Rose, as I've been calling my machine, is a Singer 28k from 1908, and in pretty near to perfect condition, as you can see.
When I was given the Singer, my first thought was along the lines of 'oh my gosh, it's perfect, it's really old, wrap it in cotton wool, I'm going to break it'. Not so. The Singer is a beautiful machine, I can't mention this enough...but it is also very capable, well made and nigh on unbreakable.
I am a beginner, I'm right at the early stages of having a go and realising I'm doing something wrong 9 times out of 10. My machine has been wonderful. Every time I've got thread wrapped around itself, it's been easy to pull it out, sort it, then start again. If the thread tension is too tight or loose, it's one dial to turn, and it's sorted.
It only does one basic stitch, so I'm not confronted with tens of dials and too many choices (I am rubbish at making decisions, as will soon become apparent). Now, I've seen this mentioned as a draw back of having an antique or vintage machine, but seriously, everything I've made or wanted to make so far has needed one simple straight stitch, which is exactly what this machine does. For a beginner, it's perfect.
Not to mention the fact that with a handcrank machine, you regulate your own speed. When I studied textiles at school, I was given the nickname of 'speedy' by my teacher. I see a foot pedal and I jam my foot on it at top speed. Not the best idea for sewing in a nice, straight, calm line (or for the one attempt I had at trying to learn to drive, incidentally). A handcrank machine goes at the speed of your arm; I find it instantly relaxing, and so far I seem to automatically go slowly and steadily with my arm.
Even the decals are all still here, albeit slightly faded or chipped in some cases. But to me, the wear and ageing is what makes each machine unique. I love so many of the details on this machine, and every time I get it out of the box, I smile.
And if anyone has any questions on vintage or antique Singer sewing machines, I'll do my best to answer, or to offer a link to a video or blog who has answered the query. I'm only a beginner, after all. :)