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Thread: Need to know why everyone buys vintage Singers

  1. #51

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    I have an old Touch and Sew that my mother had when I was in grade school. I'm now almost 58.I learned to sew on it. It's a great machine, I have all the extras.( cams and all) It's fun to use and brings back such memories. Had to have a gear replaced a couple times.And the timeing of coarse. But I love it.

  2. #52
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbykat1955
    I've been reading how some of you have found Singer featherweights and love them...My question is "do you really use them or are they just for display".
    I've been researching them because you all made me curious and find that if I were to buy one it would be a 301A. But why would I buy one, would I really use it when I have the modern sewing machines...
    Because absolutely NOTHING made today comes anywhere near the quality or strength of these grand old machines. They were made to last several lifetimes, which is why they are still going strong and are passed from generation to generation.

    I love the precision they have, versus some of the newer machines I've owned that sound like a lawnmower and balk at sewing over 4 layers of thin cotton.

    Try it, you'll like it!

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie
    I have an old Touch and Sew that my mother had when I was in grade school. I'm now almost 58.I learned to sew on it. It's a great machine, I have all the extras.( cams and all) It's fun to use and brings back such memories. Had to have a gear replaced a couple times.And the timeing of coarse. But I love it.
    I'm 66 and bought my Singer Touch and Sew when we were first married 48 years ago! I stilll use it. When she sews over several thicknesses that a newer machine cannot, I chuckle! It's at my daughter's home where I like to use it still. I put the binding on a feed sack quilt with it. I told her husband, this machine is older than your wife, the feed sacks are older than I am, and we won't talk about my age, so that makes this quilt a true antique! It's probably the last Singer they made with metal gears. Yes, I have all the cams and several attachments. Enjoyed many good years with that machine! I'd like to know where to buy more bobbins?

  4. #54
    Senior Member Numa's Avatar
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    I was working on a project for someone else today and was having to manipulate the quilt a lot. Got out my 503 and the opening (harp) is actually larger than on my Pfaff. Needless to say, I finished it on my 503. Love my 301 too and use it all the time too.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numa
    I was working on a project for someone else today and was having to manipulate the quilt a lot. Got out my 503 and the opening (harp) is actually larger than on my Pfaff. Needless to say, I finished it on my 503. Love my 301 too and use it all the time too.
    It's sort of like getting together with an old friend, isn't it?

  6. #56
    Senior Member Numa's Avatar
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    Yes it is!

  7. #57

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    You are absolutely right.
    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Quote Originally Posted by hobbykat1955
    I've been reading how some of you have found Singer featherweights and love them...My question is "do you really use them or are they just for display".
    I've been researching them because you all made me curious and find that if I were to buy one it would be a 301A. But why would I buy one, would I really use it when I have the modern sewing machines...
    Because absolutely NOTHING made today comes anywhere near the quality or strength of these grand old machines. They were made to last several lifetimes, which is why they are still going strong and are passed from generation to generation.

    I love the precision they have, versus some of the newer machines I've owned that sound like a lawnmower and balk at sewing over 4 layers of thin cotton.

    Try it, you'll like it!

  8. #58
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    I HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR A FEATHERWEIGHT FOR A COUPLE YEARS BUT HAD NOT FOUND ONE. tHEN AT CHRISTMAS I WAS AT A LOCAL QUILT SHOP THAT ALSO SOLD BERNINA'S. i LOOKED AT AND TRIED THE BERNETTE 46. wow WHAT A MACHINE! i DON'T MIND TELLING YOU ALL TO CHECK IT OUT - FOR THE PRICE IT REALLY SEWS GREAT, HAD ZIGZAG, HEM STITCH AND WITH ALL THE SPECIAL FEET AVAILABLE IT CAN DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING YOU WANT! lIGHT WEIGHT AND GREAT FOR PIECING AND TAKING TO CLASS, ETC. i HALL IT EVERYWHERE! tRY IT OUT.

