Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Converted to Vintage

Within a weeks time I have another convert to vintage sewing machines! Marie came to find a portable Viking last week while hers was in the repair shop. When her remaining computerized Singer stopped working (touch screen that no longer can be touched) a wise friend suggested she come back to see what else I might have that wasn't computerized. Of course, she wanted to look at the Viking 4300 that she passed on last time since it was too heavy to be portable, but maybe something else, too. Little did she know that just opened the door for me to show, run, and praise other members of my cadre. Here's what she got to see:

Elna 62C before cleaning
A newly acquired model, I already had an Elna 62C on my shelf that was fully loaded with accessories, but this one has the low and high switch on the foot control for half and full speed. Wow - that works pretty neat. The Elna 62C is a great model that sews oh so smooth with just a bit of a growl that I think all Elna's have. She loved the blue and white case and was sorely tempted.
Pfaff 4240 in orange!
This Pfaff 4240 was a cheaper version, very portable, and sounded just like the Viking 4300 but we agreed it was just a bit too basic. Pfaff goes back on the shelf, again. I'm starting to feel sorry for it.
Singer 401A
My all-time favorite, the Singer 401A is such a great stitcher with its full metal body and insides (there must be some plastic in there somewhere?) but you do need to learn how to use it. There are free manuals, too, but it takes a bit of practice, as Joyce  can testify to.  It makes the best stitches and can drive through any pile of fabric I give it with the right needle and common sense. That means no heavy leather or pop cans! Marie was concerned about the learning curve and it was the loudest in the group. But that's okay, too, because there is someone else out there just waiting for this cream de la cream.

Right in the next room I had the Kenmore 158-1690 set up and in contrast it was so very different, a nice quiet sewing machine and was free arm, too. As with so many brands, you don't know what you are missing until you have tried one and Kenmore is one of those brands that are undervalued but very good performers. It is simple to use with only two dials and everything built-in and when the top was popped off it was all metal inside.

Kenmore 158-1690
Marie and I had a moment of silence at that point. We went back to the Elna and Viking to look under their hoods to find the Elna was metal but the Viking had quite a bit of plastic. Oh oh, an area of weakness. Marie had more to think about.

While she was thinking I brought up the Elna 62C twin and the green Elna so we could see the past and enjoy a classic Elna. The green machine was a hoot with it's knee lever and the distinctive growl but it's not for sale...yet.
Elna Supermatic
While looking at a model with all of the accessories and metal carrying case, Marie had to admit she liked the blue and white of the Elna but was partial to the Viking, even if it did have a plastic cam unit. There was more discussion about how many do you have room for, how many different kinds and uses for a sewing machine, and how you can own quite a few vintage sewing machines for the price of one computerized model (that becomes too expensive to repair). Marie is an expert quilter and enjoys sewing but needs sewing machines that keep on working so she decided the Viking 4300 was going home with her.
Viking 4300
As a parting comment, she did look longingly at the Elna 62C and said "I might have to come back for that one. I love the blue and white!" and I had to agree. Some sewing machines speak to us and we have to go home and see if they keep up the conversation or if it was just a fleeting fancy. Maybe, Marie, maybe.

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