I've been eyeing up second hand sewing machines in Het Goed, but despite there having been a few hand cranked singers (I have a lovely table singer in the UK. Darned heavy though, so we didn't bring it) I didn't recognise the names on any of the newer (read, electric) models.
What's a good solid reliable (and relatively likely to be able to source parts for) brand to look out for?
I can only tell you my own experience. I still have the family hand wound Singer, dating from approx 1940. Still going strong. When I got my first electric, it was a little Elna, because a friend highly recommended it. It lasted something like 16 years - I wore it out, but boy, did I work it hard. I replaced it with a Janome, which is still fine, another sixteen or so years on, but has been rehomed with a daughter, when I upgraded to a fancier Janome.
A few things I have discovered along the way:
I don't like the controls of electric Singers - they are foot-no-controls, in my opinion. I was not just me - Seth's Aunt was of the same opinion, and she was a professional needlewoman - bespoke lingerie, in an unlabelled house in the country. Family gossip had it that she made Princess Margaret's knickers!
When replacing the Elna, the man I dealt with was very helpful:
Husqvarna are wonderful, strong and biddable, but more expensive for their grade than the others.
Brother have different shaped feet and you can't use what you have got with them.
Janome are linked with New Home, and since I started using them, they have taken over Elna - which is the other brand I would recommend from personal experience.
im prejudice ive a hand singer 1898 model that works perfectly and a treadle 1917 singer that i adore, i can pretty much do anything i need with them including any repairs, use all the weird attachments etc, i also have a knee bar electric singer from the 30s a scary bit of equipment , plus a couple of other victorian pretty ones ..havent had a modern one for a few years di have a toyota it was very reliable then someone borrowed it ...lol
The one I saw at Het Goed today said it was an eikenhoff? Google knows nothing about this.
I shall keep my eyes peeled. there was a nice looking husqvarna in a case on a thing called maarktplaatz, which is like a much more informal ebay, but it was collection only and located between the hague and amsterdam.
there is a "lifetec" one on the marktplaatz quite nearby,
it's cheap, which is in its favour. Though this untraceable eikenhoff from het goed is the same price, and comes with a case and some attatchmenty bits.
it's not urgent that i get one or anything, i'm just developing a bit of an obsession in the meantime
Toffee Apple, your Elna looks just like my old friend - just slightly more sophisticated. I had the Lotus zigzag , which was the middle one of the range. I know that it5 was bought second hand (but only a year old) in 1979, and it was small and had the fold down flaps that were the dust cover.
It sounds silly, but I still sigh slightly when I take the dust cover off my present machine and have to find a space to put it out of the way - the little Elna was so neat. They had stopped doing anything like it when it finally turned it's toes up.
Seed catalogues are responsible for more unfulfilled fantasies than the web and playboy combined . (after Michael Perry)
After 44 years do you really think I stsnd a chance?
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