Monday, May 30, 2011

My "New" Old Sewing Machine

I couldn't take it anymore. My Singer had to go. I was spending three plus hours a week on Singer maintenance, which was like losing three plus snoods every single time something went wrong (plus my sanity). I was cleaning it out constantly, which was fine, but I thought they payoff of cleaning it out should be that the other parts wouldn't malfunction every couple of hours and it just wasn't working out that way.

I finally came to the conclusion that there really is a difference between the "basic" sewing machine models and the sewing machines that are a little bit more high end.

So I started to research a potential "business investment" and hoped I could find a great 50% off sale like the one I saw a couple of weeks ago where the $400 sewing machines were $200. But I wasn't thrilled about it. As I recalled the mixed reviews I saw on some of the more expensive sewing machines I was a little hesitant. But I needed a sewing machine and mine just wasn't cutting it.

Then I called Nani. And she mentioned that she had two, one that was my grandmother's and that had always worked really well and never had problems (it's an old Kenmore 12 Stitch). The woman at the sewing machine shop had said that it was a really good sewing machine.

Last night I set it up. The first thing that was clear was that it had about twenty pounds of metal that my sewing machine was missing (could it be that the flimsy plastic parts that make up my Singer are part of the problem? They just couldn't hold up to sewing 20+ hours a week?). The bobbins are metal, and the entire sewing machine is just a little more elaborate and heavy duty than my "old" sewing machine.

With a deep breath I started sewing and... it was like a dream! It was so smooth! I wouldn't have described my old sewing machine as "bumpy" before I used this one last night, but after using it that's exactly how it felt. And that didn't even compare with the way the machine felt when it was acting up!

So I'm really excited. I sewed a bunch of snoods and my sewing time was cut way down by the fact that the sewing machine could handle sewing through more than two layers of cotton at a time.

I imagine my "new" sewing machine has twenty plus years on my "old" one (at least!) but it sure can sew!


  1. Hi, I found your blog from Diapers and Drivels!

    About two years ago, I purchased a new sewing machine to replace my junky old one. I have to say what a difference a nice machine makes! While I don't sew often, I do actually complete projects now instead of just getting angry at my machine!

  2. Oh, there's definitely a difference in sewing machines! Like you've noticed, some really can only handle single layers or thin fabric. I had to buy an expensive machine for the amount of time I spend on my machine each day, no way would I make it with a cheap one from Walmart or something.

  3. I was warned by quite a few sewing friends to never purchase a Singer. Mainly because the gears are made from plastic and likely to wear out. So, I bought a Pfaff In Style and loved it. At the time it cost me $600, ouch. But the model I got had the flaw of the bobbin housing shifting and getting loose. That's not good for sewing or your needles. After spending $80 to fix it about half a dozen times I broke down and bought a new machine. I had had my Pfaff for five years so I was a little annoyed. I also figured that I could spend the same amount of money fixing it and just get a new machine. The next machine I bought was a Brother Innov-is 40 for $400. Since then, I've only had a lower bobbin tension problem which was totally my fault and I've had the machine now for two years. I use my Pfaff when that machine doesn't work or I have friends over to sew. Both are great machines (Pfaff and Brother) and both are made from metal parts not plastic. If you go to Amazon you can read the reviews on most sewing machines out there and even buy a used one for much less than new. Congrats on the antique machine working, they are often the best. I wish I had a featherweight hand cranked machine. :)


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