Need a general purpose sewing machine for making repairs? Yard sales are an excellent source. They generally ask $20-$25.00 and can be bargained down too!
Buy the older ones that are all metal... you know those old black singers... they will go thru several layers of material, run and last forever. Look at the underneath and check for plastic. no plastic...
Yes, I've bought many sewing machines at Thrift Stores. I refuse pay more than $25 for one. It's rare if they ask more that $25 for one anyway. The only sewing machines that are worth buying are the old ones, the older the better... you will know because they are nearly as heavy as a boat anchor <grin> This is because they are not made of cheap plastic, but only metal parts. Beware of old motors that are not strong enough to pull the machine.(It will seam like it works fine if you hand crank it, but you MUST use the motor!) Sometimes one motor (if they are an outside mount motor) can be substituted for another.
When you get your new/used machine home. Before using it, be sure to clean it (with spray air in a can) or a stiff clean brush & BE SURE TO OIL IT before use! To oil a sewing machine, simply open the top with a small screwdriver, then move the machine (by hand) to see what parts MOVE... then oil any part that "moves"... you will know because these parts sometimes have small "Dents or holes" where the oil is supposed to go. You only need a drop or 2!
You'll want to make sure your machine runs good enough to not have to have it serviced by a sewing machine repair man, as this will cost more that the machine is worth (nearly $100)... ALSO: the newer "Computer" models (with the tiny computer screen & computerized stitches) are not made to last more than 4 years.... So in the future, when these go to the second hand stores, Don't buy them! A sewing machine repair man told me the are made to only last 4 years, & then you might as well buy a new one... He said they are cheaper than a "Mechanical" machine to make, but don't expect them to last! (this includes the cheaper models of "Embroidery" machines as they are also "Computerised")
IMPORTANT: I do a lot of thrift shopping... So I try to always have on hand these things so I can try out used sewing machines:
a sewing machine:
BOBBIN WITH THREAD
EXTRA METAL BOBBIN HOLDER (for those "under bobbin" machines
THREAD (or second bobbin for threading the machine)
Here is a site with threading diagrams for most all machines, it's a great help!
They also have manuals for old & new machines...
These guys have presser feet of all kinds & other parts for old sewing machines.
Before buying a foot or attachment for your machine you'll need to know that there are 3 kinds of machines... High, Low or Slanted foot. Once you know this you can buy most attachments for your machine.
SEWING MACHINE 221 = HOME PAGE
Brother Feet & parts:
Singer Feet & parts:
Kenmore Feet & parts: