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Mar 8, 2012

Just an Old Crank



Friends, I must ask your opinion about something (again).  What do you think of hand crank sewing machines and I'm not talking toys here.



I know a lot of you won't be able to answer this question because you don't think anything about them; you've never given hand crank sewing machines a moment's thought.

But the more I wonder what the future holds as far as oil and other energy supplies go -- usually at 4 am in a cold sweat-- the more those old hand crank Singers are starting to appeal to me, like the one in my friend Johanna's sewing machine museum that I may swipe this weekend while she's out running errands.  Another option would be to wait for one to show up at the flea market or to find one on eBay.



Before I even start thinking about buying another sewing machine, however, I want to run it past you, as I do all my big purchases.  You're probably asking yourself, "Doesn't Peter have a working treadle?" Well, yes, I have a working treadle, but suppose I have to change locations in a hurry.  Am I going to roll my treadle down to the barge, donkey cart, or mule train as I evacuate the big city?  It would be much simpler to carry a portable 35 lb. Singer hand crank, don't you think?   If I can't sew, how can I blog?

Have any of you ever sewn with a hand crank machine?  Were you able to control the fabric with just one hand, or did you have someone crank it for you while you fed the fabric under the presser foot -- an obedient child or loyal spouse, perhaps?

Do you think of hand cranks merely as decor (as I suspect Johanna does), akin to wagon wheel chandeliers, beer barrel foot rests, or the much maligned-for-good-reason sewing machine lamp -- yesterday's invaluable tool/today's kitsch conversation piece?



Would you ever buy a hand crank yourself, assuming you don't own one already?  (Weren't they popular in the UK, actually?)

Do you ever think about how you'd sew if there weren't any electricity?  If Laura Ingalls could do it....

Have a great day, everybody!

65 comments:

  1. I bought one earlier this year and I love it. I've only sewn a couple of things on it, and I wouldn't want to use it for anything complicated because of only having one hand to guide the fabric, so I am mainly using it just for top-stitching. Melissa at fehrtrade is the reason I bought mine - she uses hers just for top-stitching and I really liked that idea. Mine is a Jones CS but looks exactly the same as the singer pictured above, except it has a cylinder shuttle bobbin, rather than a round one. It does the nicest top-stitching of any of my machines (I have four), and is so easy to control. If anyone is interested in seeing mine (her name is Margot), then click on the Jones CS tag on my blog.

    If you can pick one up cheaply enough, then I'd highly recommend it and now you've posted about possibly wanting one, you'll probably just find one sitting on the sidewalk :)

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  2. I want one, and I would use it too. Just think, I could sew on the train!

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  3. I have an antique Singer hand crank sewing machine, but I have never used it before. It was my great-grandmother's. I'm afraid I would never be coordinated enough pay attention to the crank and my fabric at the same time! I'll have to try it sometime and see. I suppose if no electricity were available I'd have to use it, because hand-sewing is NOT an option for clumsy me.

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  4. The medievalist in me want to sew while camping and the lazy bastard in me refuses to even consider handsewing, This might be perfect, i can't believe i never thought of it.

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  5. I have a Singer 99 (a later one with reverse) that I retrofitted with a repro handcrank. I take it with me to re-enactments during the summer. Surprisingly, it's not difficult to learn to control the fabric feed with only one hand, but some things are tougher when hands-on with two hands would be better. Still, it's really quite handy to have out in the field.

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  6. Have you been watching Doomsday Preppers (on Nat. Geo.)???

    I must say, I do like the idea of the hand crank machine. You know, for all of my post-apocalypse related sewing needs.

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    1. You'll still want you clothes to fit, right? ;)

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  7. I sure did enjoy playing with the crank-toy sewing machine when I was a kid...

    My grandma tells a story of *her* grandmother working as a travelling seamstress when she was young (probably in the late 1800s), going from farm to farm sewing clothes for people with her hand-crank sewing machine.

    I certainly wouldn't turn one down if it threw itself in my path (say, by showing up at my local thrift store) but I doubt I'll go out and buy one. If the world really does go belly up I'm sure I'll have other things to worry about...

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  8. I have never sewn on a handcrank, but it seems it would be hard to use one hand for the fabric. I'm thinking that treadles were invented to get around this. As others have said, they would be nice for simple sewing and you can't beat the portability. Maybe Rain could retrofit a crank on a featherweight. Now that would be a portable, versitile machine.

