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Thread: Good basic solid vintage zz machine?

  1. #1
    Junior Member sews's Avatar
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    Good basic solid vintage zz machine?

    I'm still looking for a good SOLID basic zigzag machine and my head is starting to spin with all the info I have to wade through, only to find some are slant needle, which I don't want, or do only straight stitch...

    Maybe you can help me narrow things down.

    I have a 201 for straight stitch and a Citation for zigzag -- but I want something more solid for the zigzag - along the lines of the Singer 328k which belongs to my husband. Of course we could share, but he does not take care of things - the 328 tends to ride in his pick-up along with a lot of other stuff that lives in there....

    The 328 makes a better stitch than my Citation or my Necchi, both 70s (metal) machines.
    I was originally looking for a 50s/60s Japanese machine and I now wonder how they compare to the 328.
    Can anyone suggest a Japanese ZZ machine that is as solid as the 328?

    I looked up 319s, since one is available locally, but they are just a bit too much of a machine since I don't need the embroidery functions. I make cloth bags, so I want to be able to go through several layers and need as much clearance under the foot as the 201 has.

    TIA.
    Sabine

  2. #2
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I like the 328s but about any Japanese zz is good - avoid a plastic cam stack - Kenmore makes some real nice old zzers, too.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  3. #3
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Why no slant needle? I can't think of any disadvantages to one other than you need slant needle feet to go with it.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  4. #4
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    Any of the 50's Brothers: Flairmatic, Riviera, Prestige, SelectoMatic, and others, any of my Brother machines would put that 328 to shame. BUT, that said, you might look at a Singer 237. It's said to have the best zz/satin stitch of any of the old gals.

    Cari

  5. #5
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Guess I'm odd woman out but I don't care for the 328s at all. I much prefer the Japanese machines. However, I should put a caveat that some are left homing and I don't care for those either. I have a 237 and agree with Cari it's a great machine. So, if you want a Singer, I'd recommend that one.

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    The Singer 328 can set the needle LRC and that is a big deal. I have one practically new - it is a very nice machine now that I got the kinks out of it - runs quiet, too. I'm thinking when they get lint in the bobbin area is when they clunk. They are butt ugly. I just sold a Good Housekeeper - I'm not sure who made it - some place in Japan - it was nice and fast and went through layers of jeans fabric. For that guy it was between a turquoise White and the blue Good Housekeeper. He liked all that chrome so he got the GH... more chrome and heavy metal!!! I am thinking the old Brother machines are good but I've seen plenty of really nice old Japanese zig zag machines with nondescript markings.
    Last edited by miriam; 12-16-2014 at 04:04 PM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  7. #7
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    You're right Miriam, most of the old Japanese machines are good ones. I'm partial to Brother machines only because I grew up using my moms Brother Prestige. Now my oldest has it and it still sews like it's new. It has never failed to sew whatever I could get under the foot.

    Cari

  8. #8
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    I like the old Kenmores. They are solid, durable, strong, inexpensive, and easy to find parts for.

  9. #9
    Junior Member sews's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the opinions - I hope no-one feels slighted if their preferred machine is not liked as much by some others - we all have our preferences.

    I e.g. was falling for the Japanese bling machines, the cute, pretty ones, until I realized, yes they are cute, but can they sew a good stitch?

    I got the Necchi (70s model) since I was hoping some of the legendary Necchi quality would remain, and though it is a fine machine, I prefer a more solid stitch. I am attaching a stitch sample to explain:

    The 2 rows in dark red are sewn with the Necchi, the white stitches are sewn with the the Singer 328k <- before and after adjusting the tension. I could possibly get a somewhat better stitch from the Necchi with some more adjustment, but as it is, the Citation also has that somewhat anemic stitch, so I see a pattern there.... Maybe it's just my bad luck, but I was hoping for better quality. And maybe I looked at the wrong decade!

    My question: do the Japanese machines, like the Brothers that Cari mentioned, sew a good stitch?


    I don't mind the looks of the 328 - it is a bit more industrial looking, as is the 319, but it works for me.

    Things have gotten a bit more fluid now, since DH came home with a cute little green Singer 185j - and that may tip the balance and maybe I can pry the 328 away from him ... if not, I'd still be looking for a (Japanese?)machine that sews a good stitch - and through several layers.

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    Sabine

  10. #10
    Junior Member sews's Avatar
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    Weird.

    The 328K has 2 (very) different looks:

    this is how it is listed at ismacs

    http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_mach...99/328k_bp.jpg


    and this is the one we have - better looking, more character, IMO

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Sing...item3f433a916a
    Sabine

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