Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The orangest sewing machine you'll ever see

A few weeks ago I commented on Pam's post on sewing with denim at Threading My Way that my sewing machine isn't very good on the thicker fabrics - it tends to skip stitches even using a thick denim needle.  It's a mid range newish computerised Brother model. Instead I use my mum's Husqvarna Viking 3600 mechanical machine when I need to sew something really thick - it is an absolute powerhorse of a machine. She bought it in 1975 for around $300 which was the best part of a fortnight's wages for her back then but it definitely proves the old adage of buying the best you can afford.

The machine has never been serviced or oiled, the outside gets wiped down every now and then, and apart from a light globe or two it's all original and still in perfect working order. Sure my mum doesn't sew as much as I do, but this machine has been used to sew zippers into motorbike leather pants and jackets, the thickest denim, and old style canvas tents and it didn't even flinch, yet it also sews through thin cottons and other delicate fabrics without problem too. It's a really heavy machine though, having a metal casing and not a plastic one like newer models.

But this level of amazing services pales in comparison to it's most outstanding feature - it's a bright orange sewing machine! Pam replied to my comment that she had never seen an orange sewing machine before, so Pam this one is for you:


Aren't newer models with their streamlined white plastic so boring compared to this sewing machine? In this post at Apartment Therapy they describe the Husqvarna 3600 as a "workhorse and a beauty" and apparently the orange colour is quite rare. In fact they link to a store that had this machine for sale for $700!

Now I hope I haven't tempted fate or invoked Murphy's Law by writing down that the sewing machine hasn't needed servicing or repair in 38 years - fingers crossed it keeps on giving! But I've never given either of my Brother sewing machines a service in all their years of use and they are both still going strong despite lots of use. Fingers crossed they carry on strongly for years to come as well.

Speaking of which I'm taking my beloved Babylock in for a service tomorrow since it's been over two years of constant use and the dealer I bought it from says it needs regular servicing to keep the jet air threading tubes clear and working. So it looks like I'll be spending the next week sewing things that don't need overlocking - I'm beginning to understand why people have multiple machines!

Oh and I didn't win the stashbusting competition - the winning lady sewed 60+ garments and used over 90m of stash! But I did get a special prize for the most children's clothes sewn and received a lovely book and a piece of fabric (just what I need right?).

20 comments:

  1. je couds les tissus épais sur la machine héritée de ma grand mère :la Starlet de Singer , achetée en 1974 .Elle n'est pas orange mais décorée de fleurs oranges.
    Elle est aussi très bien pour coudre les fermetures éclair .Je l'aime beaucoup.

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  2. What a fabulous machine! Mine's not that old, it was my mother's when I was growing up, so I learned on that machine! I had been given a new plastic Singer, and it never worked how I wanted it to. So I got my mom's mechanical singer when she upgraded and never looked back!

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  3. I love these sturdy mechanical machines! I love the orange, too! I have a beige and cream Singer 401 and a black Singer 301, my daughter has a pale army green Kenmore 1030, my mom has a baby blue Singer 328. All these are metal, though. Maybe sewing machines went all white when the bodies began to be made of plastic?

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  4. Ahwwww... that's how the sponsor gets rid of more of her stash!!! By giving it away... lol....

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  5. Hoooo-oooly! That is the most beautiful sewing machine I have ever seen.

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  6. It's gorgeous! *^v^* I wish all the machines had funky colours, and they're all white or cream, boring!...
    Those old machines are very sturdy, my Grandmother used to have a big cupboard Singer, not electric but powered with a leather belt and human feet movement on a wide pedal, and it also worked prefectly for 40 years, sewing both delicate fabrics and thick wool/leather.

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  7. What a beautiful machine! That it sews well makes it all the more beautiful.
    How funny that the winners of the stash-busting contest receive fabric! Or was the fabric a punishment for not coming in first?

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  8. What a cool machine! Love it. Congratulations on the prize...they could have given notions instead:)

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  9. As much as I love my modern Elna and Bernina there is nothing quite like my Mum's old Globe that I learnt to sew on! I love the retro colours, the metal body, the toughness :)
    It's not quite as orange as Mum's one: http://thecuriouskiwi.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/a-little-reminiscing/

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  10. I'm loving that orange machine!
    The world in general has become more and more colourless I think. Home interiors, cars, appliances, crockery etc. etc. all white, black or silver, or combinations of the three.

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  11. Gorgeous orange sewing machine and those older mechanical sewing machines are fantastic. You also won a second price remember, for showing your fabric stash and they still wanted to give you fabric!

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  12. Gosh look at that beauty!

    Is the babylock worth it? I have a babylock that my grandma gave me (because she wanted to buy herself a new one!) but the air threader is broken. I've been putting off taking it for a service for... oh... over a year now! Party because of expense but let's be honest, I spent the amount it would cost on fabric this fortnight, so I can clearly afford it. I don't have a car though so getting it to the one place in Adelaide that will do it is going to take some organising. But mostly I think I am just overly fond of my mid-range overlocker and feel sad about replacing it! But it would be nice to be able to coverstitch.

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  13. Oh, Kristy, I would LOVE to have this machine!!!!!!!! Sewing a zip onto thick motorbike leather is impressive, but the colour impresses me even more. It's the exact same colour as my kitchen bench tops... original 70s and still going strong, with hardly a mark. So glad you posted this. Thanks for the link back, too.

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  14. Oh my, I love it! It is so true that the older machines are just workhorses and get through the thick stuff like nobody's business. I recently received a Singer Featherweight 221K and it motors through anything I throw at like a hot knife through butter, and it's over 60 yrs old. I recently blogged my love for her...

    www.sewunravelled.com

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  15. Oh, you have a Babylock? Could you do a quick rundown about what you like/dislike about it etc and whether you would recommend it? I have a two year old Elna 654 overlocker and while it has some excellent features, there are other things that frustrate me to bits. As it is my big birthday soon (tomorrow actually), I thought I may ask for something new!

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  16. The winning lady sewed over 60 garments? Holy cow.
    Love the orange machine--I've never seen an orange sewing machine before!

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  17. 60+ garments?! That's a year's worth of sewing for me! How many weeks did she have to sew it in? That's amazing. I'm thrilled for you that the orange machine has lasted that long but I have to tell you that I like the white machines...I can see my fabric better! hahahahaha!

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  18. This is my first comment after reading for a long time! I just saw this at Spotlight yesterday...Toyota is bringing back the orange, albeit in a limited way. Very pleasing shape too.
    http://www.freemans.com/products/Toyota-Sewing-Machine-Eco-15B/_/A-62C907_

    I also spotted a Toyota machine for sewing jeans that was all black and looked pretty fierce.

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  19. This is also my first comment after quite a long while of lurking. I just bought a machine and well you can see for yourself....

    http://hotsewing.blogspot.com/2013/09/well-its-certainly-not-white-and-boring.html

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