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Thread: Why is everyone buying the old sewing machines?

  1. #76
    Senior Member quilter1430's Avatar
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    My 221 Featherweight is so light and portable, plus it looks adorable too. I bought mine from a guy who repairs old Singer 221's in England and my machine acts like new. I know I paid more, but I have a machine that runs like a dream with no problems. If you're interested in seeing his (highly recommended)site, it's here: http://singer-featherweight.com/

  2. #77
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    Graham Forsdyke is one of the leading authorities on Antique sewing machines!! You picked a winner when you bought from him! He's recognized the world over for his knowledge.

  3. #78
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Graham is very knowlegable to say the least. He belongs to the group that I learned how to clean and repair my machine from. I have since gotten away from it but he always gives great advice and from what I have seen on the group is a very nice person.He even mailed me a part for one of my machines from his home. I love his stories too. Here is the link if anyone is interested.
    http://www.ismacs.net/grahams_true_s...s_listing.html

  4. #79
    Super Member Quiltbeagle's Avatar
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    My Featherweight is simple to service myself, will most likely outlive any and all of my present and future computerized machines, and has a beautiful straight stitch.

  5. #80
    Junior Member Toni-in-Texas's Avatar
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    A friend gave me a featherweight along with the table and I'm very proud to have it. I haven't had the time to learn to sew on it yet. My favorite sewing machine in a 1973 Kenmore that's has reached the stage it can't be repaired anymore, but I'm still using it as much as I can.

  6. #81
    Super Member nwm50's Avatar
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    my newest brother jammed up on me for some reason or other but here i took out my FW and it went straight to sewing beautifully and straight w/o missing stitches or breaking threads! It just doesn't ziz-zag but nonethless, is pretty light and a workhorse....

  7. #82
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    I picked up a treadle this week, in a beautiful cabinet (7 drawers). Research tells me it was born in 1911 in Bridgeport CN. Thought that was rather odd, because most of the Singers of that vintage are from RI. More research gave me the reason. Singer bought the Wheeler & Wilson Sewing Machine Co. which was in Bridgeport. This machine is a almost a W&W, but with a Singer name. It runs just needs a new belt. My reason for getting it -- simply for quilting. & when we lose power, I'll still be able to sew!

  8. #83
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    an older sewing machine has more durable (metal) parts, and they sew very well. i purchased a treadle sewing machine a few months ago-cleaned it up and replaced the belt and it sews great-and with costs of everything going up and outta sight, i can still machine sew without electricity! i still use my serger, and i still love my computerized innov-is 1000, but i also like the idea of not spending any more money than i have to.

  9. #84
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isewhappy
    First, I mean NO offense to anyone. I'm just curious as to what the draw is to the old sewing machines. I think they are being called "featherweights."

    While I love antiques and find them beautiful I don't understand what people are using them for. Many are missing parts and I've never seen one that I considered easily portable...

    What am I missing?

    (Again, I'm not trying to offend anyone - I'm just clueless.)
    Are you sure you mean Featherweights? A true featherweight (FW) only weighs 11 pounds and is easily lifted with one hand. They are very portable. I love mine. It not only has all its parts it came with a lot of accessories. I can do any kind of sewing with it. I also have collected other vintage machines. Just their history, duribility, etc. is enough to appreciate. I use mine but also have several hand cranks and treadles for display mostly. I plan to hand them all down as pieces of history. :-D

    Oh, forgot to mention the hum of the old machines. Very cool.

    I love my 2004 Bernina Artista and my 1975 Bernina 830 but the old gals are dreams to sew with also. Thanks for asking!

  10. #85
    Super Member tammy cosper's Avatar
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    My older machine is a singer treadle the 12k family dated back to the 1800's and in working order!!!! The reason I am thrillle dthat its in working order is...you never know when something might happen to where you are without power. And as we all know the treadles don't require electricity! So...if need be, I could continue on with my quilting. I might have to light up a oil lamp,but power outage wouldn't slow me down.

