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Unread 08-17-2010, 07:43 PM   #1
AdeptRogueNagi
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What sewing machine do you use?

I'm currently looking up a machine that is not only beginner friendly.
But also efficient enough for large projects (whole dress or costume)


Any suggestions?
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Unread 08-17-2010, 09:43 PM   #2
Shallon
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Honestly I used mine (which is a Brother) for all my costume stuff. I do regret it just a bit because a bit later I saw a Singer that had a serger foot attachment. But for what I am doing its good.

I think you have to make a list of things you want it to have. Like how many types of stitches, if you want it to have some embroidery to it or a twin needle. Its really what you want to use if for right at this moment. Lets face it there is going to be something out there that will top yours just by a little but you can always save if you want something bigger and better down the road.
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Unread 08-17-2010, 09:48 PM   #3
AdeptRogueNagi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shallon View Post
Honestly I used mine (which is a Brother) for all my costume stuff. I do regret it just a bit because a bit later I saw a Singer that had a serger foot attachment. But for what I am doing its good.

I think you have to make a list of things you want it to have. Like how many types of stitches, if you want it to have some embroidery to it or a twin needle. Its really what you want to use if for right at this moment. Lets face it there is going to be something out there that will top yours just by a little but you can always save if you want something bigger and better down the road.
Ok i'll admit that i can't really have the best sewing machine, particularly i need something that would work well with kiminos (I'm not very aware with sewing knowledge)
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Unread 08-18-2010, 12:00 AM   #4
alpha_helix
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My best advice is don't get caught up on features. Most sewing machines on the market simply advertise based on how many functions it can do. For example, I was channel surfing just a few days ago came across a shopping channel segment on a high end sewing machine, which I watched out of curiousity. The whole sales pitch was basically "Look at how much stuff it does!" Most of it's "cool features" would only be used every once in a blue moon by even a proflic sewer, and many of those are just "lazy" versions of things than can be done with a more basic sewing machine or by hand (which sometimes, honestly, is better).

Excuse the rant. tl;dr: bells and whistles do not a good sewing machine make.

What you will always want in a sewing machine is good, solid construction and a good motor. Unfortunately, this isn't something that's as readily advertised as the bells and whistles. If you can get to a store where they let you test run a machine, that's ideal--bring scraps of denim (old jeans are great) or canvas or anything tough to see what it can do. Even more unfortunately, many chain stores don't let you demo a machine like that. In that case, your best bet is to ask around. Ask anybody you meet in the store what sort of machine they use, and what they use it for--in this case, the customers opinions may be more valuable than the employees, since they aren't under any pressure to make a sale. Just be polite

As for any my personal recommendations, the sewing machines I've used are a Singer Prelude (borrowed from a friend, don't recall the model #), a Kenmore that's probably as old as me (borrowed from Mother), Janome 2212, and Bernina Bernette 65 (just looked at the Bernina website, and it appears to be discontinued, I think it's comparable to Bernette 66)

Out of those my favorite was the Bernette, and the least favorite was the Singer Prelude. The Kenmore might have been very nice after some TLC, but it was on its last legs by the time it got to me. For entry level, I think the Janome 2212 might be good--it was the first sewing machine I owned myself, and I still sometimes use it. I think mine cost somewhere around $150 dollars, if price matters.

hope this helps
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Unread 08-18-2010, 05:08 AM   #5
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I use a Brother sewer from like 1990-something. It's a bit worn down and I'll probably get another pretty soon, and it will probably be a Brother as well. It's cheap and sews like it should ^^
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Unread 08-19-2010, 03:31 AM   #6
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I have a Bernina 807 which is almost twice as old as me. It does basic stitches plus a few other things that I only just realised it could do only recently.
It's run very well for the almost three years I've been sewing with it (with very little maintenance *cough*). It's a pretty meaty machine, heavy and sturdy and, well, has lasted freakin' ages with minimal problems.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 08:32 AM   #7
Sisshi
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I use my mom's old Singer that she got in the 80s. The thing has a vendetta against me but it needs to be cleaned because it's just really old. I also have a really old Kenmore machine that my aunt gave me so it stayed in the family. I know it's good just because it's what my dad used when he was younger to sew on his boy scout patches. It's really loud and a little clunkey but it sews a nice seam just fine.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 11:14 AM   #8
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A Kenmore 51 or my Singer Slant-O-Matic. Both are older than my parents(my mom is like 50?) I found them at the Salvation army for five dollars and fifteen dollars. Don't waste your money on new machines - they are garbage. For my 16th birthday I received a Brother. It didn't even last a year, and I remember the Elna 5200s we had in school always being sent out at least twice a year.

