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Thread: sew cool

  1. #1
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    sew cool

    My mother has a vintage sewing machine/table that's been unused for decades. I've been begging her for it all these years, but "the cat likes to sit on it and look out the window." I offered to trade it for a cat tree, no dice.

    After the cat died, she still grumbled about not wanting to relinquish it. She didn't seem to care much about it; no sentimental attachment. Whatever, it's hers to do what she likes with it, so I bit my tongue.

    Until recently, when I started a simple project and sewed something by hand, which was insanely tedious.

    Went to a local sewing machine store and browsed, but couldn't bring myself to spend money on some computerized whiz-bang plastic thing with more features than I'd ever need. I don't sew that much.

    Went to visit mom today with my sister, who was all for helping me rescue the neglected machine. Especially after mom said she's just using it to dry laundry.

    Set up an ironing board for her to dry laundry on, and we loaded the sewing table into my sister's car, to zero protest. It felt like we had rescued a hostage after a long negotiation process.

    Finally, this very average but solid-state vintage workhorse is no longer underemployed Even John is happy to have another machine to tinker with.

    Photo of the same machine I found online, a 1964 Singer:

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  2. #2
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    I've got my mom's Elna sewing machine. It's old (1960s), but it's a high quality machine. My daughter wanted to learn to sew, so my wife told my FIL and he bought her a shitty Brother from Wal Mart. It didn't even work when I took it out of the box and set it up. Oh yeah, and guess what? I'm the only one in the family who knows how to use a sewing machine. Lol


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  3. #3
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    I started shopping around for a new machine online as well, and was overwhelmed by the choices. Especially since I have no idea what more I might need beyond a straight stitch.

    Plus, I really can't stand the thought of conspicuous consumerism. Rather than buy a new machine to be used rarely, and probably not work out of the box anyway, I simply put all thoughts of sewing aside. Guess I'm as stubborn as my mother

    The Singer seems to be perfectly solid for my entry-level purposes, so I'm pretty excited. Plus I grew up with it and am glad to give it back its dignity.

    Funny you know how to sew- John also knows more than I do about sewing, since he used to sew for sailing! All I know about it is what I learned in 7th-grade Home Ec class.

    Is this what the Elna looks like? I do like the look of the metal machines:

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    Last edited by Christine; 05-18-2017 at 07:04 PM.

  4. #4
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    I was lucky; when I wanted a sewing machine so I could repair my cycling clothing, I only had to turn to my cousin.

    She taught sewing to middle school students for 30 years, having graduated from college majoring in domestic arts. Since she not only did sewing for herself but had to keep the machines running in her classroom, she knew what worked and what didn't.

    She took me to a sewing shop of great reputation and steered me toward a Janome DC3018, The Shimano 105 of sewing machines. Probably 15 years old and still running.

  5. #5
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    mom has an hv she does all her quilts with. her quilts are really beautiful.

    she bought a vintage singer that she uses for small jobs ... and to just show off. B^)
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  6. #6
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    Janome DC3018, The Shimano 105 of sewing machines

    I love that there are bike equivalents This model was made in Great Britain, so I fear it's built like a Triumph or something.

    Also good to hear other recommendations if this machine doesn't work. I have to find some needles, bobbins and "Singer Oil" (per the manual.)

  7. #7
    LWP
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    I have one of these.



    It was my wife's, she got it from her mom. I have no idea if it works but my daughter has no interest in it and I don't sew or collect old sewing stuff. If you lived closer and wanted it, I'd have just given it to you with no wheedling required.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWP View Post
    I have one of these.



    It was my wife's, she got it from her mom. I have no idea if it works but my daughter has no interest in it and I don't sew or collect old sewing stuff. If you lived closer and wanted it, I'd have just given it to you with no wheedling required.
    Hey, I have about the same machine as that, my brother gave it to me, and I tied flies on it at the other house.

    Mrs. 10ae sews. I got passed by the sewing teacher in middle school because she didn't want to see me ever again.

  9. #9
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    My neighbour moved last month and had a few things left on the shelf out in the garage. I recognised the box and asked what he was going to do with the sewing machine. He was surprised that I knew what was in the box. After a little hesitation, he pulled it off the shelf and handed it to me. It is a Singer Featherweight. My mom has had one since she was 16 years old. Mine is about the same vintage. I need to take it down to the shop and get some parts replace that had rusted, but after that it should work fine.

    Just looked up the serial number. It was manufactured in March of 1949

    sew cool-1949-singer-featherweight.jpg
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    Last edited by Chain; 05-19-2017 at 04:50 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Wow, this forum covers eclectic subjects. Anyhow, this is Mom's Necchi, which I got when I bought her apartment. She paid something like $250 or $300 in 1954; still have the receipt. Buy once, cry once. I recall her giving up sewing in the early-70s and it spent the rest of her life as a TV stand. It would need an overhaul.

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    It's Mueller Time

  11. #11
    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    Janome DC3018, The Shimano 105 of sewing machines

    I love that there are bike equivalents This model was made in Great Britain, so I fear it's built like a Triumph or something.

    Also good to hear other recommendations if this machine doesn't work. I have to find some needles, bobbins and "Singer Oil" (per the manual.)
    Look for an oil spot under it; if there's one there, it's British.

    (This also works for British cars).
    More Americans wanted Hillary Clinton to be President than wanted Donald Trump.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrac View Post
    Wow, this forum covers eclectic subjects. Anyhow, this is Mom's Necchi, which I got when I bought her apartment. She paid something like $250 or $300 in 1954; still have the receipt. Buy once, cry once. I recall her giving up sewing in the early-70s and it spent the rest of her life as a TV stand. It would need an overhaul.

