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How old is your sewing machine?

(70 Posts)
Witzend Tue 25-Feb-20 10:14:09

Just worked out that I must have had mine for 40 odd years, since not long after we were married. It’s a little Elna, very neat, the sides fold up and cables etc. store inside, so it takes up very little space.

I didn’t use it at all for maybe 10 years, so when I finally got it out again to make curtains for a dd’s first house, I did wonder whether it’d still be working. Still don’t use it very often, but touch wood still fine.

I bet some GNers have S machines a lot older than mine!

jura2 Tue 25-Feb-20 16:09:14

I blew the engine of my Huskvarna (sp?) recently- it was about 45 years old.

M0nica Tue 25-Feb-20 16:15:11

Mine is only 10 years old, a Janome, bought on recommendation of daughter when my previous machine a 30 year old Singer developed an unrepairable fault.

DD recommended it because 35 years ago we bought her a New Home sewing machine, the brand name Janome originally sold under.

Even though she is now a skilled needle woman with City & Guilds qualifications to prove it, it is her 35 year old New Home (Janome) machine that is always to hand and constantly in use.

Before that she had (still has) a late 19th century Frister and Rossman hand operated machine, which is now 140 years old plus. and still working.

Shrub Tue 25-Feb-20 17:11:29

I have my mother’s treadle Singer machine possibly bought in the 1940s and an electric Singer bought in USA in 1991.

Dillyduck Sat 28-Mar-20 15:14:34

Bought my Elna SU in Perth, Western Australia, in 1972. Still going strong, wonderful machines, not computerised, Swiss built. It was the "top of the range" machine then, cost me nearly 4 week's wages!!

eazybee Sat 28-Mar-20 15:20:27

What is a sewing machine?

Callistemon Sat 28-Mar-20 15:32:00

Allegretto mine's not quite as new as yours, about two months. I keep eyeing it doubtfully

rosecarmel Sat 28-Mar-20 15:32:46

Mine is 70- If has lots of mileage- I wish it had an odometer-

rosecarmel Sat 28-Mar-20 15:35:30

My son's machine is ancient, and was used to stitch leather gloves and fur-

rosecarmel Sat 28-Mar-20 15:36:10

It not If .. smile

shysal Sat 28-Mar-20 15:44:54

My Frister and Rossman is about 47 years old. Before that I had a hand operated Singer on which I made all the clothes for myself and two daughters until they were of school age. the old one was beautifully engraved and decorated, but would only sew a very short straight stitch, so I reluctantly upgraded to the electric which is still going strong.

Nannytopsy Sat 28-Mar-20 16:25:32

I use my grandmother’s treadle singer. It is in an ornate cupboard and cost £12 10s in 1918. She still had the receipt. I used it only yesterday.

Nannytopsy Sat 28-Mar-20 16:26:37

PS it has the ruffled, quilter and things for inserting lace and the instruction book!

ExD Sat 28-Mar-20 16:34:44

My Singer belonged to my mother's mother (my grandmother) and I've no idea how old it is. Over 100 years I'd say because my mother was born in 1905 but I don't know when my Grandmother acquired it.
It still works perfectly apart from needing the tension adjusting from time to time - it seems to slip when I haven't used it for a while.
If this corona thing carries on, do you think out offspring will finally take to sewing as they're now having to learn to bake and cook from scratch?

Mamissimo Sat 28-Mar-20 16:34:53

I have (in a small collection) a wondrous Elna SU with Cam disks that pop in the top to increase the range of fancy stitches. It’s over 40 years old and weighs as much as I do! I have an Elna Lotus for quick jobs, and a modern computerised Janome for free motion quilting so I’ve got everything covered.

M0nica Sun 29-Mar-20 15:44:19

Had to replace the Jones machine I bought in 1968 when DH dropped it on the ground and it broke. Since then I have had a Janome.

In 1986, when she was 12 we bought DD a machine, called English Home, or similar, anyway Janome under another name, and although she is now a highly skilled needlewoman with other specialist machines bought since then, this is still her most heavily used machine and she wouldn't swap it for another, no matter how computerised.

BBbevan Sun 29-Mar-20 16:07:52

Mine used to be my grandma’s . It was a treadle and I remember making a yellow spotty sundress on it for a school project. About 1956 I think. I had it removed from its treadle in 1965; and it is a manual now. It is at least 100yrs old and a Singer. I haven’t used it for a while. Perhaps now is the ideal time to do so. A bit of oil is all it usually needed.

