Sell other sewing machines and get a new one?

susancnwJuly 20, 2008

I have a couple of sewing machines that I have acquired over the last year.

One of them is an old White cabinet machine..circa early 1960s. I had it turned up and new belt and cord.

I have another one that is a Singer portable...circa around 1985. It needs a new foot pedal. I can find one for around $50 on ebay or and I can get manuals on I think I might also need to take it for a tuneup.

So, do I try to see the machines and just get me a new one? I can only spend ballpark of $100. I found a Brother for that price.

I want a portable that I can take to work...really slow this summer and I have my boss' okay to do it so...

Any thoughts or suggestions?

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That is a personal question and it can only be decided by figuring in a couple of questions...... are you happy with the way the White sews? That seems to be the one that is ready to use at the moment. Older machines can be such blessings when there are big jobs to do. Some of the newer plastic machines fall apart very quickly and they don't get repaired as parts aren't available and costwise it doesn't make any sense....people ditch them and buy new ones (seems like a vicious circle to me). Can you borrow a foot pedal from someone who has a Singer and see if the portable is something you would like to keep. Remember new Singers seem to be not up to quality now a days so perhaps putting money into this machine well it might be worthwhile. Have you checked to see if you can get a second hand foot pedal at a local sewing machine repair shop.....don't think of Ebay as your only option. Check local thrift stores....and ask someone there. Do you have a good local repair shop? I'd ask the service person his feelings about your Singer it a machine model he sees alot of (meaning lots of repairs), are parts hard to find, does he think the machine is worth the investment...he might just say no but we have a good used machine here you might be interested in (kinda turn a deaf ear to that unless you are really wanting to inspect another machine). You didn't tell us models and sometimes that makes a difference too.......but going on what you have said, I vote keep your machines for now.....fix them up and sew on them, then decide if you wish to sell them later on. You would have 2 machines both working - one as a back up and one to sew on. I'm very attached to older machines as anyone will tell you the new ones are nice but for good long lasting machines the older ones just don't seem to be beaten. This is MHO. Good luck. Let us know what you decide. Wait for other replies as I'm sure lots of others here will offer an opinion.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 2:33PM
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Keep the White if it's working well. I'd sell the Singer, my experience with the Singers of that era is that they were definitely not made to last. I sold antique machines to two of my students after they spent the better part of their first quilting class fighting with their cheap modern Singers and both of the antique machines are still use. For $100 you could just as well burn your money as buy a new machine for that price--you will not get a good one! I personally sew on nothing but antique and vintage machines. I just spent two long days demonstrating free-motion quilting at a quilt using a 1932 Singer 15. It was given to me.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 6:38PM
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But contact Logan Hogan and she is very knowledgeable about machines........ I'd check your Singer before I'd ditch the thing though. Nothing against Annie but seeing as you didnt' give us any info more I can't say toss or otherwise. Budster

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 12:07AM
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Good advice Budster! Actually, I should have advised Susan to keep both, at least until they reach the point where it will cost more to fix them than to get a GOOD new machine. In the meantime, begin test driving new machines and start saving so that when the time comes, you will be able to get a good one.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 11:58AM
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Thanks so much for all the advise. I'll do more checking for the foot pedal... my 'dream' machine is a Bernina 830--had one for years and I let mom take it while I moved and got settled 'cross country. One of my biggest mistakes every. I won't get it back until she is gone or no longer sews...and I don't see that happening ever as she is only 74!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 1:13PM
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Why not put a separate posting here and ask if anyone has one for your model? I've shared and I'm sure others have as well. Someone might not have your exact model but one up or down from it and can help you get something. Manuals are so important when learning or using a many people just toss them thinking I'll never have to use it again now I know how the machine works.....bad mistake. Manuals are like gold! Good luck on your search. Budster

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 1:52PM
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I agree with keeping the White and seeing if you can find a foot control to the singer. Like Budster said, I love "old" singers. I think anything beyond 1980 is when they started going downhill. I bought one of the Wal-mart brother's several yrs ago for the automatic buttonhole feature and it literally fell apart at about 2 yrs old and all I had ever done on it was button holes, no "real" sewing.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 2:36PM
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Sheesh! Started calling around - $40 for the foot pedal. I'll keep trying though. And it's a good idea on the manual, although $10 for it online isn't bad...and the $40 for the foot pedal might not be bad...but on my finances and budget right might as well be $400...some days....(sigh) but I'll keep at it! Thanks all~

