Liz I have one that is now 113 years old that was a hand cranked one but was converted by Singer into an electric one in the 30’s. Its works like a dream.
I have one from the 50’s and one from the 60’s and now this one which is about 90 years old.
What gets me is how well they work now and how easy it is to buy spare parts and simple it is to service and change parts for them. It’s the same for the older Jones sewing machines as well.
I do wonder about the life span of some of the much newer machines, they tend to be expensive and hard to service and repair.
Hobbitegirie1880 @beaded treasure
What you require with a machine is that it’s easy to use, strong, and cheap to service/repair.
Then you need it to have a ability to have different lengths of stitches and different pressure for the foot. This means you can adjust it to the different weights of materials you use.
A zigzag setting is also useful.
You’ll need a seam measure guide on the foot plate. I’ve seen machine without it and they make it hard to keep your seams straight.
If you want to do button holes you will need a button hole foot which you can often buy later.
I have different attachments but I hardly use them as I don’t do much dress making any more. I have a button hole, a hemmer, a different dog tooth plate thing so I can do free hand embroidery, a special zip footer that I’ve never used as it depends which method you use to put in zips.
I have a foot for 2 needles at once but I’ve never used that one either.
All these attachments I’ve picked up for a couple of £’s or been given.
You’ll need a comprehensive users guide and service manual with pictures, that also shows you how to trouble shoot.