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Know Your Machine: Plastic or All Metal Sewing Machine?

vintage sewing machine

McDonald’s or Burger King? Natural or man-made? Rear Window or High Society? In the sewing world, the two teams when it comes to sewing machines are all metal or plastic. In my apartment, both sides get fair amount of playtime; it just depends on the project. Currently, I have a Juki DDL 5500, a Singer 6180 Brilliance, a Singer 237, and a 1956 Singer Featherweight. All are all metal except the Singer Brilliance. I feel the same embarrassment using it as I do when I buy poly over silk, but I have to admit, it does a pretty decent job. The only hair pulling moments I have is when it skips zigzag stiches on my bras and undies.

Over the past year, I’ve become increasingly interested in the mechanics of a sewing machine. My reasoning is simple – if I’m using it over and over, I want to know how it works. How does the motor rotate the belt, which moves the upper and lower drive shafts, and eventually, the needle bar? Also, Natasha and Sally’s own adventures in restoring vintage machines inspires me to get down and dirty with the nitty gritty details of how one works.

So what is the difference between all metal and plastic sewing machines, and is so bad to buy/use a newer, computerized one? Here’s what I’ve found.

diagram of a sewing machine

Before making a decision, let’s take a look inside at the technology. Even though there are thousands of makes, models, and prices, the core of a sewing machine is all the same. There is a motor, which is connected to a drive wheel via a belt. When you press down on the presser foot (sorry for the redundancy), the belt rotates, which causes the upper drive shaft to rotate as well. At the end of the upper drive shaft is a crank, and when the upper drift shaft rotates, so does the crank, causing the needle bar to move up and down. At the other end of the upper drive shaft (closer to the drive wheel), there is a belt that connects the upper and lower drive shafts. At the end of the lower drive shaft is the shuttle (where the bobbin is). Because the upper and lower drive shafts are connected, the needle bar and bobbin move in sync. 

Note: sketch above is a very simplified rendering of a sewing machine that is only meant to show how the parts work in unison. Click here for a more detailed diagram and description. 

Knowing this, let’s look at a write up Eleanor wrote on PatternReview.com (I love this site!). In the review, she takes apart a Brother CS-6000i and investigates the insides. Just like older machines, newer/computerized machines have metal parts, but instead of being bolted to a metal frame, they are secured a plastic casing. This plastic frame flexes slightly, but when the front and back pieces are screwed together, there is very little give. One common conception is that as the needle bar and bobbin move in a plastic machine, their fast motion causes the frame to flex slightly, which messes up the timing. Eleanor examines this – when force is applied by hand up and down and front and back, the needle bar moves 1mm. But if the needle can complete a zigzag stitch, in which the needle moves as much as 3.5mm, then why couldn’t it complete a stitch in which the needle moves 1mm?

Another major difference between older and newer machines are the cams. In all metal machines, the cams are metal, while in plastic machines, the cams are plastic (seems obvious, right?). Custom stitch patterns were achieved by cams, but today, a computer controls the needle position in a customized stitch. When the cams malfunction and need to be replaced, plastic ones sometimes cost more than the price of the machine.

In some cases, buying polyester is a better choice than buying silk. Depending on the amount of money you can spend and the end use of the garment, sometimes it’s best to choose man-made. I think the same thing can be applied to all metal or plastic sewing machines. Depending the type of project, the kind of sewer you are, and your skill level, choosing a plastic machine might be a better choice for you. Or it might not. While newer machines will go around 2-5 thousand hours of usage  (10-20 years), older machines will last a lifetime. But older machines are heavier though, and if you’re a mobile sewer (because you take classes), then newer, lightweight machines appeal to you. Newer machines also have a ton of specialized stitches, while older machines have less. See how many factors come into play? Don’t be fooled though – both plastic and metal machines benefit from routine oiling. Even if it has a plastic frame doesn’t mean there aren’t high-friction, metal points on the inside.

So, I don’t feel as bad anymore using my $150 dollar Singer because I know it has a purpose (decorative stitches) and that right next to it are 3 workhorses.

What are your thoughts on plastic and all-metal machines? Do you have a bias towards one? If so, why?

Also, if you’re looking to restore a vintage machine, Julia of House of Marmalade has a great tutorial. Can you believe Coca Cola is one of the supplies needed to clean up an old machine? Also, this is an awesome blog all about vintage Singer sewing machines.