  9. #59
    Yorkielover5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie
    You are absolutely right.
    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Quote Originally Posted by hobbykat1955
    I've been reading how some of you have found Singer featherweights and love them...My question is "do you really use them or are they just for display".
    I've been researching them because you all made me curious and find that if I were to buy one it would be a 301A. But why would I buy one, would I really use it when I have the modern sewing machines...
    Because absolutely NOTHING made today comes anywhere near the quality or strength of these grand old machines. They were made to last several lifetimes, which is why they are still going strong and are passed from generation to generation.

    I love the precision they have, versus some of the newer machines I've owned that sound like a lawnmower and balk at sewing over 4 layers of thin cotton.

    Try it, you'll like it!
    Oh Yes! My mother patched Dad's canvas overalls. That's heavy canvas, 4 layers! New machines don't do that.

  10. #60
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I love the old Singers, they sew with no complaining. Its unfortunate that the only thing left of the Singer company is the name, the ones made today are of poor quality and don't live up to the name.
    The youngest Singer I own is from 1968, only some of the outer parts are plastic, everything else is all metal. My oldest Singer is from 1923. I use all of my machines.
    I have 3 featherweights, 2 are black & 1 is tan. I have 3 Singer treadles: 1937 201,1949 15-90 and 237, soon a Singer 66-18 with bad wiring will become a treadle machine.
    I have modern machines will all the bells and whistles, when I want decorative stitches.

  11. #61
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gemmyfrog
    I've got the same question. I found a Singer, dated 1908, but I don't think it's a featherweight? Should I buy it?
    Of course! Just make sure it has the bobbin case/shuttle. Most of the other parts can be found.

  12. #62
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkielover5
    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie
    You are absolutely right.
    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Quote Originally Posted by hobbykat1955
    I've been reading how some of you have found Singer featherweights and love them...My question is "do you really use them or are they just for display".
    I've been researching them because you all made me curious and find that if I were to buy one it would be a 301A. But why would I buy one, would I really use it when I have the modern sewing machines...
    Because absolutely NOTHING made today comes anywhere near the quality or strength of these grand old machines. They were made to last several lifetimes, which is why they are still going strong and are passed from generation to generation.

    I love the precision they have, versus some of the newer machines I've owned that sound like a lawnmower and balk at sewing over 4 layers of thin cotton.

    Try it, you'll like it!
    Oh Yes! My mother patched Dad's canvas overalls. That's heavy canvas, 4 layers! New machines don't do that.
    I make thick potholders with my 201K treadle machine,
    sewing through 4 layers of cotton batting,2 layers of cotton and also binding. No complaining or horrible noises. Course I put in a size 110/18 denim needle to help things along. :-D

  13. #63
    Senior Member kathome's Avatar
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    Since I haven't read every single reply my thoughts have probably already been said.

    I have a Featherweight for the awesome-est (is that a word?) straight stitch, ease of carrying to wherever, and also to hear the sound that the machine makes. It's like no other. I also have a 501 that will sew through ANYTHING and keep on going.

    Like my GE steam iron from 1970, the old machines were built to last.

    For the "fancy stuff" I love my Brother 820.

  14. #64
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    When your computerized machine is in the shop, you'll be glad to have an 'old reliable.'

  15. #65

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    Thank you! I was wondering what's a big deal about Featherweight I'm sure it awesome having one.

  16. #66
    Senior Member Nita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplefiend
    Quote Originally Posted by gemmyfrog
    I've got the same question. I found a Singer, dated 1908, but I don't think it's a featherweight? Should I buy it?
    Of course! Just make sure it has the bobbin case/shuttle. Most of the other parts can be found.
    Just so you know, a Singer dated 1908 is NOT a Featherweight. Featherweights were not manufactured until the early 1930's

  17. #67
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    I wouldn't buy a machine if I didn't intend to use it. I just got my featherweight a couple of weeks ago, and am piecing my first top with it right now! This cute little baby of mine sews a tighter, straighter stitch than my new computerized machine.