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  9. Well, I had to be without electricity for a whole 45 minutes today while a new meter was fitted. It crossed my mind during that time, that if my grandmother's hand crank machine was here instead of at my mother's I would have been able to get on with the project in hand, sewing a couple of cotton dresses for a customer.

    But in all honesty, I'm not sure the stitch is up to much...maybe I should give it a go sometime when I'm over there. On the other hand, if my mother even gets a whiff of the fact that I may be interested, it will be deposited in my house quicker than anything! She's already muttering about 'the cupboard in the blue room being full and why don't I have some of her sewing things so that she still has access to them'. Clever woman my mother.

    I wonder where I could store the machine. I know nothing other than it's a Frister & Rossman.

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  10. I have two handcrank sewing machines.

    One, I can't find any "name" on and is a bit of a mystery. I have 1 bobbin for it, but haven't gotten around to taking it for a test drive yet. I like the "idea" of a crank sewing machine. In my head, I feel like it would be easier to control the speed and stopping. Here's my handcrank, it has mother of pearl inlay but is not in mint condition, sadly... http://ohhhlulu.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-to-me-sewing-machine.html

    And, I have a mini handcrank Singer machine (Singer Model 20 I think) that does a chain stitch... just for fun :) http://ohhhlulu.blogspot.com/2011/11/small-pleasures.html

    I love sewing machines just as pieces of beautiful decor, but if they are useable it makes them even better. I am hoping to get my full size hand crank up and running this summer and sew a dress or two on it!

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  11. I second converting one of your featherweights to handcrank. For portability that would be the way to go. You can usually pick up a Singer99 fairly cheap. What about trading a machine?

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  12. I bought a machine when I lived in Sri Lanka that came with a conversion belt, so you could use electricity if you have it, but convert to treadle if you live beyond the grid. Power is expensive there, and I left it to a friend who is probably using the treadle feature. The machine came with a very heavy iron base and the treadle all assembled. It was a "Chears" brand, made in Sri Lanka with a Japanese motor. I would enjoy having a hand crank machine in case our power gets outrageously expensive here as it is likely to become, but I've never used one. I don't think we will be in an apocalypse, but power is likely to get more expensive, as all petroleum products. Buy your machine oil in big bottles now while it's cheap! I think the main appeal of the hand crank machines is that it would be faster than hand sewing, also stronger, but a unique coordination skill.

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  13. I'd buy one ... I'm afraid of "vintage" wiring and don't have enough space for a treadle. Plus I guess it's quiet, a big plus for anyone who live in a flat.

    My only fear would be to get a overly-bulky right biceps.

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  14. I'd love to try one. I have a Franklin treadle that is functional & makes a beautiful stitch, but it's kinda cumbersome & the shuttle is downright hostile.

    My Singer 66 has become a full-time buttonholer (with the awesome singer buttonholer attachment). while it is an electric machine, it has a knee pedal that I actually just put on the tabletop & operate with my hands. I kinda like it, and notice less strain on my back & calves. Even a modern machine will cramp my calf after awhile, and believe me, I've tried everything.

    I do tend to think in terms of "how would I sew if we lost power and/or the world ended" and a hand crank seems a good option. Definitely more portable than a treadle. So I vote YES, whether buying one or converting :)

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  15. I'd love to own/use one but the sad reality is that i'm just not coordinated enough to sew with one hand; i struggle enough with my treadle when i get the fly wheel moving.

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  16. I learnt on a hand treadle machine! It was an old one (Dad might have found it at the tip for all I know) and my mum wouldn't let me near her posh new one. So yes, I controlled it fine with one hand, and I think it helped my sewing skills too

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  17. I think a lot about doomsday prepping. And having a crank would be an invaluable asset to barter with. So my answer is YES. I want one!

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  18. Gotta be honest here: my converted-to-handcrank Singer 128 is the last machine I would actually choose to sew on. But I am happy to have it for the curiousity value and for the post-apocalyptic considerations mentioned by you and others. It's not hard to sew on it, but it doesn't feel productive. I'm big on making the most of my sewing time.

