Machines, Machines, Machines….

There is a chance that in the near future Mr RTS and I will have a quite a lot less disposable income.  I suspect that a sensible person would see a need to save before that happens – I see it as a “must buy things now” situation (we do have some savings).

I have recently been buying up my Amazon wish-list, and trawling the net for a couple of things that I absolutely in no way need, but really, really want. And I have bought them.

First up is a Singer 99K hand-crank.

I know that I have Margot but the problem with her is that she has a cylinder shuttle bobbin for which her winder doesn’t work properly and the bobbin holds very little thread.  She is beautiful, but slightly impractical.  The 99k above has a round bobbin and works perfectly.  If you read my last post, I completely sewed the muslin for the twisty dress on this machine.

Next up is a Singer 221K Featherweight.  This has been on my wishlist forever although I have no idea why – I think that answer is “I want one because I want one”.  I will admit that I had absolutely no idea how cute they are.  It’s a teeny-tiny machine.   I suspect you are used to seeing one in a photo all by itself, like this:

I’ve seen a bazillion photos of the Featherweight but never really appreciated just how tiny it is.  Here is a photo of one next to my Janome TXL607.

The Featherweight (or 221, 222) is teeny.  It does, however, sew brilliantly (if you buy a good one).  I have been meaning to sew dolls’ clothes (I have dolls, and books, and patterns) and I really like the idea of sewing tiny clothes on a tiny machine.

If you do ever buy one of the above machines, or any old Singer, then you must read http://oldsingersewingmachineblog.com/.  Sid, the writer on the blog, really knows his stuff, and can be incredibly helpful if you are looking for odd bits and bobs.  I have a buttonholer and a zigzagger on their way to me from him at a very good price.  That is also something that was new to me – a straight-stitch machine can do a zig-zag with the right attachment – it moves the fabric side to side – I never knew.

Last up is the silliest purchase I have made. It only cost me a few quid.

This machine was made in Japan but sold from a shop (J.J. & J. Read’s) that used to be less than a mile from my home.  My mum’s sewing machine when I was growing up was a Read’s (as I discovered after buying one) and so was Mr RTS’s mum’s machine.

I bought it from the original owner (who I guess bought it in the 50s) and now it’s been oiled it is so much quieter than my Janome.  I paid £500 for my Janome (and it does a lot, most of which I don’t use – and it has an annoying whine that apparently only I can hear!) and £15.00 for the Read’s – which probably does 99% of what I really need when I sew.

So now I have another decision each time I want to sew.  It used to be which pattern with which fabric.  Now it’s which fabric with which pattern with which machine :).

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7 Responses to Machines, Machines, Machines….

  1. Mum says:

    You do realise, I suppose, that you are turning into me – except that I only had things in triplicate and not one of each, in every size and colour!

  2. Amanda says:

    The featherweight is ADORABLE! Tiny clothes totally need to be sewn on this tiny machine!

  3. T. Sedai says:

    Wow! Must be great to have so many machines – you can totally pick the perfect machine for the right job. Not that I have the space or money to be getting any new machines at the moment, but I have been thinking it would be really nice to have a machine that could better deal with top stitching and thicker fabrics since my machine does its best but really isn’t up to snuff when it comes time to work with thicker threads of fabrics.

  4. Elle C says:

    On one of the things I have sewn recently I used two different colours of thread for top stitching and because I have 2 sewing machines, I had one threaded with black and the other with off white. It gave me such pleasure, I am sure you will find things that each machine is better at than the others. Enjoy!

  5. Margaret says:

    I arrived on your blog after Googling Burda patterns and saw a link to your tutorial on how to trace from the magazine.
    I started reading some of your other posts and this one interested me because I have a 99K electric which I found abandoned beside the dumpster.
    I learned to sew on a Featherweight when I was a teenager. I gave the machine to my daughter and I suspect it went on eBay 😦
    I bought another one but it is not in such good shape as the one I had.
    I love both of these old Singers as they are ready to tackle things that the more flimsy machines of today kick off at.
    I also have a very basic Janome that I bought second hand for 50 Euros and an overlocker.
    I haven’t made wearable garments in years but am just becoming interested again.
    I do hope you will continue with your sewing and blogging.
    Margaret

    • I do hope you enjoy sewing garments again. A 99K electric is the one machine I would like but don’t currrently have in my collection. If I ever find a good one then it will have to officially be my last machine :). I’m sure I’ll be back sewing and blogging in the not too distant future – I just needed a break.

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