Oliver + S

vintage sewing machines

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    Profile photo of MaggieMaggie @Maggie

    I have always heard good things about old sewing machines. I know they last a long time. Does anyone own a vintage machine? Do you use it or just keep it as a sentimental piece. What are the advantages? Am I just looking for an excuse? (The answer is yes.)

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    Profile photo of mkhsmkhs @mkhs

    I sew on an early 1980s Viking, which I guess counts as vintage at this point. I like that it’s all metal, and very sturdy. It has 3 different cams you can switch out, so a fair number of stitches. It is solid, straightforward, and dependable. I love it!

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    Profile photo of ViolaisabelleViolaisabelle @Violaisabelle

    -I have many vintage sewing machines 🙂

    -I have yet to find a modern machine that will do as nice, small and tight of a stitch as the older machines.

    -The ones I have kept go through tough fabric and many layers

    -What started as a learning experience (how to fix manual sewing machines for my son) turned into a bonus for me on getting to play with older machines.

    -Some are better than others.

    -Buttonholes on some are much nicer than modern machines

    -The Singer Featherweights of old, are sturdy and much easier to cart around when going from home to classes or get togethers with other sewing and sewing machine lovers. 🙂

    -Simpler maintenance on them, which means you can often do your own fixing.

    -A great back up to have on hand in the event another of your machines is out of order.

    -Not as easy to break.

    Some of the cons for me are:

    -Most of the older machines are dark in colour, which is very hard on the eyes. I suspect this might be one of the reasons more modern machines have gone to lighter coloured machines. Your can successfully paint out these older machines, but it’s not something I want to do.

    -The lighting on them are not great, but you can purchase lights to be added to them

    -Heavy!!! Because they are heavy, you don’t want to have to carry them around or move them from room to room if you can avoid it. The exception to that would be the Singer Featherweights.

    -Many sewing shops don’t want to work on them, as they want to encourage you to purchase newer models so they can get the sales.

    -The wiring can be old and brittle, but it can be swapped out in most cases.

    -Often times there is no on and off switch, which means if it’s plugged in, it’s on. You have to be mindful of that, especially with children around.

    -Addictive! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Do you have a specific machine in mind? 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Carol

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    I have an older machine, made the year I was. A Bernina Semi-industrial.

    I love it as it had absolutely no electronics. I can sew through anything providing I change my needles. I can do button holes on any thickness to any size. It pretty well is self service as all it needs is a blow out and an oil.

    I have made canvas tarps for shed use and silk dresses on it. The only problem is it takes up a lot of space as it has its own table with separate motor.

    Occasionally I have to use a more modern machine and find them quite gutless.

    I am a complete covert, I can’t imagine ever wanting to use a modern machine until I scale back my sewing. Perhaps in my 90’s;)

    I am not sure how good it would be for quilting or heirloom sewing though. I do use tissue paper as a backing when sewing fine fabric.

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