Vintage sewing machine help

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by bond, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. bond

    bond My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,532
    Location:
    Third coast
    I am looking to buy a vintage sewing machine and wanted to get opinions on singer featherweight or similar Necchi brand mid century vintage.
    Pros and cons please
    Thanks
     
  2. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,108
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Singer "Featherweight":

    [​IMG]

    I have no personal experience of these machines, beyond seeing one at an antiques shop.

    What attracts you to this model specifically?

    The Featherweight is a good machine, and it's prized for its compact size and portability. What reasons do you have for wanting to chase this particular model?
     
  3. bond

    bond My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,532
    Location:
    Third coast
    Looking for above reasons . Heard its a good machine but wondering about practicality, are they really heavy and do they work as well as a new machine would?
    For example do the old ones have reverse mode?
    Intetested in a Necchi but heard they can be problematic too as far as cam shaft cracking.
    Thanks
     
  4. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Vendor

    Messages:
    234
    Location:
    Northern California
    Actually, they are very light as per the name Featherweight. They are good for quilting and women like that they are easily carried around. Not a heavy duty machine by any means.
     
  5. bond

    bond My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,532
    Location:
    Third coast
    Any one familar with necchi at all or make recommendations .
    Also need variable speed .
     
  6. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,108
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    MOST older sewing-machines do not have two-way sewing. Some antique European manufacturers (Germans, for example) did make sewing-machines which could sew forwards & backwards, but for the main part, it wasn't a feature that showed up until after WWII. At least that's my experience.

    The Featherweight being a SINGER, it's inherently of good quality, and certainly light (I've lifted one up myself), and all sewing machines have variable speed - it's just a matter of how hard you press the button, turn the crank or pump the treadle.
     
  7. bond

    bond My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,532
    Location:
    Third coast
    You mentioned German machines, Recomend any ?
     
  8. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,108
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I did. But they're the REALLY old ones. The antique vibrating-Shuttle models from before the First World War. There were some companies which did make them. But they come with their own problems (mainly sourcing bobbins and shuttles).

    Old German manufacturers included...

    Frister & Rossman.

    Stoewer, which also manufactured typewriters.

    [​IMG]

    Serata (which did make two-directional sewing machines).

    Seidel & Naumann.

    S&N vibrating-shuttle machine:

    [​IMG]

    Pfaff

    Wertheim.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  9. jskeen

    jskeen One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Houston
    I don't claim to be an expert on sewing machines in general, but I do have a fair amount of experience specifically with the singer 221 "featherweight" and other vintage singer machines. I own two of them, and can count another 5 or 6 owned by my immediate family.

    IMHO, and this opinion has gotten me in trouble before, but the singer 221 models are generally overpriced in the market today from a users perspective. The speculator/collector market has driven the price up beyond what they are really worth.

    The do have their strong points, mainly being very portable, neatly and easily put back in their case and carried to the next quilting party. But unless you intend to use it exclusively as a mobile unit, there are others that will do a better job at the same tasks, or more tasks more easily for much less money.

    It all comes down to what you want to do with it.

    Post up your intended use/thoughts, or feel free to pm me if you have specific questions or would like to talk live.

    James
     
  10. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,108
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I reckon James is right. It's highly dependent on what you want to sew and how much and how often.

    A good-quality Singer sewing machine for regular use would be something like a Singer 99 (which is what I have), a Singer 201, which is a BEAST of a machine...

    [​IMG]

    Or a Singer 66 (bigger brother of the 99).

    Granny's Singer 99:

    [​IMG]

    It was a proud boast of the Singer Manufacturing Company that their machines could (and did!) sew through solid metal. It had no practical applications, of course, but it was how they used to prove the strength of their machines.
     
  11. bond

    bond My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,532
    Location:
    Third coast
    Wow. Thanks for cool pics and info. I Just took the plunge and bought a Necchi 544 Lydia 3 on eBay
    Hope it works!
    Will post pics and update when I get it
    Thanks for help
     
  12. kiwilrdg

    kiwilrdg A-List Customer

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Virginia
    There was concern earlier about a machine sewing backwards. A featherweight can sew backwards by lifting the stitch length lever all the way up. It needs to be held up while sewing backwards but it is a nice feature at the end of a seam or where reinforcement is needed.
     
  13. bond

    bond My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,532
    Location:
    Third coast
    Here's some pics of the Italian Necchi sewing machine I just bought on eBay . It works without problem in fact doesn't appear to have been used much at all. Probably more of a machine than I need and speed is way fast with a touchy pedal so it may or may not be the ideal machine . Haven't tried sewing any hats with it yet which will be the real test. Vintage is 70s. Someone described this design as Similar to an Apple designed product and I think that's what I like about it as well.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.