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Topic: merits of a vintage sewing machine?  (Read 979 times)
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« on: January 28, 2007 04:11:19 AM »

Hello hello
I've decided to finally buy my own machine (having to go to my mums house to sew...not working!) and I've come across this great Singer 201k on ebay...but it only does a straight stitch (can reverse stitch too). I love the idea of owning a vintage machine and it's definitely one that's built to last, but I'm wondering if it's possible to make clothing with only a straight stitch?
I'm also going to buy a serger in a couple of weeks so that will obviously make things a touch easier. Anyone have any thoughts?
Would be muchly appreciated!

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2007 10:09:11 AM »

It is definitely possible to sew with just a straight stitch, I did from age 9 to 30, and my gandmothers did it their entire lives. 
My daughter loves her new old Singer 501, which has lots of stitches, and uses the decorative stitches for her alternative sorts of things.  We both do end up using a zig-zag stitch, either on her Singer, or on my Elna, frequently.  For woven fabric, like cottons, straight stitch is what you usually use.  For applique, you do use zig-zag, which is also useful for knitted fabrics, because if the fabric stretches, the seam must stretch also, or it will break.  I am the more frequent sewer here, and I generally only use straight stitch and zig-zag.  Many sewers today have more than one machine, and many think a vintage Singer is the best for straight stitching, so you could start with the 201 and then get a zig-zag machine later.  If you are interested in having the one right machine, you may very well want to get something with more stitches. 
201s are usually available, and usually relatively inexpensive. 
A little eBay advice, from one who learned the hard way.  Do your research, and make sure you know what you want to buy.  Don't get stuck with something you later regret because it's not exactly what you want, or it's not really a good price...
I hope this is helpful to you and not overwhelming!  Best of luck!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2007 10:12:31 AM »

Oh, naturally I posted without reading your whole message- how stupid.  The serger will cover all your stretch fabric sewing, I believe.  So if you don't need zig-zag for applique, you may be fine.  I've never used a serger.
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2007 11:33:33 AM »

Thank you - that was really helpful!
I can be pretty impulsive so I think I'll keep an eye out for exactly the right machine before I rush into buying this one Smiley

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
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