Love it, hate it, or something in between? I pretty much love everything about it, from the retro-tastic styling to the performance. It's such a happy shade of grasshopper-y green!
When did you buy this sewing machine? Two months ago.
When was it manufactured? The Class 21 series of Husqvarnas were made from 1955 until 1966, and there were 3 versions that I know of, called 21, 21a [ed note: see Jessicah's review of the 21a here] and 21e. In North America they are branded as 'Viking'. It was touted as having the world's first 100% jam-proof hook. So far that's proved true in my use of it. It also has a reduction gear that allows the machine to run slower but keep the full piercing power of the motor, which is great for sewing heavy or thick material like leather or denim.
Where did you buy it? I scored it at a local opshop -- that's a thrift-store to North Americans, or a cancer shop for Brits. I have another Husqvarna from the 1970s and it's a dream machine, so as soon as I saw the magic Husqvarna logo I knew I should snap up this one too. I didn't even try it out properly before I bought it, and the handwheel actually felt a little stiff when I tried to turn it but the ladies at the shop assured me it had been tested, and once I got it home, I opened it up along the arm and took a vacuum to the bobbin race area, and brushed out the feed-dogs -- there was what looked like decades-worth of compacted fabric-dust and oil in there. Once that was gone and a few drops of oil were administered, all the parts moved freely and the stitches were perfect.
How much did you pay for it? $50 Australian. There's NO WAY you would be able to purchase a new machine of this quality and with as many features at even quadruple the price. Plus they just don't make machines this cute anymore.
How many projects have you done on this machine? One so far- a pair of jeans. It handled the denim beautifully, and actually, even though it has the special reduction-gear for denim, I didn't need to use it -- it just went through like butter.
Describe the kind of work you've done with it. Aside from making the jeans, I've had a bit of a fiddle-around with the various bits and bobs it came with. It can do embroidery stitches by inserting cams into the back of the machine. As it didn't come with a manual, I've been experimenting and making notes about what combinations of settings make which patterns.
What do you like and what do you hate about it? There's nothing I hate, but in a perfect world the Fates would have put a stitch-length DIAL on my machine rather than the lever-type selector -- later versions of these models do actually have the dial. It does an absolutely beautiful buttonhole, but it's not automatic, so it could be a bit of a pain to try and get all your buttonholes the exact same size. But if you get an old Singer mechanical buttonholer attachment off ebay that problem is solved! The motor makes a nice little hum, and because it's an all-metal machine it's nice and solid-feeling, not clattery or shakey.