57 Comments

  1. Reply

    Susan Skalak

    My mother bought me a used Bernina that had been made in the 50’s or so. When I got it, it was already old, and I had used it for years. Then, it started missing stitches and had it repaired several times, but the last time, the repairman told me that the metal parts were too worn and replacements were no longer available, so I had to buy a new machine. I did go with one of the new plastic machines. It is okay, but I miss my old machine. I figure that the computer will go long before the parts will wear on the new machine rendering it impossible to use. But after 8 years, it is still going strong, so we will see how long it will last. I had the old bernina for 25 years or close to it. I don’t think the new machine will last that long.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I’m sorry to hear that your old machine finally went, but if you have a few spare bucks, Craiglist is a great place to look for older machines. Who says you can’t have two?

      • Reply

        Lynn

        Another good place to look for older machines are Estate Auctions. Until several months ago – my newest machine was made in 1946 and that is the one I’ve had since going away to boarding school in 1967 and still sew with it. But at the auction – for $5.00 I bought one of the very last Singers that were all metal. I’m going to try sewing with it tomorrow.

  2. Reply

    Roberta Taylor

    I just got a 1962 Pfaff, after nearly 20 years of being continually annoyed with my ‘modern’ plastic machine. The Pfaff is a dream- it doesn’t shake, I can control the tension better, and best of all, it’s whisper quiet. How much of this is its all metal construction, and how much is simply better quality I can’t say, but I’m a convert!

  3. Reply

    Ginger

    So interesting! I have a basic modern Janome, but I’m on the lookout for a deal on a Featherweight just because I hear so much about them! I really want to try an all-metal machine to compare them!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I know Featherweights can be bought really cheap, but I highly suggest spending the money on a restored on. I bought mine from featherweightrx.com and I’m so glad I did. It’s my pride and joy.

      • Reply

        Ginger

        Ooh, good to know! Thanks for the recommendation!

        • Reply

          Natasha Estrada

          Don’t be afraid to go for a singer 66 or 99 or a 201. They aren’t as coveted as the featherweight but they are the same basic machine and the stitch quality is the same for much less.

          • Ginger

            Oh, that’s good to know! Thanks, Natasha!

          • Leticia

            I have the singer brilliance 6199. It sews beautifully but it is loud as machines go. I have also never had a good time with buttonholes on that machine but it does lots of beautiful stitches that I use a lot. I sew on mine daily.

  4. Reply

    Susan H

    I just bought a used Bernina 1230 because the plastic cams on my Viking were creating problems and could not be replaced; the manufacturing is now contracted out, which lowers the odds of getting replacement parts for older models.

    My Bernina weighs over 20 pounds, but that solidity is worth it. When I cook, I tend to prepare enough to feed the Russian army; now, I can probably make their uniforms, too.

    FWIW, I’m told that only Bernina and Janome have their own factories (in the Far East, of course), which offers better quality control.

  5. Reply

    Kenneth D. King

    I have a Bernina 1230 and a 1260, both got in the early ’90’s. They weigh like boat anchors but have served me well for decades. That said, I think the Janome Jewel (I think that’s the name) is a sweet machine if you’re carrying a small machine to classes–it sews solidly, and has a small variety of stitches.

    Really, though, like the question of silk/man-made fiber, one should use the fabric/tool that gets the results one wants. If a plastic machine does that, then mazel tov!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Mazel tov right back at ya! I agree that there is a type of sewer and project for every kind of machine.

  6. Reply

    Kelly

    Whenever a sewing machine discussion like this comes up I feel the need to put in a good word for my workhorse Brother XL-2600i that I bought for under $100, new, when I first had the whim that sewing might be the perfect hobby for me (it is!). I always meant to upgrade to something solid, like a 1980’s mechanical Bernina, but the right machine hasn’t really come into my life, and in the meantime I’ve sewn hundreds of garments on this little Brother. Coats, denim, vinyl, delicate silks and jerseys, everything, and the machine does a remarkable job. I know heavy-duty metal machine will last a lifetime, but for a beginner not ready to commit to something expensive, a machine like this is really quite perfect!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I totally agree. There is a type of sewer for every type of machine.

  7. Reply

    Angela

    I have had several all metal vintage Singers, all thrift store finds! My current one was actually a gift, and is at least 20 years old but I love it. I will always prefer sewing with a metal machine, and I feel lucky that parts and repairs are easy to come by here in the garment district. If I had more room I would be a serious collector!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      If I didn’t like in a tiny apartment, I’d also start a collection.

