Beginner's sewing machine?

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12 years 3 months ago #329175 by arnie.m
Replied by arnie.m on topic Beginner's sewing machine?
Needle & Thread??????????? :D :D :D :D

arnie
88 Valley
Nelson

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12 years 3 months ago #329181 by RaeM
Replied by RaeM on topic Beginner's sewing machine?
Still loving my Janome, nearly finished putting together my first quilt, and last night shortened some lovely evening tops I had purchased from an op shop, and they were both different types of materials, yet the machine made a great job of them.

RaeM

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12 years 3 months ago #329227 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic Beginner's sewing machine?
I still have my mothers Bernina from about 30 odd years ago and it works well with a bit of service here and there. And I can still (well did in aussie and no doubt here) get parts and acccessories for it and its still a highly sort after model.

Can I recommend instead of buying from a retail store if budget is a consideration, you find yourself a good independent sewing machine mechanic as generally speaking they have 2nd hand machines they have serviced and restored and you can always go back for parts or servicing if you have any problems.

I hate buying from retail stores for these sort of smaller but expensive smaller items because they out source all repairs and maintenance and its good to find your own sewing machine mechanic because you can always find him again at home and drop off your machine and be able to pick it up within days (or at least know what is wrong with it within days) rather than wait weeks for a retail store to transfer it, eventually get some sort of strange feedback with their markup on the repair margin, and then pick it up some weeks later....[8D]

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12 years 3 months ago #329251 by Hasbeen
Replied by Hasbeen on topic Beginner's sewing machine?
I love my wee portable Janome, sews anything from jeans to whitebait nets.
Great for smocking as well.
Stretch stitches are needed with modern fabrics.

Recovering Lifestyler


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12 years 2 months ago #329613 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Beginner's sewing machine?
I was given a basic Singer sewing machine for Christmas years ago. It weighs a ton and sews forward and backwards and that is it, no zigzag or anything. When Mum bought herself a new sewing machine, I also got her old one, an Empersel Empersil? It's a 1950/60's model. Mum sewed a lot (as in practically every night and on the weekends) She made all our clothes and frocks for the Aunts and my Grandmother. I'd hate to think how many miles it's done.
It has an embroidery thing at the top so you open up the hinged lid and fit on a disc with a shape on it and it will sew that design. I still have all the bits, well most of them but both machines need servicing.

I was using one of them in an old rented house I was in years ago. The only place I could use it where there was a handy socket was in the hall. I had to go into the lounge to do the cutting out and pinning and stuff and was busy with pins and stuff in the lounge when I heard it start sewing.... all on it's own.....

I was a tad freaked and thought it was probably something in the electrics that needed sorting so I unplugged it and swapped it for Mums old one.
Back into the pinning side of business and blow me sideways, the same thing happened. I was in the lounge and the sewing machine was in the hall and going like the clappers!

I've been a bit iffy about using either of them. I don't want Mum's old one to die so, silly really, I don't use it very much at all.

The other one would be brilliant for things like animal coats and plain sewing back and forth, I just need to get them serviced but as this sort of thing is at the very bottom of my list as far as budget goes it might be a long while yet before they have been looked at.

I've thought about getting a new one, just a simple one to mend things and keep the wind out of me strides, although, I fear there would be more mended bits than the cloth they are made of.

Technology seems to make things more and more complicated rather than easy, especially for those of us who just want to join two bits of cloth together.

My Nana had a singer treadle machine and she managed just fine. She sewed a complete ensemble for my doll when I was a kid and sewing dolls clothes (baby sized) is a fiddly business, the smaller the doll, the fiddlier it is.

Cushions should be fairly straight forward a good staring point. Have a look at a few different sorts in shops and friends places, some are just a piece of cloth folded over and sewn, others have a gusset type inset all the way around, some have piping. Just remember to leave one side open enough to stuff it and when you get to a corner of the fabric, snip the corners just out from the stitches so it doesn't pucker... so from the outside edge of the corner, cut in towards the stitches just a little. It's not totally necessary but it can help when you turn it the right way in/out.

Put the pins in sideways to the seam you are going to sew, that way the needle on the machine slips over the pin and you don't end up sewing the pins into the seam or breaking the needle.

Some machines have a neat wee doohicky on the shaft that holds the needle. It's a sharp cut in the shaft where you can put the thread to cut it off, saves grovelling about looking for the scissors you had only seconds ago and now can't find.

