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Thread: old black sewing machines

  1. #1
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    I guess this might be a stupid question but here goes: what's so great about the old black sewing machines? My mother has Grandma's which she'd probably be willing to "lend" me. It is still in great shape. I already have three other newer machines and was just wondering what the advantage of having Grandma's machine would be. I mainly do paper-pieced quilts. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
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    When you are talking about the old black Singers you are talking about durability, ease of service, beauty of stitch and reliability. These old machines are true work horses. They are made of all metal - most of the new machines are plastic an aluminum. The old ones last FOREVER!!!!! Always a true gem to own. And one of the best aspects is that tey are so easy to clean and maintain. They almost NEVER need to go to the shop. You can EASILY do all of the require maintenance.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhboxers
    When you are talking about the old black Singers you are talking about durability, ease of service, beauty of stitch and reliability. These old machines are true work horses. They are made of all metal - most of the new machines are plastic an aluminum. The old ones last FOREVER!!!!! Always a true gem to own. And one of the best aspects is that tey are so easy to clean and maintain. They almost NEVER need to go to the shop. You can EASILY do all of the require maintenance.
    And they are pretty if they have lots of nice decals, lightweight in the case of Featherweights, stitch a mean straight stitch, some can be had that are hand crank or treadle, so work without electricity, won't lose their value because they are vintage, and can be of enormous sentimental value.

  4. #4
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    Lesley and Jane said it well. Plus, these old machines are strong enough to power through denim, upholstery, and drapery fabric. I used to hate making ruffles until I discovered the ruffler attachment that came with one of my machines. The buttonholer attachment makes buttonholes every bit as nice as the modern machines, even on a treadle.

  5. #5
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    In addition to all of the above, I've been told (numerous times) that there isn't a modern machine made that can sew as fine a straight stitch as the old featherweights. Not even the $10,000 Berninas.

  6. #6
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I agree with all of the above. I have a treadle, a vintage electric in a cabinet and a featherweight. All work great and have a wonderful stitch, plus, there is plenty of room in the throat/harp to manage a big quilt.

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The vintage Singers have a 30 per inch stitch length. The paper will fall off the fabric if you use it for paper piecing. I have never figured out why 30 per inch setting was needed. I think every sewer should have one vintage machine for a back up. They are cheap (except the FW) and will last for generations.

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    It IS a Featherweight. I guess I'll ask Mama to send it homw with me next time I visit. She has a white one too.

  9. #9
    Senior Member anniec55's Avatar
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    Sew on it and you will know.... typically beautiful straight stitch... and tough as can be.... Take it and use it and never look back!! LOL... it really is harder on them to sit than be used, so take her and exercise her I bet you'll fall in love.

  10. #10
    Super Member sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    There is nothing good about them at all... they are just awful and something you don't want to mess with. Just give me a call and I'll get rid of them all for you. (Bwahhh, haaa, haa...)

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