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Thread: Musings from the Miller ...... antique machines are better.

  1. #11
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    An old post I made: go green
    people didn't catch to what I was saying about the machines - only about the sewing...
    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

  2. #12
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I caught it both. But all I have to relate to is the sewing. The clothes made on the old machine Mom had.

    Joe

  3. #13
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    So many people will buy a new machine because they don't want to pay to service an old one right off the bat. Little do they know...
    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

  4. #14
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    Change is sometimes for the better. Sometimes not.

    I do find reading the posts about new acquisitions interesting -
    Someone is very excited to get the newest, most elaborate (expensive) machine on the market -
    Another person is equally excited to find an old vintage (1960 or earlier) machine in good working order for a modest dollar amount.

    Since reading about some of the older machines, I've acquired several - five Singer 237's - not one of the most popular ones around, but I'm fond of them, and four others. Two of them need to be serviced - a singer 66 and a singer 401A.

    My Mom had some that got away from me when she died - but I didn't know then what I know now.

  5. #15
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    My wife and I are working on a project. We needed to find one of our machines that does zig-zag and decorative stitches to do some creative stitching.
    We have in no particular order:
    Bernina 930 = 1986
    Singer 4622 A = late 80s to eary 90s?
    Alden SUZ-2 = 60s?
    MW 7 Jewel = 60s?
    Singer 319K = 1957
    Ideal Automatik = 60s?
    Singer 401A =
    Singer 338K =

    All of these machines are capable of making many varieties of decorative stitches. We went around checking the patterns each made and narrowed it down to three. The Bernina that makes a stitch that looks like waves, The MW 7 Jewell that makes bubbles. And the Singer 4622A that does a couple other odd looking stitches.
    The Bernina never falters, it just goes and goes and goes and .... well we might nick name the Eveready Bunny.
    The MW 7 Jewel is quiet and smooth and makes great stitches seeming without effort.
    Now the Singer 4622 sounds horrible to me. It runs, it works, but it sounds like it's struggling and fighting to run. I don't like it.
    I tried to tell my wife why, but the words would not come. So I showed her. I sewed with the MW 7 Jewell and then the Singer.
    She said: "It's simple; the 7 Jewel sounds like metal, and the Singer sounds like plastic."

    I hate plastic machines. It's not all plastic like the new ones, but that machine just sounds cheep.

    I've looked at new machines. I've watched them work. But I don't want one. No plastic wannabee sewing machines with computers will ever be owned by me.

    Older and antique machines are better.

    Joe

  6. #16
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    About 10 years ago I bought a cheap Brother machine at WalMart for my daughter, who wanted to make purses and skirts. We sewed a few things on it, but didn't really use it too much. When she went to college, she took it with her, but didn't use it much, so brought it back home. About 7 years ago I started quilting, and you guessed it, I was sewing on that cheap little Brother machine. It was so lightweight that it would move around on the table when my quilt tops got past lap size, just from the weight of the fabric. It sounded like I don't know what....pound, pound, pound. You could tell it was cheap, cheap, cheap. Well, after 2-1/2 years of quilting, that little machine was totally worn out. I took it to be serviced because it wouldn't feed the fabrics right. The repairman told me all the gears were worn down. Enter another Brother machine, this one cost about $200. Again, lightweight and noisy. I used it for about 2 years, then I wanted a better one, so DH bought me another Brother, again about $200, but with a bunch of decorative stitches. It works fine, but there is still the issue of dancing on the table that I don't like.

    Enter my introduction to vintage sewing machines. Wow!! My eyes were opened!! The vintage machine gurus on this board totally won me over with their descriptions of the wondrous talents of the vintage & antique machines. I found my 301a first, and I was completely enamored from the first time I used her. She was a mess and missing parts, etc. when I got her, but it was love at first sight!! Since then I have accumulated 8 more, and I love each one.

    I still occasionally use my modern Brother machine, but not nearly as much as I use my vintage girls. I have bought each of my oldest 2 grandaughters vintage machines. Whenever I don't need my machines any more, I know my youngest daughter and my oldest grandaughter will be figuring out who gets which one, as they love them too.

