1) I'm currently using my mother's, a White 1666. I can't even find any decent info on these things.
2) It's not really mine, and I kind of hate the thing.
3) Personally: Novice. My long-time girlfriend is a better tailor than I am, but she tends to get cranky and rush things. She's also going back to college out of town, so she won't be around at the most convenient times to sew our cosplay pieces...so I best start improving...Cosplay means being a jack of all trades, and a master of none. :P
4) Not much, I hardly use it, and my girlfriend prefers her mother's machine across town. It has a few extra stitch patterns (mostly common ones, I've personally only used straight and zigzag...really the only two I absolutely need).
5) It tends to jam frequently, on all of us, so it's not my fail skills at fault.
Looking to buy: Two, actually. I've heard a LOT of good things about the old Singer 201s (my great grandmother had a treadle-operated one, actually...if I had known what it was 15 years ago when she died, I wouldn't be tracking one down!). I'm looking to sew large amounts of heavy material over the next few months and from what I understand a 201 shouldn't have any problems dealing with leather if it's been properly maintained. While online isn't the best place to look, I found one 200 miles away.
Second, I'm looking at a Brother SE400 for embroidery/applique and anything a 201 can't do on its own. Think crazy patterns like Final Fantasy XI's White Mage class sets, or the front of Zelda's dress. Embroidery because I'm very picky about how I think things should be done. The 4"x4" hoop area is a bit restricting but I'm sure I can work past that somehow.
EDIT: I managed to find a vintage 1954 Singer 15-90/91, and the best part is that my boss has it in her house. Apparently she bought what she thought was just a desk at Goodwill, only to find out the reason the desk was so damn heavy was because it was actually a sewing cabinet, machine included. So I'm probably going to snag this over a 201. They're pretty similar in performance, and I hear the 15s are more forgiving.
EDIT2: Singer 15 acquired, but it's in the shop for the next week or so for rewiring and general maintenance. At 60 years old the wiring (and insulation) is probably frayed/cracked and potentially hazardous. For the $60 price tag, I think I can afford up to $125 to let someone who knows what they're doing work on it that risk screwing up an antique by trying to do it myself.
Last edited by KOTSProps : 03-11-2013 at 05:11 PM.