Thread Number: 43237  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Sewing machines
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Post# 451900   4/22/2022 at 20:42 (671 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

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I imagine a lot of people in here sew. What kind of machines do you use? Have you8 a simple, easy way to thread bobbins? The actual machine? I know Marty Rocha is an excellent quilter.
I have a Singer: about 20 years old. It can do more that I use it for.

Post# 451903 , Reply# 1   4/22/2022 at 21:15 (671 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

I used to know how to sew on my mom's overly-sophisticated Kenmore which my dad bought new in the early 70's. Last time I used it was like 30 years ago or so.
My mom still has it but it is doing odd things - I suspect old lube is gumming up. She now wants to get rid of it but it is in a big desk so I have no room for it.

I had recently found a 50's Singer Slantomatic (501A I think) on the curb that I had posted for sale but never got any interest.
It needs a total teardown and resto, so it is possible I might keep it and hope to get time to restore it. However no time or space.

I want to retire soon so I can do projects like this...

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Post# 451905 , Reply# 2   4/22/2022 at 21:42 (671 days old) by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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That's a Singer 401 Slant-O-Matic, the model just before the 501 Rocket.
It's a really good machine.

It's missing the cover over the fashion disk.
The cover also tells you what combinations of dial settings give you what type of built in stitches you want to select.

Post# 451911 , Reply# 3   4/23/2022 at 00:04 (671 days old) by Gmarquez (Central California)        

Iím not the best sewer but Iíve got way to many machines haha. Iíve got a Viking designer 1, Bernina 1630, pfaffs are my favorite though I have the 1371,1475, and 7570. As of know Iím limited to just doing basic things but trying to take on more and more complicated projects.

Post# 451915 , Reply# 4   4/23/2022 at 01:27 (671 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I've got my grandma's Kenmore sewing machine. 1970s or 80s, not sure. It's made by Jaguar, a Japanese company, but the machine is made in Taiwan. It's always been a finicky mistress. Years ago when I got it, the zig zag gear was stripped, luckily I was able to find a new one. I've had to oil the entire machine nearly every time I want to use it. I've made a lot of adjustments to it, and it works maybe 90% right. Still get skipped stitches every once in a while.

Not long ago, I found an empty sewing machine table in the garbage. My machine didn't fit... but I made it work. :)

Post# 451941 , Reply# 5   4/23/2022 at 16:57 (670 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I worked for a tailor when I

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was in my early 20s. In college (1 of my majors was Theatre), we had to learn to make costumes, etc. It came in handy when I was a music teacher and needed 30 kids dressed as elves for a Christmas concert.
Now, I make window toppers, simple things, pillows, etc. I am attempting Roman shades for my room. (stay tuned on that).
But, if you need any elf costumes, etc.. I'm your guy!

Post# 451948 , Reply# 6   4/23/2022 at 19:45 (670 days old) by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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I have a Pfaff 2022 that I found at Goodwill for $11

My favorites are Wheeler & Wilson (#3 from 1872 and several D-9) and Singer 101

Post# 452005 , Reply# 7   4/25/2022 at 08:58 (669 days old) by maytag142c (Somewhere over the rainbow. )        

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Picked this one up during the pandemic, came with all of its accessories and even the original table. During the pandemic I did a little bit of sewing to kind of make the time go by. Pillows and pillowcases were my thing.

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Post# 452014 , Reply# 8   4/25/2022 at 14:43 (669 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I picked up a middle of the road Kenmore maybe 15 years ago? On sale at Sears I believe it's made in Japan, a few too many things for me as I am strictly amend or shorten or put back together type of person. Still have my mother's singer from around 1950 of course it works

Post# 452015 , Reply# 9   4/25/2022 at 14:53 (669 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I've done my share

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of  pillows and cases as well.

  Window toppers are now on my 'list'.

Post# 452045 , Reply# 10   4/26/2022 at 13:30 (668 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

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That's a beautiful machine. Just love it.

Post# 452056 , Reply# 11   4/26/2022 at 18:48 (667 days old) by Maytag142C (Somewhere over the rainbow. )        

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Thank you!
I believe I got a good deal on it considering it came to me complete and in very good working to excellent condition. I think I paid $250 for that along with another $100 for a Janome My Lock serger that also came with a ton of stuff.

Post# 452097 , Reply# 12   4/27/2022 at 18:53 (666 days old) by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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One of my favorite machines the 1924 Singer 101 portable

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Post# 452569 , Reply# 13   5/13/2022 at 22:15 (650 days old) by Rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

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The tip I use for threading bobbins, is to always buy TWO reels of each thread. One for top-stitching, the other for winding onto the bobbin. You don't have to undo the machine's threading each time you want to reload a bobbin and the two spools run out at approximately the same time.

I tend to have collected quite a few Singer Featherweight 221 and 222 machines. Although my favourite is still the cast-iron Singer 201, in a walnut table with Queen-Anne legs.

