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Unread 08-04-2008, 01:46 PM   #61
khatera
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey Usagi-chi View Post
You know those stitches on your clothing? The complicated loops between the straight stitches? That is what a serger does. A sewing machine does more simpler stitches, serger's are for more heavy duty (and machine washing)

I would recommend a sewing machine for a beginning cosplayer. I handsewed my garments at the beginning and when I finally got to use a machine, it was something completely foreign to me. Yes I was still sewing, which I was good at by hand, but it was different. I can't imagine starting out with a serger, they're complicated to thread at times and more than one needle is going at once X_x; A machine alone takes some getting used to (at least for me), but a serger for the beginning @_@

I just came here to say what beginners should look for in a sewing machine, thank you for allowing me the opportunity! You should at least have a zig zag and straight stitch option, along with a reverse stitching lever (or button on some) with different stitch lengths and widths (You'd want long running straight stitches for when you practice or test out a new method on mockups) If you are not getting these options, you are being ripped off.

Thanks thats very helpful.
No serger for me, ever xD
I need to take sewing classes though, can't sew straight enough...
My line is always a zigzag xD
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Unread 08-10-2008, 07:33 PM   #62
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I've got a 70's-era Kenmore, and I love it. When I was making skirts for a Theatre production at my school, a friend of mine actually offered to sneak to my house to get it, (after 10 minutes of fighting with an ancient I don't-know-what-brand, I gave her my keys, and I finished the final skirt during my last class of the day). I've been using it for about 5-6 years now.

My grandmother is a professional seamstress, so my Dad is going to attempt to talk her into letting me have one of her machines (She's got a few that cost over $1000, but I doubt I'll get one of those). She's been doing that since before I was born, so I have a lot of trust in her machine choices. I believe she uses Kenmore too, but I'm not sure.
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Unread 08-10-2008, 07:50 PM   #63
PrincessHinata
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1) What Machine do you own? Include the maker and model number please! A Husquvarna Huskystar E20

2) when did you purchase it/how old is it? I received it as a Christmas gift in 2006.

3) How much sewing experience do you have? (how long sewing, how advanced your projects are) I've been sewing actively for about 5 years. Started with handsewing, moved to my mom's ancient Singer, then to the Huskystar.

4) what do you like most about the machine? It's really simple to use and is a total powerhorse. The lady doing the demo on it showed how it sews through like 6 layers of denim. It sews fur and all sorts of stuff. Awesome machine.

5) what do you not like? It has tension issues, and even a coworker of my mom's has the same issue with hers, as hers is the E10 model. And it has problems going through thinner fabrics, but that's mostly my fault for not switching needles/etc.

6) Would you recommend your machine to a fellow cosplayer? YES. It was a great buy and we even got it during a Christmas sale. I love this machine.
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Unread 08-13-2008, 09:54 PM   #64
FyreGothChylde
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1) What Machine do you own? Include the maker and model number please! Brother Ls-2125i

2) when did you purchase it/how old is it? It's only a few months old..^.^

3) How much sewing experience do you have? (how long sewing, how advanced your projects are) Handsewing for 2 new years and still do in mix with using the machine. It's my first sewing machine.

4) what do you like most about the machine? Simple to use..Actually picked on how to thread and use it within one to two days. It says its only for basic use but I've been using it on leather and pleather and it works pretty well..(not for alot of layers but you know..).
It's also good if your on a budget..I got it at Wal-mart for around $80 dollars.

5) what do you not like? The thread breaks occasionally and a needle did once too..but I think I was pushing it too hard ^.^;

6) Would you recommend your machine to a fellow cosplayer? Yes, especially if your a beginner to sewing machines and on a low budget.
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Unread 08-19-2008, 11:53 PM   #65
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1) What Machine do you own? Include the maker and model number please!

Singer Quantum Futura CE-200 (embroidery/sewing machine combo)

2) when did you purchase it/how old is it?

I just got it about 8 months ago (December 07), but have only recently got around to using it. I got it on eBay, it was basically brand new, but it is a slightly older model, I think I've seen Joann's clearancing them for around $650-700.

3) How much sewing experience do you have? (how long sewing, how advanced your projects are)

I've been sewing for about 6 years, still an intermediate. As for machine embroidery, my knowledge is quite limited. Prior to buying this machine, I knew how to stabilize and hoop fabric, and not much else.

4) what do you like most about the machine?

For the money, it's a good machine. It sews very well, the motor is strong, and most parts are metal. It has hand controls for sewing speed, so you don't have to worry about keeping the right amount of pressure on the foot pedal.

It has tons of stitch functions, like one step button-holes, and a true free-arm, with the normal sewing table detached, the arm is only 3" wide and centered with the needle, making sleeves MUCH easier than most machines I've used.

it came with a good assortment of feet and accessories, like extra spool caps and lots of bobbins. (Apparently it takes a special kind of bobbin)

It has a lot of automated sensors, it knows when your tension is off and where, it'll display a code to tell you what's wrong.

As for the embroidery functions, the machine itself is quite capable of decent results.