  8. Reply

    Christine Haynes

    I have many machines, but mostly use an all-metal Bernina from the 80’s and the main thing I like about the weight of an all-metal machine is that it doesn’t move at all when sewing. There’s nothing more annoying than a machine that is too light and bounces around when in full speed!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Yes! It is very annoying when my Singer starts to move on the table. Luckily, I is my Juki most of the time, and that thing ain’t moving! I can barely carry the head into my car when it needs to get serviced.

  9. Reply

    Lady ID

    I just bought a used Bernina 170 to take over from my ten-year old plastic Singer. The Singer has served me well and will be a back up machine. But seeing the Bernina do a buttonhole was wonderful. It’s being serviced but I can’t wait until it’s ready!

  10. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    OK so I finally got round to blogging about my machines. Now I DO hae to point out not all computerized machines that have plastic housing have plastic frames.

    I’ve taken the casing off my Bernina (it’s a pain) and it is a full metal frame underneath and most important parts are still metal. Computerized machines don’t have pattern cams because the its controlled by the circuit board so there is that to consider.

    Electronic machines still only have so many power cycles in them but most of us will have moved on before that happens. 30 years?

    So I’m guess I’m not one nor the other. The buttonholes on my 145 are magnificent and it wasn’t too expensive($1200 13 years ago) so if it dies I will have gotten my monies worth. I think the embroidery machines do burn out easier and those are $$$$$$$

  11. Reply

    TessaMelissa

    I work in a sewing machine repair shop. We are authorized for several brands, and we repair machines of all ages. (I see treadles every day, still!) I’ve seen the guts of many, many machines. The casing has not much to do with the quality of a machine. A lot of times it’s the gears. Singer machines built in the 60’s and 70’s are really bad about being metal machines with plastic gears that are reaching their time limit. (Touch & Sew, and the one up there in the pic are some of the worst) Plus, there is a HUGE difference between machines sold online and dealer machines. Companies make mass market machines for the internet only, and dealers tend to only carry machines they trust. There are many old machines that are excellent. The Singer 15-91 and the 201-2 are amazing machines that I love to sew on. They are gear driven machines that have no belt, so they never slip. This means workhorse. I have a favorite brand for each need when it comes to today’s machines. Janome for all around goodness, Juki for sergers, Brother for machine embroidery, and so on. Bernina has good machines, but it’s like owning a Volkswagon. You pay a premium for a decent machine, but the moment it needs a new foot/part/tune up you are going to pay so much more than others for the same things. Speaking of tune ups, TUNE UP your machines every year or two! If you get an old machine, get it tuned up first thing. Trust me, I’ve seen what happens inside there after years of even light use. In the end, research does not mean “I read some online reviews”. Always sew on a machine before you buy it, always. Ask a sewing machine repair technician about it, not your friend that likes to take things apart. (Some horror stories there, let me tell you…) Make a list of what you must have, and a list of wants but not deal breakers. Do not buy that machine on sale at Tuesday Morning. Sorry if I went on too long. Thank you.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Thank you so much for the comment. You make a lot of excellent points! Also, I’m jealous of your job – I think it would be so much fun to work at a sewing machine repair shop.

      The reason I dedicated a huge portion of the post to the issue of the plastic casing was because it was something I hadn’t heard before and an interesting theory. The reasonings I usually hear are about the weight of the machines and the cams/gears. Whether Eleanor is correct or not, I wanted to bring her thoughts to light.

      When I was researching about Singer machines just before I bought my featherweight, I briefly read up on 15-91 and 201-2. I didn’t know that they were gear driven and didn’t have a belt!

      You say the machines in the photos are some of the worst. The older one is a Singer 237 zigzag machine and is all metal, including the gears. Am I incorrect?

      • Reply

        TessaMelissa

        I loved the post! I thought that was a Singer 337. The 337 has plastic gears, but the 237 has no gears at all because it has an oscillating bobbin. (the bobbin goes in the side, not in the top) I couldn’t see how the bobbin went in in your picture. So your machine is a good machine, but I would avoid the top drop in bobbin version. Mainly, I was only speaking about the Singer, not the Brother. The main issue I see with that model of Brother machine in the pic is that the rubber ring for the bobbin winder turns to putty. This causes the winder to not spin anymore. Not a big issue, annoying, but an easy fix.

