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Thread: "you sew too much"

  1. #1
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    "you sew too much"

    I was reading in another section - and one person was bemoaning the demise of their expensive, 8 year old machine. She said the repair guy told her she had worn it out - "you sew too much" . The plastic gears just couldn't hold up.

    I think I'lll stick to my old metal girls - some of the ones showing the most wear are the best sewers - they are just getting broken in - not broken!

    I use to worry a bit what I would do if my main machine (1981 Viking 990) checked out on me, as it does have an electronic board. I've not found a "new" machine for under $3,000 that I would consider. Though it may be fun to get an embroidery machine, I think I'd select one of my older machines for the steady work. Then the question would be which one of the others would move to center stage!
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  2. #2
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I'll stick with my Singer 66.. She hums.. Never had a plastic geared machine.. I keep promise myself I will buy one with an electronic board, and chicken out..

  3. #3
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    I agree with this, older machines were meant to be workhorses. My husband surprised me a few years back with a top of the line embroidery/sewing machine that I personally never would have bought. But he's a "I told you when I married you I loved you, if something should change I'll let you know" type of guy. For our 20th wedding anniversary/Christmas present he popped this big honking set of boxes in my sewing room. I've had it for 4 years, it's all plastic pieces and already has some pieces broken. And I'm very careful when I use it. I would have rather gotten an classic machine. But hey, he loves me. He went to the fabric store and actually spoke to the dealer and bought a $7000 machine. "what?" I guess it's 20 years worth of Christmas/anniversary/birthday presents. His idea of celebrating is a hug and Happy .....what ever holiday.

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Just about any functioning vintage machine I have will out work/out live your $7000 machine.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  5. #5
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    Definately. It's so annoying to pay so much for something that is made of plastic. Dh can't understand why I want a featherweight. "It's so old" That's why he bought me the top of the line machine.... they just don't understand. I'm not complaining that he bought me an expensive present, just complaining about the poor quality and plastic of the high end machines.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I love my 306W with a knee control. My mom sewed the daylights out of it.. and it still goes strong for me. I can clean and oil it my self , and it has never failed me.

  7. #7
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    I love my old gals. My 1980 Singer 1036 is on it's last leg and decided to hunt for a replacement. I was thrilled to find a 60's era White. How could I not like a study machine with a 1.3 amp motor with a price tag of $20?
    Singer 66 treadle, Singer 15-91, JC Penney 6923, Kenmore 50, White 2334, Brother 920D serger. RIP Singer 1036

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pennycandy View Post
    I love my old gals. My 1980 Singer 1036 is on it's last leg and decided to hunt for a replacement. I was thrilled to find a 60's era White. How could I not like a study machine with a 1.3 amp motor with a price tag of $20?
    even if you put another $100 in it for repairs you would be in great shape! Besides I bet the service call on a plastic wonder would be more than that.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    My wife's first ZZ machine was a Singer 538. It's on it's third set of plastic gears and has so much wear on another gear we're going to have to replace it. She keeps avoiding buying the parts.
    We've bought two Singer 413s and within a couple hours of sewing the vertical shaft top gear has shattered.

    I do not, and can not trust a plastic geared machine. The Singer 4622a we have is all plastic and works well ... so far. But it's rarely used.
    The Bernina 930 my wife inherited is doing well and she uses or did the heck out of it. When the plastic bits die, I'm not sure what she'll do. But it will be her it dies on cos I won't use it.

    I prefer my older machines with removable or built in cams and all metal gears. I have no problems with those old ladies. They are like the EverReady Bunnie ..... they just keep on going ... going ... going ... going.

    I just cannot see paying thousands of dollars for a computerized piece of plastic. To my way of thinking that's insane. No insults meant to those that have them, but that's the way I feel.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    Just about any functioning vintage machine I have will out work/out live your $7000 machine.
    Just think about how many vintage sewing machines one could buy for $7000?
    Sweet Caroline

  11. #11
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    I haven't tried the newer plastic machines. Plastic has it's uses but I don't like it in my tools for the most part.
    Besides, the vintage machines with all the attachments (and that I can work on myself) are too much fun for me to look seriously at the newer models. At times I think some of the fancy stitches would be nice so I might get one that takes cams. I doubt I would need more than that for my projects.
    Rodney

  12. #12
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Rodney,

    We have a bunch of machines that do decorative stitches. Both with removable and built in cams. 95% of our sewing is straight stitch. About 4% is ZZ and the last 1% is decorative or stretch stitch. For the most part you just don't need decorative stitching for normal sewing.

    Joe

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Rodney - an old Bernina has some fun stitches; but the funnest of all are the Elna machines. Their cams are amazing. Duckies! Flowers! Sailboats! Really fantastic.

    And excellent machines, to boot. :-)
    -Cecilia. Tinkering more than stitching, really.

  14. #14
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    What gripes me is that manufactures are pretty much assuming someone will buy the machine, and then get tired of it and stop using it after a bit, and that it's not going to be used as a real workhorse. I suppose they figure if you want to really use one, you'll get a heavy duty professional model.