    I'm not done collecting yet. Just being more selective now due to space limitations, as well as Evil Eye issues from DH!! LOL

  7. #17
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    There are two trains of thought I guess about "portable" machines.
    First, the original definition of "portable" means it's not in a cabinet, but still weighs the same as a full size 57 Chevy.
    Second, the modern definition of "portable" means it's light as breeze and you can carry it around in your back pack or purse.

    Several years ago I found our Free Westinghouse machine in thrift store. The store was across the street from the muffler shop that was working on my wife's truck. I found the machine and bought it, then carried it across the street to her truck. I about had a hernia before I got that thing to the truck. But, and this is very important to me, when I use that thing it does not move. The case it's in needs a new set of rubber feets so it doesn't scrape up the table, but that's a minor thing.

    The Singer I mentioned above isn't near as light as the new plastic machines, but it's still too light to do much of anything. I tried to move it just a little bit and it about slid across the table.

    I like the old machines.

    Joe

  8. #18
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I started out life on some old HC until I got myself vaccinated... Mom quickly let me use the FW. I used a Touch 'n Sew in Home Ec and it turned me off on Singer for a VERY long time. The FW was all we had - when I got married, I bought a used FW and used it until my first born son came along. A friend loaned me an Elna. It was love and no going back at that point. I scraped and scrounged and got a used Elna. I wore it out. I still have it and it is pathetic. When I wore it out I searched for something I liked as well. I used a New Home or Good Housekeeper or something I borrowed. It was ok... Then someone gave me a low end Viking. It was ok... DD fell in love with it and took it when she moved out. sigh. I bought a used low end Viking. It was ok.... A friend wanted a machine so I sold it to her. Somewhere in there I got an assortment of industrial machines. Those are nice if you are doing production. I made tents for about 10 years or so - a machine with a walking foot is very nice. Next I bought a new low end but expensive Janome - electronic. Darn thing didn't do much for me. I about quit sewing. I picked up a Necchi or two at a garage sale some were ok some not... Then I found a Singer 401G in the garbage. It was love. That thing was trashed. But it was love. I searched around and bought a 403 in good condition. It was pure love. It's my go to machine. The Necchi was re-homed. The Janome was re-homed. A lot of water went over the dam. I had to work on that 401 a lot so I learned a thing or two. I've picked up old machines, fixed them up and sold them. Now there is internet and repair information... WOW!!! I can't seem to fix a plastic machine. The others are much easier to work on. I'm over 60 and can't really remember not sewing. Give me a good old vintage machine and I'm happy. I love to tinker with them more than anything. I am amazed at the engineering and the machine work that went into those old machines.
    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

  9. #19
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I can't remember my Mom ever having a Singer. From as far back as I can remember she's had the HOTHER. Perhaps before that another machine, I don't know. When I was little she sewed her finger into her work on an old black portable machine at the kitchen table. I have no idea what brand it was but it was in a case.
    After she retired the HOTHER she got a cabinet machine that I think is a Kenmore. But I'm not sure. All I know is it wasn't a Singer. That machine is languishing in a shed on my aunts property in AZ. I can't get any of my relations to assist me in retrieving it.
    When I got married my wife had a Singer 538. Still has it but it's ailing and won't work right any more.

    I don't know anyone personally who has a brand new machine. Even my aunts have quit sewing. My oldest aunt says she's got her grandmothers treadle machine, but I don't know if she uses it, or what it is.
    My step daughter has a treadle, but again I don't think she uses it.

    Somebody must have a brand new machine. Maybe they're just ashamed to admit it.

    Joe

  10. #20
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    I was given a rather new "White" for my Daughter, its all plastic and needed a foot control. it is a box store low end one, and after the new controller I realized it had no bobbin case, and the tension was a mess. it works after a fashion, but she is getting a 1920's 128 for her next Birthday and i KNOW that one will sew .

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