        • Reply

          TessaMelissa

          Oops, I was thinking about the Brother CS-6000i machine because of the link, not the new one in the photo.

    • Reply

      Natasha Estrada

      Do you perform the repairs or just work at the store? Don’t take offense but I rarely trust what sewing machine dealers have to say since it usually involves buying what they are selling. Though I agree with your favorite machines.

      Example: My friend took her vintage machine into the dealer for a service and they told her it was crap, you couldn’t get parts anymore wasn’t worth fixing and offered to scrap it for her so she wouldn’t have to drag it home.

      A few months later she remembered said dealer sold used machines so she went in to check it out and saw HER machine sitting on the wall with a pretty price tag. I would have DIED.

      • Reply

        TessaMelissa

        That is an underhanded experience your friend had for sure! I can’t speak on behalf of all dealers that’s for sure. No offense at all, I do minor repairs and teach machine lessons, while our main tech here handles the big repairs.

        • Reply

          Uri

          Thank you for the input. Can you suggest a few machines that I can purchase for my wife as a gift? She’s a hobbyist and enjoys sewing when she has the time. I would like to spend between $500-$300. Thank you for your help.

    • Reply

      That's Sew You

      I have a 30 year old Sears Kenmore machine that’s all metal with the exception of one plastic gear. My machine gets cleaned and a check up yearly and has run great until now. It simply cannot handle anything thick! I sew draperies. I need a machine that will sew through drapery fabric, interlining, lining, and welting. Do you have a recommendation. The gentleman who repairs/cleans my machine has rec’d an old Singer. It’s black (the old fashioned kind), all metal, and only does straight stitching. It would probably work great for what I do. What are you suggestions?

      • Reply

        Natasha Estrada

        I have a Singer 99k that I converted to a handcrank. That is my denim machine. Of course its not that fast.

      • Reply

        TessaMelissa

        First of all, is it a belt driven or gear driven machine? On the old black singers, where the hand wheel is you can either see an obvious visible belt or a little black box mounted right behind the wheel. If it has the box, it’s gear driven, and these are wonderful machines. The two most well known models are the 15-91 or the 201-2 (I have a 201-2 that I LOVE, BTW) With a gear driven machine there is no belt to slip when you go through heavier fabrics. These were the machines used to sew the interiors of the original Rolls Royces. The belt driven machines are not bad, either, for most of your sewing, but if you can get a gear driven, that would be better of the two.

    • Reply

      Miguel

      Hi there Tessa, do you know if Singer T&S 626 is nylon or metal geared? Help me to decide and finally buy it for mywife! Thanx

      • Reply

        Richard Beman

        The early # 626 machines had metal gears ( spring of 1966), then later all the #620,626,628 and onward had plastic gears.. The best way to tell is to take the top or bottom off.

  12. Reply

    Stacy Gandy

    I own everything from treadles to only 1 plastic (borrowed from my friend until my Singer Featherweight gets a new motor)! I guess I answered the question. ;D

  13. Reply

    Amy

    What funny timing! I took apart my Juki this weekend because I broke the timing gear (on denim, doh!). Surprisingly, I discovered the timing is all controlled by a little allen screw, easy to adjust. I loved looking into the insides–all metal mechanics in there–the only plastic parts are the housing. I have an all-metal vintage Bernina but that thing is a beast to move around, so I’m kind of glad machines are lighter.

  14. Reply

    ShanniLoves...

    I just got a Bernina, I was sewing on a Singer before. What I’ve discovered that I love about metal machines is that when sewing they don’t move or shake. My Singer shook horribly and being the newbie I am I just thought it was my table or even normal. I was pleasantly surprised when I fired up the Bernina and it didn’t shake one bit, I could actually sew a straight line!!

  15. Reply

    Linda

    I worked for Singer in the 1970s, just when they started using the Apollo (yes the space program!) plastics for cams and bobbin cases. They really made the machines lighter and smoother, but the bobbin cases took a beating. Fortunately, you can still buy replacements. For cams, it didn’t make a difference. The newer machines have plastic exteriors which make the machines lighter but take a beating from pins. They won’t be around in a hundred years like your Featherweight or my old 403a.
    I keep the old all steel machine for drapery and other heavy project, or for when I need a pretty topstitch. No moden machine can topstitch like the slant needles. The stitch is just lovely. My new Singer I use for more precise dressmaking stitching. Their serger is plastic and steel and is a workhorse.

