery machine. After my decades long love affair with the 910, there was no question it would be another Bernina. I ended up with the Bernina 640 with embroidery module. I really fought moving into the 21st century, but the more I sew on that machine, the more I love it. Now I wondered why I drug my feet about it.

Also in my collection are my great grandmother's Singer treadle machine which still works. The cabinet has been refinished and it sits in my dining room. I checked the serial number and it dates to 1910, the year my grandmother and her identical twin sister were born.

The last machine added to my collection was a Singer 185K. It is a 3/4 machine and such a pretty vintage green! It doesn't have the case or accessories, but that doesn't matter. I just love to look at it on the shelf in my sewing room!

The original decal on the top says: The Singer Manufacturing Co. Made in Great Britain. However, the motor is a 110v and appears to be original. I've seen where some of these models were made in Canada, so I can't quite figure out why mine says Made in Great Britain.




Mom's Singer 401A is visiting right now. She wants me to sell it for her, but I just can't seem to part with it. It is in a carrying case and has all the accessories and cams. Once my remodel is done, I will have to get it out and see about selling it because I'm pretty sure I'll never use it.



Toni
Professional Expat Wife, Hell Holes are my Specialty!


Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Lao Tzu (604 BC - 531 BC)



cmputerdazed
AncestralPea

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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:32:28 PM
I actually have a Bernina----I won it, how awesome is that? Before that I had a Euro Pro. It was really nice but the Bernina is, well a Bernina.


Jan
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Mimima
Stay Gold, Ponyboy

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Posted: 1/30/2013 11:00:42 PM

Mimi, there are quilters who would give their right arms for a Singer Featherweight


I've heard that, and I just lucked into it.
Do you know what is the draw? I've never had it explained, I've just had people say, 'oooh, a Singer Featherweight"


~Mimi
"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." - Louisa May Alcott

mytwoandras
PeaFixture

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Posted: 1/30/2013 11:13:29 PM
I also have a green 185J. Mine was made in Canada, which is why it is a J instead of K.


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gale w
shiny farmwife

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Posted: 1/31/2013 12:21:34 AM

Do you know what is the draw? I've never had it explained, I've just had people say, 'oooh, a Singer Featherweight"
Featherweights are workhorses and have the best looking straight stitch. They are also small enough to be portable for classes. They're cute too. I was making a wallet and no matter what I tried, my $1400 janome would not sew through a particularly thick part of it. My featherweight whizzed right through it without a groan.


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AngieandSnoopy
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Posted: 1/31/2013 12:25:47 AM
I learned to sew on my great-grandmother's Singer Treadle. Unfortunately, the sister that does NOT sew and never did talked my grandparents out of it because she figured she could get money for it.

My mother never wanted me to learn on her Pfaff and bought a piece of junk that drove me INSANE! I had that thing from the time I was 10 until I was 17 and bought the pale light green Singer 417 with my graduation money. I was shocked when relatives started sending me money after I sent out graduation announcements. I mentioned that I wonder if I could get enough to get a sewing machine, my mother said that if that was what I wanted, then after the money quit coming in, she'd pay the rest. Mine looks like a Singer Golden Touch and Sew BUT only does straight, zig zag and stretch stitch AND uses the very common bobbins.

BUT a couple of years ago, I got a Singer Golden Touch and Sew, NO cams in it, paid practically nothing for it and spent about $11 to buy a REGULAR feed dog to replace the rubber topped feed dog that the rubber was gone from. Sews great! Maybe I'll find some cams cheap at a thrift store! Oh, did research on their serial numbers and both machines were made in 1971 (I got mine in late 72) so the one I got recently was just like the one I drooled over at the Singer store! The other neat but odd thing, I SO wanted this sewing machine cabinet from Sears. But, it was too much money, closed up, it kind of looks like the bottom of a china cabinet. I GOT THE DARN THING FOR $10 at a yard sale several years ago! So very many years later, I got the sewing machine AND cabinet of my "dreams"!

I also have a Singer Featherweight that I inherited from my late DH's great-aunt. And I got a Euro Pro serger that I got shortly after my DH died 11 years ago. But, I was so brain dead at that time, I had problems with it. Not sure if it is IT or ME! After I moved here 9 years ago, I was working so many hours and just never got around to getting it out again. I think I'm just chicken because I nearly pulled my hair out trying to figure it out 10 years ago!

I LOVE the pink sewing machines!!!


