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Secondhand Sewing Machine - Snag or Drag?

So, you have picked up a new hobby of sewing or your old sewing machine is broken past repair. You find yourself scrolling through all the department store options and yikes... these things are expensive, maybe making my own clothes wont be cheaper? Maybe I should rethink this. This can be true...unless you look into a secondhand machine.

So, you have picked up a new hobby of sewing or your old sewing machine is broken past repair. You find yourself scrolling through all the department store options and yikes... these things are expensive, maybe making my own clothes wont be cheaper? Maybe I should rethink this. This can be true...unless you look into a secondhand machine. I have owned nearly sixteen sewing machines in my life thus far. Only two being brand new, I have seen and played with all kinds of machines. My favorite being my vintage 1950s 281-1 Singer commercial machine. Although, I have recently been working towards a vintage commercial Juki that may steal my heart. So, stay tuned to hear more on that! Now, let's chat about finding one that is right for you. Let us start with sourcing secondhand sewing machines. They can be found at nearly every thrift or antique shop, and ranging from free to thousands of dollars. The styles and capabilities all vary with original functionality, ware & tare, and plain ol' age. Okay, so you found a machine and are contemplating picking her up and taking her home. The key factors to knowing whether or not your find is a snag or a drag! First off, what are you planning to get out of the machine. Are your following projects to be lightweight or heavy weight? Do you want to use cotton, denim, or leather? Are you okay with just a single stitch? Or do you want to have a zig zag or ornamental stitch? All machines are designed to do different things. Sure, you have the home an commercial machines that can do it all. When you find those and they are running soundly, grab it. However, most likely this machine in front of you has a few bumps and bruises, and or was designed for a specific purpose. Often enough, someone in the store has very little information about the machine and what it needs. Knowing this is doing your research. Bringing us to factor number two, finding the machines manual. If it comes with it, fabulous, if not. Look for the machines make and model. You can use this info to google your little heart out. Sometimes they are free, sometimes they cost a few dollars to download. So once you have your manual, you can see what the original functions were made for. You can also see basic maintenance information and parts that are used when they need to be replaced. Look at the needles specifically, they all have sizes, the feeds themselves can also be intended for a certain weight fabrics. Lastly, take a deeper look at the machine before purchasing her. No one will look at you funny for taking off the case or lifting the machine into a more comfortable position. Do note, that some shops may want you to ask for their help. Irregardless, ask them if you can plug it in and check it out. Check for common mishaps. The tension is too tight, the thread skips a beat, the bobbin is winding up, the back tack doesn't work, and sometimes it's just simply threaded wrong. Machines are picky and like to be run the way they like. While taking your deeper look, you also can locate any extra parts that come with the machine. Extra needles, bobbins, and extra feet are always nice. Okay, so you checked it over and crossed referenced the manual. She seems she will fit the needs and budget of what you are looking for. Wonderful for you! Buy her, maintenance her, and make all the wonderful projects. With all the thrifty love, -Shaynelle


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