  16. Reply

    Amanda Russell

    I have two sewing machines – both older models, and all metal construction; I prefer it that way. Personally I don’t use a lot of fancy stitches so I’d rather a machine that’s sturdy and reliable over lots of bells and whistles. That said, my serger has metal construction too, but it’s in a plastic casing, and i find it operates as well as an all metal machine – it’s heavy and sturdy and doesn’t shake when it’s running 🙂

    • Reply

      afinemanor

      Hi Amanda, hope u don’t mind but could you tell me the name of your machines as am trying to find a machine that is as you say reliable etc as i would like something you can get into and service yourself as who wants to get something repaired every five minuetes, thanks would appreciate 🙂

  17. Reply

    Candy

    I am sewing burlap. I have two fairly cheap (about $200 or so from Walmart) Singer machines. One of them is ready at the repair shop with a new motor because it locked up and the other is now squeaking like a little birdie. Neither of these machines are more than two or three years old and are only used seasonally, about two or three months out of the year. The repairman told me that all the machines bought at Walmart and other such stores are made out of plastic parts and that I should find an older, all metal, one for sewing burlap. I want a good reliable machine that will handle the burlap, but that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Any suggestions? Feel free to email me at candy.saliba.chandler@gmail.com if you would like.

    • Reply

      maddie

      So sorry to hear about your machine troubles. They can be so frustrating! I think your best bet is to go to your local sewing dealer with the burlap fabric and test out machines. That way, it’s almost a guarantee that the machine suits your fabric. Good luck and feel free to email me with more questions (my email is on my contact page).

      • Reply

        Candy

        Thank you so much!

  18. Reply

    teresa roden

    I need some advice. My boyfriend is wanting to buy me a sewing machine. I plan on doing alterations for people in the feature. I also need a machine that is capable of doing heavy duty work. Example: vinyl, heavy material, leatherr, upoulstery, canvas, snowmobile jacket, bibs, carhardt jackets and bibs. Looking at the Janome 6300P and Bernina 1008. So….I have been told to geta all metsl parts machine. Help. I am thinking of getting something and looking into getting a used industrial for the heavy work. Possibly a Juki. Any imput is greatly appreciated.
    Teresa

    • Reply

      maddie

      I suggest taking fabric swatches of all the materials you’ll be using and testing out each machine. That’s the best way to ensure that the machine you buy can handle what you intend to do.

      • Reply

        teresa roden

        Great idea. Thank you. I have enjoyed reading your blog. I will let you what I end up with.

  19. Reply

    Maria Carballo

    I suggest an older (1970’s) Kenmore sewing machine. There are no plastic parts inside whatsoever. I know because I bought 2 and easily opened them up to clean out the dust & oil all the moving parts. No need for a tune-up! I have the ones with a 1.2 Amp motor. Those are powerful! They zip over layers of denim without a whimper!! Yes, they are heavy, but I don’t want cheap, plastic toy sewing machines anymore. You can easily find them on Craigslist, thrift stores, and of course eBay but you will have to pay for shipping.

  20. Reply

    Kimberly

    I have used a Singer Featherweight since I learned to sew in 1966 at age 8. My mom bought the machine used in 1959, it is a 40something model. Mom gave it to me when she bought a Bernina in ’79. I have looked at newer models for 5 or 6 years mainly just wanting to add zigzag and a larger space for quilting. Reading reviews I usually decide I am just happy with what I have. However, I have decided this is the year. I want something new for my birthday and I want metal. Our homemaking class had plastic machines and I’ve sewn on friend’splastic machines. I understand they are the right machine for some folks but my mind is made up. Any suggestions? We are quite a distance from retail outlets so when I go I’d like to have some ideas of what to look at. I do clothing, quilts and mending but do sew on heavy fabrics and thick quilts at times. Very little flimsy stuff.

