Well, for a start, you might find it easier, cheaper, and less frustrating in the long run. Or you might be a sucker for a shiny black coat with gold twiddles on, or you may just like the idea of not throwing the old away just because the new exists.. Or you may like tinkering...
I have used old machines all my life, and my regular machines - Singer Class 15 treadle, Bernina 730, and Singer 31k industrial, are all old enough to know how to do it for themselves. My only modern machine is an overlocker - after much experimentation and considerable amounts of swearing, I decided that old overlockers, while charming, are not practical beasties...
Scroll down the page for my machines for sale...
The world is full of old machines, but if you want to use one regularly you need to choose with a little care. If you plan to sew every day or every week it's no good getting something splendid but which has no regular supply of needles, and if you plan to do more than the odd small job, you don't want a Long Bobbin machine (too much bobbin-winding and spares may not be easy to get..)
So, you come down to Singer, ideally, and Round Bobbin, absolutely, and the following models:- 15, 66, 99, 201, 185. All take the regular needles, regular feet, and round bobbins which are all still available. This is for a hand-cranked or treadle machine, of course. If you want a machine with a tail (electric) then the big solid mid-twentieth-century machines made by Singer, Jones, Frister and Rossman, Bernina and others may be just the job. If it gives you a hernia when you lift it, it's probably going to last.
Now, don't think I don't like modern machines, I just think that the general selection available is no longer admirable. If you were buying a machine in, say, 1950, you would expect to go to a special shop, pay a lot of money, get some measure of after-sales service, and never have to throw it away. Now you can buy one for about two-pence-three-farthings in Aldi or Tesco, and you get precisely what you don't pay for. The bottom-end machines in all ranges are for people who buy them and put them in the cupboard. I teach regularly, and I now have a note on my Class lists that I do not allow "toy" machines in class. They are very cheap, sure, and lightweight, certainly, and they are not electrically safe or usable for sewing at all. Sad, really... Sadder still, most of the bottom-end-of-the-range machines are only just functional, and none will sew anything as heavy as canvas, denim, or webbing...
So, where do I find a Machine?
Start by asking your friends and relatives. There's one in almost every attic still. Might be free, or very cheap. Next, I would advertise in the local newsagents, local newspaper, Freecycle or work notice-board in your area. Machines are too heavy to post, and you want it nearby. My treadle came from an advert in the Post Office 40 years ago, and the chap delivered it for the (utterly paltry) price...
Then there's eBay. Look for local sellers. Look very carefully at the pictures. Does the machine have all the little plates that cover the bobbin? Is it clean? lit? the right way round? photographed somewhere clean? If not, don't bother to bid. Does the seller say "I know nothing about this machine"? If they do, it may be broken, and they are covering their backs. Look at their feedback, and levels of literacy, and what else they sell... I am always happy to give an opinion on eBay lots, providing you send me a link in good time. I don't guarantee the opinion, but I will tell you if something is obviously wrong with the machine. NEVER buy a lot without a picture! And when you have bought your Dream Machine, do send a picture, and I'll sell you something nice to go with it...
All machines are serviced and replacement parts provided as needed (new belts, bobbin winder tyres etc....) I usually supply a couple of bobbins with shuttle machines and 8 or so with round-bobbin machines. All machines can have an "original" attachment set provided at an extra cost if required, or a set to suit your sewing practice can be made up for you..
SM043 Singer 66k in a "modern" cabinet treadle Practical machine for everyday use with drop-in bobbin, easy to get needles. Serviced, complete with book, bobbins, and needles, ready to use. £95 Add the original Black box of attachments for £35 (normally £45)
SM041 Fantastic post-war Frister and Rossmann VS machine in cream. Immaculate, works well. Standard needle and easy-to-find bobbins. Sews beautifully £90
SM041 Domed Lid
--------------------------------------------------- Singer 99k machines - I have two of these, almost identical. 3/4 sized practical machines which are easy to use and maintain, use modern bobbins and needles, and are slightly more portable than the full-size machines..
SM032 Singer 99k, Y reg, £65 Not shown, SM035, pretty much the same, also £65 You get to choose either a domed lid or a Crocodile case..
SM042 Later Jones Family CS. Pretty and practical machine with nice decals, charm and grace.. Uses a round-shank needle which I supply and which should always be available. Complete with book, shuttle, 2 bobbins, and needles £45 Original set of feet in Jones box to match £15 when bought with the machine
SM008 Willcox and Gibbs Lockstitch Industrial What can I say.. Interesting inter-war machine, very fast (designed for 4000 spm) with a most original take-up and threading system.. With an industrial motor, ugly but functional wheeled cabinet, a couple of feet, needles, bobbins... And a threading diagram..
That Wheel. I love this but I don't have room.. £150 REDUCED to £75 to move it along