These machines are installed in my sewing room and are being used all the time. Each machine has its own unique set of functions which are needed in different situations, so although “all the time” does not mean 24/7, it still means that these machines are needed regularly and should be ready, willing and available all the time.
My sewing crew is evolving. See the next edition.
Regular straight stitch machine: a post-WWII Japanese machine based on Singer 15, but smoother, quieter, with reverse and dropped feed dogs. Very versatile, works with all sorts of thread and fabric.
Low tension straight stitch machine, for fine fabrics and jersey, thin thread and free hand embroidery: 1905 German Stoewer VS3, like Singer 28 but with reverse. Exceptionally quiet and delicate.
Long arm straight stitch machine, for large projects: 1917 Scottish Singer 66K. Heavy duty and excellent with thicker thread and fabric. Does a fantastic decorative stitch with top stitch thread.
Auxillary straight stitch machine: 1963 Scottish Singer 98K. Does a good stitch on various fabrics. Compact and self-contained. Great as an extra little machine for projects that use different thread colours, feet or complicated attachments.
Zig-zag, stretch, chain and fancy stitch machine: 1972 Japanese Frister+Rossmann 804, for all blind hems and fancy stitching, buttonholes, stretch, jersey and knitwear. It does straight stitch too, but like all zig-zag machines, it does not manage to keep it perfectly straight.
Free arm zig-zag, stretch and fancy stitch machine: 1972 Japanese Frister+Rossmann 504, a free arm version of the above. Should be able to chain stitch as well, but I need to adapt the needle plate.
Overlocker: 1970s Japanese New Home 743 Knitlock. It just works, a perfect finish every time, without any knob twiddling.
Chain stitch machine: 1950 English Essex Mk1, motorised. For light to medium fabrics, a flexible stitch for jersey and a pretty looped stitch for decoration.