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Unread 05-02-2011, 10:57 PM   #76
tarinalove
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I need a new machine. My Brother died, and re-servicing it would be a pain. I've had it for over 10 years. :/

Guess it's time for a new machine.

What's a good machine to do commissions with? Work on gowns/long dresses, and has a FRONT bobbin. I hate drop in bobbins and prefer machines that are metal on the inside, plastic outside is fine.

I was looking at the janome 2212 (since it looks simple and has a front bobbin).

Or should I get a Bernina? I do not want a singer, cause most of those are not good quality anymore, and possibly made in the US?

Also interested in a Viking. But unsure as to what. D:
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Unread 05-09-2011, 08:12 PM   #77
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Unread 05-11-2011, 01:13 AM   #78
Jodi Lane
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I use a Husqvarna Viking Emerald 183. It's pretty sweet and my older one before I upgraded was a Viking 400 Computer, also awesome. You can find good ones like this on Ebay too if you're looking for something better. They are so awesome. Finding one with a drop in bobbin is a must. I love mine. I use this for my business and It works wonderfully, I love my machine! One thing about vikings though is they like tight stitches on stretch fabrics. But once you get the little quirks down, you're good to go!!!

You know, I think MOST machines out there cater to the quilting audience. Most of us could care freakin' less about quilting, no desire here. Sure it's cool if you like that sort of thing but when you're a costumer or a fashion designer like I am you really have a difficult time finding a machine that is going to be good for your hobby or business. That's when it is best to post a thread like this--good going! I highly recommend paying attention only to the multiple types of fabrics you'll be working with. I almost 100% of the time work with stretch fabrics, so naturally I gotta find a machine that caters to that. So, if you do a lot of costumes you're probably also going to want something similar to what I have. Just pay attention the the stuff you can do with the machine apparel wise, like trims, edging, and so on. I hope I have helped!

Last edited by Jodi Lane : 05-11-2011 at 01:16 AM.
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Unread 05-12-2011, 05:00 PM   #79
Aarri2129
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I use a Singer Inspiration 4220. It's a very good basic machine, with not too many features and stitches, but enough that I can get done what I need to get done without too much hassle. The stitch length dial falls a little short, because the range is 1-5 (and the 5 really isn't that long of a stitch), but I've accomplished a lot with it (and my beginner sewing skills) so far, and hope for much more.
I guess my favorite part is the ease with which it operates. Thread the needle and bobbin, plug it in, select your stitch, and you're good to go. ;3 Easy to work with, easy to use, and it makes my life a lot easier when I sit down to sew.
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Unread 05-17-2011, 10:50 PM   #80
tarinalove
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodi Lane View Post
I use a Husqvarna Viking Emerald 183. It's pretty sweet and my older one before I upgraded was a Viking 400 Computer, also awesome. You can find good ones like this on Ebay too if you're looking for something better. They are so awesome. Finding one with a drop in bobbin is a must. I love mine. I use this for my business and It works wonderfully, I love my machine! One thing about vikings though is they like tight stitches on stretch fabrics. But once you get the little quirks down, you're good to go!!!

You know, I think MOST machines out there cater to the quilting audience. Most of us could care freakin' less about quilting, no desire here. Sure it's cool if you like that sort of thing but when you're a costumer or a fashion designer like I am you really have a difficult time finding a machine that is going to be good for your hobby or business. That's when it is best to post a thread like this--good going! I highly recommend paying attention only to the multiple types of fabrics you'll be working with. I almost 100% of the time work with stretch fabrics, so naturally I gotta find a machine that caters to that. So, if you do a lot of costumes you're probably also going to want something similar to what I have. Just pay attention the the stuff you can do with the machine apparel wise, like trims, edging, and so on. I hope I have helped!
Thank you! There is a Viking retailer close to me so I decided on that brand but I just do not know which one. I work with a variety of fabrics, from thin to jean. Not upholstery. I like embroidery and want to learn it, should I get one of their machines with embroidery? Also cost wise? How much am I looking at?

