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Thread: Thinking of a vintage machine...which one? help :)

  1. #1
    Member Mummy Quilts's Avatar
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    Question Thinking of a vintage machine...which one? help :)

    I'm a vintage newbie. I don't know much of anything about fixing up a machine, but I'm willing to learn. I'm starting to look at vintage machines (I'm in LOVE!) and I just don't know which brand/model is a good starter for someone like me...

    I want to be able to 'use' the machine - i.e. I don't want it for decorative purposes...

    I don't mind putting a bit of elbow grease into something...

    But I just don't know where to start. What's a good "beginner" vintage-enthusiast machine?

    And I just want to thank anyone who replies in advance for taking the time!! Thank you!!
    - ​Before there was Prozac, there was quilting. -


    Happily quilting on a Brother Pacesetter 3001XL & Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist
    most recent acquisition: a Singer 66-16 {beautiful, but needs work!}

  2. #2
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    That is a huge question. It depends on whether you want a treadle or electric vintage sewing machine. Start visiting you local Craigslist and check out thrift stores local to you and online. For your first vintage sewing machine you will want one that is in good shape operationally and is not missing any parts. Find one that you like and ask us for advice. Good luck.
    Sweet Caroline

  3. #3
    Member Mummy Quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    That is a huge question. It depends on whether you want a treadle or electric vintage sewing machine. Start visiting you local Craigslist and check out thrift stores local to you and online. For your first vintage sewing machine you will want one that is in good shape operationally and is not missing any parts. Find one that you like and ask us for advice. Good luck.
    Hi Caroline!
    Sorry, I should have said that I'd want an electric machine...
    Thanks for your tips, I've been looking on CL and researching a bit online, but it's so overwhelming - I feel like I just don't know where to start, lol
    Thank you!
    - ​Before there was Prozac, there was quilting. -


    Happily quilting on a Brother Pacesetter 3001XL & Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist
    most recent acquisition: a Singer 66-16 {beautiful, but needs work!}

  4. #4
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Feather Weight, Singer 301, 15-91, 201, Bernina 830 vintage, Singer 401, Spartan, Singer 99
    I found if it was movable or a boat anker also made a difference to me. do I only use it at home or do I like to take it along. Some of the heavier ones come in cabinets which is nice if you sew at home. It is great to fold it out of the way if you are not working on it.
    Last edited by Annaquilts; 02-14-2013 at 05:59 AM.
    Anna Quilts

  5. #5
    Junior Member makitmama's Avatar
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    do you need anything besides a straight stitch for your first machine? do you need to be able to lower the feed dogs? do you want something with widely used bobbins/needles or is brand-specific ok?
    and lastly- does your heart pound more for a black machine, or a tan machine, or a more brightly colored one?
    Cil




    I'm a Queen.... at least my pantyhose say I am!


    (proud caretaker of a magenta 221, purple 222, assorted 66's, a 301, a pink Atlas and Monarch, and Granny's 201-2.

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    For your first fixer upper, I'd stay clear of any Pfaffs or Berninas. Not only are they very expensive, the parts are hard to find and pricey. They're great machines, but can take a lot of work and are not for newbies. Stick to Singers and clones or badged machines for your first project.

  7. #7
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
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    Any of the black Singers are good, some better than others depending on what you want to do. For a portable a Featherweight or 301 is tough to beat. Keep an eye out for cracking and crumbling wiring and missing bobbin cases especially on the FW and 301.

    Jon

  8. #8
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    Well maybe it will happen for you like it did for me. After seeing all the great vintage machines I began to want one too. I said a litle prayer that I'd love to come across one someday.

    Then about a month later while I was dropping off a few bags of clothes at a Goodwill Store I asked the lady working if she happened to have any vintage machines. I did not expect her response. She said "Yes, just the one over there". As she pointed over her shoulder I could see a black Singer vintage machine and I KNEW it was there just for me!!! I was thrilled. THAT was an answered prayer for sure! I bought it and a few days later it was oiled and works great!!! It's a Singer 99.
    Name:  DSC01805.JPG
Views: 529
Size:  877.7 KB
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place...the End Times.

    Heaven and Earth are full of His Glory!

  9. #9
    Member Mummy Quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makitmama View Post
    do you need anything besides a straight stitch for your first machine? do you need to be able to lower the feed dogs? do you want something with widely used bobbins/needles or is brand-specific ok?
    and lastly- does your heart pound more for a black machine, or a tan machine, or a more brightly colored one?
    A straight stitch would be sufficient - I would like to be able to drop the feed dogs...

    I'd like a machine that is relatively easy to get parts and needles/bobbins, etc.

    As for color...I love the black machines, but not stuck on them. I think on that account I'll know it when I see it? (sorry to be vague!

    Quote Originally Posted by Candace View Post
    For your first fixer upper, I'd stay clear of any Pfaffs or Berninas. Not only are they very expensive, the parts are hard to find and pricey. They're great machines, but can take a lot of work and are not for newbies. Stick to Singers and clones or badged machines for your first project.
    Thank you - this is great to know, especially for a newbie I really appreciate it!
    Quote Originally Posted by jlhmnj View Post
    Any of the black Singers are good, some better than others depending on what you want to do. For a portable a Featherweight or 301 is tough to beat. Keep an eye out for cracking and crumbling wiring and missing bobbin cases especially on the FW and 301.

    Jon
    Thanks Jon - this is all great information - I've seen a lot of Featherweights - beautiful machines!
    Quote Originally Posted by nygal View Post
    Well maybe it will happen for you like it did for me. After seeing all the great vintage machines I began to want one too. I said a litle prayer that I'd love to come across one someday.

    Then about a month later while I was dropping off a few bags of clothes at a Goodwill Store I asked the lady working if she happened to have any vintage machines. I did not expect her response. She said "Yes, just the one over there". As she pointed over her shoulder I could see a black Singer vintage machine and I KNEW it was there just for me!!! I was thrilled. THAT was an answered prayer for sure! I bought it and a few days later it was oiled and works great!!! It's a Singer 99.
    Name:  DSC01805.JPG
Views: 529
Size:  877.7 KB
    This is great to know - I would have never thought to ask at a Goodwill! Thank you!
    - ​Before there was Prozac, there was quilting. -


    Happily quilting on a Brother Pacesetter 3001XL & Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist
    most recent acquisition: a Singer 66-16 {beautiful, but needs work!}

  10. #10
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I recommend the Singer 301 for a great vintage machine -- easy to use and not complicated. It is lightweight.

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