Necchi Supernova BU x2....

I have a good excuse this time but I'm not telling you until later.

I've been getting a lot of questions lately about vintage machines and my recommendations.  Somehow I keep coming back to the same machine and it's simply because it's the most versatile vintage machine I've found.
The Necchi Supernova BU.  If you've been following since the beginning you might recall I sold a Supernova Automatica (pictured at right) and you may have wondered why.  Honestly I've been asking myself the same question lately.  Then I remember it had a few issues, a vibration at a certain speed, cord that was designed to be in a cabinet, and a habit of slowly changing stitch length while you sewed.  The Supernova BU had none of these issues even though they were essentially almost the same machine.

During my (ashamed to admit) daily craigslist scouring I noticed a listing for a BU about 30 minutes from me for $100 that included the cabinet.
I emailed the seller and she said it was missing it's famously complete two layer accessory box. (pictured at right)  I also noticed by the photos that it had an after market foot controller.  In a way this machine had three things going against it.  The cabinet that would prevent shipping and require a vehicle big enough to pick it up.  The missing accessory box can cost up to $75 to replace, and the foot controller not being original.  Since I can't fit my legs under the cabinet I'll be getting rid of it and using the machine on my work table.  I already own a complete accessory box, and I happen to not like the original Necchi controller (pictured at right).  Who decided it would be a good idea to make you push this little black button to control the machine?  It's also very uncomfortable to use without shoes on.  The point is that I talked her down to $50 and we made the deal.

Every old machine has it quirks and this one is no exception.  The light stays on all the time when it's plugged in and it's an even uglier green/yellow/cream color than my other BU.  Hard to see in the photos so you'll have to trust me.  The needle clamp was on backwards and the thread uptake had been bent at some point causing the paint to get chipped.  The wiring was also best described as scary with duct tape in places it shouldn't have been.

This is a slightly newer BU than my other one (new in front) and it has a great upgrade that I can already see the advantage of.  The bobbin cover plate has a matte finish to reduce glare.  I've been blinded many times by the reflection on the chrome bobbin plate, what's interesting is that on my even newer Automatica it still had the chrome cover.  I wonder if this was an upgrade you purchased separately?  You can see it's the machine on the right.  Besides that it's basically identical to the other BU.

 -Edit-  I just realized since I wrote this that I forgot mention the little old lady I bought this machine form had had it for  over 20 years and never sewn a single stitch on it.  I think we could consider this a barn find!

This new addition came with a few accessories that were mostly designed for some other short shank machine and some class 66 bobbins that had seen better days.  It did come with some of my favorite Necchi class 15 bobbins and that did make me happy.  These little beauties are made of aluminum and precision machined to be perfectly round and true.  They fit inside the bobbin cases so nicely and the thread feeds like a dream.  Granted they're a little harder to get wound since there's no hole to hold the thread tail but you can't have everything right?

You're still asking why.  Why why why......   Well I'll tell you but only enough to hold you off till tomorrow.  I'm about to be sewing up some jeans and I like to use two different colors of top stitching thread.  The Supernova is the only machine I've found that will handle the super heavy thread I use in the bobbin.  Having two machines threaded with different colors of thread is a luxury I can afford, especially if it's only $50!

15 comments :: Necchi Supernova BU x2....

  1. Hey Brian, congratulations on the new BU. You don't have to explain yourself to us...we will never judge sewing machine caprice! Love those bobbins. I don't have a Supernova, but I do have a Necchi BU. Very shiny needle plate on it too. I thought I would mention--I just found a Kenmore 158.17310 at Goodwill. It handles heavy thread in the bobbin well. Do you still have the Kenmore you used to have?

  2. NOW you need a Singer 15-91!

  3. So nice to find that others have an addiction prob... I mean a love for vintage SMs. You now have me wanting to find a Supernova BU. Makes me want to sing the song by Oasis - "Champagne Supernova"
    Love your blog and appreciate the great tips you provide.

  4. Beautiful machines! When I see bobbin damage like you showed and similar destruction I always wonder what exactly the previous owner was doing with the sewing machine.

  5. I DO still have my old left needle Kenmore. I'll post some photos of it tomorrow. It can handle fairly heavy thread but nothing like the Supernova.

    I also wonder about this bobbin issue. My first thought was that it must have been stepped on!

  6. Your craigslist scouring is how you get machines, try them out, learn, and pass the knowledge onto your readers. So kudos for that.

    There are tons of Singer 15-91s and 201-2s here (both good machines). Not sure if you're interested in a straight stitch though? Exemplary buttonholes though, with the attachment. Oh, and I have extra buttonholers (short-shank), if you'd like one I'd love to find a home for it.

  7. Daily craisglist scouring, eh?
    Way to score, dude!

  8. Hi Brian, I saw your review for the Supernova on patternreview and almost regretted my most recent purchase and decided to visit your blog to see what you've kept and glad to see your faith in the SUPERNOVA is restored. I have never seen a bad review on the Necchis, but I really respect your opinions.

    I bought a Supernova Ultra today, mint, complete with books and accessories and case (I can't always, but do prefer to buy sewing machines in cases) for $100. It is shockingly mint. The case is mildly scuffed but the machine looks brand new. It was refurbished by a sewing dealer in Colorado.

    I also bought a Necchi black BU for $10 this week. I may convert that to a treadle b/c I have heard it is ultra quiet, but I don't know if that's really enough power for me, no matter how quiet. ~Page

  9. Oh gosh that old Necchi review over at PatternReview. Well it certainly still rings true on many points, however I think after trying so many other machines I don't know of anyone that's doing any better.

    Wow a $100 for a supernova from a dealer is really really good. I almost never get cases with my machines. However I would like to find them that way!

  10. Hah! Now you need two machines so you can keep two colors of thread loaded. I have 3 sewing machines, 2 sergers and a cover-and-chain, and sometimes I don't have a spare for the next color thread! You're starting to sound like me!

  11. Hoggin' all the Necchis... growl.

  12. Never thought I'd find a Necchi Supernova Ultra but it appeared in Craigslist today for $25. Started looking after discovering your site. Thing is, it's stuck in reverse and only sews backwards. Hope I don't end up putting $100 into a fix. I enjoy your posts. Gail

  13. Just bought my 4th (4th!) Supernova BU today. I couldn't help myself, the cream had not yellowed! This machine must have never seen direct sunlight. The true cream and grey-green is a huge improvement in color from the yellowed versions. It's so beautiful! This one was $85 (my most expensive Supernova) and had a broken feed-dog. I just pulled the feed-dog off my completely incrusted model, and the new one sews like a dream.

    Comment on the original pedal: This pedal was never intended for foot use. The table has a large knee lever box that the pedal locks into, to control the machine with your knee. I imagine many people bought the aftermarket foot pedal.

    Hope your still enjoying your Supernovas as much as I love mine!

  14. I know this is pretty old, but I just wanted to say that the matte sliding plate is from a later model, a Julia, when both the needle plate and sliding plate were changed from gloss to matte finish. Not sure why the previous owner had it replaced, though ;)

  15. I just purchased a Bu Nova that has a knee controller I need to convert to a foot control. I wondered if you found one that you like? In searching the web I found a lot of complaints about the older machines racing, etc. with aftermarket pedals. But I don't see anyone definitively saying, "Yes, this brand/model works well" So my search continues...

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