  11. #86
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Old machines, they are wonderful!! I have 4 featherweights-1941 black with crome hand wheel, 1950 black, 1961 black red s, 1964 white, 1956 99k, 1959 black 301, and a 1919 red eye treadle. I purchased another 1964 white featherweight for for may granddaughers 14th birthday and she loves it. I purchased them all over time in ebay.

  12. #87

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    I still have my Singer Feather weight 221 that I recieved as a gift when in high school. It is a work horse and easily serviced by owner or at the shop. It sews like a charm and of course mine has soooooo many wonderful memories. I will never give it up. I also have a new Viking....love it....need my manual by my side when I use it because it is so complicated. I also have a White treadle. I love them all....my fav is the Singer. After retiring, I am finally able to get back into sewing. What a joy.

  13. #88
    Senior Member olebat's Avatar
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    The reasons I'm collecting them is that the cases are fairly uniform in size and shape. Therefore, they are easy to shelve and store until time to set up a class. I load a trailer with bins of fabric, patterns, mats, cutters, scissors, thread, etc., and and assorted size and weight machines. I take my show on the road to teach 4-H kids how to sew.

    When you need to lift 20 - 30 sewing machines, some of those units get pretty heavy. The kids unload and reload the trailer at the class site - but I load at the start, and unload when I get back home. I'm not young, or healthy, so it's a chore for me. Even the healthy kids have trouble with the heavy machines.

    Having all the same style machine will also make it easier to teach a large class. The Featherweights are durable, and pretty much kid proof. I would like to have a total of 30 of them. (I have a long way to go.) As I get a featherweight, I can donate one of the older flea-market odd balls to one of the kids who really has promise in sewing.

  14. #89

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    These are easy to take to classes. My big machine has a motherboard in it, so you need to take care with it. Old machines are easy to use (not so over the top as the new ones). I remember about 1963 being with my Greatgrandmother in her little apt and watching her sew on her Treadle machine. I was the only one in the family she would sit and sew with. My Greataunt dumped the machine ("THAT OLD THING"), after her mother passed away. That machine gave me a love of sewing. So now when I use my Treadle I think of my GG and it makes me feel all warm inside. I have newer machines, but they do not have the same feel. I now sew for my granddaughter and the feeling is different with each machine. But it is still the best with my old "Iron Queen".

  15. #90
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Of the five machines in my house, guess which one isn't used? The only one not considered vintage. It is a piece of whatever impolite word you choose. Give me all steel any time. My 1974 Elna is my go to machine, but the Singer 301 is a better quilting machine. Straight, strong, easy to use - it does have a crummy thread cutter, but it's pluses outweigh that one minus.

    All smaller machines are not FWs. My Singer 128 is a 3/4 size machine, but it weighs 29 pounds. If it should ever give up sewing, its next job in life would be a great boat anchor.

  16. #91
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    Very solidly built. They will probably be around another hundred years or more. Sew a great straight stitch and lightweight/portable to take to sewing groups. And they are a classic.

  17. #92
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    Yea I need to know too.

  18. #93
    lue
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    Super Member lue's Avatar
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    I'm doing my best not to "collect" ANYTHING else (I make ceramic dolls, collect Charles Blackshear statues, African masks & carvings, heart-shaped rocks from the seashore, and make quilts! ENOUGH ALREADY!) HOWEVER, I wish I still had my grandmother's singer...just to feel her presence and recall making a seer sucker suit, making button holes, etc. She taught me to sew on a Singer and because she taught Home Economics I had to rip out an entire seam if the seam veered even the least bit! NOW you tell me the Singers were the easiest to sew perfect straight seams!!! Where were you when I needed you?!

    Has anyone bought old machines at Goodwill or other thrift stores? Any luck?

  19. #94
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olebat
    The reasons I'm collecting them is that the cases are fairly uniform in size and shape. Therefore, they are easy to shelve and store until time to set up a class. I load a trailer with bins of fabric, patterns, mats, cutters, scissors, thread, etc., and and assorted size and weight machines. I take my show on the road to teach 4-H kids how to sew.