Thanks again!
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Unread 05-21-2011, 09:42 AM   #81
Hopeful_Koala
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I recently got a Singer 2624 as a birthday present after years of wanting one so much. >w< It's user-friendly and yeah. =) Also, like most sewing machines these days, it has 20 different stitches and I've only used about 4 of them for my sewing so far. I don't really know what to say about it since it's the first sewing machine I ever touched and used. xDDD

But I guess, that's considered something to say. It's easy to use 'cause a total sewing n00b can operate it. (^-^)b
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Unread 05-24-2011, 01:52 PM   #82
Chelsea Leigh
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I use a Consew CN2053R-1 industrial machine. But before that I used a Morse, and it worked for about 12 years before the motor went out on me. I would just be sure that you get a machine that does both straight and zigzag stiches, and make sure it's a brand that you've heard of. Brother, Singer, Pfaff, Viking are all good brands. Stay away from brands that sound like 'sew strong' or 'sews a lot' or something lame like that. lol
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Unread 05-31-2011, 08:19 PM   #83
SlytherinHG
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The one thing I have noticed as a Fashion Designer, is that the only features I use on my big cast iron monster of a Singer is the basic straight stitches for most things. If I am working on something that requires no seam allowance then the zig-zag is used.

Serger feet for machines work ok, but I recommend buying a real serger. THey are faster and just work better. I own 2. A small one for more delicate fabric and a big table mounted iron beast for denim and leather etc. For all of the elaborate things I have made over the years, I have never used any of the more decorative stitch styles the singer is capable of.

It all depends on what you eventually want to do. My machines have gotten more robust over the years due to my experience. I do all my own repairs except for the embroidery machine, so look for reliability and ease in repair and maintenance.

Simple machines are just fine. I still use my basic machine I started on before design school. It comes with me to conventions in case of major costume repair.

Brother machines are pretty good machines.
I prefer Singer.
Kenmore is good as it is the Sears brand similar to singer.

I own 1 home singer machine and 2 home kenmore machines, 1 industry singer, 1 fine fabric industry serger (overlock), 1 table mount heavy industry overlock, and 1 home embroidery machine.

I started simple when I just started to cosplay and got bigger machines the more experienced I became through design school and costumes made.

Don't be afraid, go simple and have fun. Be creative and never be afraid to do something by hand if you get confused or can't make what you want with your machine.
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Unread 07-02-2011, 10:38 PM   #84
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I had a cheapy White brand machine for 8+ years, and last year it died with six weeks left before DragonCon, so I had to replace it quickly. I ended up getting a Viking Emerald 116, and after a year of solid use I can honestly say that I love it and would change very little about it. I do a lot of sewing, both costumes and fashion, but no quilting, home decor, or embroidery, so I knew I wanted a solid mechanical machine with no frills. The Emerald 116 fits the bill. There's also a 118 model that has just a couple more features, but I really didn't need them.

I've used mostly straight stitch and zigzag -- I was in the middle of sewing a spandex bodysuit when the last machine died -- but I've also used a few of the stitches my old machine didn't have, like blind hem stitch. I've sewn a wide range of fabrics on it in just the past year: chiffon, satin, tulle, expensive French lace, spandex, vinyl, pleather, real suede, wool suiting, canvas, cotton both knit and weave, etc etc. This machine hasn't even hiccuped through any of that.

As far as things I would change, the foot doesn't raise very high, which can be a pain when trying to get more than a couple layers of heavy fabric under the foot to sew. That and the area around the foot can be a pretty tight squeeze, but I think that's a common flaw on any consumer-level sewing machine. Someday I'll have a big sewing room and I'll get an industrial, bolt-it-to-the-table sort of machine.
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Unread 07-07-2011, 12:32 PM   #85
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I just dumped the last two of my machines, they were both singers. They just don't make them how they used to. My new Janome DC1050 is a DREAM. Very easy to use, a billion and one stiches and very easy on a beginner, but can be used for experts as well. http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/...uilting/DC1050 mmmm delicious
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Unread 07-11-2011, 12:56 PM   #86
Divinita Lunare Aria
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I've got a cheapo kenmore that I used when I first started sewing years and years ago.
It's having tension problems that I swear just won't get fixed.