    I've been out of the new sewing machine market for so long- at first I didn't understand all the adds referring to "industrial" with the older machines - I know they aren't any where near the industrial machines I sewed on 30 years ago. But then now you have to buy a special "jean" machine just to get one that will handle a few layers of denim. I am so behind the times!
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  15. #15
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cecilia S. View Post
    Rodney - an old Bernina has some fun stitches; but the funnest of all are the Elna machines. Their cams are amazing. Duckies! Flowers! Sailboats! Really fantastic.

    And excellent machines, to boot. :-)
    Cecilia,

    Does the Elna have a cam that makes cats? Our machines make ducks, swans, flowers, trees, fishes, and all sorts of designs ... but no cats.

    Our LSMG has a new Janome that does a cat design, but it's about $6,000 and I would never even consider that.

    Joe

  16. #16
    Senior Member cmrenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    Just think about how many vintage sewing machines one could buy for $7000?
    At $20 each you could buy 350!
    What makes me mad is that the new sewing machines keep getting more and more expensive. Computers some down in price as do TV's and lots of other electronics. Sewing machines are a real racket. And I have friends that keep upgrading to the newest machines (that go up $2000 from the previous model! They were talking about a Janome that cost $12,000!)
    And I come to the meetings with my $5.00 specials! And they look at me like I am crazy!

    Colleen

  17. #17
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    I was thinking about hunting for an older machine that uses cams. I have 2 Pfaffs that I love but neither have a lot of stitches but they are work horses, don't care what it is, they sew it. I bought one of the plastics for some decorative stitches and overcast stitch. It can't maintain the decorative stitches on thick things (like quilts). If I find one that takes cams, are the cams hard to get? Do you think a Kenmore is as good as a Singer?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by charity-crafter View Post
    Definately. It's so annoying to pay so much for something that is made of plastic. Dh can't understand why I want a featherweight. "It's so old" That's why he bought me the top of the line machine.... they just don't understand. I'm not complaining that he bought me an expensive present, just complaining about the poor quality and plastic of the high end machines.
    my situation is the other way around. my wife complains a lot on why i need so many old singer sewing machines. i told her this is the real deal. i used my mom's old singer sewing machine when i started sewing and love it. i can sew anything with it. upholstery, denim, anything and it keeps on running. i have not asked my Mom if she still has it. she used to sew wedding gowns and any woman dresses before she had an operation. i bought my wife a husqvarna freesia and that's what she's using. she love it better than my machines. good for me as i can baby them all.

  19. #19
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragquilter View Post
    I was thinking about hunting for an older machine that uses cams. I have 2 Pfaffs that I love but neither have a lot of stitches but they are work horses, don't care what it is, they sew it. I bought one of the plastics for some decorative stitches and overcast stitch. It can't maintain the decorative stitches on thick things (like quilts). If I find one that takes cams, are the cams hard to get? Do you think a Kenmore is as good as a Singer?
    ragquilter,

    Many of the older Singers in the 400, 500, 600 and up series use cams. If you do some checking and stay to the machines with metal innards, there are lots of them, you'll be good to go. The cams are not hard to come by. GW and eBay have them quite often.

    Are Kenmores as good as Singers? Yes. Especially the late 60s to late 70s machines. While Singer was going to plastic junque the Kenmores were still all steel. My Kenmore 158-15570 sews better patterns with it's cams than many of the Singers do. It's all metal except for the cams and sews quiet and smooth.

    Joe

  20. #20
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    Just think about how many vintage sewing machines one could buy for $7000?
    yes - I'm not anywhere near it yet...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  21. #21
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragquilter View Post
    I was thinking about hunting for an older machine that uses cams. I have 2 Pfaffs that I love but neither have a lot of stitches but they are work horses, don't care what it is, they sew it. I bought one of the plastics for some decorative stitches and overcast stitch. It can't maintain the decorative stitches on thick things (like quilts). If I find one that takes cams, are the cams hard to get? Do you think a Kenmore is as good as a Singer?
    If I had a choice it would be a Singer 403 or 503. Then get a clone just for fun.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  22. #22
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    I love my 15-91 but would love one that does decorating stitches!!

  23. #23
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I have one plastic wonder, a Husqvarna Sapphire 875. I like it when its working right, but it can be very fussy. I sew most of my quilt tops with one of my 5 treadle machines. They aren't fussy, unless I thread them wrong or let the hand wheel go the wrong way. Two of my favorites are almost 100 years old and still sewing great.
    Sharon

  24. #24
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    A friend's hubby is in computers and has told her that the new computerized sewing machines are extremely overpriced and is just so surprised how people don't hesitate to pay the prices!

  25. #25
    Super Member deplaylady's Avatar
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    I do have a machine that can do embroidery and one that can make ducks, stars and dogs along with other fancy stitches. But for straight stitching all my old girls do a much better job. And my 401 has built in cams and all but one of the other extra cams that can go with it. Even the other machines have an attachment to do zigzag and other fancy stitches. I wouldn't dare touch to first two to try to repair them, the 401 looks complicated to me inside , the older machines much less so, so few moving parts, down to the Minnesota that surprised me with the simplicity of it's moving parts - it looks like a couple rods and a shaft.

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