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    That's the exact one my mom had. She called it her Necchi Bu (pronounced it Nekky Boo).

    When I was a little pre-school tyke, she would drag me along to Hutzlers department store in Towson (outside of Baltimore) where she would spend what seemed like all day buying patterns and fabric and sewing supplies.

    I get extremely bored just thinking about those trips to Hutzlers.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    Look for an oil spot under it; if there's one there, it's British.

    (This also works for British cars).
    And motorcycles.

  14. #14
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    my wife sews A LOT, or used to, she has 2 sergers, and 2 regular machines, the Pfaff which I bought her (pretty pricey) turned out to be ABSOLUTE CRAP, she literally wore out the plastic gears in it in 3 years, it should go to the dump.. Her old Kenmore was a better machine, hands down. (70's) Last machine she got was a Singer, heavy duty, pro model, it is ok, not much more. If a machine can't make it through enough denim to shorten jeans (like 5 layers? with the flat felt seams) they are useless to me. That robins egg blue Singer is BEAUTIFUL!
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    And motorcycles.
    hopefully it doesn't have a Lucas electrical system (prince of darkness)
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

    "that was like trying to teach a goldfish how to play basketball over the phone."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Touch0Gray View Post
    hopefully it doesn't have a Lucas electrical system (prince of darkness)
    Heh! Unfortunately, of course it does. 1959 Royal Enfield sold in USA badged as 1959 Indian Apache.

    In addition to dripping oil and being electrically challenged, I also have to go over it tightening up all nuts and bolts before I ride. 700 cc of big twin thumper activity tends to loosen anything that can come loose.

  17. #17
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    Christine -- Love it. It's so damnably Fifties looking.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  18. #18
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    I get extremely bored just thinking about those trips to Hutzlers

    Sewing doesn't excite me, either! But I also don't need to make clothes or anything. I just want to repair stuff and make small projects.

    Love all these photos! I had a feeling the moreons in here had a variety of machines.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    I get extremely bored just thinking about those trips to Hutzlers

    Sewing doesn't excite me, either! But I also don't need to make clothes or anything. I just want to repair stuff and make small projects.

    Love all these photos! I had a feeling the moreons in here had a variety of machines.
    Hey, in my defense, I was somewhere younger than 6 years old at the time.

  20. #20
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    When my mom passed away, I told my sister that I wanted her mid-60's Pfaff, and she could have the much newer Viking, as well as the table. I occasionally take it out for repair/alteration duties, and am impressed by it's minimalist design and professional build. My mom made most of her clothing on it (she was quite tall for a woman, and found few store-bought clothes that would fit), as well as the first half of the 100+ quilts that she made. This is the machine that I remember her using when I was a kid.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    I started shopping around for a new machine online as well, and was overwhelmed by the choices. Especially since I have no idea what more I might need beyond a straight stitch.

    Plus, I really can't stand the thought of conspicuous consumerism. Rather than buy a new machine to be used rarely, and probably not work out of the box anyway, I simply put all thoughts of sewing aside. Guess I'm as stubborn as my mother

    The Singer seems to be perfectly solid for my entry-level purposes, so I'm pretty excited. Plus I grew up with it and am glad to give it back its dignity.

    Funny you know how to sew- John also knows more than I do about sewing, since he used to sew for sailing! All I know about it is what I learned in 7th-grade Home Ec class.

    Is this what the Elna looks like? I do like the look of the metal machines:

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    It looks like this one. Mrs69 laughed when she saw it was pink but I told her I was already compensating by sewing so the pink was a no brainer

    sew cool-img_3401.jpg


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  22. #22
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    Damn, this sewing stuff can get crazy. John did some basic maintenance last night on the moving parts; I cleaned it up a bit. He even fashioned a new spindle out of a chopstick.

    Found the manual online, filled up a bobbin with the special thread, added the new needle, put the pedal down, and jammed the thing up at the first stitch

    Re-threaded the correct way, kept making mistakes, fixing them, and was almost done with my crap-tastic bag when I noticed a dumb mistake at the end. Tomorrow I'll finish it up, hopefully.

    I'm working with ripstop nylon which is not exactly beginner-friendly, but I want to get used to working with it. Hope this doesn't leave me cross-eyed

  23. #23
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    The portable Brother sewing machine my mom gave me as a house warming present doesn't stack up with you guys in terms of coolness. BUT, I am pretty proud of my sewing chops.

    Having a petite wife who needs to wear dressy work clothes means I can hem a pair of pants in my sleep.

    Curtains? No problem.

    Fix that tare in my favorite t-shirt? No sweat.

    Buttons? F--- yeah.

    Customize that one-size fits all grill cover? I can finish that before my beer gets warm.

    Replace the zipper in a ski jacket? I've learned that usually means the jacket is thoroughly trashed but I CAN do it - and have, 4 times.

    I'm sew glad to have a machine in the house!

  24. #24
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    I have an early 80s Kenmore that's been reliable, and recently got an old Singer (that's around 3-4 years newer than Chain's) from my MIL. I'm another of those "only one in the house that knows how to use one" folks....
    We'll be back soon, there will be more of us, and next time we won't be dropping leaflets.

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  25. #25
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    I am pretty sure that my wife would like her late 80's kenmore back.
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

    "that was like trying to teach a goldfish how to play basketball over the phone."

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