After sewing for nearly 50 years, I’ve finally come to the realization that the electronic/computerized sewing machines with all the fancy stitches and options, just aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Guess I’m a very slow learner!
I’ve always been fascinated with vintage sewing machines and have amassed a nice collection. Recently, my Viking Sapphire went into the dealer for servicing but I still had a ton of sewing work to do. So I took out two of my old mechanical machines and boy was I amazed. They practically glided over my fabrics without missing a beat. I tried everything from silk to lightweight leather and they sewed beautifully without a hiccup. They each have a choice of basic stitches including straight, zig-zag, over-edge and blind stitch hemming and each stitch can be adjusted to different widths and lengths. Of course, the old machines use metal bobbin cases and bobbins, which are so much better than the darn plastic ones. I got to thinking: why hold onto a temperamental electronic machine that doesn’t do half of what these vintage machines can do?
Now when my sewing students ask for recommendations on a good machine to buy, I wholeheartedly endorse a good quality mechanical machine, and they are often found at thrift shops, yard sales and auctions.
Here are two of my great old machines: A Bernina Mini-Matic that I found at a thrift store for $20 with all the attachments, bobbins and lots of different feet:
And my all-time favorite: A vintage Brother that I found at a Goodwill store for $30. Except for some paint chipping on the base, it was in perfect condition and came with a ton of accessories and the original instruction book! Eventually I will make a custom sewing table with the cutout so it sits flush on the table.
I’ve got two more sewing machines (and two sergers!) in the closet that I’ll get photographed soon. I also just purchased an almost new Sears Kenmore complete with the cabinet at a local auction for $20!