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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Ideas for First Sewing Projects! (and advice, too!) on: March 15, 2013 05:47:20 PM
Thanks, Aislynn.  I thought of doing something like that but I wasn't sure if it was a dumb idea or not.  I just hate waste... even if it was cheap fabric and such, I'd feel bad just throwing something away so I'd rather "recycle" in this way.
2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Sewing machines, a buyers guide on: March 14, 2013 08:06:22 PM
Great post-- just what I was hoping to find!  Thanks for all of the knowledge, everyone.  Very helpful for someone who is A. completely lost on this subject and B. reticent about walking into a sewing shop and asking for advice on buying used/vintage as, well, they're going to want to sell me one of their new machines...

I have a couple questions, though... I'm trying to work on doing searches but it's slow going (23 pages of results just on the keyword "vintage"), so please bear with me.  I haven't come across these specific questions yet.


A question is on the portability issue (I searched and didn't see anything similar).  Craigslist has a lot of older machines in cabinets.  That's fine and i might be able to find a place to put one... but I'd like something portable.  So, for example, if I go visit my mum so we can sew together, or I take a class and want to take my own machine to learn on, I'm not lugging around a cabinet.  Can machines be removed from the cabinets for travel, or are they simply... mounted in there/don't have any sort of base to sit on?  (Can I even take a class with my own machine?  Or will they want me to use theirs?  Am I going to hear "oh, I don't know how to show you how to use such an old machine" if I have something like a Singer 99 or something?)


I'm also wondering if I might "outgrow" a straight-stitch machine.  I don't plan on doing anything too complex, but there's a Singer 99k I'm looking at on Craigslist and I see it's simply straight-stitch and not even any reverse option (I don't think, from what little I can see in the pics).  Will I regret not having zig-zag and reverse?  It seems a lot of people swear by these machines, so maybe not... but I'd be willing to look at some of the C-list machines that look like they might be 70s-era (Kenmore, etc.) as well.  (The 99k is $40.  Seller says it doesn't have any attachments but it belonged to their grandmother, who took good care of it.  It would be a bit of a hike for me, and very inconvenient this weekend, to go see it-- should I even bother for that price?)

Are they or are they not difficult to re-wire?  It's not something I'd be confident doing myself, but still, from my limited reading it doesn't sound like it's TOO hard or should be TOO expensive.  I called a repair shop today, though, and the person I spoke with told me not to even bother if the machine needs rewiring as it would require replacing the entire motor, would be prohibitively expensive, etc.  But, I assume that the older Singers (99, 201, 15-91, etc.) are almost certain to need rewiring, right?  And so many people seem to have them that it can't possibly be a bank-breaking or near-impossible venture...

(Grumble: oh the joys of C-list listings with next-to-no info... I want to Google the model number for reviews!!  Speaking of which, has anyone ever heard of a Kenmore 1120?  I see one listed, but I can find almost nothing on it, and a list of Kenmore model numbers doesn't even show that one.  I thought perhaps it was a typo and it's really an 1102, but I can find next-to-nothing on those either, inc. pics so I can compare with the ad's pics.  Before I contact the seller and possibly offend them by saying "uh, are you sure of what you have?" I figured I might see if anyone's heard of this model...)

Thanks for the help.  Smiley  I don't even know how to evaluate the machines in all these ads I have up in my browser right now, lol.  And I can't go see them all.  So I'm trying to do a lot of Googling and email questions to sellers.
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Ideas for First Sewing Projects! (and advice, too!) on: March 13, 2013 08:01:56 PM
Silly question, but... what do you all do with your beginner projects?  I don't need bags or purses or aprons or placemats or pillows; if I don't already have too many of whatever-it-is (the bags and pillows), then it's something I'll never use.  The simple sundresses and skirts aren't usually styles I would wear, and even if I did, I wear skirts/dresses so seldom that I only need one or two.  Yet a beginner project isn't exactly something good enough to sell or even donate to the thrift store.  (I don't know anyone who needs any of those things, either, that I could gift them to...)

(I do plan on making a pair of pajama pants, and finally converting a sarong I have to a skirt like I've been meaning to do for years...)
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