5) what do you not like?

Embroidery can look good from this machine, the included Autopunch software however, is pretty frustrating. You can't control stitch direction, so if the little goblin living in the software code decides to do random things with your design, you're stuck with odd looking stitches. Sometimes the Autopunch function screws up, leaving you with big gaps in your design, even with a vector image, and from the same image and settings, it will draw it out different almost every time, so you need to save your designs once you find one that works.

The software is also a horrid pain to install on either Windows XP SP2or Vista, there's a pesky Windows security update that disables the main .dll to initialize the software and transmit data to the machine, and the patches don't always work correctly.

There's a tension issue when using large maxi spools for embroidery with the back spool holder. You need a thread net, it'll set off the tension sensor every 5 seconds without one. Singer makes no mention of this whatsoever, and speaking of no mention....

Singer's manual and online support and FAQ are terrible. Thankfully, there's an excellent Yahoo! group for Futura embroidery, and their old messages answer just about everything the manual doesn't.


6) Would you recommend your machine to a fellow cosplayer?

Yes, and no. I'd definitely recommend the Futura line, but if at all possible, I'd advise getting the CE-250 or CE-350, because they overhauled the software and it now has lots more editing functions.

Aside from the software issues though, the CE-200 is a solid machine. Definitely not a machine for travel though, it weighs over 30 pounds. ^^;

Last edited by Bahzi : 08-19-2008 at 11:56 PM.
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Unread 09-26-2008, 03:54 PM   #66
ToroSonyCat
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please, can someone tell me if mini-sewing mashines are any good? im getting one cos i cant afford a normal-sized one.

it says on the box it does the same as a normal-sized one but for cheaper.
(not getting it till christmas though)
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Unread 09-26-2008, 08:02 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToroSonyCat View Post
please, can someone tell me if mini-sewing mashines are any good? im getting one cos i cant afford a normal-sized one.

it says on the box it does the same as a normal-sized one but for cheaper.
(not getting it till christmas though)
Generally, no. There's only one mini sewing machine I'd ever consider for making a whole costume or doing anything but mending, and that's the Janome Sew-mini, which retails for around $60. Update: Apparently this machine sucks too, see post #72 below. Anything else will probably just be a waste of money unless it's just for the occasional hem or repair. I've heard of nearly all those other mini machines that they have bobbin and tension issues that aren't something most novices can easily deal with, and they're useless for anything thicker than quilter's cotton. For whatever machine you're considering, look up reviews on Google. If there's a lot of 1 or 2 star reviews, avoid like the plague.


A much better bet would be to search thrift stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army for used machines, as they'll be cheap (sometimes only $25 or so), and many older machines were actually better made than current ones, this particularly applies to Singer machines.

I used to have a mini Singer mending machine, back when I was just getting into cosplay, it didn't last through a whole costume, it was a total waste of money. I'd have done better to just handsew until I could save up enough money for a real sewing machine, it would have saved me $30 and a lot of frustration.

Last edited by Bahzi : 10-02-2008 at 04:28 PM.
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Unread 09-27-2008, 05:04 AM   #68
ToroSonyCat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Animeisha View Post
Generally, no. There's only one mini sewing machine I'd ever consider for making a whole costume or doing anything but mending, and that's the Janome Sew-mini, which retails for around $60. Anything else will probably just be a waste of money unless it's just for the occasional hem or repair. I've heard of nearly all those other mini machines that they have bobbin and tension issues that aren't something most novices can easily deal with, and they're useless for anything thicker than quilter's cotton. For whatever machine you're considering, look up reviews on Google. If there's a lot of 1 or 2 star reviews, avoid like the plague.


A much better bet would be to search thrift stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army for used machines, as they'll be cheap (sometimes only $25 or so), and many older machines were actually better made than current ones, this particularly applies to Singer machines.

I used to have a mini Singer mending machine, back when I was just getting into cosplay, it didn't last through a whole costume, it was a total waste of money. I'd have done better to just handsew until I could save up enough money for a real sewing machine, it would have saved me $30 and a lot of frustration.
Thank you so much for the review.
I have sadly allready perchased the mini sewing mashine, but ah well.
Ill just have to hope this is a good one. I guess i wasnt a very smart buyer.

If it doesnt work out, ill do as you say and search thrift stores and such.
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Unread 09-29-2008, 09:15 PM   #69
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Are there any "mini" sewing machines and sergers worth purchasing? I think they would be useful for faraway conventions, incase something happens to my costume--because strange accidents can happen! Thank you!
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Unread 10-01-2008, 08:16 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hime View Post
Are there any "mini" sewing machines and sergers worth purchasing? I think they would be useful for faraway conventions, incase something happens to my costume--because strange accidents can happen! Thank you!
Read the first paragraph of this post.

I always bring a small repair kit with me to cons that includes things like needles, thread, scissors and, depending on the costumes, things like fabric glue, a mini hot glue gun, super glue, safety pins and tape. Never had a costume mishap that the emergency kit couldn't take care of.
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Unread 10-02-2008, 01:13 PM   #71
_Kumi-chan_
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1) What Machine do you own? Include the maker and model number please!
Pfaff Smart 200c.

