Author Topic: Vintage Singer Machines  (Read 7277 times)

jruley

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #75 on: April 28, 2017, 02:03:02 PM »
BTW, I may remember incorrectly, it's a very long time since I sat at one, but doesn't a hand operated machine also lack a reverse stitching facility, and you have to pull the layers toward you sharply to stitch over the seam again to lock it?

There is nothing about a hand crank that prevents such machines from sewing in reverse.  It is true that many older ones do not have the necessary cam.
I know of two ways to lock the ends of the seam down without reversing:

- Take a couple of stitches and stop.  Raise the presser foot and pull the work back to the beginning.  Stitch over the first stitches, and continue sewing.  This is usually done at the beginning of the seam.

- Stitch to the end of the seam, then raise the presser foot with the needle down.  Turn the work 180 degrees and lower the foot.  Take a few stitches over the seam.  This is usually done at the end of the seam, but can also be used at the beginning if you start a short distance from the edge.

Call me a Luddite if you wish, but I find either of these methods superior to using the reverse function to secure the ends of the seam, and less likely to ball up the bobbin thread.  I only use reverse on my electric machine to save time.  Not that that isn't a good reason for many people.


Anyway, your assertion that a hand cranked machine is the best where accuracy and control are concerned I cannot support.

I merely asserted that:
Quote
I find it hard to beat a hand crank machine

To be fair, I've never sewn on an industrial model.  As a home based hobbyist I have no place for one, nor the skills to maintain it.

theresa in tucson

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #76 on: April 28, 2017, 10:16:32 PM »
As a hobby stitcher, I have three of the old black Singer machines; a 201, a 15-91 and a 221 Featherweight, as well as a Bernina 930.  Like Jruley says, there is no room for an industrial, although I would love to have one.  And I sincerely covet the old Singer harness machine the cobbler around the corner has in his repair shop.  There is a reason those old machines are still around - they get the job done, are almost unbreakable, and can usually be maintained by the operator.

jruley

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #77 on: April 29, 2017, 12:05:22 AM »

A person who is confident about machines and/or has people IRL to consult doesn't understand the apprehension of someone who doesn't have that background.  My family had to hire a handyman to help us assemble our IKEA furniture.  He said we weren't the first. :-) Now, IKEA offers an assembly service.

I mean, the machine could explode.

You might want to have the seller run the machine in your presence, and show you how to oil it.  This will decrease the number of available machines and drive up the price, but reduce your chance of buying a "dud".  If you must buy sight unseen, make sure the seller knows the machine is for use and not display, and will accept returns.

Aside from a fracture caused by dropping the thing on your foot, the only real safety issue with these old machines is electrical shock.  That will not be a problem if the cord is in good condition, and if you unplug the machine before working on the motor.  Unless someone has been storing gunpowder in the base compartment, there is nothing in the machine that can explode.

Tailleuse

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #78 on: April 30, 2017, 12:32:35 PM »

A person who is confident about machines and/or has people IRL to consult doesn't understand the apprehension of someone who doesn't have that background.  My family had to hire a handyman to help us assemble our IKEA furniture.  He said we weren't the first. :-) Now, IKEA offers an assembly service.

I mean, the machine could explode.

You might want to have the seller run the machine in your presence, and show you how to oil it.  This will decrease the number of available machines and drive up the price, but reduce your chance of buying a "dud".  If you must buy sight unseen, make sure the seller knows the machine is for use and not display, and will accept returns.

Aside from a fracture caused by dropping the thing on your foot, the only real safety issue with these old machines is electrical shock.  That will not be a problem if the cord is in good condition, and if you unplug the machine before working on the motor.  Unless someone has been storing gunpowder in the base compartment, there is nothing in the machine that can explode.

Thanks!

Tailleuse

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #79 on: April 30, 2017, 12:34:36 PM »
As a hobby stitcher, I have three of the old black Singer machines; a 201, a 15-91 and a 221 Featherweight, as well as a Bernina 930.  Like Jruley says, there is no room for an industrial, although I would love to have one.  And I sincerely covet the old Singer harness machine the cobbler around the corner has in his repair shop.  There is a reason those old machines are still around - they get the job done, are almost unbreakable, and can usually be maintained by the operator.

Thank you, Theresa.

Tailleuse

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #80 on: April 30, 2017, 12:45:32 PM »
BTW, I may remember incorrectly, it's a very long time since I sat at one, but doesn't a hand operated machine also lack a reverse stitching facility, and you have to pull the layers toward you sharply to stitch over the seam again to lock it?

There is nothing about a hand crank that prevents such machines from sewing in reverse.  It is true that many older ones do not have the necessary cam.
I know of two ways to lock the ends of the seam down without reversing:

- Take a couple of stitches and stop.  Raise the presser foot and pull the work back to the beginning.  Stitch over the first stitches, and continue sewing.  This is usually done at the beginning of the seam.




This method is how I learned to tack on older industrial Singers that had no reverse stitch. The only difference is I sewed the whole seam, cut the threads, and then went over the beginning and the end. (I wasn't told to cut the threads and remove the piece from the machine, I did that on my own.)

I like the reverse stitch feature and use it when available, but there are times when the reverse stitch throws off the line a little bit. One method I learned for sewing a welt pocket seam involved leaving long threads, checking that the two lines were the same length, and if necessary adding one stitch manually pulling out one.Then the two threads were threaded into a needle and the seam was hand-tacked.

I was taught another method for sewing a welt pocket in which we sewed a box.  To finish it, the starting stitch was overlapped because that was more accurate. I'm sure there were other occasions when the instructions were to overlap, not use the reverse stitch.

jruley

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #81 on: April 30, 2017, 01:08:22 PM »

One method I learned for sewing a welt pocket seam involved leaving long threads, checking that the two lines were the same length, and if necessary adding one stitch manually pulling out one.Then the two threads were threaded into a needle and the seam was hand-tacked.


No question, this is the neatest way to finish the ends of a line of stitching.  Of course it's also the most time-consuming...

Greger

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #82 on: April 30, 2017, 03:10:32 PM »
Just tie a square knot and then add a tailors knot and snip the thread. Leaves the least amount of bulk. Knew that since I was a tiny boy. You can read the finer details  in Jane Rhineharts book.

Poulin tells of another machine method for machines that have no reverse.

Tailleuse

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #83 on: May 01, 2017, 10:04:42 AM »

One method I learned for sewing a welt pocket seam involved leaving long threads, checking that the two lines were the same length, and if necessary adding one stitch manually pulling out one.Then the two threads were threaded into a needle and the seam was hand-tacked.


No question, this is the neatest way to finish the ends of a line of stitching.  Of course it's also the most time-consuming...


It is. :-) But it affords more control, which is especially helpful for inexperienced people.