Love it, hate it, or something in between? Overall, I love it. It had to grow on me though -- I pretty much hated it at first. A big part of my dislike came from the fact that it seemed so "pared down" from the Husqvarna I had grown up using. It seemed too basic, it was heavy, and it looked downright Soviet. Now that I have worked with it, though, I don't think I could go back to the plastic 70s machine I had used previously.
When did you buy this sewing machine? It was a gift from my father about 6 years ago. He had bought it at a thrift store locally, cleaned it up, then decided I needed it more than he did. My old Husqvarna machine, handed down from my Mother, was no longer holding tension and repairs would have cost as much as a new machine.
When was it manufactured? According to the serial number, 1961 in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada.
Where did you buy it? It was purchased at a Salvation Army thrift store in Victoria, B.C.
How much did you pay for it? My father thinks he paid around $40.
How many projects have you done on this machine? Dozens! Everything I have sewn in the past 6 years...which is quite a lot, though many were small items such as finger puppets and pincushions.
Describe the kind of work you've done with it. Mostly, I use it to sew my crafts -- plush creatures, finger puppets, gift bags, and so on. I have also used it to mend clothing -- hems and patching -- and to sew soft furnishings, three Halloween costumes, and even a beautiful ring pillow for a friend's wedding. This machine can sew almost anything. I've sewn every kind of fabric from denim to satin and it does surprisingly well with stretchy fabrics, too.
What do you like and what do you hate about it? As I mentioned, the machine grew on me. I hated threading it, at first. It's not that it is difficult, but there's definitely a trick to getting it through the tension mechanism just right. Every now and then, I still screw that up and all of a sudden my thread will snap mid-stitch. I was also not a fan of the position of the light -- I'm still not; it's a little too focused just at the needle -- but now I compensate with another desk lamp. The foot control was the other thing that took a lot of getting used to -- rather than an accelerator-style pedal, there appear to be two buttons, but only one is the trigger; the other is molded as part of the pedal. For the life of me, I still can't figure out why it is designed this way, but I have learned to use it.
There are also things I haven't tested; I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of a batch of accessories I bought online including several feet and 8 fashion discs, which are used to create specialty stitching. I'd also like to test how it works with two needles -- it can accommodate them as-is, but I would need to replace the missing post to hold the second spool of thread. Getting back to what I love about it, the bobbin-winding is one of the most even and easy to use I have encountered, and the stitch adjustments allow for detailed control over stitch length and width. I also love that it came with its original manual, and I love that I can open it up and do most of the maintenance myself.
Overall, I'd recommend it for other crafters or beginners; this machine is sturdy, forgiving, and surprisingly versatile.