The Sewing Place

Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!

Kaliratbags

Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« on: February 11, 2021, 12:24:08 PM »
Hi all!

Loving that this forum is UK based! <3

I have a 10 vintage machines, mostly Singers  :vintage: :vintage: :vintage: (they aren't all working...some just heads, missing parts etc) and as if I don't have enough to be fixing, I am now in the market for ANOTHER!

I want a straight stitch machine (I have a Singer 221k and a 222K, the most beautiful machines and stitches ever, which I love piecing patchwork with) but I really want a straight stitch machine for medium weight to heavier fabrics (I need to make new covers for my sofas), and light leather (mainly sewing patches on leather waistcoats, which is light to medium weight lined leather, rather than 'biker's protective' leather.)

If the machine reverses and the feed dogs drop, brilliant, but if not, that's not really an issue. In a table is probably the most important.... and it has to be black and shiny  :D (fussy, much?)

I *think* I've narrowed it down to a Singer 96k and a 31k. There are a few on eBay I'm watching. But then I get thrown by clutch or servo motors, and 99% of the people selling are selling on and have no clue (sidebar, how annoying is it when they say 'fully working', when they mean 'needle goes up and down' - it's like saying a car has wheels and an engine under the bonnet but they haven't tried driving it).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I did think of treadle route, but I'd like to be able to churn out chain piecing at speed, so whilst that might work better for the leather, it's not as functional for other stuff.

Currently using my Grandmother's Frister and Rossman model 45 for patches with a 130/18 needle and Guterman sew all thread (adding the topstitch thread makes it loop a tiny bit underneath no matter what I do, though wow, it looked pretty!). It's adequate, but struggles over seams. Certainly better than my Viking Husqvarna Platinum 955E managed (hence straight stitch - the pivoting was making me cringe!).

Thanks in advance!



Singer 28k hand crank, 66k (x2!) 99K, 221k, 222k, 348k, Elna Lotus 'Zig Zag', Frister and Rossman Model 45, Viking Husqvarna Platinum 955E, and now 3 industrial Singers - 31k15 treadle head, a 96k49 and a compound walking foot 31k47 🥰

Nevis5

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2021, 12:31:55 PM »
Hello @Kaliratbags  and welcome  :toast: !  I'm afraid I know nothing about vintage machines but just wanted to say hello  ;)  - there are some very expert people on here who I'm sure will be able to help you soon x

Kaliratbags

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2021, 12:35:56 PM »
Hello @Kaliratbags  and welcome  :toast: !  I'm afraid I know nothing about vintage machines but just wanted to say hello  ;)  - there are some very expert people on here who I'm sure will be able to help you soon x

Hello, and thank you! Hoping I can get some good advice on what to get next  :D
Singer 28k hand crank, 66k (x2!) 99K, 221k, 222k, 348k, Elna Lotus 'Zig Zag', Frister and Rossman Model 45, Viking Husqvarna Platinum 955E, and now 3 industrial Singers - 31k15 treadle head, a 96k49 and a compound walking foot 31k47 🥰

Marniesews

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2021, 13:03:24 PM »
Hello and welcome. I only have a couple of 201k machines but with the combination of 'vintage' and 'advice needed' in the thread title it won't be long before the experts appear!  :D
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 50m
So far: 6m fabric; approx 40m crin (horsehair braid)

Greybird

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2021, 13:04:00 PM »
Hello and welcome!

Efemera

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2021, 13:18:59 PM »
I would have thought a 201 would be good for what you need.

b15erk

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2021, 13:43:11 PM »
A big welcome from me too!

I also have a few Vintage Singers, and in my opinion, the 201k or 15k are workhorses.  I have a 611g slant shank which I use daily, and I love, but for a beautiful stitch and reliability, the 201 will do the job.  The 99k is no slouch either, or the 185k ...  sorry, I'm going on a bit...

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

LeilaMay

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2021, 13:55:25 PM »
The machines you mention would be very nice, but they are really heavier duty industrial-type machines. You'd need to be sure you have the right place to work with them - you're not going to be popping these on and off the table LOL and that they will operate on a domestic electric supply (some machines use something different, but I'm not an expert on industrials.

There are some folks here who can help with that kind of machine. If you're looking for a domestic machine to work with then go for the 201K

Best wishes
Leila
Singers - 28K, 99K, 15K, 66K, 201K, 201K, 221K, 221K, 221k (white), 222K, Elna - Grasshopper, Bernina 730 Record, Grain chain-stitch machine, Guhl & Harbeck incomplete machine  named "Lyra"

Lilian

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2021, 14:04:43 PM »
Welcome @Kaliratbags  :drink: :vintage:
Willing but not always able :)

Kaliratbags

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2021, 15:11:43 PM »
Yes, I deffo want a workhorse/industrial sized machine, just 'controllable!'.