We had to pass a 'drivers license' in sewing class at school. We had to sew forwards and backwards to show we could start and finish the seam and also had to 'drive' in a straight line before we were allowed to even think about sewing anything. I made a pair of jeans which looked nothing like the ones I could see in my minds eye, they were pretty bad, I never wore them, in fact I don't know what happened to them. They are probably the one thing Mum threw out without wails of woe from me.

Have FUN!!!!! Oh and see if they'll chuck in a 'quick unpick'.

Yakut

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12 years 2 months ago #329760 by Stikkibeek
There looks to be a reasonable little Brother one in this months flybuys

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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12 years 2 months ago #330154 by thevarneys
Durnard, the Cascade one in the opp shop is most likely from the Warehouse - they sell a lot of Cascade brand things - cheap and break easily I'd say. I have a basic Brother which does all the main things i need it to.

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

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12 years 2 months ago #330426 by Jen - Featherston

Mich;288647 wrote: No experience of the Brother, but I agree with you about the front loading bobbin - my Janome has one of those and I much prefer it to the other type which is on my Bernina. I'm not sure, but I think Jen (Featherston) might have a Brother... Jen - is my memory serving me correctly?

Yep! and would I buy another one - NO!!

Now I have more experience in sewing I would go for an older solid machine like a Bernina or older style Janome like Mich said in her first post. these were made as precision instruments not just sewing machines! These days the sewing machines sew lots of fancy stuff but are not made to last, or made for precision.

There are some on TM that are quite cheap and well worth it. If you are going to sewing classes the only down side is that they are h.e.a.v.y!

Dont get a cascade - thats the warehouse brand and they are all bad!

Sometimes its not only what you say, its the way you say it that counts.

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12 years 1 month ago #334104 by foufee
Replied by foufee on topic Beginner's sewing machine?
possibly a little late to join the conversation but I have an absolutely ancient Husqvana that was my Nanas, from the 60s if not earlier. I had it serviced and it has not done me wrong since. Admittedly I don't sew much but it does all the basics and a bunch of fancy stuff that I have not tried.

I would vote for and older machine as long as it is a good brand and has all its parts and a manual.

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12 years 1 month ago #334339 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Beginner's sewing machine?
Hi Foufee - thanks for posting about your Husqvana. One of my work colleagues recently gave me one that belonged to his mother. Apparently has all the parts, but I haven't taken it out of the case and had a look yet as no time to play at the moment. I'm really looking forward to exploring it, and can feel this weird tingle in my bones that could possibly grow into a sewing machine collecting addiction if I were to cultivate it. This latest one makes no. 4 - Singer treadle, Janome, Bernina and now the Husqvana.
Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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11 years 9 months ago #352462 by Castle Peak
Well I went with the Brother in the end, it was half price in the sale and is simple enough.

With the help of Google and some sewing demo sites I've made cushions (ta da!), turned up hems without sticking everything up with the iron on stuff, sewed the seams on work gloves, made a Princess's blanket [8D] and made a few mistakes.

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11 years 9 months ago #352465 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Beginner's sewing machine?
I agree with Mich. It is easy to start collecting things. Once you've got a few they seem to multiply. I think I've got about ten lawnmowers, most of which work. As to sewing machines you really can't beat the old Singer ones for rugged reliability. My grandmother's hand cranked Singer was old when she got it in the 1940's. It had been left under a house somewhere and was pretty rusty so grandfather soaked it in kerosene for a while, stripped it down, cleaned it, reassembled it and it was all good again (he was a sawmill engineer). That thing sewed heavy canvas, light leather, pretty much anything one could crank through it.

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11 years 9 months ago #352666 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Beginner's sewing machine?

Castle Peak;342356 wrote: Well I went with the Brother in the end, it was half price in the sale and is simple enough.

With the help of Google and some sewing demo sites I've made cushions (ta da!), turned up hems without sticking everything up with the iron on stuff, sewed the seams on work gloves, made a Princess's blanket [8D] and made a few mistakes.


Hey Castle Peak - that's brilliant. Well done!! Thanks for letting us know how you got on. Sooo..... can we talk you into joining us next year for a quilt block swap??? [;)] :p

Igor - 10 lawnmowers???[:0] :D Now THAT'S definitely into serious collector status, LOL. As a minimalist housed in a collector's body, from time to time I truly despair at how much clutter there is around the house and I think about selling my treadle Singer. But if ever there was a wholesale disaster and we all went into survival mode, these old manual things will come back into their own. Well, that's my excuse for hanging on to it (I really do want to) [;)]

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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