Frequently Asked Questions:
Below are some questions that we typically get from customers who are curious about what we do. While Many find these answers helpful, we are always happy to answer specific questions when you
Is that old cast iron sewing machine worth fixing?
This is sadly one of the most common questions we get. Sad because in an overwhelming majority of cases, not only can that heavy old machine be fixed but made to function so well that it will leave its modern plastic counterparts far behind. A surprising number of people don't realize this and as a result, needlessly and wastefully consign some beautiful old machines to the landfill.
I'm in the market for a machine. Should I look for a vintage model, or buy new?
When making the decision to buy new or vintage, a lot really has to do with what you're looking for in the sewing you do. If you sew mainly odds and ends, or take great pleasure in using a wide variety of decorative stitches, a new machine can provide lightweight, quiet, convenient solutions to these needs.
If you sew at all in volumes of fabric, just stick with one or two stitches, or ever sew anything heavier than 2 layers of denim, it is my honest opinion that a properly serviced, quality vintage sewing machine will be better for you. Today's machines simply are not made to take a beating like those made 50 years ago. For those still curious, Jenny of sew-classic.com wrote an excellent article on the subject
How often should I have my machine professionally serviced?
A lot depends on how the machine gets used and what steps are taken to personally maintain it. For many people, between every one and two years is a good starting place.
How can I tell if my machine is beyond hope?
In general, problems with sewing machines fall into two wide categories: Problems where the machine is "Cranky", and problems where the machine is "Sick".
"Cranky" machine problems are almost always fixed with an adjustment or two and become pretty routine; tangled thread, broken thread, jams, dropped stitches, even broken needles are fairly benign problems that get ironed out in the COAT treatment.
"Sick" machine problems are actually pretty easy to spot. If the machine clunks, grinds, locks, smokes, or if something doesn't move, that's a sign of something more serious; With quality vintage and industrial machines, we can estimate repairs and often get them going again. If it's happening on a budget priced model from a box store, there is virtually no fiscal room for repairing these issues before the price of the machine itself is reached.