Look around garage sales for a good old machine... and like someone else mentioned, yes the Kenmore is loud as hell, I think because it is belt driven? My Singer is gear to gear and very quiet - it is my favorite but I don't have a table for it so I always go for the Kenmore (easier access?) and if you're looking for an old machine - don't waste your time on anything past 1965ish. You don't want plastic junk.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 01:15 PM   #9
greenclouds
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I use my mom's old Brother from the late 80s. Very smooth and quiet; works wonderfully. I've recently acquired a Kenmore serger and still trying to figure out how to use it ^_^

I also often use my friend's Singer since we always go to her place to do the finer details. She got it 3-4 years ago, and it needs constant maintenance unlike my mom's old Brother. Her Singer is louder and the threads tangle easily. Maybe I need to play with the tension a bit more...
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Unread 08-19-2010, 04:20 PM   #10
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I've got a Kenmore 385 that I've used for everything from upholstery vinyl to stretch fabrics. I used it to make seat covers for my brother's car as well as every one of my costumes. Crazy easy to use, and still works great after having been in the trunk when I was rear-ended. My sister has a Brother that used to be my mom's, but it was constantly in need of repair (stupid drop-in bobbin setup was always having problems).

At school, we've got a Bernina 1008, a Singer from the 1940s, a New Home, a Juki, and a Bernina Industrial. Of those, the Bernina 1008 and the Singer are the two everyone wants to use because they're simple, straightforward, and will work with just about everything you throw at it.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 05:38 PM   #11
maskedrose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenclouds View Post
I use my mom's old Brother from the late 80s. Very smooth and quiet; works wonderfully. I've recently acquired a Kenmore serger and still trying to figure out how to use it ^_^

I also often use my friend's Singer since we always go to her place to do the finer details. She got it 3-4 years ago, and it needs constant maintenance unlike my mom's old Brother. Her Singer is louder and the threads tangle easily. Maybe I need to play with the tension a bit more...
Honestly, don't bother. New sewing machines are so much work. The machines at my school were always breaking, and LOUD LOUD LOUD. I remember my teacher would scream "LOUD SEWING MACHINE NOISE" and it was her code for whomever had the loud machine to stop what they were doing, and rethread the machine. My machine from 6 years ago lasted a year - I never bothered repairing it. It is in a closet somewhere.

I would like a serger.. but to save myself the havoc of learning how to use it I just zig zag stitch all of my seam allowances
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Unread 08-19-2010, 06:34 PM   #12
avskull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maskedrose View Post
I would like a serger.. but to save myself the havoc of learning how to use it I just zig zag stitch all of my seam allowances
i think the hardest thing about the serger is threading it but usually there color coated. i think the speed is the most important factor, because zig zag i bet could get an tighter lock. i have a fast servo sew machine at home but can only do stright stitch if i could find an sewing machine that could do zig zag near the speed as a serger then i wouldnt use the serger again. of course if i have puckering problems then i might try to trouble shoot it with te serger so i suppose never say never.

making stuff fast i stright stitch then serger it and i'm out.

i also have two cheap 100$us ish sewing machine
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Unread 08-19-2010, 08:37 PM   #13
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I have a Memory Craft 400 from New Home / Janome. It's the same as Singer with just a different brand name. It's about 15 years old and like new. Look for something basic and heavy. I have fancy stitches that I've just never really used that much. I suggest shopping at a couple different stores and trying them out. You'll get a few different opinions from salespeople.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 09:19 PM   #14
maskedrose
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avskull.. well, I'll usually just zig zag the seam right after Ive straight stitched it and the speed pretty much depends on how much pressure I'm applying to my pedal. I guess I've never noticed/thought about speed. My machines can do all kinds of stitches as long as I have the right fashion cam in - I remember my new machine had the different stitch styles built in and I just needed to move a lever. I guess that is the difference between an automatic and a semi automatic machine? *shrugs* I pretty much find sewing machines without the zig zag stitch useless cuz then I can't lock my seams :-O
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Unread 08-19-2010, 10:12 PM   #15
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I have a Brother LS-2125 that I got at Walmart over 5 years ago for around $90, and it's been working fine since I got it. I haven't done any cleaning or servicing other than blowing fuzzies out of the bobbin holder. xD

It goes through fabrics pretty okay, but has some troubles with thicker stuff, and going over seams. But it hasn't failed me yet on anything I've made.

The only problem I've had is sometimes the upper thread gets caught around the tension wheel, and then I have to re-thread it, but it's not a big problem for me.
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