The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

We had this in our garage, I was given it years ago and it worked (more or less!) but I've just worked out that was in 1985. It has seized up, my hubby is trying to get it going as I type.



What's your oldest sewing equipment item? Is it worth going vintage or is up date the way to go? Does your sewing machine have all the whistles and bells?


I also have a modern machine of course but it is giving me a bit of trouble (or I am not very good at using it!). My friend's Mum, a wonderful seamstress, refuses to use a modern machine at all!


Are you happy with your modern machine?

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 I have three sewing machines and an overlocker. The oldest machine is an old singer that has a knee press instead of a foot pedal and only sews in a straight line. It has a wonderful old wooden cover that locks on and it smells of oil. I haven't used it in a long time and think I should get it serviced before doing so. I reckon it would make a great machine for basting but I am running out of room to set up stuff.


My Husqvarna Optima 630 I have had for about 18 years and is still one of the best things I ever spent money on. However I did decide to upgrade (without replacing) and bought a Janome Memorycraft 6600P and a Janome 644d overlocker for my birthday recently and like them a lot. The Husqvarna is still proving its worth however. Much better for sewing buttons and invisible zips on with.

 Well, I have to tell you,  I LOVE my old machine. I was 18 and newly married when I ask my husband for  a sewing machine,[even though I couldnt sew]. He bought me this machine at Western Auto. It was a Citation brand. [no one has ever heard of it nowadays.ha]anyway, I eventually learned to sew on it. Made my daughters clothes.And her prom dresses, wedding dress on it. I burned the motor out about 10 yrs ago. My husband had the motor replaced. I continued to use it. But, old age and over use was showing its wear on it.  My wonderful son surprised me  one Mothers Day [about 3 yrs ago], with a brand new Singer New Home machine.It sews wonderful and I like it. But  I will never get rid of my "old friend"..It saw me through many years of sewing .[Good ones and mishaps}. It still runs to this day..  So ,I guess you would say its 'VINTAGE....just like me".ha. Judy
You should NEVER use a much loved sewing machine as a trade-in or give it away if you get a new machine. They are always worth keeping as they can always do special stuff that you just cannot work out how to do on the new machine. Like you said - they are 'old friends'.

My machine is a Pfaff Creative 1475 cd, which I have had for about 17 years.  I love this machine, it has more features than I will ever use, and has never let me down.  I was talking to a machine sales person the other day and she recommended hanging on to it "until it dies" - as newer machines just don't last like the older ones.  The machine I had prior to the Pfaff was my mum's and over 21 years old. I passed it onto a friend, and it is still going strong.  I also have an old treadle machine, which I think still works - but is just a decorative piece in my entry now. 


I bought myself a new overlocker about 18 months ago (Janome 1110DX), which I do love - but I still use my old Singer overlocker when I want beautiful rolled hems.

Hi Charlotte


My machine (pictured) is 27 years old.  I went with my dad to buy it at Kendal Milnes in Manchester.  It was my, 'doing well in my exams present'.  It's proved very reliable and I had it all checked over for safety etc a couple of years ago and it was all fine.  Before this machine, I had one similar to the one in your picture!  It was £5 and my dad bought this one for me too from an advert in the Manchester Evening News.  I made allsorts on it - soft toys, clothes etc...  I only got rid of it recently, to an African charity where they actually make use of these machines on a daily basis - I can imagine it toiling away now in a village somewhere!  I sometimes wish I'd kept it, but at least someone is making more use of it than I and probably reliant on it for an income.       

It is as I suspected. I have a new machine and I am not getting on well with it really - in fact, I can't get the tension right, so much so it's putting me off using it! Everyone seems happier with a more "vintage" type of machine.


Mine is a Brother, I bought it new 3 years ago and I am thinking of getting an older machine from ebay. I first sewed anything on my mother's machine that is about 40 years old I guess. I don't know if she still has it (in fact I may ask her for it if she still has it!).


I may take a photo of the stitching my machine produces and see what you guys think I should do about the tension.


I am really enjoying hearing about your machines though and your attachments to them - Diane I think the idea of your old one still being used somewhere is lovely. And your machine looks perfect! Just as I would like....


I hate to say this (you will all think me very silly) but I'm not even sure what an overlocker does. I hadn't heard of them until recently. I think they finish the seam for you. Is that right?

Hi Charlotte - yes an overlocker (or serger) does finish the seams for you.  That is its very basic function.  They are essential (I think) if you sew lycra or knit fabrics as they seem to handle that type of fabric much better than a sewing machine.  If you have a 4 thread machine it does a seam and finishes the edge all at the same time. 


I think an overlocker takes your seam finishes to the next level - I was never happy with my seams until I got an overlocker, they feel and look more professional.  Although there are lots of seam finishes where you don't need an overlocker (bound seams, french etc), but these are time consuming.


Have a look here for more info.

Thanks Debbie, that's very clear. It was lovely of you to take time out to help me.


I have been zigzagging all my seams. I have never sewed with lycra or knit - I have enough trouble with cotton! But that does look good, I shall investigate prices ;0)




Hi Charolette, did you ever get your old machine running?  Judy
no! not yet sadly, I still have fingers crossed x

I'm very fortunate in my sewing machines and a serger.  My modern sewing machine was made in 2007 and my serger in 2005

Serger & Modern Sewing Machine


I inherited this 1946 Singer Featherweight.  It worked right out of the case, after sitting idle for over 40 years!


Singer Featherweight


I also have my husband's grandmother's White E-Z Adjust Stitch Regulator sewing machine.  It has the original instruction manual and most of the accessories.  I have not been able to date it yet, but I'm guessing the early to mid-1950's. 


White E-Z Adjust Stitch Regulator


I love them all and they each have a special skill which makes them invaluable.  My modern machine does automatic buttonholes like nobody's business!  My Featherweight is a trooper and will sew anything with ease.  My White sewing machine is a workhorse, too, although I have not used it much (it smells musty and I need to sort that out).  My serger is brilliant! Love it!


Finding the sewing machine that's right for my needs and budget was what drove me to purchase the modern ones.  I didn't have the vintage ones at that time and the only second-hand ones I could find were plastic ones from the 1980's and in questionable condition.  It's always exciting to find a good vintage machine for a great price - especially an all-metal one.

You have great machines Sarah, I am very jealous. I love the featherweight, it must be very satisfying to work on. Thanks for sharing them, I really enjoyed reading about how you use them.


I will seriously think about a serger. It's just I have never even seen one "in the flesh" so I can't justify buying one in my mind!






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