The Sewing Place

need new sewing machine


need new sewing machine
« on: December 17, 2017, 07:01:45 AM »
I need a light weight sewing machine to take to my sewing group my Pfaff 5.0 is too heavy can't lift it anymore .Can anyone recomend one please .Many thanks


Re: need new sewing machine
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2017, 08:47:55 AM »
Depending on what you’re looking for: might be worth checking some of the vintages:

If you want a small range of stitches on a good quality machine I would look at a Lotus (Elna) probably the SP or TSP, they’re incredibly tidy, and completely pack up into themselves by design.

My grandmother had one from new and travelled the world with it.

Other wise there’s the Elna grasshopper or featherweights if youre looking for just a straight stitch.

Both are lighter and less bulky than a full sized machine.

My choice would probably be the lotus. Very tidy, no case, and very light and reputedly strong (I still can’t quite use my grandmother’s yet)

« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 18:11:20 PM by Roger »
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132


Re: need new sewing machine
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2017, 12:59:24 PM »

A vintage machine is not the solution for everyone.
It can be luck whether you get a mechanically sound machine in good condition or something that has been thrashed.  Then there are those of us who succumb to the charm of these small vintage machines such as the Elna Lotus and Singer featherweights.  I have one of each and whilst I enjoy the cuteness and nostalgic qualities of using the featherweight, hands down the Elna Lotus is much lighter, does more and is a tough little workhorse.  As an aside, my main machines are large, amazing computerised machines which I also adore.  New or Vintage and Mechanical or computerised - each machine has it's uses, pros and cons that have to be a good fit with how you sew and what you want from it.

Re the vintage -

The portable that I use for class/workshops etc is a Lotus Elna SP.  (Not for sale)

Fortunately mine is in very good condition with original manual, original accessories, including the 2 speed pedal, plus some extra original feet. It has new wiring and has been looked after very well.
Mechanically it's sound with little sign of wear although cosmetically there are the usual scratches and chips on the paintwork.
I've always been impressed by what my machine can handle from fine to heavy or layered fabrics including denim.  As with any machine the only limiting factor is the thickness that can fit under the presser foot.
This is one tough machine with plenty of torque and needle punching power for it's size.  The mechanical parts are metal and it has a chained drive belt rather than a rubber band.  This video clip of how to lubricate the machine shows the simplicity of the internals. sound of motor is unmistakeable and unique.

Currently there are enough of these machines still around should spare parts be needed for repairs or to improve the condition of another. 

If interested this one looks to be worth an enquiry
and then this one
followed by this one which will need some questions and more pics to confirm condition

the 3 above are realistically priced.  (Just for comparison realistically in today's market I'd expect to pay between £120 and £150 to buy one like mine in excellent condition with all the original accessories, original pedal (rewired) manual, lots of spare bobbins and several extra original feet.) 

Currently there are a few on ebay and the starting prices do reflect their value and condition.  I wouldn't want to pay more than the starting prices for those.
However it is well worth keeping a watch on ebay for new listings.  The early part of the year is often a good time.

Re the New -

Most of the members of our sewing club bring machines in rolling trolley bags or cases.  It's about 30/70 for mechanical/computerised.
Example of some (but not all) of the models they take to class -
Janome Janome Janome
A (vintage) Bernina 1130 like this one
Brother model from Aldi similar to this

Janome - a couple of different models with the same features as this one -
Singer - models similar to this from Aldi / Lidl some of the above is helpful
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 13:05:35 PM by Morgan »


Re: need new sewing machine
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2017, 18:10:59 PM »
That’s a much better more balanced summary than mine. (And you spelt Elna right... DYAC)

I don’t do modern machines... I use computers and cloud apps all week and it’s nice to step away from technology when I get a chance.
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132


Re: need new sewing machine
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2017, 07:03:15 AM »
thank you both for your help.Morgan will take a look at your links