Love it, hate it, or something in between? I love it, but I will admit that I haven't tried that many machines to compare it with. Part of my love is for its looks and for the way owning such a big, heavy, conspicuous sewing machine makes me feel about myself.
When did you buy this sewing machine? December 2007
When was it manufactured? 1972 (coincidentally the year of my own birth), in Japan
Where did you buy it? eBay
How much did you pay for it? $112.50, plus about $30 for shipping (that's where eBay gets you)
How many projects have you done on this machine? about 10
Describe the kind of work you've done with it. The first project was a sail cover for my husband's little boat -- it's made from Sunbrella, which is a really thick, UV-resistant canvas. I had some trouble with it until we replaced the machine's main belt (which we could see slipping), and then it worked great. Since then I've made some clothes and blackout curtains for my toddler's room.
What do you like and what do you hate about it? I really like that it almost never jams, which makes it miles above my new Singer for the sake of everyday usefulness, and its stitches look nice and straight and even. Feed dogs drop and the presser foot pressure is adjustable -- I don't know what I'm doing enough to really take advantage of these features, but they do help when I'm trying to put something under the presser foot in just the right position. It has some fun decorative stitches, but I really haven't used them.
I know this is kind of trivial to most people, but I am totally in love with its looks. It's painted metal, and really heavy, which has its downsides but which also makes it seem like a substantial bit of machinery to me. Having not been a very crafty person until I took up sewing, the whole process of learning has been, for me, a great chance to get in touch another side of my existence, and another side of my brain -- it's so different from reading, writing, and working on computers, where everything you're doing is abstract and sort of potential. When I'm making real, tangible things out of real fabric, the challenges are real, and the strategies I devise for dealing with them have results that can be either good or bad, but that can only be undone (and only sometimes, at that) with a laborious seam-ripping session. Doing this kind of hands-on work feels best, to me, for now, on a really sassy machine like this White. Sewing with a used, built-to-last machine also fits in well with my rationalization that by sewing I'm reclaiming my self-sufficiency and opting out, to a certain degree [never mind my fabric spending sprees] from our rampant consumer culture, but that's neither here nor there for someone reading this who's considering buying a similar beast! I have to add that I am the kind of person who doesn't base purchases of items like cars, laptops, or kitchen appliances on looks -- I appreciate nice design, but I don't value it above functionality, reliability, or price. I think that's why I'm so pleased to have this functional, reliable (so far), cheap, and gorgeous item.
In terms of problems, the bobbin winder does struggle a little bit sometimes, but not consistently so I haven't really investigated it. And a couple of times the bobbin has gotten a little (forgive me) discombobulated inside the bobbin case. As if it's shaken loose? Hard to explain, but I think maybe the tension needs some adjusting. So, although it's cute, it's certainly not perfect. But it's getting everything done that I'm asking it to and looking good in the process.