I have a Kenmore Ultra Stitch and a Singer Touch and Sew 600e both wonderful gifts from people moving on to newer machines, my question is I have no pieces for the T&S but I have all the pieces for the Kenmore and my local sewing shop says I should just sell both and buy a new one b/c old machines blah blah blah....and I am newish to sewing but I want to take a local class and really sew for my family and others (waldorf dolls, kids clothes costumes puppets etc) so I really need some advice from someone who is not trying to sell me a machine who has sewn on these older machines???? Let me add they both work but I think the singer might need a tune up (if that is a real thing for sewing machines?)
Lay it on me~ are the antiques worth keeping alive or is better to invest in the new fancy bells and whistles?
sahm to 3 married to 8yrs
The answer is "It all depends." Sorry, so not helpful but true. I love Kenmores (I have 2 of them in working condition and one that's not). I just spent $100 on my 60 yo Kenmore (from the 60s or maybe even the late 50s; it was my mil's) to get it rewired. It was worth the money to me for several reasons. It has a working ruffle foot that produces consistent ruffles without fiddling with it constantly. It has a flat bed and fits into my antique cabinet so I can sew on a flat surface. And it sews on a wide range of fabrics from silk to felted wool.
My "newer" (it's 10 years old) Kenmore, I use for bar tacking and as a back up machine. It's not as well made and actually has more wear and tear on it than the old one does. Even though my mil sewed clothes for my dh and his brothers on it for years before giving it to me. I made clothes for my girls on it before getting a new machine (not my current newest machine but the machine before that one). When the 10 yo machine needed worked on, I pulled out the old one and discovered that the insulation on all the exposed wiring was all crumbling, leaving exposed wiring.
I also have a Singer Featherweight that I use for bridal sewing. It has a 1/8" rolled foot for the narrow hems and produces an absolutely straight stitch. It also will sew through 10+ layers of gathered tulle with no problems. It is the machine I take with me. It only weighs 10 pounds and is very portable.
I grew up learning to sew on a vintage Singer, so I am probably biased :)
I recommend keeping both machines - the cost to have them occasionally serviced and even repaired will still be less than a new, fancy, computer driven machine.
I currently own a 40 year old Bernina sewing machine and a 5-10 year old Bernina serger, both of which run beautifully. My 40yo machine just required its first servicing since I received it about a year ago.
The vintage Singer was my mom's reward for straight A's in Jr High, and it's 50 years old and still runs beautifully, requiring minimal servicing every 3-5 years now, mainly to keep it in good working order, which is the usual time frame for servicing for any machine.
Also, pieces can be purchased off of ebay, and there a sewing machine "groups" on yahoo and elsewhere that can get you in touch with people who work with and love older machines.
I love my new Brother machine I bought at Costco about 2 years ago. Before that, I had an old White which I thought was fine until I got the new one. I think I spent $160 and my new machine has more stitches than I could ever use and can monogram. Not to mention, it is SO much easier to sew with, the needle just glides through the fabric like butter.
Married since 4/2004 mom to DS6/2008, DD 4/2010 and one on the way. 52 project challenge: 16/52
Another vote for Kenmore here - my current machine is new - 5 yrs old - the one before that i had for about 15 years. yes service and tune ups are a good idea every so often- the trick is finding someone who still knows what a sewing machine is!
When you say 'antique' - are you talking about 50 + years or like 20+ years? i think the older models are probably worth keeping if they dont have issues and work well.
Happy at Home Mama to DD 4/95 DS 4/98 and DS#2 8/10
Thank you all for the input~ The Singer is from 1962 and I have fiddled with it. I am for sure keeping the Kenmore, it not only has many accessories etc, it also has some sentimental value. The singer needs a tune up and maybe a new bobbin case (the thread snags up all the time) and even though I like it I dont have a lot of room for extra machines....
Oh toddlers awake gnite~
sahm to 3 married to 8yrs