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Thread: Cheap Back-up

  1. #26
    Senior Member ncredbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace View Post
    Singer 301 or a Featherweight. The 301 you can usually get for less than $150 and much better than a disposable, plastic machine.
    These old girls have been around for years and are still going strong. If you want one you can take with you they are the perfect answer. The Singer 15-91 is a much heavier machine but will sew through anything and is an old warhorse. It can probably be found for right around $100.00 in an old cabinet and will continue to do anything you want it to do. I have each of the machines above that I use plus the 15-91 that I teach my grandchildren to sew on. The really great thing about these old machines is that you can service them yourself as far as cleaning and lubrication is concerned. I have never had to take my machines to a service person for repair.

  2. #27
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    If you have a Bernina dealer around check out the 801 it is an old machine. Worth their weight in gold. Doesn't have all the fancy stitches, but there are a few. They are sometimes hard to find. We have had one in our family for over 30 years and still fight over who gets it. I am still waiting for my turn. Good luck in your search.

  3. #28
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    That's very clever! Don't think it would fix the problem with the feeddogs but I like it! :-)



    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonomine View Post
    Necessity is the mother of invention. This is what I just came up with to get perfect seams.



    Yes, that's a grocery store key card taped to it. Works perfectly!

  4. #29
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    I find that the older machines, like kenmore or Janome, white ect sew a much better straight seam than most of the new ones, You can usually get them for a reasonable price at sewing shops where they have been turned in for trade. They have usually been serviced as well.

  5. #30
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    Ane one of my old Singers that are Straight stitch machines sew a beautiful straight seam. The 15 clones do, as well. I've found that a machine with a zig zag or one that makes decorative stitches, tends to shew the stitches slightly.

  6. #31
    Super Member oldtnquiltinglady's Avatar
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    You are all right about the FW, 201, 15-91, 301 Singers for straight stitches, but the cheapest one I have run across is a Spartan (heavy heavy heavy), but so quiet and totally dependable for the 1/4 inch--I think mine has the marked plate, but I am not real sure about that--I don't have much trouble with keeping my seam at 1/4 inch after I work at it a minute or two, I don't need the indicators anymore. But I can't depend on keeping my seam true at 1/4 inch on my newer machines with the zig zag foot, even when I put the straight stitch foot on them. Like they are saying above, it depends on the individual doing the sewing (and maybe her speed, I am not a speed demon on a sewing machine).
    Make every day count for something!

    JoAnn

  7. #32
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    a straight stitch machine will always sew straighter than a zig zag machine. I piece most of my quilts with a FW or treadle machine.

  8. #33
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    So true. Just tonight I noticed that my left arm twitched just a teensy bit and my 1/4 inch seam became about 1/16th of an inch.

  9. #34
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    Have you purchased a 1/4 inch foot with a guide on the side? That will help with straight seams. They're pretty inexpensive, too.

    I used a 'cheapo' Brother Machine for 5 years and just upgraded to one of their better sewing machines. I do see a difference in my stitching consistency. But I think that had I purchased the foot described above and used it, the consistency would have been much better.

  10. #35
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    what is the difference between the Singer 15 and 15-91?

    Quote Originally Posted by pennycandy View Post
    Have to agree with the others in recommending an older metal machine. I was very lucky to inherit my mil's 1948 Singer 15-91. I was accustom to sewing on my Singer 1036(zz & ss) I purchased in 1979. It was a pleasant surprise to discover how well the 15-91 sews a straight seam.
    Kathy Phillips

  11. #36
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Another nice, straight stitch, vintage machine is a Singer 404. It is part of the Singer Slant 400 series. It is a full size, gear driven (no belts), horizontal top loading bobbin, full rotary hook, Aluminum bodied, take no prisoners machine. It is light weight at 19 pounds, and fast because it does one thing and does it very well.
    You can usually find them for a lot less than 100.00 because people don't really know about them. Sweet machine.
    Last edited by Mitch's mom; 01-25-2013 at 03:42 AM.

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