Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sewing Machines


I've used a lot of different machines. I've never really had a favorite. As long as they run smoothly and they're very fast, then I'm happy. When I was growing up, I used my mom's Bernina. After high school, I got an apprenticeship with a tailor and we only used industrial machines. I became so accustomed to the speed of them, that I get bored and frustrated when I sew on plastic sewing machines. So, since I was eighteen, I've only used industrial sewing machines.  My sister jokes that the number one requirement in a sewing machine for me, is that it has to be transported by a freight truck.

Currently, I have five machines in my studio. Four of the five machines are vintage. Sometimes people ask me why I don't get new machines. There are two reasons. First, old machines are built so well. They have all metal parts, so they rarely have problems. Second, they are incredibly inexpensive and you can find them all over the place.

Consew Tailor's Sewing Machine
1971-79

This is my main sewing machine. It only does straight lines, and it is fast. (Around 3,000 stitches a minute fast). It rests in a bath of oil to continually lubricate all it's moving parts. It simultaneously winds bobbins as it sews. 

Singer 460 Over-lock Machine
1964

This is the greatest over-lock machine I've ever used. It's fast and so quiet.

Highlead Blind Hemmer
2011

This is a fairly uncommon machine for home sewing. It is a blind-hemmer. All it does is a blind-stitch. 

Kenmore Straight Stitch Sewing Machine
1953


I got this straight-stitch Kenmore sewing machine at a thrift shop for only $20.00. I definitely didn't need another sewing machine, but it had this amazing buttonhole attachment, that does keyhole buttonholes! I had to have it.

General Straight Stitch Sewing Machine
1932-42

This is my oldest and prettiest sewing machine. Drew got it as a Christmas gift for me last year. It's easy to thread and easy to use, so I let my niece use this one.

11 comments:

  1. lisa g.Jan 12, 2012 11:46 AM
    ah, this post explains how you seem to get so many garments sewn so quickly! i've been curious about industrial sewing machines, as i frequently see them on craigslist and such. i'd love to get some myself but they look so intimidating!
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  2. Love at First BlushJan 12, 2012 04:09 PM
    Wow, you're so lucky to own all of these industrial machines! I love the last one. :)
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  3. JessicaJan 12, 2012 07:48 PM
    that serger is wicked fast...too fast for less skilled girls like me!
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  4. Andrea BrownJan 13, 2012 08:37 AM
    Yikes, is that an overlock machine or a train engine? Hard to tell the difference. No wonder you sew so fast! That's quite a factory.
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  5. NatalieMJan 13, 2012 11:29 AM
    I use indusrial machines and overlockers in my dressmaking school and I agree: they are addictive! For some reason, I find garments made on an induustrial machine look more proffessional. Lovely collection!
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  6. poppykettleJan 13, 2012 09:05 PM
    A lovely collection of mechanical goodness. Any tips on prospective buyers who have no idea how to go about buying? Would love to know!
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  7. Catey WarnerJan 14, 2012 09:02 AM
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    1. Catey WarnerJan 14, 2012 09:03 AM
      I love your machines. I don't sew much, but I asked for a metal Bernina for my high school graduation because I didn't want a flimsy plastic one. I like it a lot. It would be fun to have such a great collection of industrial machines though.
      What about all of your sewing tables? Where did you get them? Probably thrifty places.
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    2. Lady DanburryJan 14, 2012 01:27 PM
      Generally, when you get an industrial machine, or a vintage machine, the table comes included, which is such a treat!
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  8. TrinityJan 14, 2012 09:14 AM
    Nice machines, I love every one of 'em! I even have the Kenmore (believe it or not, a friend picked it up off the sidewalk for me, complete with cabinet -- it had a FREE sign on it).
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    1. Lady DanburryJan 14, 2012 01:27 PM
      amazing.
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Thanks for the note!