I've wanted an industrial machine for about 40 years, and I want a permanent set up. I thihnk the 201k is just 'more of the same' in a way. The Frister is a beast, and will sew through anything 'normal', but it struggles a little even getting the foot high enough for positioning over leather edges, especially where there are zips or pockets.

Piecing kingsize patchwork quilts on a domestic machine is tricky, there's not enough space, and as I said I really do need it in a table so it's flat - I've got the space, so that's not an issue. In fact, one of the things that stops me sewing at the moment is no dedicated position, I have to keep moving the machine off the table!

I may even try quilting free motion again on a machine with a big enough throat, but it really does no favours for my wrists.

Thanks to all for your comments so far!

Singer 28k hand crank, 66k (x2!) 99K, 221k, 222k, 348k, Elna Lotus 'Zig Zag', Frister and Rossman Model 45, Viking Husqvarna Platinum 955E, and now 3 industrial Singers - 31k15 treadle head, a 96k49 and a compound walking foot 31k47 🥰

BrendaP

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2021, 17:40:22 PM »
DD has a Singer 20-U which she bought about 30 years ago - the best £100 she ever spent!  She now makes curtains and soft furnishings professionally and it's used most days, sometimes all day long.  It's had a couple of new belts and the occasional service but still going strong. 

If you are looking for a domestic workhorse it's usually the Singer 201 which is favoured.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

HooliganHeart

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2021, 18:52:57 PM »
Welcome to TSP and there is also the 15-91 which i would highly recommend. I've been using one daily for the last few years and does all that stuff with ease  :thumbsup:

ps: no need for an industrial machine for what your looking to do imo
 
« Last Edit: February 11, 2021, 18:55:23 PM by HooliganHeart »
1922 Singer 99K-2 / 1932 Singer 128-13 / 1946 Singer 221 / 1948 Singer 15-91 / 1960 Singer 401A / Singer 14CG754

Mr Twingo

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2021, 21:32:31 PM »
Hello, and welcome. Ten vintage machines?!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I've had a 96k pass though my garage, and it was a decent enough machine. Also, I've own one of those ubiquitous Brother 75x series. Again, a decent enough machine. Currently, I'm using a Singer 95k60 which is a domestic-sized industrial machine. It doesn't have reverse, but it's a lovely little beast that neatly folds away into its own cabinet.

… But then I get thrown by clutch or servo motors, and 99% of the people selling are selling on and have no clue

Clutch Motors
Very big, very heavy, very inefficient. Once you turn them on, they continually run, even if you're not sewing. If you can drive, you'll quickly get the hang of using one. You can't limit the maximum speed, nor can you set them to stop with the needle in a position of your choice.

Servo Motors
Small, not so heavy, efficient. They only turn when you press the foot pedal, otherwise they just sit there doing nothing. Being digitally controlled, you can set the minimum and maximum speed, as well as setting the needle position when you stop (though this requires a needle positioner / synchroniser).

It's not all sunshine with servo motors, though. The one thing you really need to be aware of is that they don't start smoothly. They go from nothing to the minimum speed in an instant. There are simple solutions to this, though it will cost a few pounds.

Swapping from clutch to servo is easy as they are usually interchangeable.

I use a Jack 511A [edit: 513A] servo motor with the needle positioner (cheaper to buy them separately than to buy the complete kit).

« Last Edit: February 16, 2021, 10:15:35 AM by Mr Twingo »

Barcoded

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2021, 21:52:18 PM »
Only 10 vintage machines? Tut tut...... welcome
I think I have joined the 201 club

Kaliratbags

Re: Forum newbie, vintage machine advice needed!
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2021, 22:47:39 PM »
@Mr Twingo this is good to know, as I've just procured one on eBay for £62. So that's now 11 machines, so that will please you and @Barcoded!

My partner is a mechanic, so he can change/fix/tweak to get it running. At that price, the swap is a reasonable investment to make it controllable.
Singer 28k hand crank, 66k (x2!) 99K, 221k, 222k, 348k, Elna Lotus 'Zig Zag', Frister and Rossman Model 45, Viking Husqvarna Platinum 955E, and now 3 industrial Singers - 31k15 treadle head, a 96k49 and a compound walking foot 31k47 🥰