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Post# 452593 , Reply# 14   5/14/2022 at 15:35 (650 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

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What I know about sewing wouldn't fill a thimble. (See what I did there?)
But, I just wanted to chime in. I don't get to check in here often any more, and I miss y'all!

About all I'd know how to do is plug it in. But, I have to agree with Tom. I LOVE the looks of that machine! Just gorgeous styling!

That one you posted looks very much like the one my mom has. I have no idea of the model number of hers. And, someone before her transplanted it into a newer case.
I do remember her telling me that hers wasn't originally a portable. That it was mounted in a table.
There was a story behind it, but I've forgotten.
She used it quite a bit up until maybe the 1990s. Then, she thought she'd like a newer machine with more features.
I can't remember the brand she bought, but I think it was a less expensive line from the company that made Bernina. Does that sound right?
Anyway, she could never really adjust to it, and ended up giving it to my brother.


Post# 452625 , Reply# 15   5/15/2022 at 08:01 (649 days old) by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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Beautiful Singer 222

Post# 452896 , Reply# 16   5/22/2022 at 20:10 (641 days old) by mjhoshaw (Western PA)        
My wife sews some

She has a 221 that was missing the bobbin case and had a bad motor, which we took care of and then had it tuned up by a local store that specializes in FW's.  Then last year we passed a sewing store on an out-of-town trip, and their sign read "Used Baby Locks For Sale." What is a Baby Lock, I wondered.  Never heard of it.  I thought about how the 221 struggles to bind the edges of her knitting and weaving projects, so when we got home I did a search, learned about the brand, and decided my wife needed a machine that could do more. I bought her a Presto II for her birthday. It's a modest machine but it still has an LCD display, 100 stitches, and auto threading. Watching it make buttonholes without human intervention is way cool!



Post# 452976 , Reply# 17   5/24/2022 at 19:56 (639 days old) by Rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

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Hi Joel, Singer made a Zig-zagger and a Buttonholer for all their low-shank (and slanted-needle) machines, including the Featherweight 221 and 222. I have both attachments but I haven't tried to bind edges of a knitted fabric though. I thought you needed an overlocker(?) or a blanket-stitch machine for that?

Post# 452977 , Reply# 18   5/24/2022 at 20:04 (639 days old) by Rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

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Hi Bikerray,
I have two 222s and two 221s for sale at the moment. Including the one pictured, a "Red S" and a Centennial.
If you're not in the UK, they'll require a step-down transformer or a replacement motor.

Post# 453016 , Reply# 19   5/25/2022 at 21:52 (638 days old) by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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My Singer 221 is from June of 1935

I also have a Singer 301 from 1952, it shares the same bobbin case and bobbins with the 221/222

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Post# 453064 , Reply# 20   5/27/2022 at 00:30 (637 days old) by Rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

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Very nice indeed! Scrolled faceplate, chromed balance-wheel, plain tension dial.. All the features I like on these the most. Its a pity our UK variants don't have the same toggle lamp switches on the base, although the castings do still have the hole for it.

I think my earliest is a 1951?

If you're thinking of sprucing-up your case, David McCallum's tips are well worth sourcing on YouTube. You only need "Mr.Scribbles" 3-D Paint to fill deep scuffs, a permanent black marker pen to colour faded areas, and "Kiwi" scuff shoe-polish. I tried black Leather Dye on one of my cases. That works too, but its potentially more messy.

I upgraded my most-often-used machine to have a modern LED Bulb. From 'The Featherweight Shop' USA. It doesn't detract from the look of the machine, and really makes a difference. Especially when sewing black fabrics with black thread on dark evenings.

I helped a friend with her modern plastic Brother Sewing Machine last week. Luckily it was only a bent needle hitting the bobbin-carrier. Anything else and I would have been out of my depth. And I thought I knew a fair bit about sewing machines. I asked her whether she oils it regularly. When she said "No", I thought "there's your problem". Luckiky, I read the manual first. It says [DO NOT OIL!]

Post# 453129 , Reply# 21   5/29/2022 at 09:26 (635 days old) by Oreck_XL (Brooklyn, New York 11211)        

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At work, I've been overhauling 221 featherweights for a customer looking to sell them on eBay. They have custom paint jobs and new matching decals. Purists will cringe, but if the paint is worn down to bare metal, it can always be repainted black in the future. I would love to design a quilt with different colour featherweights in Andy Warhol style. The one that sticks out most in my mind was the emerald green metallic one I just saw. Simply beautiful.

Post# 453133 , Reply# 22   5/29/2022 at 12:22 (635 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
That actually

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sounds great.

Post# 453153 , Reply# 23   5/30/2022 at 13:56 (634 days old) by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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A picture of 3 of my singers, left to right 1950 15-91, 1923 101, and 1933 15-91

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