Sewing Machine Nirvana

Via : 's blog is doing a roundup of sewing machine reviews! Awesome. I'll be following it closely; I'm really thinking about buying a new machine next year, new as in "manufactured in the 21st century" new. (We'll see.) In the meantime, check it out — lots and lots of low-end and beginner machines on their list, perfect for someone who wants to start sewing but doesn't want to dump $1K on a sewing machine. Start composing your letters to Santa …

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0 thoughts on “Sewing Machine Nirvana

  1. A “new” sewing machine would be nice, but not too low end. The easier it is to use the machine, the more one will sew. Some are real cheap, brand new. Too cheap–they do not work well. I love my Viking #1+ and my high-end Kenmore is a very good second machine.

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  2. The sewing machine image you have posted is very like the one I used to use when I was a volunteer with the Los Gatos Red Cross ‘Sewing Circle’ way back when. All the other ‘Circle’ ladies were the sweet elderly types, and none could work up the energy to get the foot-treadle going. That’s where the then-sixteen-year-old-me came in handy.That old machine sewed a nice strong seam (they made mostly quilts and whatnot to raffle off…)

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  3. My mother pumped out a gazillion outfits with her old Singer. My Grandmother had a machine with a plate on it that said, “Made In Occupied Japan”. Both machines, sadly, slipped away.

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  4. That looks like my sewing machine that used to be my grandmother’s. I’ve just been trying to find someone brave and bored enough to get it working again; it would be so cool to sew with it.

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  5. That looks a lot like the machine I just bought a couple weeks ago. I learned to sew on a treadle machine, and had a hankering to do so again. It’s not like I need another machine– I have several of various vintages and capabilities– but a treadle machine is a different experience.

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  6. hi erin, funny you should use a pic of a vintage machine! I just finished loading up my latest DIY column at evintage on myspace…and I chose a similar pic… thursday evening I post another project…and the history is here: eBetty DIYhmmm, & maybe I can put together a skirt of scarves for an homage to SkirtADay…hee hee.Tressie

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  7. The base of our kitchen table used to be an old sewing machine treadle. I can’t believe we got all five of us round it! I used to wish that my legs were long enough so that I could reach the footplate.

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  8. I have a vintage machine like the one you pictured! It was my husband’s great aunt’s. She gave it to us on the condition that it didn’t go out of the family, as it was one of her aunt’s or grandmother’s machine. Not the machine I use all the time, though. I’ve got a nice Janome for that stuff!

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  9. I have my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine, and she got it about third hand. Singer still makes parts for their treadles, so it is possible to get them up and running again.Amy

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  10. That review page is excellent. Thank you for the link! I’m going to add it to sewretro’s list of links. Thanks, Erin!–Lydia

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  11. I have a Singer 1926 treadle machine….and it works like new. I have it set up in the living room and use it to make quilts. My electric machines are in my ‘office space’ and I only do serious projects on them. Quilting is relaxing and since I learned to quilt by hand and on my granny’s treadle, it’s calming for me. And good leg exercise, too.

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  12. It’s me again! My first electric machine was a gift from my husband in 1963 – a Necchi/Elna – tan in a maple desk cabinet. With cams — gadgets out the kazoo. My oldest daughther uses it now. I still love it.

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  13. I also have one of those Japanese machines. Pick one up if you get the chance! They only do a straight stitch but do it WELL and all the Griest attachments can be found cheaply on Ebay. I paid $40 for mine 20 years ago and have made hundreds of quilts with it. The other workhorse I have is an 830 Bernina which is not to be confused with the newer Berninas. The pricey Artista sits on the floor under the table.

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  14. I saw a Toyota sewing machine from the 60’s on Ebay a few months ago. I was looking to buy an industrial sewing machine. I decided I dont want an expensive plastic piece of crap. Im still looking but Im not sure what Im getting yet.

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  15. Buying new sewing machines: It’s Christmas time. Time to haunt your sewing machine dealer’s store. Manufacturers are offering holiday deals. (Janome has some killer deals right now.) Sometimes those holiday purchases come with a “Trade Up” clause: Buy a machine for your wife, if she doesn’t like it, she can trade up for a fancier model.So, you might want to shop now, and visit again after Christmas when those gift machines (perfectly fine, just not what the Missus wanted) start wandering back into the shop, some as “slightly used” machines.As lovely as old machines are, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I got my first modern machine back in the mid-80’s. Automatic needle down, broad assortment of stitches, including knit stitches, automatic tensioning, adjustable speed, adjustable pressure foot pressure, snap on/off feet, push button stitch selection, semi-automatic button holes (my description). No more endless tension adjustments, no more fighting the machine for every seam. Sewing became a joy and a pleasure. The list price of this machine then was $1000; I paid $700 at Xmas time. Never regretted it.I now own 8 sewing machines, one of which is a treadle, almost identical to the photo; originally belonged to my great grandmother. They become such beloved friends, I just can’t bear to trade them in.CMC

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  16. From the amount of dress that you seem to be sewing, you deserve a nice new machine. I love my Janome 6500–at times I even hug it. It has some features that make it especially nice for someone with arthritis. That being said we found an old 1950’s Singer in it’s table this summer and got it for $50. Someday I would like to get it running and pull out some vintage fabric and a vintage pattern and make myself a ‘vintage’ dress with it using all it’s neat little cams, etc. I learned more about the use of some stitches from it’s instruction book than I have ever found in a modern guide.

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  17. I have a machine almost identical to that. I takes a push to startup but it does its job when it doesn’t get tangled. It’s more decoration and storage space now though, but it’s wonderful to look at. An old “white” machine I believe.TOODLES

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  18. i have a sewing machine from my mother (and from one of her older relatives to her) and it looks ex-ACTLY like the one in the picture. I am trying to find the year, name of mine. what is the one in the link picture (tonight i’m going to try to find some markings that did not wear away so as to identify it).if someone has the info, if they wouldn’t mind sending it to: peaceofmind98(at)hotmail(dot)comthanks

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  19. i have a sewing machine made in occupied japan the name on it is “star” i can’t find any info on it can anyone tell me anything on its value?also it soes have a serial # plate on it. ty

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