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I currently own 4 older machines, all Singers. I have a 301 which is a gear driven very old machine that when created, came out specifically for the quilter in mind. It is very heavy duty and sews through a double layer of quilted fabric. I also have a Touch and Sew, another of Singers gear driven models. Presently it is in the show waiting to have new gears put in as I think some of the teeth are missing. I have two other Singers, a Fashion Mate that I bought in 1973 and is still kicking. Even though it's a belt machine, I have never had any problems sewing thru thick material or quilting with it. I have another Singer, not sure of the model but it too is a gear driven machine that I picked up at a thrift shop for 20 bucks the day I took my Touch and Sew to be repaired. The only other machine I own is a Brother that I bought to use as a "travel" machine. It's very light weight but I tend to "speed" sew and the bobbin casing can't take my speed and half the time, it falls out and has to be replaced. Plus the tension on the Brother is constantly changing while sewing which is an anomaly I don't understand. Suffice it to say, I do not use it and am looking to sell it now. I will take the old mechanical machines any day of the week over the newer machines which are no longer made with heavy duty metal parts. They tend to make them with plastic for lighter weight but they are not as durable.

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I have a 1953 Singer (Black Head) and I can sew through a half inch stack of polar fleece, which my new Janome won't do because the tension won't kick in because the presser foot won't go down far enouth and it is all computerized. You have to love thowe ole machines...... :-)
Unfortunately, many of the 'entry level' lightweight machines being sold are discouraging to sew on. Esp. for new folks just learning - they don't/can't afford a big investment, but those low end machines are keeping a lot of people from sewing rather than getting them INTO sewing.
I think they are meant for 'occasional mending' rather than serious/enthusiastic hobbyists.
In defense of plastic, it is not the cheap, brittle stuff that it was 40 years ago.... it has 'come a long way, baby'.
It's true plastic may have come along way, but the word cheap is always associated with plastic. You want a machine that sounds durable. It's almost like a car. You want to hear the sound of that door shut, not have to check because it sounds so quiet closing. The older machines have more character. Their longevity is remarkable. They are really hard to find now a days because women are holding on to them.
I really swore off the singer sewing machine, because of the hard time I had with them in the past. I believe the first one I brought was in 1975 and boy did I have problems with it, that's when you could buy the sewing machine with the cabinet....the whole works. I ended up selling it. I am still on the look out for any older sewing machines. I think they are great. Even though the new ones have bells and whistles and almost polish your car (for the price) I like the older sewing machines better.
WELL IT SEEMS AS THO SINGER HAS CERTAINLY BEEN AROUND FOR MORE YEARS THEN I HAVElol(I THINK)IVE OWENED ABOUT SIX OR SEVEN SEWING MACHINES IN MY LIFE TIME AND SOME HOW NOT EVER A SINGER AND I ALWAYS THOUGHT I WANTED ONE REALLY DONT KNOW WHY I NEVER HAD ONE..UPS I THINK I JUST TOLD A LIE I HAVE OWENED A SINGER..SORRY I FORFOT..IT WAS GIVEN TO BE.BY SOME FRIENDS..THER CHRUCH GOT NEW MACHINES AND GAVE THE OLD ONES AWAY..SO THEY GAVE ME ONE A REAL OLD ONE IN THE CABINET..A OLD ELICTRIC ONE I WAS SO EXCIDED TO HAVE AN OLD ONE LIKE THAT..BUT MY HAPPINESS DIDNT LAST LONG ONLY GOT TO USE IT FOR A FEW SECONDS AND IT MESSED UP I WORKED WITH IT FOR A WHILE BUT NO LUCK SO I TOOK IT DOWN TO THE BASEMENT...HAVNT TRYED IT AGAIN..ANY WAYS I BASICALLY USE MY TRUSTY ISNEY bROTHER sEWING EMBROIDERY MACHINE..IVE HAD IT FOR 3 YEARS NOW AND I TRULY love IT..I HARDLY EVER SEW ON MY "OLDER" MACHINES ANYMORE.. THIS IS MY SECOND BROTHER IVE HAD (FIRST COMPUTTER ONE) AND IVE HAD REAL GOOD LUCK WITH THEM...SORRY TO HEAR YOU ARE HAVING SO MANY PROBLEMS WITH YOUR bROTHER..HOPE YOU HAVE BETTER LUCK WITH YOUR NEXT MACHINE LAURIE

I have a Kenmore Ultra Stitch 12 (older machine) and I also got a Brother SQ9050 for Christmas.

They are both GREAT depending on what project I'm doing.  For thicker materials the Kenmore is a no brainer.

For fun designs & quilting I love having my brother at my side!  

Happy Sewing. 

Mickie

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