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Thread: What do I want to use a 40-50 yr old sewing machine for????

  1. #1
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    I have a riccar sewing machine model number 12. I have posted about it before. I am currently having it in to be serviced. What is the best use for it? My singer 8606 is my piecing machine, and my singer 1027 is my quilting/relible machine. So, where does the Riccar fit into this picture? I know I didn't need three, but I fell in love with it at a thrift store, spent a lot of time figuring out if it worked or not... No manual so I do not know if the feedogs drop or if there is reverse stitching. Is there isn't, what do I do???
    Thanks and sorry for the rambling
    Emily

  2. #2
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    I guess I won't tell you about my machines then... 8)

    1957 featherweight
    a tan longbed and a black short bed 301 (great for piecing and beautiful for stippling)
    15-90 in cabinet
    66 treadle
    237
    185
    401 in cabinet
    brother 2003d
    xl1000
    bailey and frame (midarm)
    godzilla 66 in cabinet
    yucky 328k

    I think that's all.... :mrgreen:

    and I lied - I did tell you :roll:

  3. #3
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    My parents think 3 is too many, I don't myself :mrgreen: They said 3 is my limit...... :lol:

  4. #4
    Senior Member judee0624's Avatar
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    Emily, always good to have a backup in case something happens to the others. Does it have a bobbin winder? You could save it for just that. Today in the LQS I go to, a newbie was asking if her old machine would be OK and the teacher said yes,of course. As long as it sews consistently, use it. Nothing wrong with working on more than one project at a time.

    :P Enjoy!

    judee

  5. #5
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    When I took home ec--many many moons ago---LOL---we did not have the "reverse" feature. We were sewing garments, & at the end of stitching, we just stopped & lifted the pressure foot, turned the material & sewed back over the original stitches. Done.

    Good luck

    Billie G

  6. #6

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    I would say....the stitch. Nothing makes a wonderful lock-stitch like my Singer 221 (1950).

    Kanoelani

  7. #7
    Super Member 2 Doods's Avatar
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    I agree. A backup machine is wonderful when you have to send one in for service.

    I have several machines and wish I had room to set up another of them with different color thread. When I need to do a couple pieces with white thread and the rest takes dark. You could just use a different machine instead of rethreading. :? I worked in a dry cleaners doing alterations during college and I had several machines/threads set up that way. It was nice! And a real time saver.

  8. #8
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Keep them and enjoy them. I like the idea of having different color threads available! I wish I could set up more than one at a time. Oh, I could, I would just have to put the fabric away! THAT won't happen soon!
    Another Sharon

  9. #9
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    if the serviceman is worth his salt, he should know how it works. as for the other, use the 10 to 1 rule:


    are there 10 reasons not to keep it?

    is there even 1 reason to keep it?

    then guess what you should do. :lol: :lol:

  10. #10
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    I use my 40 yo machine to piece and quilt quilts, make garments (including wedding dresses and blue jeans), do alterations and mending... it's the one I use every day, and it's wonderful.

  11. #11
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    I keep the '74 Singer Touch N Sew for garments- I'm so used to it, I won't use the Viking Rose to do button holes, I just know it better.

    The Rose I use for the fancy stitches. Am going to get over my fear of the embroidery unit and master that this year.

    My Juki is my absolute favorite for quilting. It is set up 100% of the time and ready to go whenever I need her.

    So yes, it's OK to have multiples. (OK, so I didn't touch on the 3 singers in the boxes to be taken to get serviced- but I'm giving them to DDs and SD- so they don't count.)

  12. #12
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    i have two (not counting an embroidery machine) and sometimes wish I had three. my janome i use for machine quilting. the other i use for piecing. it's great because then i don't have to switch out the feet all of the time (darning vs. even feed). if i had another machine, i could keep my 1/4" foot on it and i'd be good to go!

    is that the height of laziness, or what? :shock:

    oh, and in my own defense, i typically have 2-3 projects going at once. one being pieced, one being quilted, and one (or two) something else.

  13. #13
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    I recently had to replace a zipper on a leather jacket for my grandson - my newer machine wouldn't sew thru all of the layers. So, I pulled out my 40 year old Kenmore and it worked like a charm. I love the old machines - they can sometimes so things that the new ones seem to have difficulty with.

    Machines are kinda like fabric - you can't have too many!

  14. #14
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    i use my 1972 830 bernina for just about everything, but my 1960s Elna Super is great for doing paper piecing and HST/Flying geese. That in itself is enough reason for keeping two machines. Now the other 6 I have no good excuse for but they need repair and tuning anyway.

    Oh yeah, they keep my studio from blowing away in the wind, yeah that's it, keeps the studio on the ground.

    tim in windy san jose

  15. #15
    Power Poster SulaBug's Avatar
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    I only have the one machine, but am seriously getting ready to buy another one. I think it would be so nice to have a back up, just in case!! :D That way when my sister comes over, we can sew together. :D I can't think of a better reason than that.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter
    i use my 1972 830 bernina for just about everything, but my 1960s Elna Super is great for doing paper piecing and HST/Flying geese. That in itself is enough reason for keeping two machines. Now the other 6 I have no good excuse for but they need repair and tuning anyway.

    Oh yeah, they keep my studio from blowing away in the wind, yeah that's it, keeps the studio on the ground.

    tim in windy san jose
    LOL - that's for sure. Those machines were made of METAL!

  17. #17
    Senior Member kapatt's Avatar
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    I agree with the comments made, keep it for a backup. Have you checked out the stitch on it? You may love the stitch and want to use it for your piecing machine. Does it have a big harp area? You may be able to also use it for quilting some of your smaller quilts.
    If you are like me, you come to love your machines and you don't really want newer ones. Another plus with the older machines is that many have metal gears and not plastic gears. They will do a good job with the more heavy material like canvas and thick material. The heavy material won't break the gears on the older machines like they will on some of the newer machines.
    One of the reasons I have the older Singers is so my husband and son will use them instead of my New Home.

    I have several older machines that I love to display (they are all usable).

    I love old singers so I have
    Treadle (Singer 15-88 ..use when I want to just relax and treadle)

    1 Singer hand crank (with a shuttle bobbin)

    2 featherweights (black 1953 and a white 1965ish) use for piecing when traveling

    1 black 301 (big sister to the featherweight)

    Non Singer machines...

    1 New Home Limited for piecing and sewing at home (laughing...the only one that does more than straight stitch)

    Husquavarna Viking Mega Quilter (I use it on my quilting frame)

    1 Pfaff serger.

    I'm happy with all of my machines except my serger. It is my newest machine but it is probably about 11 years old and is temperamental. I'll probably replace it in a year or two with a new serger. I don't use it as much so it is quite a ways down on my priorities.

    I agree with the person who made the comment about the beautiful stitch on the Featherweight. I think the featherweight stitches are wonderful.


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