  21. Reply

    sewplentiful

    I’ve had plastic Singer, Sakura and Brother. I have semi-plastic (meaning either with metal frame and/or shell with plastic bed) Janome, Frister & Rossmann (aka Kenmore), Toyota and Pfaff. I’ve also owned (for 20 years) a high speed industrial straight stitcher and old Class 15s (both Singer and Japanese made). I own a Bernina 1001 as well as the all metal Singer 224 that uses cams. My experience with plastic machines is that they are great and smooth INITIALLY. After a few months of use, they start to warp, flex, rattle, vibrate, get really loud, break needles, knobs stiffen and thread jams. When brought back for servicing, the service center still charges an arm and a leg for spare parts even though servicing is free. My semi-plastic mechanical machines are better, less noise and very easy to maintain, not one problem that cannot be fixed (one your own) if you know your machine well, unless they are technical or electrical (eg. motor). My all metal machines are the best by far, quiet, zero vibration, easy maintenance, portable (my Singer 128 and Featherweight), very heavy and sturdy, comes with cams and all kinds of attachments, literally problem free (most problems due to operator error). So I say, plastics are a big ‘NO-NO’ for me especially if the innards and electronics are just stuck to the plastic frames that can crack and chip over time (who knows how long?). Plastic/nylon gears crack even in storage, so if you get a machine with plastic gears/cams, best to get extra gears and cams to standby for replacement, or at least know where to get them from. So far my go-to machines (zigzag and embroidery) are my vintage Bernina, Pfaff 1229, Necchi Julia and my Singer 224. The rest serve as backup in case these need attention.

  22. Reply

    Elma J. English

    I have a BrotherCSI 2600i ever since I got the machine repaired for the thread jamming while setting a the My machine hasn’t worked properly since. I purchased the sewing machine at Walmart’s for $200.00 in the year 2008. Will the sewing machine ever perform the way it worked before.

  23. Reply

    Lori Redmond

    I am considering purchasing a PFAFF Vintage Model 6 Straight Stitch All-Metal Heavy Duty Sewing Machine which someone is selling for $145. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about the PFAFF machine? I sew a lot on linen fabric and not sure how it will perform?

  24. Reply

    tiffany

    i prefer vintage metal sewing machines over plastic because they last longer

  25. Reply

    Vinnie

    I own a singer machine, the newer ones. Very plastic. Vibrates when sewing so much that you think you’re going over pot holes. Gets hot after 1 hour sewing and I need to turn it off because I fear it’ll burst into flames. Makes enough noise to wake the neighbours.

    …I’ll opt for a olden day metal machine next time thanks.
    Also silk or polyester? silk all the way. Breathable and luxurious. Nothing beats ou-nat-u-rel (tried to sound French)

  26. Reply

    sewplentiful

    Try comparing the engineering aspect of the older Bernina (532 to 1000 series)/Necchi Julia/Singer 400 or 500 series/Japanese old all metal sewing machines…..with a plastic Brother CS6000i, and you will note the huge difference in quality, durability as well as noise and vibration level. Julia’s method of restoration is just scratching the surface. Try looking at some other sites of REAL restorers, like Eric Wengstrom (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJBi1z_FohI), or Cheryl Warren (Dragonpoodle) and a few others and you will see the difference. By the way, plastic warp/flex can cause skipped stitches, so it really is up to the individual whether it’s what you want to deal with. Other consideration would be plastic wears and chips more easily, generates loud noise, turns yellow, becomes brittle, vibrates and generally will be rendered useless if any of the plastic parts crack, chip or break. I’d buy an all metal computerized sewing machine, but not a plastic one though. There are restorations of sewing machines done all over the world, including Germany, Russia, Africa and Asia, not just in the USA. More people are realizing the difference in quality between the old and new, and generally the old machines were made with passion and pride while the new are now made with profit in mind.

  27. Reply

    cody

    cool thanks

    • Reply

      mamapama

      You said, “I’d buy an all metal computerized sewing machine,” but which computerized machines are all metal??? My newest machine is 9 years old (Huskystar, it’s loud, and feeds too aggressively for fine fabrics and garments), and I’d like to spoil myself with some newer features for garment/bra making. I’d like to have: Auto needle down, variable speed settings, left/right needle positions, straight/zigzag/lightning stitch (I might use some other stitches but don’t need 500!), needle threader, thread lock and cutter. I test drove a Necchi EX100 yesterday, but still need to visit some other shops. They’re just sooo far away.

      • Reply

        maddie

        I think the PFAFF Passport 2.0 is a solid machine with a lot of stitches, but not all the extra bells and whistles that a sewist like you may not need.

  28. Reply

    Mila

    Hi, Iam from Europe, now I live in Oregon.Iam also looking for some sewing machine which will work long time. My grandma had sewing machine LADA from 1923-30. After that this machine used my mom, after her me and now many years my sister in Europe. This machine never need repairs and still sewing perfect. Here I had Brother machine, not to much used and not work. Now I didn’t know which machine I should buy. I don’t need machine for thousand dollars.

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