You can perform a wider variety of stitches and functions, at the expense of poorer quality workmanship, disposable parts, and lack of portability.
Unless you can physically carry it ANYWHERE and sew with it, without being tied to a power-outlet, it ain’t truly portable.
So, why might you want to buy a vintage or antique sewing machine? Even when your classic Singer, Jones, Wheeler-&-Wilson, Domestic, Butterfly, Stowa, or Frister & Rossman isn’t being used, you can put it on a shelf, or on a side-table, and it can sit there as a beautiful piece of industrial art. They’re meant to do something, and once it’s done, you chuck it away into the cupboard. Old sewing machines are workhorses which will run forever, provided they are maintained properly.
Antique sewing machines were designed to appeal to people’s sense of style – Don’t forget that buying a sewing machine was a HUGE investment in the second half of the 1800s – they were so expensive, Singer had to come up with a whole new way of paying for them, just so that folks could own one! So Singer allowed for trade-ins in return for discounts, or organised installment-plans and lay-by for customers. Your latest machine, which you paid hundreds of dollars for, is history the moment the electronics crap-out. Vintage and antique machines were designed to last until doomsday. But it’s more fun to use something that’s been around for ages, and which will continue to be around for ages.
And that is just one reason why vintage and antique machines look so much damn nicer than modern ones. As a result, they had to be made of the very best materials, and made to work forever! The mechanical beauty, the synchronisation of parts, is what makes it fun. Like I mentioned before, it’s because they were so damn expensive.These needles are perfectly cylindrical and are unlike any other needle in the world. Some later-model transverse-shuttle machines were modified to take modern needles (back in the 1920s and 30s), and you might get lucky using one of those. And while sewing machines will live forever, needles don’t. This used a shuttle, mounted in a side-swinging carriage that pivoted back and forth under the machine, to form stitches with every forward swing. Flea-markets, antiques shops and sewing-forums are also great ways to get your hands on things like original attachments and add-ons, missing parts and other accessories for your vintage machine. As with anything, the older it is, the harder it is to find replacement parts. However, in Germany, sewing-machine manufacturers held onto transverse shuttle technology for a lot longer than in other countries, which had moved onto vibrating-shuttle and round-bobbin, rotary-hook machines.And once they break or blunt or bend out of alignment, you’ll have to get another one. S.’) mechanisms (see above), where the shuttle (with the bobbin inside) sat in a carriage, and ran back and forth across the machine, catching the top thread on every forward pass, to form one lockstitch with every backwards pass. Both these stitch-forming mechanisms are extremely old. They date back to at least a decade before the American Civil War. Stuff like shears, measuring tapes, extra feet, bobbins, oil-cans, original instruction-manuals and spare parts. Complete with extra bobbins, motor-grease, sewing-oil, accessories box, attachments, original manuals, knee-lever, and bed-extension-table. The vast majority of old sewing machines can be bought for a pittance. Keep that firmly in mind when buying any old sewing machine. These are all things that you must keep in mind when you go shopping for an old sewing machine. They were still producing transverse-shuttle machines well into the 1920s and 30s. machine as an example: I purchased this at the Camden Lock Market in London about a year ago, for fifteen pounds. Vibrating-shuttle machines are the oldest machines which you can still use today. I’m not sure why I haven’t yet done one for sewing machines. Modern sewing machines have all kinds of advantages and features which make them desirable.But they also have numerous disadvantages which make them undesirable.