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Topic: Fix or replace?  (Read 576 times)
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Betsyannlob
« on: February 20, 2009 03:53:32 PM »

I got a Singer Prelude about 18 months ago and it died yesterday.  It was only $65, on post-Thanksgiving sale at Target.  There's something wrong down inside the machine, we've taken it all apart and can't figure it out.  It started slowing down and then I stopped sewing, and now the fly-wheel won't turn, it feels very tight. 

Do these machines break easily?  Is it worth it to try and get it fixed or should I just get a new one?  Is this a duddy machine or do you just have to buy an expensive one in order for it to work?

I'm frustrated and sad. 
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009 06:02:19 AM »

This type of machine really isn't manufactured with the idea that folks are going to spend $80 to have it tuned-up or serviced, let alone repaired.  The concept is that you buy it, and use it until it dies, and then go and buy another inexpensive, disposable, plastic sewing machine from China.

The above is true for most new machines under $200.  Spending more doesn't guarantee that the machine won't fail prematurely, but it does improve the odds.  On another forum, there is a gal with a computerized Pfaff that is 14 months old and the main circuit board failed, is 2 months out of warranty and will cost several hundreds of dollars to repair.  This doesn't happen all the time, but it certainly happens.

The other option is a serviced, refurbished, vintage classic machine.  I routinely sew on machines that are 50 (or more) years odds and they will sew for another 50 years with just a little bit of care. Be aware that some of the older machine's weren't so hot either.

I have an article on my blog about comparing a new machine to a classic one.  You can purchase fully serviced and guaranteed vintage and classic machines for the same price as many of the the plastic, made in China machines sold at the discount stores.  Perhaps your local sewing machine dealer has some serviced used machine in stock??

Choosing a Sewing machine- New, Used or Vintage?

More buying guides from my blog


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Jenny
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bookwormbethie
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009 08:23:32 PM »

thanks for the advice, i find it discouraging at times sice my budget is low for a sewing machine (under $150).  a few days ago i bought a kenmore 15343 (one of the least expensive models) that is going right back to the store because every stitch is slanted (they are not even and horizontal) and despite all the suggestions from my online buddies, nothing has fixed the problem......

consumer reports just released their sewing machine review article and it is very informative

just out of curosity and forgive my naivity, but how do you get parts for a vintage machine if something goes wrong?
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009 06:09:38 AM »

Slanted stitches huh?

"OH NO!!!!  This is a sure sign of poor stitch quality, and a sub-par sewing machine, right?? Well....perhaps you need to look at the mechanics of a stitch before you draw that conclusion and toss your machine out the window."   -Click here to read the article: Slanted Stitches? Why the Stitches Aren't Straight & What to do About It. There is a TON of misinformation about slanted stitches.

Actually, missing parts are more of a problem that broken parts. On the better vintage machines (the "good" oldies) the parts where really well made and durable and not prone to breaking.  Many parts are available as new, aftermarket items.   Bobbin winder springs, take up springs, bobbin winder tires,  carbon brushes, brush caps, belts, needle plates, bobbin cover plates, feed dogs, bobbin cases, bobbin case springs, etc.. These types of parts are still made and can be purchased new to replace parts on vintage machines.

Unless one is buying a vintage machine as fully refurbished and guaranteed, they really need to thoroughly test and inspect it so that they know what they are getting into.  Just because the "stabber thingy goes up and down" doesn't mean is will sew correctly or wind a proper bobbin.  Caveat Emptor...test test test, inspect inspect inspect.
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bookwormbethie
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2009 09:55:27 AM »

the link you provided didn't work Sad  i'd like to read taht article so if you could repost the link i'd appreciate it


also, before buying my kenmore, i had borrowed my neighbor's brother machine for a project and every stitch form her machine was practically perfect:  straight, even, flat, horizontal, no slant at all. 
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2009 11:34:20 AM »

Link fixed.

The way the stitch looks (slanted or not) has alot to do with the relationship between the weight of the thread, diameter of the needle and body of the material.

I don't want to re-type everything that is already up on my blog, so see the link.
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