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KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 1/31/2013 6:08:40 AM
My parents bought me a cheapie Singer when I went off to college. I needed something to repair what those washing machines were eating. I still have that thing 25 years later. I also have mom's machine. I'll have to look up what it is. It is like the pink brother but beige. I also have my grandmother's black Singer. It is ancient. I also have 2 sergers. They are not high end. I bought both Mom and myself one when I had my first "real" job. I got hers when she died. I keep one set up one way and the other in a specialized set up.



Mimima
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Posted: 1/31/2013 12:23:22 PM

Featherweights are workhorses and have the best looking straight stitch. They are also small enough to be portable for classes. They're cute too. I was making a wallet and no matter what I tried, my $1400 janome would not sew through a particularly thick part of it. My featherweight whizzed right through it without a groan


Thank you, Gale.

I agree, in my limited experience, it is easy to tote, and has a great stitch and has done everything I've needed.



~Mimi
"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." - Louisa May Alcott

peasful1
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Posted: 1/31/2013 12:41:44 PM
I have a Husqvarna Topaz 30. It cost me around $3000. I've had it for maybe 2 years now? I don't know, time flies. I haven't even cracked open the embroidery portion of the machine. It's still new and box. But the machine itself is fabulous and has done everything from quilting to sewing on Girl Scout patches to mending hems. My machine before that was a 30+ year old Singer, which I still have.

I must admit, all the bells and whistles on the new machine compared to the old make sewing dreamy.

I would like to get a serger. I haven't really looked at them or priced them out, but so many times having one would have been just so darn handy.

I'm still in the middle of setting up my hobby room and haven't sewn in months.


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**GypsyGirl**
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Posted: 1/31/2013 12:44:20 PM

I must admit, all the bells and whistles on the new machine compared to the old make sewing dreamy.


I totally agree! Features I didn't realize I was missing until I had them!


Toni
Professional Expat Wife, Hell Holes are my Specialty!


Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Lao Tzu (604 BC - 531 BC)



DanaM.
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Posted: 2/4/2013 5:15:23 PM
I have question for the sewing peas. I like to sew occasionally, right now piecing a t shirt quilt for my son. I own a cheap brother machine from walmart...is it a good enough machine to quilt it myself? or would you have it quilted at the shop?
Also I entertain ideas of buying a "good" machine, but not sure what benefits that would have..is it worth it? what machine would you recommend?
thanks!

TheBiscuitScraps
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Posted: 2/4/2013 5:43:03 PM

Also I entertain ideas of buying a "good" machine, but not sure what benefits that would have..is it worth it? what machine would you recommend?


I think you need to give the sewing peas some parameters. What you want to sew and a budget range.

You will get several brands of machines and models, but at least it will be a start for you.

Be sure to read this thread to see what others have, too.

This is what I have, but you may be talking about a higher end than this one.



Janome HD3000


Carol
My favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations.
Visit me on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ccsalter/


Runner5
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Posted: 2/4/2013 6:43:29 PM
I fell in love with making high end children's clothing when my daughters were small. I wanted to dress them in clothes I couldn't afford unless I learned to make them.

Carol Ahles book "Fine Machine Sewing" came out just as I was learning about things such as hemstitching linen and embroidering (by machine) scallops on their collars.

I wanted a TOL Bernina but again ... DH had just graduated and I was still in college. We married with 4 children and our financial plates were full. I wanted a Bernina for the precision and because it did every single thing I needed with respect to the type of sewing I did.

I checked for used machines and the dealer told me they never came available for that class of machine. This was in 87.

I researched Consumer Reports and bought a low end Kenmore with good reviews. It was a POS. The last straw was top stitching a zipper in place in a beautiful little dress. It caught a thread somehow, drug it through grease and then sewed it in place with the regular top thread grease and all. There wasn't enough fabric to cut another bodice back.

A few weeks later I was driving the kids to school and felt like I was being pulled into the same Bernina dealer's shop. I hadn't been there in over a year. There was the machine I wanted used! It was over $1200 with tax and everything (my car wasn't worth more than $500) and DH said to buy it. I still have it, use it and love it.

I also have an Elna DC4 Prolock serger that sews like a dream and now a 1956 Singer Featherweight (for its absolutely perfect straight stitch) has joined my little flock.

I'd love to buy a nice coverstitch machine for the knit tops I sew but that will have to wait until we finish paying off our mortgage.


Mary




Runner5
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Posted: 2/4/2013 6:45:05 PM
Nancy - I loved reading about you bought your Bernina 830 and think about your mom when you sew.