    When you need to lift 20 - 30 sewing machines, some of those units get pretty heavy. The kids unload and reload the trailer at the class site - but I load at the start, and unload when I get back home. I'm not young, or healthy, so it's a chore for me. Even the healthy kids have trouble with the heavy machines.

    Having all the same style machine will also make it easier to teach a large class. The Featherweights are durable, and pretty much kid proof. I would like to have a total of 30 of them. (I have a long way to go.) As I get a featherweight, I can donate one of the older flea-market odd balls to one of the kids who really has promise in sewing.
    What a blessing you are to those kids. And, I so agree with you about FWs being kid friendly. My now 5 year old GS has been sewing on mine since he was 3 1/2 and he looks forward to me visiting him because I always bring a sewing machine. :-D

  20. #95
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    I don't buy old sewing machines....they are just all I have ever had :D Got my 1947 Featherweight when I was 12, sewed on it & my Mom's 1956 Singer 403 all thru jr & sr high school. Left home, took my Featherweight with me. Fast forward 30 years later...inherited Mom's 403 when she died in 2007. I have never had the desire or $$ for one of the new fancy ones. And as long as my 1947 & 1956 models keep working don't see the need to replace them.

  21. #96
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isewhappy
    First, I mean NO offense to anyone. I'm just curious as to what the draw is to the old sewing machines. I think they are being called "featherweights."

    While I love antiques and find them beautiful I don't understand what people are using them for. Many are missing parts and I've never seen one that I considered easily portable...

    What am I missing?

    (Again, I'm not trying to offend anyone - I'm just clueless.)
    Because we hate plastic! After sewing on modern machines that don't have enough power to sew across another seam, I'm done with them. I could care less about computerized this and that, I want a nice, reliable stitch and enough power to penetrate the fabric, maybe many layers of it. I don't want to have to take a course just to be able to know how to operate my machine, either.

    My "modern" machine is a Bernina Record 830, about 40 years old. My other machines are older Singers, made to last several lifetimes. The one in my avatar is a treadle and is 103 years old and still sews like a dream. I love to treadle on it. It says, "tickety, tickety, tickety..." I feel connected to a time when things were built with quality, not planned obsolescence.

    I don't want a Featherweight (Singer 221)-- too wimpy. I did buy one for my daughter, tho. Only the 221 is called "Featherweight".

    You really should try sewing on the older machines and you'll see why people love them. That's the only way to get that 'clue' you are looking for. ;)

  22. #97
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Loaded question.
    I have the newest Janome, and one that's 3 yrs old.
    But my girls are:
    1904 Singer 27 treadle
    1942 Black Singer 221 Featherweight.
    1950's Elna supramatic "the grasshopper"
    And a 1970's era White "Jeans Machine".
    Which one takes on anything?
    The Featherweight. And the Elna, but it's built like a tank.
    The Featherweight hummms when she sews. No whining, no shaking the table, no hesitation, and she's cute.
    Did I mention she's cute?
    She really is cute.
    Bah, who am I kidding, it's an addiction. :)

  23. #98

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    Now that is a foolish question! Why do guys buy tools they never use or don't even know how to use them? Myself, I have five sewing machines and can't possibly use but one at a time.

    I have my mother's old, old Singer but I have managed to keep it in working order. Got one out of an old attic - it works. So its just a collecting thing. By the way, I do not have a featherweight. B

  24. #99
    Super Member tammy cosper's Avatar
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    OH MY! I just found out tonite, that there is a old treadle of my great granny's sitting in my grand dads barn! Lol told my mom, have no fear, I will come and get it.roflol.
    Wow, I can't imagine how old that must be. And I can't wait to see it. My mom didn't seem to know anything about it, except whose machine it was. And where I can find it at.lol

  25. #100
    Super Member tammy cosper's Avatar
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    I'm beginning to think that quilters are about sewing machines, like they are about fabric. Have you ever seen a quilter be able to walk by fabric and not touch it?

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