I asked on old friend of mine to take some photos of some of the machines that she uses as she lives too far away for me to take them. An interesting person, she has only ever worked for herself, is a qualified patternmaker who topped her year at tech college and has been at her trade for about 40 years. Before the tariffs were dropped which opened the floodgates to cheap Indo-Chinese imports, she produced high quantities of cross country ski-wear as well as swimwear, leotards for gymnasiums and a whole host of true bespoke tailoring items for both men and women.
If there was ever a flatbed straight sewer that I lusted after, it was this one. It is fast, smooth and delivers very high stitch quality. Powerful enough to sew ship sails yet an excellent machine for doing high quality fine work.
This is a collarette machine which is typically used for a particular type of hemming. It can be used with either 2 or 3 top threads and produces on the face side either 2 or 3 parallel stitches. The underside uses a cross looper with a singe thread that locks the top threads.
This Singer machine is an heirloom zig zag machine that she bought from an old tailor who retired over 30 years ago. It still runs fine and produces good quality stitching. About the only quirk is it has to be oiled regularly as it does not have a wet sump like the later industrial machines.
This is a close up of an elastic feeder that she uses when overlocking raw rubber to stretch fabric edges. It is on one of two overlockers that she owns that have both done an enormous amount of work when she was doing production runs of cross country ski-wear.