I've got a ye olde Brother, very basic, it was my grandma's :P and I like it.

I've also got a Kenmore Serger which I love. Always gotta serge things or else it feels so wrong xP

I'm currently looking to buy a new sewing machine Either a Brother PC210, PC420. OR Brother's Sewing and Embroidery machines in one - SE400 or LB6800.

Unfortunately, the embroidery software is only compatible with windows and I'm using a Mac for school. I'll have to use our home computer to make designs I guess.

Also, I highly doubt I'll have any use for the 100 extra stitches on the PC420 machine so I think I'll knock that one out. I'm also a bit weary about computerized sewing machines. I like my mechanical ones :3
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Unread 07-22-2011, 08:41 PM   #87
Altair
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I've got a Singer slant-needle machine from the 1960's, model 403-A. In any sewing machine, you will absolutely want all-metal parts. Newer machines with plastic bushings and the like will wear out and break more easily. The Singer I've got from the sixties is extremely reliable, all-metal, and with proper oiling it'll sew like a champ for basically forever.

I like that model because it's not digitized, is very straightforward, and will both straight and zig-zag stitch. Also there are special buttonhole attachments for it that are also all metal and function beautifully. Also, the bobbin loads horizontally rather than vertically, which is a plus. I purchased mine from a repair company, through the costume shop I work at. These sewing machines are easy to find and reasonably priced - I paid $140 for mine, you could very well end up paying less than that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdwS_7uz2SY Here's a video that explains the machine and all of its parts. It's sort of silly, but at least you can see what it looks like and get a feel for whether or not it is right for you.

Oh yes, and a good serger, I forgot! Juki has released their garnet line, which is a series of sergers for domestic use. I purchased a Juki MO-623, and it is the bomb. Color-coded threading guide, instructions for oiling, and it's even got a handle to carry it with. Cost $300, but as sergers go it's a good price for its quality.

If looking to purchase a serger, always test it in the store first and make sure it can overlock curved seams. The Juki I have does this stunningly, and beats out other domestic sergers I've used. Worth the money if you want to preserve your seams and get a clean finish on your work. Just a thought.

Last edited by Michi : 07-23-2011 at 03:00 AM. Reason: merging a double post
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Unread 07-22-2011, 09:41 PM   #88
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I currently use a White machine which I love for most projects. I also have an industrial Brother with a huge motor (we used to own a dry cleaning business and I got the sewing machine!) set into a very nice but heavy table. It's currently at my other house so not accessible at the moment but it was fantastic, that thing could sew through anything (once I had a costume where at a couple of seams there were 6 layers of leather) fast. My friends used to be afraid of the thing. LOL.
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Unread 07-23-2011, 09:36 AM   #89
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I have two machines, a Singer Quantum 7350 and a Singer Heavy Duty 4411. I must admit, though it's something like 6 years old now, I love my Quantum. I've dropped it twice and only occasionally take it for a tune up and it runs lovely. My 4411 is already in for repairs and I only bought it in May. In defense of Singer, however, I've owned four over the years and never had a major problem, even though I sew light leathers and fur and such all the time. They also have a 2 year warranty so the 4411 at least won't cost me anything to fix.

Singers all basically thread the same and are easy to use. Be sure to change the needle first thing when you buy a new machine (no matter what brand) as the display needles are crap and might cause missed stitches the first time you sew with it. Also, you can ask the dealer (or one of the ladies at Johann's or Hancock) questions about how to use the machine when you buy it. They are usually very helpful and will demonstrate how to thread, use the button hole function, etc.

Best of luck!
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Unread 07-23-2011, 09:39 AM   #90
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I just realized that there is discussion of sergers too. I have a babylock imagine and I <3 it! I agree with Divinita, it just doesn't feel right not to serge garments.
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