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  19. This is just creepy! I was literally just given an old hand crank singer that dates back to the late 1800's. It was in someones attic, no one in the family wanted it ( I can't imagine!)but no one wanted to toss it either (thank goodness!!) so it made it's way to my house. All of the moving parts move so I am sure I could sew with it but I think I want to give it a good cleaning and lube first. It is a really cute little machine, at first I thought it was a toy but after tons of research I found that it is in fact a real sewing machine. I love it! I think you need to buy one!
    Becky

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  20. I think here in the UK, these days it might be *really* hard to pay a decent price for a handcrank machine.

    The reason? All Saints stores have bought them all up for window displays

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  21. I'd gladly accept a hand crank if one came my way, for the sentimental value if nothing else.

    When I was a Mormon missionary in Toronto a hundred years ago (1985), someone lent me their ancient, unconverted Singer hand crank. I found a nice Burda pattern and made at least 2 pairs of trousers - one, a funky, flecked, purply plaid, and another in a thick white cotton blend (ya gotta wear white when you climb into the baptismal font, and, trying to find a pair that weren't see-through-when-wet is a task more daunting than sewing in a hand crank).

    They came out great, button holes, zippers and all!

    Were I to lose power, I'm certain I could Jerry rig my Bernina 950.

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  22. You crack me up -- you need a hand crank sewing machine so you can keep blogging in the event that we lose power during the Apocalypse? ;-)

    Actually, I'd be fascinated to see a video of someone sewing on a hand crank machine. I'm pretty sure I lack the coordination to operate one myself. When the power grid fails, I'll be sewing REALLY old scool, with a hand-held needle and a single strand of thread!

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  23. When I was about 10 I wanted a toy sewing machine for Christmas but my Mother thought they were too flimsy and bought me a Jones Family CS. I still have it now, its still in regular use and I still love it. It's much easier to use than my electric machine; I always feel I am in control and it never jams or grumbles. Plus it's the prettiest sewing machine in the world.

    I say go for it!

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  24. Let's see now - I would think from a post-Apocalyptic standpoint, the hand-crank model would be a vastly better choice than a treadle model - if you had to escape on a bicycle, you could strap it on the back or get the person you are rescuing to ride on the back and hold it. Hopefully, you will have cleverly shipped strategically chosen fabric, pins, lots and lots and lots of thread, needles, scissors (and a sharpening stone), hooks and eyes, buttons, etc. etc. to some safe and dry place along with your food stash.

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    1. I'm hoping to evacuate to an abandoned Jo-Ann Fabric Store.

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  25. I think it would be like patting my head and rubbing my tummy. Steering only with my left hand would drive me insane.

    No way, Jose!

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  26. I learned to sew on a hand machine. My mother was worried I would sew my fingers using her electric one so she collected my (late) grandmother's machine from my grandfather's house and let me loose on it. I was eight at the time. It was all I used until I was eleven and my uncle comandeered it - nominally for my cousin to use but really because he never let my mother have anything of my grandparents'if he could manage to get his hands on it. I wish I still had it, I know my uncle got rid of it. It never occured to me that it was difficult to use because I had never known anything else. I had no problem sewing in a straight line, even from the beginning.The night we brought the sewing machine home stillremains as a very strong memory, even over forty years on. It was beautiful - black with gold decoration and made by Jones. I loved the little bobbins, shaped like little reels or spools rather than the flat bobbins we have tosday.

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  27. I own to hand-crank machines. A Pfaff and a Singer, although the latter was converted to electricity somewhere in the early '60. My grandmothers gave them to me and I have been using them for decoration. They are more or less in working order (I'm just not trusting the wiring of the Singer...) and sometimes I think I should try to sew with them. But my sewing room is on another floor and too small to hold another machine, let alone two. And the 'guiding the fabric with one hand' detail scares me a bit.

    That said, it can't have been ridiculously hard to do. Loads of people used to sew like that, including several in my own family...
    I think hand-crank machines were more popular than treadles here in the Netherlands because space was a concern in most households. And they may have been cheaper.
    A lot of those old machines are still around, hiding in attics or being traded as curiosities on local autcion websites. And when I was given mine, my boyfriend mentioned he'd seen 'dozens' thrown away with scrap iron (he used to work with scrap metal, so he did see a lot of old metal appliences)

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  28. I would love a hand crank machine. I’m not that skilled, so when I’m making a tight turn or otherwise need to work slowly and with a lot of control, I crank the wheel of my machine anyway. An actual crank would be welcome.

