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Why do people love vintage sewing machines so much? The vintage vs. modern I often see discussed in Facebook sewing groups all the time …
Someone inevitably asks which sewing machine is the best, and people immediately answer that you should find an old mechanical sewing machine.
This makes no sense.
I admire the beauty of vintage machines, and there’s no denying that they’re heavy and built to last. However, modern sewing machines have SO MANY ADVANTAGES.
I’m not trying to start a discussion, but I really don’t understand why people insist that vintage sewing machines are the better choice. If you’ve never sewn with a modern sewing machine, you don’t even know what you’re missing. Of course you “ don’t need any of the special features of modern machines ” to sew garments, but they make sewing a lot easier and more fun.
I clearly prefer modern sewing machines, but I know the choice between vintage and modern is a matter of opinion. I’ve made a list of pros and cons to help you decide for yourself.
Vintage Sewing Machines: Advantages and Disadvantages
When I say, “ vintage, ” refer I go to sewing machines that were built at least 40 years ago that don’t have computer-controlled parts. I realize maybe everyone has a slightly different image in their mind. Some sewing machines are more’vintage’than others. Here is a general list of pros and cons of sewing on a vintage sewing machine:
|· Cheap (sometimes free) and easy to find second-hand, with the caveat that you may not get all the original parts or the owner’s manual.
Durable metal frame that is difficult to break.
· A work of art and a conversation piece.
Less expensive to repair, but can be difficult to find replacement parts.
Beginner-friendly mechanical functions.
· You rescue a machine from a landfill.
Can sew heavy fabrics easily.
Will still sew 20+ years from now.
· I can use some without electricity.
|· Many have only a straight stitch, and even the vintage machines with a zigzag stitch have no decorative stitches.
· More maintenance because you have to apply oil in several places
· Difficult to lacing. Some don’t even have a built-in bobbin winder.
· Bad lighting. Many don’t even have a built-in light bulb.
· Requires several steps to make a buttonhole.
Modern Sewing Machines: Pros and Cons
Modern sewing machines . They have many pleasant features that make sewing easier once you learn how to use your machine. Some cool computer-controlled features you can find on a modern sewing machine include an automatic needle threader, multiple alerts when you’re doing something wrong or running out of threadfin automatic thread cutter, a button to raise or lower your needle, a button to tie a knot in your thread, programmable foot controls to sew with a reverse kick and even additional embroidery units. If the special features aren’t enough to get you excited, here’s a more general list of pros and cons of sewing on a modern sewing machine:
|Numerous stitch options.
Multiple automated functions.
· Easy to thread. Most have an automatic or semi-automatic needle threader.
· Some have warnings for when your thread is running low.
Lightweight for better portability, although the plastic parts can also as a drawback.
· Often comes with warranty.
· More video tutorials to learn.
· Some have accessibility features, such as a button to sew instead of a foot control.
|Higher maintenance costs because of computer controlled parts and screens.
· The computers in modern sewing machines can work outdated, just like any type of computer. You can expect a modern machine to last 15 to 25 years.
More expensive. Modern sewing machines range in price from $150 to $ 25,000. (I do not make a joke). The more expensive sewing machines have so many bells and whistles that you will . But they come at a price.
For me, in the battle of vintage versus modern sewing machines, modern is the clear winner. The pros and cons seem to speak for themselves. I know you might have a different opinion, and that’s okay. You will run into some die-herds who swear by their vintage sewing machines. I’m not trying to insult you! The winner of the battle between vintage and modern sewing machines will be different for everyone based on your needs and wants.
If you want to trade in your vintage sewing machine for a modern one. First, I recommend buying the Bernette b79. That’s the machine I use, and I love it. It has so many cool features that will blow your mind.