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 4:58PM
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Now you have already come down $l0.00 for the foot pedal cost....seeing as you are on the phone , call any sewing place or small appliance place listed in your book ask if they have parts...keep a list of prices and see how you do that way. Call your local thrift stores or stop by and ask about machine of our SA stores has foot pedals on the might luck in. Ask other sewers if they have a Singer with a pedal you could borrow just to see if the machine is worth saving......don't give up. Your investment cost of about 40/50 dollars is down from saying you had a budget of 100 dollars to get another machine. Think of it as a glass half full....your cost is going down already. You might want to do a serviceing on your own once you have a manual, hopefully nothing major is wrong and you could do a servicing when your finances are in better shape. Do you have the model? I keep wondering why you don't post it ....... just tell me to mind my own business if you don't want to advertise what model the Singer is. Budster

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 7:47PM
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If any place has extra foot pedals you might not have to buy a Singer one...I've heard of people using other makes with different a trial and error if a shop tells you they have some for sale.....take your machine along and just see if any other maker's pedal will fit. Some are generic - a lady who services machines for the SA is always robbing from junk machines to get others going and she told me to pass this along to you as well. Budster who says sorry for being so long winded.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 7:51PM
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Thanks so much. Newest SA store is down in Denver, but that is a great idea. I might end up driving down there in a few weeks to see my SIL. But I think I'll try calling them. I am planning to check the 2 Goodwill stores here in town. The SA one closed some years ago.

In the meantime, I pulled the nonworking pedal out (someone cut the vacuum hose. Hubby looked at it again and is going to see about finding a replacement hose at Lowe's or Home Depot maybe...the tricky part might be the part that attaches to the machine.

And thanks so much Bud...I'd not thought of it as being less than I was planning to spend. I'd really like to get the Singer working. Things are REALLY slow at work and I am basically a body in the chair this summer, so it would be a chance to get my skills going again. I do have my boss' permission the day go faster.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 1:17AM
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Ask your SIL if she will call around for you before you get repair places and keep a price list just incase they have one. She could also call the SA stores and ask if they have replacement parts for machines. It would save you some time and if she kept a list of prices and addresses your gas expense would be less. You might luck in and find a replacement at a terrific price and even get her to pick it up for you. It's just a thought and personally I was thinking of your budget and how I'd approach the same problem so it would be less for you costwise. Any sewing relatives? You could always call and ask them if they would help in the search...the more people know what you need, the more eyes out there searching I figure. Again good luck. Budster

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 2:18AM
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Susan--can you post a picture of the Singer? If I can see it, I might be able to point in the direction of a dealer who sells replacement foot controls at a very reasonable price. She deals in parts for older machines so I need to know if it's a model that would work with her controls.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 9:25AM
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Susan, you mentioned you around Denver. I'm in SE Aurora and have had a lot of luck with finding great older machines at some of my local thrift stores. My favorite place for cabinet machines is called Unique at the corner of Buckley and Iliff. On Monday's everything is 25% off and on Holidays everything is 50%. From them I've bought -

2 New Home NHR rotary machines for under $20 on their half-price days (on the first one I've replaced the pulley and it works fine; the other I'm keeping for parts because it had a box full of the attachments and the power cord I was missing from the other).

A very pretty Singer in a cabinet, circa 1955 with a box of attachments for $25 for my mother (I still have to get it working and refinish the cabinet)

A Viking Husqvarna (from Sweden) portable with the attachments and the manual including the original warranty from 1966 that just needed oil and I've started teaching my daughter to sew on it. It cost $12.50 (on half price day)

Today I was at a Goodwill on Parker Road and Belleview. I picked up a New Home Light Running Rotary Model 8F in it's carrying case for $25 - I haven't found any info about it yet though. I can tell it needs oil and I need to reseat the wires in the electrical connection.

I don't usually see sewing machines at this Goodwill, but always see them at Unique for a lot less than your budget.

If you want to know some other thrift stores on this end of town send me an email through my page (I'm not over here very often, I'm usually lurking in RMG gardening, Cooking or Harvest). Good luck with your search


    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 2:00AM
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