    Plus those machines are beautiful. Form and function. What could be better than that? Such a beautiful machine would make a great accessory in the post-apocalyptic era, don’t you think?

    When the apocalypse comes, I was thinking of pushing/riding the treadle machine, but when the leather belt breaks what am I to do for sewing? A crank machine would be much more useful.

    With the price of energy increasing, solar flares this week and who knows what down the road, perhaps I should get more familiar with the treadle while searching for a cheap crank machine.

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  29. I'm more worried about how you will blog post-apocalyptically, and more importantly, how I will access your blog. But that remains to be seen.

    Absolutely you should buy the crank machine. It breaks my heart to see sewing machines used as decor (my grandmother's treadle machine graces my sister's front hallway holding dried flowers. My sister doesn't sew. Not that I'm bitter). Anyway, if you had the crank machine it would at least be maintained and used occasionally, apocalypse or no.

    Lastly, when the inevitable happens and I'm forced to sew to keep my family clothed and warm, I see myself doing it by hand. I mean what else will there be to do? At least, given the rapid onset of global warming and the increasingly mild Canadian winters, I won't have to worry about sewing parkas and quilts.

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  30. I have a Singer 128 with a godzilla finish that I converted to a hand crank. It's very quiet, and I can piece blocks while watching TV with my husband. I love it.

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  31. My sewing machine collection (yes, I'll go ahead & admit it.....it's officially a "collection") is lacking one. major. item.

    A hand crank.

    I have a 66 with a shot motor that I planned on converting, but I'd prefer a 99 now, and I would REALLY prefer something with some gorgeous decals (my vintage Singers are all of the simple gold decal variety).

    So yes. You must have a hand crank. I envision using it for topstitching & slow leather work - love reading the comments from people who already use one!

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  32. I have not but my friend has one and loves it. She finds it very theraputic to run...which must make up for the inconvenience of having only one hand to use for the fabric. I'm sure my mom has one in her stash that I will be inheriting. :)

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  33. I have at least 150 vintage and antique sewing machines in my house, and a good number of them are hand crank. I love using them--they give you stitch by stitch control--especially good for piecing or other fiddly work. I actually used one once to quilt a wall hanging, and have used them in clothing construction as well. Everyone needs a hand crank!! Or 30.

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  34. I know this probably doesn't qualify as an "official" handcrank sewing machine, but I still use the toy machine I got when I was a child. It is great for repairs,top stitching and sewing simple designs on small items.

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  35. I have several hand cranks. Not a fan when it comes to sewing on them. My shoulder gets tired-especially when winding a bobbin. I do think it's easier on the 3/4 machines (Singer 99's or 128's), but maybe that's just me. I do have trouble guiding the fabric with my left hand only, but I know plenty of people who LOVE their hand crank machines and don't use anything else.

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  36. I'm really new to sewing (apart from a Roman blind I made when in my mid-teens)but having returned from a decade in the middle east I decided to not only improve my sewing skills but attempt to earn some money from making stuff.

    So with that in mind I bought an electrified 1960 99k which is lovely and has reverse but I really hankered after a hand-crank (and a treadle 201, and 15 and perhaps a Featherweight: yes, I have it bad despite struggling to stitch a straight line). I sorted the first bit THIS MORNING by getting my hands on a 1916 99k hand-crank in a curved oak carrying case with most of the accessories, the key and the oil can spout...without the oil can. All for £15.

    My 1960 looks resplendent sporting it's new crank but I'll miss the lamp. And as yet I haven't summoned the courage to pat my head and rub my tummy. But I shall bathe in the self-righteous glow of knowing that any mess I eventually make will at least be a small carbon footprint mess.

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  37. I learnt on a hand crank Singer and have never quite got used to the lack of control with electric machines. They're so fast! All the time! If I had the space for lots of machines, I'd have one now.

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  38. Thinking about it makes me cry. Seriously! My husband's grandma had one in perfect condition. I was living in Puerto Rico when she got sick and I knew his mom wanted it but she can't sew. So, I mentioned something about it and she said it was hers an she was going to use it for decoration. When grandma went to a nursing house, my husband's uncle wife borrowed the machine and kept it forever. My husband's mom still complaining and arguing that the machine was hers and I beleive they shall inherit it to me because I am the only one who actually sews in the family. I wanted it for home decor too.
    Now, about the gas price and electricity... I don't think a machine actually waste that much electricity but I do think that we the seamstress might find a way to get more revenue in the future because people won't be able to buy as many clothes and they will need us. Think about what happened in the 30's. People were recycling clothes and doing things out of every piece of cloth.