My mom left me some money that I invested and I may do something similar when the time is right. What a great idea!

CandleAggie - omg - I love both the pink machines. I don't think I've ever seen a pink one before!

GamGam - your post wasn't boring at all and we'd love to see pictures of your work. There are other ways to upload photos without needing a photobucket account. Just ask if you'd like some ideas.


Mary




deshacrafts
PeaAddict

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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:42:51 PM
My main machine is a Janome 11000. I also have a Jem Platinum. I started with a Janome 3000 that my daughter now has. At one time I had a 9500 then traded up to a 10000. I traded in the 10000 for the 11000. I also have a Janome serger, but recently upgraded to a Babylock Imagine. I inherited 3 black Singers (alas none are featherweights), a Singer Touch and Sew and I think the other one is a Necchi. The Necchi is at my daughters. I want to have the Singers serviced before I try using them as they haven't been run in years.



DanaM.
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:33:06 PM
Carol, I follow you on pinterest..you might be the blame for my sewing 'itch' lol.. I liked the video of your machine. I like to sew home dec type things and gifts, aprons pillows totes purses etc. would really like to get into to more quilt stuff.
I have an embroidery machine but it uses cards and I am pretty limited on designs. So a combo machine would be really nice. I am not sure on budget, cant spend thousands for sure. (trying not to think how much scrappy stuff I have and what it cost!)

nkjjohnson
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Posted: 2/5/2013 12:36:57 PM
Hi Ladies -- a couple of questions:

1. Candleangie -- what model is the Janome machine picture in your post.

2. TheBiscuitscrap -- re the Janome HD3000 -- what made you choose this machine instead of the "computerized" models?

Thank you for your help. I am still gathering a lot of information before I go shopping this weekend for a new machine!

happytobemom
BucketHead

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Posted: 2/5/2013 7:34:55 PM
I have 3.

I have a Viking.....I think it is a 550. I have had it since 1994ish and have made lots of things on it.

I also have the mint green Janone hello kitty machine sold at target a couple of years ago. That thing has been a work horse and I have made several children's outfits on it.

I also inherited a vintage Bernini from the 1980's from my BFF mom. Only thing is my friend lost the cord and footpeddle. If she can't find it, I am returning it to her.

TheBiscuitScraps
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Posted: 2/5/2013 7:50:12 PM

TheBiscuitscrap -- re the Janome HD3000 -- what made you choose this machine instead of the "computerized" models?


I wanted a good workhorse of a machine that is easy to repair. I trust the Janome name (after doing heavy research) and felt that a machine with all metal parts and 25 year warranty was my best bet. It is in the upper arena of their mechanical models. I would rather have the upper end of a mechanical than a lower end computerized model.

Now that I am getting interested in quilting, I will consider a well made computerized model...not the highest end. Something with a large throat area. But that is way down the road.

Another thing that put me over the edge on the HD3000 is that it has top loading jam proof bobbin system, 7-piece feed dog which ensures precision fabric control, drop feed, and extra high lift presser foot.

But everyone is different. It's such a personal choice...like buying a car.


Carol
My favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations.
Visit me on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ccsalter/


sunny 5
PeaFixture

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Posted: 2/5/2013 7:54:04 PM
my featherweight...inherited from mom...sewed tent repairs in the 70's and I made climbing harnesses on it..sewed right through 4 layers of webbing...also sewed my wedding dress on it.

TXDancermom
AncestralPea

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Posted: 2/5/2013 8:11:19 PM
I have an Elna Air-Electronic - it is about 30 years old, and it works great, I don't use it as often as I used to.

DD has an older Bernina 807 that my sister and I got when I was in high school, it is older than the machine I have. She is having issues with it, she claims it is possessed. I need to use it when I go out to visit her next and see what is up with it.

we both use the machines for casual sewing, I used to make a lot of my clothes, don't have time any more

jarmommy
AncestralPea

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Posted: 2/5/2013 9:23:43 PM
I have a $100 Walmart singer special that I have completely outgrown. It's done everything I've ever needed and has been a great machine despite modern day singer woes. I'm just ready for a machine that I can grow into. I'm loving the new Berninas.

I also have a husky lock 910 serger. !,$&@& hate that machine. Ideally I'd like to get rid of it, possibly use it as a trade for something better. I just put the god forsaken paperweight back in the box and into the back of the closet that's how much I detest it.
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