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Topic: sew many Singers! Help me decide whether to keep any of these machines!  (Read 1040 times)
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redelf
« on: June 06, 2010 05:17:11 PM »

Hello busy people! Thank you for reading my post.
I am a life-long fabric/sewing  junky, but still possess pretty limited sewing skills. Tongue
I have collected and been given many many machines over the years - some I have never even tried to use. I am now feeling that it's the time to seriously set up a space for these endeavors, and refine my machine stash - and preferably get a machine that works really really well, so that when I get time to sew i am not fussing with the machine the whole time. I have three kids under five yrs, so messing around with thread tension and crappy stitches for 45 minutes out of an hour long work session is a drag.
I wonder if anyone can say thumbs up or down about any of these machines - or recommend the dream machine for my usage; quilting, various thicknesses (thick! sometimes upholstery weight) of fabrics, strong, reliable, able to do silk and delicate fabrics also. i do not need a lot of fancy stitch styles - zig-zag and straight stitch work just fine for me. But I am kind of all over the place in terms of the stuff I do - being able to quilt (move the fabric around without breaking needles...) would be a big plus.
ok - the short list of my singers
singer 9117 - (needs work, though - presser foot is messed up - have it fixed? or no?) i have never used this machine, recently came to me...
singer merritt 4019 - heavy, but i always seem to be messing around trying to get the stitches running clean. has been serviced and is in good working order - maybe it's me!
singer 348 with table - good working order, purchased from my old-timey machine repair guy
singer touch&sew zig-zag model 758 (or 75S?) - never used this one
singer slant-o-matic - 403 special - just got this from my nana! it's ooooold.

ok - i just read about the Bernina Aurora, which sounds heavenly. but i can not afford $1000 plus for a machine. I am about to embark on some sewing for $$ projects, though. Should I just ditch the old Singers and set my sights on a newer model machine?HuhHuh
thanks for your thoughts!
 Kiss
 
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manlyman
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010 01:39:33 PM »

I'm not to familiar with those machines personally, but I can tell you this about old machines. I have a Singer 401a and I just made a pair of Jeans with, went right through 10 layers of 5 oz denim no problem.  Gotta love those old machines made with all metal gears. Just make sure you clean and oil it and I am pretty sure it will last forever. My 401a is just as old if not older than your 403, so I wouldn't count it out yet. If you are going to use the 403 you should get all the cam discs I believe there are 22 in total that you can usually find on e-bay. I would say your best bet would be to fire up each machine and play around with each to see which is most comfortable for you.
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I am learning to sew and figure skate, I've never felt more manly in my life!
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2010 04:28:07 AM »

The 403 is the only one in the bunch that really is all metal- gears and all.  Hands down, I would call that one a keeper.

I have an in-depth review with loads of info and photos for the Singer 401, 403, and 404 on my blog- definitely worth a read for you.

http://blog.sew-classic.com/2008/10/25/singer-401-401a-403--403a--404--sewing-machine-review.aspx
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Jenny
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Sew-Classic                                                                Sew-Classic  
Miztic01
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010 04:40:10 PM »

The 403 has my vote too.
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Bert62
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2010 10:36:05 PM »

I don't have a 403, but I have a 503 a. I bought it for five bucks and so far it's awesome. Heavy, but light compared to my Kenmore 90. These are machines that will not let you down, but you'll have to get to know them to find out what they'll do for you. If you don't have a manual it can be madness trying to figure out the recipe you need to make a certain embellishing stitch. Anyway, if you want a metal machine keep your 404 (403? -I'm confused). These are machines that will sew through anything, but they're not as easy as pointing at a stitch button and making it go.
Robert
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manlyman
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010 12:07:35 PM »

If you don't have a manual it can be madness trying to figure out the recipe you need to make a certain embellishing stitch.

if you don't have it you can find manuals in pdf form online. Besides the 403 works on cam discs only. You need to put one in even to do zig-zag. All the stitches are stamped on the discs, so it is easy to see what you'll get when you put one in. Either way get a manual and read it so you know how to do proper maintenance on your machine to keep it running strong.
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I am learning to sew and figure skate, I've never felt more manly in my life!
redelf
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010 04:53:52 PM »

 Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss
Hey! Thanks everybody! I am really excited about the 403 now! Especially since my Nana used it forever and took very good care of it. She was a pretty awsome seamstress, I wish I had learned from her. There is a manual with it and the discs also! I just hadn't looked at it much yet, but I think it's in beautiful condition.
I am glad no one mentioned anything about the 9117, I was not looking forward to putting money into another machine. I'll let that one go at least! I'll try to enjoy what I have and stop pining for a Bernina - they're all plastic anyway, right?!  Wink
Happy sewing! Thanks again!
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