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Sewing Machine Shopper's Guide

...aka "why you should just bite the bullet and buy an old European sewing machine" is up on my website.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
finickynarcane
Nov. 3rd, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)
I have a 1952 Singer. I sew chiffon on it. I sew leather on it. Sometimes I remember to change the needle in between. I would NOT trade it for anything else. (I, also own an 8-thread serger. (yes, eight))
bovil
Nov. 4th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
You're also not a beginning user. I've got a streamlined Kenmore (White "Family Rotary" series) from the same period, flat-bed, two stitches (forwards and back) and have made complete costumes using it and only it. I would heartily recommend it to someone looking for a second machine, but not to a beginner. The free-arm is just too valuable when starting out.
finickynarcane
Nov. 4th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
I might not be a beginning user now, but I was when I started using that machine. It goes forward and backward. All of the costumes you've ever seen me in were sewn on it (and many you haven't).
bovil
Nov. 4th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC)
I think they're great machines and often great bargains, but for someone with limited space (cabinets take up space, and I don't like these machines as portables at all) and for someone who isn't learning to sew from someone else who always used a flat-bed machine they're not the best choice.
trystbat
Nov. 3rd, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC)
Again, very useful! But for a beginner (or just s'one clueless about machinery, like me), you might add a glossary or explain things like rotary bobbin shuttles vs. oscillating shuttle & internal cam stacks. Or point to a site that has that kind of glossary or a diagram of a machine w/parts labeled.

Sure, I've been sewing since I was 8, but I only recently figured out what all the little feet that came w/my machine do ;-)
bovil
Nov. 4th, 2005 01:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, a "Sewing Machine Buzzwords" glossary would be good. I'll probably put the call out for people to point out things that they didn't understand about their machines.

I still don't know how to use the shirring plate on my old machine, and I've got the manuals.
lyzard13
Nov. 4th, 2005 02:13 am (UTC)
Good article!
Especially what to look for in a basic machine - good advice.

I remember the first sewing machine I ever bought - it was an old Singer. I bought it used from a sewing machine store in Chicago for $35 (a fortune for me in 1978) and took it home on the bus. Eventually it was replaced with a newer Singer by my ex around 1983 or so. Although I lust after the new machines every year at the county fair, I wouldn't trade my machine for anything. I can sew anything on it, leather, plastic, anything, and it just keeps working. It has a zigzag and a button hole maker, and that's about it for fancy features!
wyvernwell
Nov. 4th, 2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I've been on the search for a good machine for about a year now. My cluelessness has been abated somewhat by your article. Cheers!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )