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Thread: Old Machines vs. New

  1. #1
    Senior Member olebat's Avatar
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    This past weekend, our district 4-H competitions were held. I had the pleasure of judging high school level Fashion Review. The students modeled their garments, then gave them to the judges for closer examination. One of the contestants presented wearing a wool blend, plaid dress, with a gaberdine coat, and handbag which matched the dress. The dress and jacket were well made, but the hand bag is what impressed me the most. It matched the dress and was also lined with the wool blend, and had a lot of interior pockets. A thick, rolled and top-stitched, handle pulled through curtain eyes, and had an enclosure flap.

    After all competition scores were sealed, and I returned her garments and bag, I asked her what kind of machine she had used to make the ensemble. She smiled and told me she had an antique machine that she used for the bag because the multiple layers were so thick, but that she used a regular machine for the dress and coat. I had suspected that she either had an older, or an industrial machine for the bag. The stitches were even with good tension, whereas the dress and coat had some tension issues.

    When I make double fleece quilts with high loft batting, the expensive machines bog down and give me over-load messages. The old, faithful, black beauties, of the 60's and earlier just keep on trucking with no complaint. That is why my hunch was correct - experience with thick layers.

    What comparisons do you have to share about the old vs. the new?

  2. #2
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    I have an old Pfaff (1200 series) machine and I still have my grandmother's old Singer that she made all my baby clothes on. I have a new machine with bells and whistles, but I have to say that the quality of straight stitches is better on the two oldies and the tension almost never has to be tweaked on them.

  3. #3
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    Got to love the old ones. I almost never use my new Singer. But I use those old black Singers daily because they sew so much better.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Deara's Avatar
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    I had a Brother cheaper model but new machine that does zig zag in several styles. I warped the main shaft trying to sew through several layers of cotton and batting.

    My Singer 201 sews through the layers like it was a single thickness of cotton.

    The new machines just can't compete with the trusty old machines.

    I'll take one oldie to a dozen newer plastic models any day.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

  5. #5
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i have a singer FW, three 201, and two 66 and i don't see a difference at all with having to sew thru thick layers or many layers compared to my Juki 98Q or my Juki F600.

    i also don't see any difference with the quality of the straight stitch of the juki compared to my old singers.

  6. #6
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olebat
    This past weekend, our district 4-H competitions were held. I had the pleasure of judging high school level Fashion Review. The students modeled their garments, then gave them to the judges for closer examination. One of the contestants presented wearing a wool blend, plaid dress, with a gaberdine coat, and handbag which matched the dress. The dress and jacket were well made, but the hand bag is what impressed me the most. It matched the dress and was also lined with the wool blend, and had a lot of interior pockets. A thick, rolled and top-stitched, handle pulled through curtain eyes, and had an enclosure flap.

    After all competition scores were sealed, and I returned her garments and bag, I asked her what kind of machine she had used to make the ensemble. She smiled and told me she had an antique machine that she used for the bag because the multiple layers were so thick, but that she used a regular machine for the dress and coat. I had suspected that she either had an older, or an industrial machine for the bag. The stitches were even with good tension, whereas the dress and coat had some tension issues.

    When I make double fleece quilts with high loft batting, the expensive machines bog down and give me over-load messages. The old, faithful, black beauties, of the 60's and earlier just keep on trucking with no complaint. That is why my hunch was correct - experience with thick layers.

    What comparisons do you have to share about the old vs. the new?
    May I say that your post evoked very fond memories of my 4-H days and Fashion Reviews (they were called Dress Revue back then). In 1977 I was the county winner in the Senior division and represented our county at the State Dress Review. And the machines I used for all of my sewing - clothing & home interiors? My 1947 Singer Featherweight & Mom's 1956 Singer 403a, both of which I still own & still use for all of my quilting.

  7. #7
    Junior Member LyndaK's Avatar
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    OH, I'm a huge vintage machine fan. I own and use a FW 222K, and two Singer 301's. However, I also enjoy the convenience features on my Janome 11000 and Janome 3010DC. Depends on the projects. I'll bet though, that the metal Singers will be chugging along long after the plastic Janomes are done........We'll see:)

    My treadle BTW will apparently sew through tin cans. They used to demonstrate that years ago to sell the machines. Apparently the men were impressed with that and would buy for their wives, so they could fix horse harness! Don't know if it's true, but it's a good story:)

  8. #8
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I also think it depends on the project. I love the looks of the old ones best though!

  9. #9
    Junior Member sew_sew's Avatar
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    The girl sounds very talented. I would be afraid to use my newe Baby Lock to do really thick, tough fabric.

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