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  39. Changing locations in a hurry? Is that how NYC atmosphere feels right now? I mean are people actually considering it.

    I live close to DC and it has crossed my mind on the last few days what would we do?

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  40. I found a hand crank Jones in my local junk shop. Literally only had £6 in my pocket so that's what I paid. It works really well - i'm not terrifically coordinated so it must be relatively easy. It is quiet & controllable, but bloody hell it is heavy! Nice straight stitch & copes just as well with modern stretch fabrics as with cotton & chiffon. I like not having to be near a power outlet to sew - no trailing wires! Get one!

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  41. Long time looker without commenting...that all ends now.

    Laura Ingalls would have used a treadle. The hand crank was very much an old country thing...too unlady like to have those ankles moving all around luring the gents and putting them in a lustfull frenzy...Pioneering Americans didn't care, and were more pragmatic for the most part.

    I think it would be cool to have a hand crank, but really a clumsy thing all around. That said, the cool factor is off the charts.

    (I know lots about sewing machines, I teach handwork in a Waldorf school, and teach machine sewing and the history of the sewing machine to 8th graders)

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  42. I too have a couple of hand cranks. They are not hard to use, in my opinion. Treadles are er to use but hand cranks do have their place. I take mine outside on occasion to sew. Kind of like a field trip! Another plus is you can always acquire these machines with no guilt as they take up so little space and are so very cool as was noted above. I won't turn one away. I saw a comment about Featherweights and making it a hand crank: it can be done but does not work well from what I hear. The gear ratio will make it slow. The 99 is better.

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  43. I was taught sewing at my English school-for-young-ladies on an old hand-crank (this was in the twentieth century not the nineteenth, hard though it is to believe). Yeah, they're great. I think you get round the handling issues pretty quickly (we did curves, though I must say that I recall a lot of unpicking). And they have a lulling rhythm which almost makes music out of sewing. Just think: all those post-peak-oilers will be humming along to their machines, post i-Tunes! ;)

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  44. I have a Singer 28 hand crank, bought because as I walked past it in the antique store, I heard it crying. Wrenched from its home in Europe, stuffed in a crate, and then put on a shelf under blinding florescent lights, the poor thing was scared, and I took pity on it. I oiled and dusted, pulled decades-old thread off the bobbin, and gave it a whirl, and it works. But I will say that a bit of practice would be needed, she's quite usable. I think you'd get over the urge to pin the bejibbers out of everything unless absolutely needed fast.

    Now, as to the doomsday stuff - are you thinking evacuation or survival without electricity? For evacuation, I'd think you'd want the lightest load possible - a modified Featherweight and it's supplies, and a whole bunch of hand needles of all sizes. You may be taking only what you can carry. That might even leave out a Featherweight. Think back to when people were moving west in wagons and pull carts and how much stuff was left by the trail to lighten the load.

    For living without electricity, I'd stick with a treadle, so I have both hands free.

    I never gave a thought to buying some extra machine oil. I'll have to add that to the list of things to have on hand.

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  45. LOL - I have one in my sewing room sale this weekend that you can have for the cost of shipping - Kamloops, BC, Canada to New York - but you need to let me know before Saturday morning.

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  46. If you don't have electricity to power your featherweight, how will you have it to power your internet connection? That is, if you can't sew, how could you blog?

    Also, yanno, for a subject, you could give us reports from your wild adventures, from your hand crank network box. I'm sure that would be interesting for those of us who have the electricity to read them. ;-)

    Beth

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  47. Lol I have one of those toy machines like in the first picture. It is a pain to crank.

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  48. Peter, I am maybe behind in this comment, but I must advise you here: buy a hand crank! You will certainly love! If not for all kinds of tasks, like me, for small items or top-stitching. Not forgetting the post-Apocalyptic times...

    I had never used one before I got mine, quite one year ago and I found quite simple to sew with it!I have a very simple technique to get perfect stitching with one hand. You must in this case use the sewing guide (even if you decide to buy a marked stitching needle plate). The sewing guide will be your right hands, working as a suport on the right side. Other nice feature, that really helps is to have a extention arm. Some hand-cranks comes with others not, but there are still originals available to buy. The arm gives you a bigger area and allows you to control the moving of the of fabric better.

