Author Topic: Back in the "Fold"  (Read 3477 times)

Offline Darklen

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Back in the "Fold"
« on: August 28, 2009, 11:49:09 PM »
After over 25 years, I finally have a decent sewing machine. I bought my first machine when I was 16 (I know, odd for a guy) and even took a 3 year course at high school (the fact that I was the only guy in a class of over 20 females was not lost on me at the time). My old Kenmore was never really up to the challenge and my ex was absolutely brutal on it. Ever see a motor smoke sewing two layers of broadcloth? She did it! Anyhow, the old girl gave up the ghost last year (the machine), not that she could actually sew anything any longer. I was trolling through the local kijiji last week and came across an ad for a Janome 641, about 20 or so years old. Not being overly hopeful, I went over to see what kind of shape it was in and it looked very well taken care of. I was allowed to test it out and had brought a 1 foot length of heavy nylon webbing with me (from an old Canadian ruck sack, fairly thick stuff). I figured if it could sew through just the webbing on flat, it's would do for most of my needs, if it sewed through a double layer, it's work for pretty much anything I'd forsee doing, if it sewed through three layers, it'd be a miracle. I layered the webbing up in one, two three and even a four layer section, just to hang onto to push it through if needed. I set everything up and lightly stepped on the treddle. I damn near had my fingers torn off! This machine took all the webbing and sewed through all of it, even the four layered part, no problem. It was like it wasn't even there! Bought it on the spot for $60 Canadian with a manual and all the minor tools. Does regular stitching, back stitch, zigzag and buttong hole/bartack. Played with it a bit at home and I'm very impressed with it for an older basic machine. Only "issue", it doesn't have an off switch. Unplug to shut off. No biggie to me.

I'm going to have to dig out some old patterns, adjusting for 25 years of "growth" of course.

The really cool thing is, the same lady had her grandmothers old Singer. Straight stich only, not even a backstitch. Converted to electric from a manual treddle, probably about 100 years old. It looked brand new, seriously. She sewed through a couple of 3/16" layers of leather with it for me. It didn't miss a beat and did it no problem. She didn't want to part with it, just yet. To sentimental. But she has my number....

Offline CFG

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Re: Back in the "Fold"
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 10:53:23 PM »
I need to take up my grandmother's mantle and old singer as well.  She's been griping about it not being used.  I've become attached to my newer Singer and I know how to thread it though.  Hers is probably better.  I have a lot to learn about machines.

Cool seeing a guy here. One of the most memorable moments of my life was walking in on my husband and one of his VW buddies making curtains for the other guy's bus.  Dude was ironing and husband was sewing.  And these are quite manly men, mind you.


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Re: Back in the "Fold"
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 08:11:32 PM »
Darklen, I had a very heavy duty straight stitch machine 38 years ago and still miss it.  It would sew through anything and everything. I think it was called a modernage.  I used to think it was only normal to own only one machine !  c

Offline daemonpi

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Re: Back in the "Fold"
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2010, 11:50:43 PM »
That's a nice buy, and one I wish I could have seen first ;)  I finally got my machine out a couple weeks ago.  I ended phutsing with it for a while before I got me working.  It'd been quite a while since I'd done any sewing, a good 15 - 20 years.  I've been looking for things to fix lately, haven't found too much.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Back in the "Fold"
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2010, 11:13:03 AM »
Janome 641, huh? I'll have to keep my eyes open for one. Congratulations!

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Back in the "Fold"
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2010, 05:13:13 PM »
It is nice to see a guy sew. I taught my husband and my son. Now if I could just teach them to design their own patterns so I wouldn't have to  ;D. I have a new Husquavarna and a 40 year old Husquavarna and the new one is junk compared to my old one. I mean actually it's a great machine for a new model sewing machine but it balks at 4 or so layers of denim and the old one doesn't. The old one also didn't mind sewing leather. I also have a treadle that is straight stitch only but works like it was new. My husband is a tool junkie and when we got together I didn't realize that was contagious but it is. Just some of my tools are a bit different than his.

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Back in the "Fold"
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2010, 10:01:02 PM »
My husband is a whiz at the sewing machine ... me ... it hates me.  Now, I can sew, but this blasted machine knows when I sit down to her.  She only likes my husband's touch.  i could be jealous!

Offline LJH

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Re: Back in the "Fold"
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2010, 11:11:13 PM »
I'm going to have to dig out some old patterns, adjusting for 25 years of "growth" of course.

 ??? You got taller? What a coincidence, me too!  :D

Great score with the Janome and here's hoping she decides to part with the antique. Man, I never met a sewing machine I didn't want.  ::) I have a 1928 Singer treadle that's been converted to electricity. She runs and is in time, but I really need to do a major restoration with her, and I think I'll remove the motor. Got a whole stable of electric machines, it'll be nice to have plain ol' treadle to play with, or for that matter, work with if find ourselves gridless at some point.