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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!

Nannytopsy Wed 09-Sep-20 22:45:10

My Nan’s Singer treadle is 101 years old and still works beautifully. However it can’t do stretch fabrics. My new machine is 3 months old!

Maggiemaybe Tue 08-Sep-20 19:43:19

I've a Frister & Rossmann, 43 years old now and still going strong.

When I took delivery though, the bobbin winder wouldn't work. I couldn't be bothered to write to them to complain, so have been winding bobbins by hand ever since! grin

Paddi1948 Tue 08-Sep-20 18:56:13

`I've got 2 or 3 Singers including 2 201K models the bees knees in machines but now fitted with electric motors and another early Singer from the 1920s manual all working order my only modern machine is a Janome j3 24 but I rarely use it even the Singers don't get much use as I am absolutely useless at sewing

Magnolia62 Mon 20-Jul-20 23:12:44

What an interesting thread. My first machine back in 1975 was a little Frister and Rossman for my 18th birthday. Light enough to take away to college with me where I annoyingly was frequently called upon to use to put new zips into friends’ jeans. We wore them very tight in those days! I made all my on clothes on it.

In 1983, expecting my first baby, I traded it in for a sturdy Bernina on which I made lots of curtains and baby clothes. Sadly, about four years ago the foot pedal stopped working and the repairer was not able to source either a new or second hand one so he allowed me some money off a new Bernina and was going to use my old one for spare parts.

My new Bernina is also a heavy duty one but I don’t think they make it any more. It serves me well as I really don’t need lots of fancy stitches and it does all I need it to.

My sister recently passed on a Toyota overlocker which had been rarely used. I got it serviced to check it was working properly and the tension was right. So I am now experimenting with knitted fabrics and have made some lovely baby clothes for my soon to be born first grandchild. I have also made a couple of simple dresses for myself, a lovely change from cushions and curtains. Amusingly, I had to adjust the bust darts by an inch as my bust seems to have dropped over the years! I love overlooking all the raw edges and getting such a nice, neat finish.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 29-Jun-20 18:34:11

My singer machine was made in 1926 . The year that my mother was born, so easy to remember. It is still invaluable for heavy cloth, although it really onlly sews forwards.

I have a lightweight modern machine that is four years old, and has taken me that length of time to get used to.

It can do all sorts of interesting things, like sewing buttons on (why would you want it to?) sewing button-holes (that I get) three of four different kinds of zig-zag stitches, etc. etc.

storynanny Mon 22-Jun-20 11:53:38

Interesting to read that several of us had frosted and rossman about 40/45 years ago. I clearly remember the salesman in the sewing shop recommending the make
I think mine was a 502 or possibly 503
They very kindly sent me a new manual a few years ago when mine was lost in a house move and I couldn’t remember about the oiling procedure!

Apricity Mon 22-Jun-20 10:53:51

Mine is a Swedish Husqvarna purchased in 1975. Made a lot of curtains, quilts and clothes once upon a time. Had a service a few years ago and still going strong although must confess not a lot of use these days.

EilaRose Mon 22-Jun-20 10:25:59

Latest Janome is only 6 months old, as I upgrade every couple of years to keep pace with technology. Also have a straight stitch/high speed machine, overlockers, coverstitch, felting and lastly an embroidery machine, plus a couple of vintage machines to round out the herd.

No such thing as too many machines!! ;-)

FindingNemo15 Mon 22-Jun-20 09:57:33

Mine died last year. It was a Frister and Rossman and was about 45 years old. Dare I say it, we got it with Green Shield Stamps!!!

Daftbag1 Mon 22-Jun-20 09:21:38

I've just sent a treadle Singer 66, in a parlour cabinet to the local auction rooms, along with a Singer Futura 1100. I have a new overlocker , new all singing all dancing Janome, and a 1950's singer featherweight. My hand crank Frister & Rossman 1950's machine is currently being serviced, but my tired old Singer 15 is awaiting a new home. Add to that an early Jones, and much earlier Fristner & Rossman, and finally, a cute little alternative to the featherweight, and a toy machine from the mid 50's and that's about it!

suzywhoo Sun 21-Jun-20 19:22:40

Well mine has just given up, it must have been the thought of the all the face coverings I was going to make on it, it was a 35 years (or so) Brother, which I thought was still rather modern until I got my new all singing Brother, but all the attachments still fit it. Just remember if you have an x sewing 87 year old mum don't show off she is even sending me monogrammed hankies to alter the monogram on from an F to a B, oh and loads of ancient fringing - I may put it around the hanky! She has still got her original Singer at least 70 yo which still works it goes forwards and backwards her 'new' machine is at least 45 yo. She has even sent me 50 year old thread - oh dear what have I done hmm

Auntieflo Sat 13-Jun-20 23:11:18

My current machine is a 10 year old Janome.
My first one was a chain stitch, child's machine, that I still have in it's carry case.
When I was 21, mum and dad gave me a second hand Singer machine, that had been converted from a treadle to electric.
That one lasted me for years, making clothes for me and the children. Then dolls clothes for my daughter's Action Girl, and son's Action Man.

BlackGrannie Sat 13-Jun-20 17:47:04

Forgot to add that it's a Singer...

BlackGrannie Sat 13-Jun-20 17:46:21

I have a number of vintage machines, they sew beautifully, and were purchased at very reasonable cost, my oldest and most treasured machine was gifted to me by my late Aunt, purchased by her in the 1950's

Puzzler61 Sat 13-Jun-20 07:36:51

I sew with a 2 year old Janomi sewing machine.

It’s a replacement for an electric Frister & Rossman that I bid for and won, on e-bay, 10 years ago. I paid 99 pence+delivery and when it arrived the foot pedal was a bit smashed as it wasn’t very well packed by seller. My Father in Law stuck it together and it sprang into life. I used it for a decade until I decided I’d use some of a windfall to buy the brand new one.

vegansrock Sat 13-Jun-20 07:23:47

Apparently sewing machine sales have been going through the roof during lockdown, so hopefully more people are learning to sew. I only know this as I have bought 2 machines recently, one for a present, one to replace overlocker and was having a chat with my local sewing machine man about it.

AllotmentLil Fri 12-Jun-20 23:30:44

I’ve had one of mine for about 40 years but it certainly wasn’t new when I got it! My other I’ve had for about 6 years and it was new!

Bathsheba Thu 23-Apr-20 09:31:26

Mine's a Brother and is about 4 years old. My previous one, a Toyota, served me well for around 25 years, but one day it seized, and no amount of oiling and tlc enouraged it back to work.

My first machine was a Jones, which was straight stitch only. I can't imagine using a machine with only one stitch choice now! But, gosh, it was a workhorse, and that straight stitch was so neat. It meant, of course, that everything had to be either finished by hand or have French seams, but it didn't stop me churning out clothes for my children and myself - in those days home sewing was cheaper than shop bought, so that was a great motivator!

More recently I've bought an overlocker and an embroidery machine, both around 3 years old now.

PamelaJ1 Thu 23-Apr-20 09:05:13

Shysal & Marmite mines a Frister and Rossman too, I got it on my 21st birthday so it’s almost 46.

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!

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

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.

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!

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!

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.