    My hand crank is a Singer 99k from 1927 and has no reverse stitch. It does not bothers me, but it can bothers most people who likes to sew bigger projects. So if it is important for you, go for a "newer" model. I think from the 40's on they have reverse. Or one still can convert a choosen machine model into hand crank.

    I can wait to see what you get!

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  49. I have a Singer 128 hand-crank given to me by my British inlaws (it was my grandmother-in-law's before she went into a nursing home) and brought back to the States in our second carry-on, mere days before Virgin decreased their per-person luggage allowance to one.

    It's a gorgeous machine and sews like a dream. I have no problem cranking with one hand and controlling the fabric with the other. I've made an entire quilt on it!

    That said, I'd recommend a Singer 66 or 99 instead. Why? Ease of finding replacement bobbins should they go walkabout! I got lucky - I took one of the ones that came with the machine to my local sewing machine shop, and they rooted through the old bobbins they had in the back and came up with several matches. Generally the modern reproduction ones are off by just enough to make life difficult.

    Also, as a matter of current practicality... if the power's still on, you're more likely to be able to wind a class 66 bobbin on another machine. Filling a bobbin on a hand-crank is tedious!

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  50. I own a Singer hand crank. Sort of portable - I'm sure it weighs more than 35 lbs. It has the curved wooden cover with a handle on top. It's at my cabin that is off-grid. Last year I used it to make curtains for the two windows in my outhouse. With tie backs.
    Never having used it before it took awhile to figure out the tube-like horizontal bobbin. In the midst of a rollicking storm, by the light of a coal oil lamp, I easily made the two sets of curtains. The one hand for guiding the fabric, I thought would be an issue, but it wasn't. I really like the control. It will get lots of use when I am there. And, I like the quietness of it - that is when it's not blowing and raining so hard it feels like my cabin is going to lift off it's foundations ! On sunny days I like to take it outside. A joy to have off-grid. Try one Peter, I'm sure you'll like it right away, forthcoming apocolypse or not!

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  51. I haven't read all the way through, so not sure if anyone bring this up to you. I know you own 2 featherweight. This guy makes hand cranks for featherweight. Might want to check it out.

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  52. sorry forgot to post the links.

    -http://stores.ebay.ca/bishopsewingsystems
    -http://www.ebay.ca/itm/FEATHERWEIGHT-HAND-CRANK-FITS-ALL-BLACK-SINGER-221-222-FEATHERWEIGHTS-/190639060948?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c62f937d4#ht_990wt_754

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  53. Hand crank sewing....ah no. I rather hand stitch.

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  54. Hi Peter,

    I just would like to point out that convertion to hand crank is not so easy as one think. In a forum I participate, recently an expert said that the sewing machines which are not original hand cranks can do just one stitch per turn the wheel, while the original ones are geared to do several stitches per turn. The process of sewing will be slower that it should be, and in my oppinion, can become frustrating for sewing a big project, like a garment. Think about it and get informed.

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  55. My great grandma was a seamstress, and I learned to sew on her old Singer hand crank machine. I was born in 1986, so I'm probably on the younger side of people that remember hand cranks...

    I ended up sewing countless barbie and doll dresses, and halloween costuems (and my dad sewed the fabric for a life-size teepee tent on it, but that's a whole other story =P)

    My parents still have the old sewing machine somewhere and if I have more room some day (living in a tiny apt right now) I'd love to take it off their hands, for nostalgic reasons, mostly.

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  56. It's all I use to be honest, even since I bought myself an 80s bernina. It's so hardcore that you know you can't break it, it'll sew through anything. I never have any problem with the tension. I don't think I suffer from only having one hand to guide the material, perhaps I sew more slowly though. I think I like the direct connection. And I like the fact that I'm not reliant on electricity, it seems a world away from computers and so on, it seems more self-sufficient. Mine is (so I believe) my great great aunt's and that makes it nice to sew on too. Also, it's no problem getting needles (I have a singer 28) and there's nothing else to go wrong really. I like mine a lot.

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  57. My favorite machine is a Singer 201 with hand crank attachment. I also have a 216 hand crank. No problem to guide the fabric with one hand.
    During a sewing class, the ladies often stoppt working and even talking, to listen to the Sound of my machine...

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