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Old 12-03-2009, 08:30 AM   #1
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dinosaur sewing machine

Long story short:

I worked for my MIL sewing garden flags for quite a while. We were both laid off last year and the business owner took our sewing machines back.

I was bummed cause I feel in love with sewing so my MIL is graciously letting me use her mother's sewing machine. Problem is I can't even figure out how to turn the stupid thing on, let alone thread it or use it. I HATE it. I didn't ask to use it, she just kinda pushed it on me. She said she would show me how to use it but that was over 8 months ago.

I wanted to buy a new one. A cheaper one, but still, new and something I know how to use. My dh was kinda upset with me saying that the one I have in the attic from MIL is a really nice one and has sewn wedding dresses, blah blah blah.

What would you do? Go buy a new one and don't tell?

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
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Re: dinosaur sewing machine

No harm in having an old machine and a new one! The new one won't be as heavy duty as the old one but will have more stitches. I have an old White sewing machine (all metal, built into a cabinet) that I LOVE. So you might like you MIL's once you learn how to use it. If it doesn't have the manual, you can download them online for $10 usually.

I'd go buy a new one and tell your DH you need them for different purposes and you want somethign to sew on incase the dinosaur doesnt' run.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:56 AM   #3
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Re: dinosaur sewing machine

My grandmother has a couple of those metal sewing machines built in a cabinet too. My mother has my great grandmothers machine. Its a Singer and its the one that you actually have to petal with your foot. I actually remember seeing her use it when I was a child. Talk about an antique!!!

OP I would just explain to MIL that you cant use it until she shows you how and tell her you'll be buying a new one in the meantime. Im sure she'll understand since its almost been a year since she said that she would show you.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:34 AM   #4
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Re: dinosaur sewing machine

If it's keeping you from doing what you love I would first ask her again to show you how to use it. The older ones are actually more sturdy (as pp mentioned). Then again I learned on an old machine, so I may be coming from a different perspective. What is the make and model of dinosaur?

If that doesn't work and you ARE going to buy a new one, check out garage sales and Craig's List. I remember one time my machine broke (Okay I broke it! And made it worse trying to fix it myself) and I had custom orders to make. Well, I was fortunate enough to find one at an estate sale that weekend for $30.

Either way, get back to sewing ASAP
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:52 AM   #5
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Re: dinosaur sewing machine

Hmm, thanks so far ladies. I'm going to check tonight to see what the make and model is . . . I don't even know.

It is really old but its not the kind that is built into a desk or whatever. It's just really really heavy, and the workings of it don't even look like newer machines like I've seen before. I'm pretty sure it is electric, because there is a pedal, but I have no clue where the on/off switch is and I looked!

That and seriously, I wouldn't have the foggiest idea of where the thread goes like on newer machines where it's pretty obvious once your shown at least one time how to do it.

Thanks for the craigs list tip, I'll have to check on that, too!
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: dinosaur sewing machine

It may not have an on/off switch, once mine is plugged in, it's on. I totally understand about the threading, I had to download the manual for mine just to learn how to thread it.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:44 PM   #7
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Re: dinosaur sewing machine

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Originally Posted by XtraOrdinary View Post
My grandmother has a couple of those metal sewing machines built in a cabinet too. My mother has my great grandmothers machine. Its a Singer and its the one that you actually have to petal with your foot. I actually remember seeing her use it when I was a child. Talk about an antique!!!

OP I would just explain to MIL that you cant use it until she shows you how and tell her you'll be buying a new one in the meantime. Im sure she'll understand since its almost been a year since she said that she would show you.
I'm obviously antique as well, because I didn't know there were machines that didn't have a foot pedal. How do you make them "go?"
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:40 PM   #8
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Re: dinosaur sewing machine

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Originally Posted by 2queens&1princenmyhouse View Post
I'm obviously antique as well, because I didn't know there were machines that didn't have a foot pedal. How do you make them "go?"
No the pedal is like, 2 feet wide and its manual. not electric. Its probably an early 1900 late 1800 edition machine. Its sorta like this one except its bigger and its all black. http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...a%3DN%26um%3D1
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:16 PM   #9
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Re: dinosaur sewing machine

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Originally Posted by 2queens&1princenmyhouse View Post
I'm obviously antique as well, because I didn't know there were machines that didn't have a foot pedal. How do you make them "go?"
PP's picture is of a treadle machine. You use your foot to work that large pedal (the treadle). There is a leather belt that connects the treadle to the handwheel, and as it turns, it provides the power to make the needle go up and down. At least, that's how I think it works. I don't have one.

Another non-electric is a handcrank. You have a handcrank on the handwheel. Turn in, and the needle goes up and down. Kinda like a toy machine, but it's not a toy.

Other machines use a knee controller that looks sorta like a bent wire hanger sticking out of the front instead of a foot controller. Another type of knee controller is like a foot pedal but it has an arm on it that allows you to use you knee to run the machine. It's mounted inside a sewing table or cabinet. To convert to a foot pedal, you take that arm off and put the pedal on the ground.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:22 PM   #10
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Re: dinosaur sewing machine

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Originally Posted by lilymama View Post
PP's picture is of a treadle machine. You use your foot to work that large pedal (the treadle). There is a leather belt that connects the treadle to the handwheel, and as it turns, it provides the power to make the needle go up and down. At least, that's how I think it works. I don't have one.

Another non-electric is a handcrank. You have a handcrank on the handwheel. Turn in, and the needle goes up and down. Kinda like a toy machine, but it's not a toy.

Other machines use a knee controller that looks sorta like a bent wire hanger sticking out of the front instead of a foot controller. Another type of knee controller is like a foot pedal but it has an arm on it that allows you to use you knee to run the machine. It's mounted inside a sewing table or cabinet. To convert to a foot pedal, you take that arm off and put the pedal on the ground.
Thats how it works. At least from my memory thats what I saw happening.
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