Tangerine Sun 29-Mar-20 16:39:24

1890's as it belonged to my great grandmother. It still works.

Sparklefizz Sun 29-Mar-20 17:50:25

Tangerine I have also got my grandmother's old Singer. When she was bombed in WW2, the house was blown up and the water mains and gas mains ruptured. My Dad went into the ruins later on and found the machine in its case in quite deep water, and after the war he took it apart (he was clever like that) and repaired the whole thing and reassembled it ..... and I made my wedding dress on it and my curtains when I was 21.

It still works like a dream.

M0nica Mon 30-Mar-20 08:44:30

DD's first machine, which she still has, was a hand-cranked Frister & Rossman machine dating back to the 1890s.

She saw it in a junk shop when she was 9 and asked for it for Chrustmas, DH having checked it was in working order,we bought it. He cleaned and serviced it and I made a cover for it. We wrote to Frister & Rossman to ask if they still had any operating instructions and to our delight they sent us a photocopy of the very tatty instruction manual they had in their archives.

It is now worth considerable more than we paid for it as it is a decorative machine, but DD has so many happy memories of it, sitting on the floor of her bedroom making dolls clothes and just experimenting that she could not bear to part with it, even though it just lives in a cupboard and is never used now

mary51 Mon 30-Mar-20 14:38:52

I bought mine in 1976 so it's about 44 years old. Got it out last Thursday, oiled and dusted down etc, and made a couple of things which seem a bit crazy. I made two demijohn covers and a cover for a 5 gallon brewing bucket! DH has taken up home brewing again and wanted something to slip over as a sort of insulation. You could call them wine cosies! I used an old curtain of Liberty linen union Cottage Garden. Lovely fabric.

I also fished out a needlepoint kit from early 80s, Glorafilia, of a kitten, and started making a cushion cover!

I look at the little light ones sometimes but don't do enough sewing now to justify buying one although they are much easier to carry.

mary51 Mon 30-Mar-20 14:41:03

It's actually an Alfa with a couple of missing bits, but I have improvised over the years!

Marmight Mon 30-Mar-20 15:05:38

My Mum gave me a little Frister & Rossman when we married so it’s just 46 years old. It's done good service & is easy to use. I also have my Mum’s hand operated Singer which had been her Mother’s so about 100+ Years old which I learnt to use as a child. I don’t use it now. I have just acquired yet another from my late Aunt which was her grandmother’s. Not sure how old but must be pre 1900. Sadly I can’t open the case as the key is just a straight 2” piece of iron and won’t turn. I’ll have to find a locksmith who deals in strange, old pieces. Can’t wait to see what is inside the box!

Happysexagenarian Wed 22-Apr-20 22:44:01

My everyday machine is a 20 year old Janome. My overlocker (also Janome) is 2 years old, and my 'heavy duty workhorse' is a 110 year old Singer hand crank which I keep for sewing leather, sail canvas etc, still works perfectly.

Hithere Thu 23-Apr-20 00:10:31

Wow, would love to see pics of your sewing machines. I bet they are beautiful

Mine is only a month old - a brother

JuliaM Thu 23-Apr-20 09:05:07

I had my first machine 42years ago, a Toyota, prior to that, I used my mothers machines, a black Singer hand turned machine, from the 1940s, and a Husquavana (Sp.?) From around 1971.
I just about worn my first Toyota out, as a young girl of 21 with a new baby, l put it to good use making clothes and soft furnishings for my new home. I lived in the street where l grew up and most people would know me, so word sokn got around about my new machine and before l knew it I was sewing all kinds of things for other neighbours, whilst my baby slept beside me.
My husband was not so keen on me doing this though, he felt that they were being rather intrusive and often alll got in return was a quick Thankyou on collection of their item, leving me out of pocket due to having to suply the thread, worn out machine needles, and electricity power for the machine. It also irritated him with the noise as he worked on a shift rota. So I eventually had to say a polite but firm 'No' to taps at the door from a Neighbour with a bag of market fresh curtain fabric in hand expecting a new pair of curtains to be ready by the weekend! We left the area the following year so the problem somewhat solved itself.

When that machine finally died from worn out Cams, it was quickly replaced by another Toyota, but this time a more straight forward basic machine without all the embroidery stitches and other stuff that l never really used on the previous one, but with a more powerful motor. I only sew for my own family now, and not so much due to Arthritis in my right hand. I loved sewing, especially working in pure cotton which is so comfortable to wear, and seldom a available to buy ready made with a decent fit, due to my Long body, Short legged fitting requirements!