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Thread: Vintage Singer vs. Vintage Brother Sewing Machine - Help Please!!

  1. #1
    Member danandsassy's Avatar
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    Hi everyone! I am a newbie and want very badly to learn how to quilt. I am currently looking for a sewing machine and have decided that I really want to get a vintage machine, mainly since money is tight with a 3 month old little girl and I've heard that the older machines are sturdier and last longer. I am trying to decide between 2 different ones that I found on eBay, and could really use some advice. Please help me decide which would be better for quilting!

    The first is a Singer Stylist Model 513 - I'm leaning towards this one because it comes with a few extra feet and has been serviced:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    The second is a Brother Boutique 761. I am interested in this one because I currently have a Brother Festival 461 that is almost identical, but has cracked gears and is unrepairable. I thought if I got this machine, at least I'd have the 461 around for spare parts in case anything happens to it, but I'm not sure how good of a machine it is for quilting. Here's the link:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    Please help!!! Any and all advice is welcomed - this is my mother's day present and we have a little extra money right now, so I'm looking to buy something soon, but just can't decide between these two.

    Thanks so much for all of your help!!! :D :D :D

  2. #2
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Do you live near a WalMart ? Did you notice the shipping charges on both these machines ? One was $35.00 the other just under , then when you add in the actual cost of the machine , not sure I would get either one , truthfully. The reason I ask about WalMart is they have a new mechinical Brother for like $75.00 and another one for like $59.00 or you can order them off line

    http://www.walmart.com/search/search....y=0&Find=Find

    Plus you don't know how well the machines from Ebay actually are
    :?

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Do you have any thrift shops, GoodWill, Salvation Army type stores near you? I think you would have less risk buying from one of these. Also check local ads in your community paper, if you receive one, the garage sale portion of your newspaper, etc. If you like garage saling, that is a good option too. I bought one vintage machine for $15 and another for $25 at garage sales I just happened to stop at. (Of course, you have to be disciplined not to buy other stuff! If you garage sale just looking for a sewing machine, you can be quick-in and quick-out.)

    When I have time I check the thrift stores periodically and pick up older sewing machines for $25 to $35 to clean up for a non-profit near me. I always plug in the machine in the store to make sure it runs, and also check to make sure it has the bobbin case. If I were more concerned, I would also bring thread, scissors, needles, and fabric scraps to actually sew in the shop before buying the machine. (Alternatively, make sure the shop takes returns and save your receipt.)

    I just glanced at the machines on eBay. One problem with buying a machine that way is that many people do not pack the machines properly so they can arrive damaged in transit. I am not an expert in vintage machines, but I'm not sure either of those machines qualifies as vintage. The older vintage machines have all metal parts; this is why they can be repaired forever, especially since so many were manufactured making replacement parts easy to come by. Newer machines were made with plastic bushings, etc.; those parts wear out and become non-replaceable.

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I agree with Sharon and Prism both...

    However, the first machine was checked out by a tech, but I am concerned where she said the machine is oily? the outside of it...is it leaking? or did they oil it up while cleaning the outside?
    The second one states a tension problem, fixable or not? but not checked out by a tech...

    The first one sounds better about taking the machine back if damaged, and also looks like they sell a lot of machines, with pretty good feed back.

    I would be leery of both of these, personally...

  5. #5
    Member danandsassy's Avatar
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    Thanks all for your helpful suggestions....I'll go check out what they have online at Wal-Mart & Target...

    I would love to spend an afternoon trolling thrift stores & garage sales for a machine, but we only have one car which my husband needs for work 6 days a week, so shopping trips are pretty rare around here :( That's mainly why I'm looking online, but I really appreciate all your input!

  6. #6
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    check craigslist.com in your area. you might find a bargain.
    rachel just ordered at machine on ebay and had it shipped- a all metal machine- when she got it, the case was busted and parts of the machine were broken.

    i believe the subject was i am just in tears?
    rachelcb80 is her moniker and it is" i am absolutely in tears right now"

  7. #7
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I got a Brother from Wal mart to start with. It was really cheap and it still sews great.

  8. #8
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Both auctions have ended...but I would have given the same advice!

    I picked up a vintage Kenmore for $15 locally, a 1951 Singer for $15 as well...Goodwill is open on Sundays and sometimes if you call them and tell them what you're looking for, they will call you when a machine comes in.

    I have the Brother that was listed here, btw...the machine is about 20 years old, my sis in law gave it to me because she had problems with the tension, but I sewed with it and it was fine...(she was brand new to sewing, and didn't know how to adjust it)

    I wish I could just send you one of mine!

  9. #9
    Dix
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    Senior Member Dix's Avatar
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    I have a quilting friend who just bought a Brother CS-6000i and loves it. Most Walmarts have it now. For under 200.00.
    If you can look around, I have Janomes and a Bernina. My small Janome is wonderful. I take it everywhere and neve had a service problem.

  10. #10
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    I don't know what your budget will stand, but while I have a Bernina as my main machine, my hubby saw how impatient I got when I was wanting to sew and my Bernina was embroidering, so he got on Overstock.com and got me a little Brother CS4000, refurbished for under about $80 shipping and everything. It is really a decent little machine with a few very nice 7mm fancy stitches. It did not come with a walking foot, but found that the generic feet at a Brother dealer/LQS are very reasonable. Check Overstock out. They also had a little larger refurbished machines for around $100 and their customer service is great!

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