    I bought a featherweight because I wanted a sturdy but small machine to keep upstairs (my sewing space is in the basement) so that I could do some piece work up here. I hated abandoning my husband every evening to go downstairs all alone. I love my quilting, but love my husband more and wanted to at least share some space with him. This way, we can chat and be together, even if I'm sewing and he's watching TV. I still do all of my cutting and most of my quilting downstairs, but I do the piece work up here. It's also nice because I can sit and sew while the kids are playing or having lunch which I couldn't do before because the baby is still learning his way around solid foods and might choke.

  18. #68
    Super Member vivoaks's Avatar
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    After reading everyone's comments on here about Featherweights, I started looking for one, but always found the price a bit high for me. Then I started reasearching the 301A, and eventually ended up buying one. Right now it's my "backup" machine, but I expect in a few years, when I start attending the guild's sewing weekends and retreats, I'm sure it will come in handy! :-)

  19. #69
    Senior Member Numa's Avatar
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    You will love the 301. I got rid of my FW in favor of it and I've never regretted it in the least little bit. To me, it's a better machine by far.

  20. #70
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    We own several of them. My DH sews on the 301 just about every evening. They are very nice work horses and it is not too hard to find parts for most vintage singers as they were so common.

  21. #71
    Super Member Tinabodina's Avatar
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    I love my little machine. It goes with me on vacation and to classes. It is so light weight. I also service it myself and have learned all the repair. It is nice because of the great straight stitch and it is simple.

  22. #72
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k9dancer
    When your computerized machine is in the shop, you'll be glad to have an 'old reliable.'
    Ain't that the truth... or while you are waiting to save up for repairs on the computerized machine...

    I love being able to treadle and piece my quilts when our electricity is out, too. We live in the sticks, and the power goes down quite often. During storms the rural areas are the last priority for repairs, too. We were without juice for 12 days, post-Katrina. If I'd had my treadle then, I would have been happy!

    So far, I'm not a featherweight girl. I like the heavier vintage machines. I have a 66, two 201s, and a 403, all Singers. Since I don't go to classes or anywhere else to quilt, I don't need a lightweight portable machine. If I find later that I do, I will look for a 301.

    My youngest machine is my trusty Bernina 830-- the original one, all metal and all mechanical. It's got 20 built in sts, 5 utility and 15 decorative. I rarely use any of them but the zig zag, and the blind hem st once in a while. In the past 20 years I have not used the decorative sts at all. My Singer 403 has removable cams to make decorative sts too, but I can see the previous owner rarely touched them.

    I guess you have to weigh out the pros and cons of every machine, and maybe own more than one. For me, reliablilty, strength to sew whatever I need it to, and a great looking straight st are the most important concerns. All the bells and whistles would not justify the huge prices of the new computerized machines, for me.

    Funny story, I was in the local Bernina shop looking at their Moda fabrics and they had one of their fancy Berninas set up with a giveaway offer. If you would sit down for about 1/2 an hour and let one of their staff demo the machine for you, your name would be entered into a drawing to give that machine away on a certain date. I wasn't even interested enough in the demo to possibly win the machine! I know they thought I was crazy when I didn't take them up on the demo... lol. I guess I could have tried to sell the machine if I won it, but I just didn't want to hear the sales pitch.

  23. #73
    Super Member greaterexp's Avatar
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    I bought a Singer "Redeye" treadle. I love the nostalgia of it, but I also like having having something to sew on if the power goes out! It's like putting a little piece of history in a quilt that is pieced on it. It is neat to think about the lady that must have used this long ago and what her life must have been like. I like knowing that because it is a metal, mechanical machine, it isn't going to wear out. I like my little computerized machine, but my treadle will be sewing long after the electric one dies.

  24. #74
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    Years and years and years ago (70's) I worked with an semi-retired elderly gentleman who did the accounting in a small insurance office. Turns out he used to be an executive for the Singer company during the 30's thorough 60's. He always bragged about what wonderful machines those early one's were, and bemoaned the quality (or lack of) in the newer models.

  25. #75
    Senior Member Traditional's Avatar
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    I had a consveration with a Singer repairman and he was saying the new models were a piece of junk and he refused to repair them . If you have a older model they were a great machine.

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