Why Buy A Vintage Sewing Machine

Sewing on Vintage Antique Sewing Machines

It's a known fact that you never ask a lady her age, her weight, or how many sewing machines she owns. Maybe the latter is less widely known. I'm not known to be bashful though and will openly admit *about* how many sewing machines I own. Four-teen. Puuuuuleese, I have friends who own twice as many!

Show me your VSM by sharing a picture on instagram or facebook with #sewonvsm for a chance to be featured all month long! 

When you think about all of the wonderful programs, attachments, and advances made in sewing machines these days it might be hard to imagine why someone might want to use an ancient machine... you know those kind where you actually have to sew your own button holes. There are plenty of really great reasons why I think vintage sewing machines rock and today we're going to talk about why you might want one... or another one!

For starters; people literally give them away for free. Just this week I passed 2 on the roadside- and it makes my insides weep. It's history, people!! Sometimes 'free' machines are broken but sometimes (and whole lot of times) they just need a little TLC. Those of you who are looking to learn how to sew without a huge financial commitment or aren't sure where to start- vintage machines are an ace in the hole. Vintage machines are great because they can be found for relatively next nothing & easily picked up a yard sale, family hand me downs, flea market, or even on the side of the road like I mentioned. Sites such as Ebay or Craigslist (use your brain & best judgement here) often have quality machines for $75 or less. Keep in mind, there is a subculture of sewing enthusiasts who primarily sew & collect vintage machines who will pay $$$ for certain makes and models. I'll cover more about those desirable/valuable models later this month.

Vintage sewing machines are built to last. Haven't they already proven that? The don't have need wifi for upgrades or even electricity. Mechanics of a simple straight stitch machine make maintenance and upkeep for the home user both easy to DIY and affordable. Thank you youtube tutorials!!

Sustainability may not be your first choice or reason for snagging the next vintage machine that comes by, but it's a heck of a good one. Anytime you're able to use and love something second hand we're choosing to cut back on manufacturing demands and keeping them from our landfills. Also keep in mind that those heavy metal machines are made with solid metal working innards which will be a beast and continually produce perfect stitches *when maintained, unlike many of the mainstream options available today- which cheaply made plastic cases house cheaply made plastic gears that are likely to strip out within a year or two. See for yourself.

Vintage sewing machines hold a soft spot in my heart, while the majority of my sewing is done on a my BERNINA it's my opinion that if you can't afford an expensive well built machine then the only other option is to buy vintage. I've sewn on new school benjamin-bangers (that's equivalent to a $100 Brother from Walmart) and while they run well for a short while, they're kinda loud & sometimes cranky when it comes to different types of fabrics. Then it's time to turn them into sewing machine planters or donate to the Sewing Machine Project. My vintage machines on the other hand, even classified as household machines- have no trouble handling several layers of denim or a single layer of lace.

Do you love sewing on a vintage sewing machine, or VSM for short? Leave a comment below and tell me why. Then head over to instagram and let's connect & share our love for vintage machines by tagging #sewonvsm. 


  1. If a machine is not good enough for you to use (cranky with different fabrics etc etc) why would you pass it on to the Sewing Machine Project? Surely people who are learning to sew shouldn't have to cope with a product that will never be anything but inferior.


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