I have had a very odd week. First, I lost a couple of days (Thursday? Saturday? Where’d you go?), then I think we’re all either having a bout of SAD ‘round here, and the baby is growing, so she’s sleeping a lot and eating even more. And she’s discovered buttons. Not my kind, although she loves my fabric. No, buttons on electronics. And when you tell her no, she grins and spanks herself.
So, sewing…yeah. Didn’t get done, although I do have some I flat have to do in the next 2 weeks. One of the things that annoys me are sewing machine snobs, and you see them anywhere people that sew get together. *I* am one, although mine isn’t about the money, or the bells and whistles, like many are. I am an unapologetic vintage user, and I don’t want to change. For the record, if you don’t like the old machines and you own a new one, I’m happy for you. I could buy a new one, and I have tested several, and in the end *I don’t like them.
I use vintage Singers for most of my sewing. One is a treadle, one is a hand crank. I own a vintage Kennmore, an ugly green Universal and I use a White Speedylock serger. None of these are “top of the line” and many people have poked fun, acted superior or otherwise got snarky about my machines. And it’s not just me, I’ve heard people discuss others’ purchases and start in with the tension issues (which I am unaware ALL vintage machines have these problems), don’t do X, Y or Z (and may not) or whatever reason they have for putting them down.
I use vintage because of a list of reasons.
- I can fix them myself (and you can, too, really) because they are all metal and don’t have doo hickeys that will break or require a degree in engineering to tinker with.
- They still work even though they are hitting up to 80-100 years old…and just as good as they ever have.
- I don’t have a motherboard, pedal or other electronics that die.
- Sewing repairs are cheaper, easier to do and usually they have the parts there so I don’t have to wait longer then a week to get it serviced.
- I can use whatever needle brand, thread brand and bobbin brand (as long as they fit the machine) with equal success on my finished project. They are less picky overall then newer ones. (I tested a machine that would only use Guterman thread. My treadle and hand crank can use cheap, really craptastic thread and still work like it’s supposed to.)
- My treadle doubles as a buffet at the holidays, and I can lock my drawers so everything is where I need/want it since it’s a big piece of furniture.
- I can sew in a black out, outside while camping or during the zombie apocalypse wherever I am without the need for a generator.
Buttonholes are something people want to do in one step, then decide the vintage attachment works better. I personally think they look better, but because I have used the old machines for so long, I have several attachments for a lot cheaper then you can find them today. And I have a metric ton of cams, including a couple eyelets, because I bought them when no one else wanted them.
The zig zag stitch is not something I use, but I do have a machine that will do it, so for me the straight stich machines are not a huge deal breaker (and I own an attachment that will do it). You can actually sew knits on a straight stitch, although it is harder, and I opted for a serger in the end to deal with them. But I hate to tell you the number of things I’ve sewed on my treadle that I’m “not supposed to”.
My serger is not a high rated one. I didn’t pay a lot for it, and for a machine that I wasn’t sure I would even use, I didn’t want a better one. No, it doesn’t thread itself. No it doesn’t have the best tension. But it works, sews reasonably well and the price was right. Eventually, I’ll upgrade this to a much higher end machine. Was there a learning curve? Sure. But I got it, and I assume everyone else out that can get it, too, with enough time using anything.
Now that I’ve got a huge wall of text for you to read, in the end if all you have is something old and within what you can afford to pay, then don’t worry about it. If you know you want an expensive model, then you may be better off buying that in the first place. If you don’t even know if you will sew a lot, then don’t spazz. Sewing is sewing, regardless of the machine and anyone can learn techniques to make the process easier.
Even on old 100 year old pieces of “junk”.
Sew on what you like and can afford, even if it winds up being completely by hand (and if you do it this way, I applaud you). Mean people suck, no matter if you’re sewing, working or just going to the store. And in the end, that’s all it is: meanness. If you enjoy sewing, then your machine is yours. Keeping up with the Sewing Joneses is not what sewing is supposed to be about.