2) when did you purchase it/how old is it?
About two and a half months ago (mid-July), $300 on sale. Was technically purchased for me as a "joint" machine; I'm working off my half in sewing for the other person, and it's meant for both our projects (I'm the primary user, though).

3) How much sewing experience do you have?
- how long sewing?

At least ten years machine sewing, probably dabbling a bit before that. I started with hand-sewing doll clothes as a kid, moved on to my mother's '70s model Singer for school projects and costumes in my early teens, and got my own low-end (modern) Singer model when I started doing more costumes and Mom got tired of me using hers all the time. I've owned a couple of cheap Singers and a Brother, all of which acquired serious tension issues after a while, sometimes after a few projects.

- how advanced are your projects?
Intermediate to advanced intermediate. I've got a lot of experience but I've only recently started to branch out beyond straight stitch on the sewing machine because I haven't had a need for anything else. I've been altering nearly every existing pattern I use for several years now, and I make about half my own.

4) what do you like most about the machine?
It has a ton of computerized stitches and a self-threading function, which are nice if not entirely necessary (I may start using more of them later on, though). The things I really like are:
- The cover for the bobbin case (drop in) is clear so I can easily keep an eye on how low I am.
- Can take on anything, pretty much. I haven't done too many heavy-duty projects yet, but I've gone from quilting cotton to linen to upholstry suede without any tension issues. Some of its heavier capabilities were also demonstrated for me at the store (7-8 layers of denim?)
- Quieter than anything else I've owned.
- Can take punishment (has fallen over heavily in the car on several occasions without negative effects).
- Power cord and pedal cord are separate. Less bulky this way.
- Comes with a hard cover case.
- Has a one-touch "bind off" button. Press it and it does three stay-stitches.
- Resets to default setting (needle centered, straight stitch) when the power is turned off and on.
- Guides the fabric on its own, with minimal adjustments.
- Has a speed adjustment feature (doesn't matter if you're lead-footed, pick your setting and that's what it sews at).
- A function I haven't used yet but helped sell me on the machine is that it does one-step buttonholes.

5) what do you not like?
It's heavy, but that's actually something I was looking for in a machine. I also haven't quite figured out how to set the stitch functions without consulting the manual but that's a matter of time. The bobbins are more expensive, and the spool pin is horizontal feed (I prefer vertical).

6) Would you recommend your machine to a fellow cosplayer?
Probably not to a beginner, but for anyone who has a few intermediate-level projects under their belt and who plans to continue sewing, it would be an excellent investment.
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Unread 10-02-2008, 01:40 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Animeisha View Post
Generally, no. There's only one mini sewing machine I'd ever consider for making a whole costume or doing anything but mending, and that's the Janome Sew-mini, which retails for around $60.
I wouldn't even recommend the Sew-mini. It has so many issues with tension and weak needles; I don't think it's worth the price (and I got the one I had for $30 when Hancock Fabrics was having a sale... still not worth it. I'm lucky they let me return it!) If it was just my machine, I wouldn't be so belligerent towards the Sew-mini, but a good friend of mine has one as well, and it acts the same way. =\
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Unread 10-02-2008, 04:21 PM   #73
Bahzi
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Originally Posted by Zipchan View Post
I wouldn't even recommend the Sew-mini. It has so many issues with tension and weak needles; I don't think it's worth the price (and I got the one I had for $30 when Hancock Fabrics was having a sale... still not worth it. I'm lucky they let me return it!) If it was just my machine, I wouldn't be so belligerent towards the Sew-mini, but a good friend of mine has one as well, and it acts the same way. =\
Well, scratch that then. ^^; A couple ladies who I worked with at Hancock's a couple years ago said it wasn't so bad, but I think they had older models. Thanks for the update, I'll edit my original post accordingly.
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Unread 10-12-2008, 04:22 PM   #74
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I'm wondering if anyone in this thread could give me some advice...

I've been borrowing my mother's 35-year-old New Home machine for all costume-making purposes so far (good machine if a bit temperamental), but she's moving across the country which means I have to get a machine of my own. Right now, I'm looking at a Husqvarna Viking Emerald 116...has anyone had experience with this machine? Is it good? Would you recommend something else instead? (I'm trying to stay in this general price range...I doubt I need any more features than this one has, considering my old machine did everything I needed and it was pretty bare-bones)

Thank you! ^^
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Unread 10-12-2008, 05:02 PM   #75
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I have one!

It worked really well when I was testing out the floor model over at the place where they sold it. It sews fantastically, and through three layers of heavy denim no problem. It's got pretty much everything you need, so you're all good to go. The lady there even sewed leather on it like it was nothing!

Just don't be like me and don't check out the parts when they bring you a new one from the back. Mine was missing parts from the bobbin case, and some of the parts in there were worn and scratched. D:

So CHECK EVERYTHING, ask the dealer every question you can think of, test it out, and you'll be fine.
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