choosing a new sewing machine

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Hi there,

It's been a long time but I'm about to get back to sewing after a 25 to
30 year absence.  Starting out doing new stuff for our 9th grandbaby
including sewing on cotton and some knits.  Just remember from the past
the "hell" of sewing on stretch fabrics and want to be sure that the
machine I choose will be able to do this.   Since we have to
grandaughters so far, one who is 21 months and one who will be 7 next
week would like to be able to do some really fancy and unique things
for thier clothing as welll.  So... the ?? is what machine to buy.  Any
and all suggestions will be appreciated.

Cheers,
Pamela


Re: choosing a new sewing machine
snipped-for-privacy@roncastle.com wrote:

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I have sewn knits on my 1924 Singer 66 hand crank.  The biggest
advantage for sewing knits is using the right type of needle!  That
said, the best advice anywhere on the net for buying a used or ne
machine is here:
http://www.cet.com/~pennys/faq/smfaq.htm

No-one can tell you which is the 'best' machine.  MY best may not be
yours...  Machines are like bras and shoes - you have to try them to see
what fits you withing your price bracket!  I have 12 machines (11
working), and they ALL sew knits beautifully, with the right needles in
them!  :)  Make a list of the types of fabric you sew most and take
samples when you go to try the machines out.  If you are going to sew a
LOT of knits, it's worth thinking about a serger/overlocker as well as
an ordinary machine.

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: choosing a new sewing machine
Morning, Kate,

Thanks for a great response.  I'm going to take your suggestion and go
try some machines and take some sample fabrics with me to see which one
feels best to me.

I'll have to do some research on the serger/overlocker as I don't have
a clue what this is or does.  I'll go to the website you suggested and
see what I can learn there.

Thanks again and have a great day.

PS:  Loved your site, what beautiful work you do and what fun it must
be to create such lovely works of art!

Pamela


Re: choosing a new sewing machine
snipped-for-privacy@roncastle.com wrote:
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A good local Old Sewing Machine Guy/Gal is a true friend!  :)
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If you look on my web site in the Sewing Machine Gallery, you'll see
what they are!  :)  They sew, overcast the edges, and cut off the seam
allowance in one pass!  They are also much quicker than a standard
machine and make all sorts of processes easier.  I've worn one of mine
out...  :(
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Thank you.  It's great to sew for others!
They pay me!  ;)
I get to sew all sorts of things! :)
I get to sew Gurlie stuff!  :D (Can't do that for the boy!)
I don't have to find space for what I sew as it all goes to live
elsewhere - or most of it, anyway!
It pays for a truly vicious fabric and thread habit!  Not to mention my
passion for expensive pins, sewing machines, rotary cutters...  ;P


--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: choosing a new sewing machine
I started sewing again when my children were small, and my view is that
for children's clothes especially, you *NEED* an overlocker/serger - it
will transform what you can do and make it so easy to 'run things up'.
An overlocker trims and neatens the seams as you sew, and works the
same for stretchy and firm fabrics.  I am no great dressmaker at all,
but I got so I could just sit down with a bargain bundle of fabric and
produce clothes and fun costumes more or less out of my head, just by
cutting round clothes that already fit them.  Maybe it was
psychological, but with the sewing machine I was always having to
obsess about the design/layout/mark seam allowance stuff, and usually
managed to screw it up somewhere, whereas with the overlocker it was a
three-step job - draw the shape I wanted, cut it out with an
approximate seam allowance, overlock it and there it was.

You still need a sewing machine for the things an overlocker won't do,
depending on how versatile your model is.  Mine was the most basic so
only does seams at the edge of something - I can't sew applique stripes
on a tiger, for instance.  The two things work together, but the
overlocker is magic!


Re: choosing a new sewing machine
spinningwoman wrote:
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I respectfully requst to differ -- a serger is certainly very helpful,
but there is no *need* for it.

Re: choosing a new sewing machine
Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to send wrote:
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No, but then a sewing machine is not *necessary* - nor is a closet full
of clothes.  But a sewing machine beats a needle and thread, even with a
thimble....and it sure beats a bone needle and sinew and some skins.

--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: choosing a new sewing machine

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<Splorf!>  Nice, Joanne...



Re: choosing a new sewing machine
Pogonip wrote:
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Yes, but as someone who has always been told by people that
such-and-such a thing is NECESSARY and that you shouldn't do it without
it and given up on a purchase because I could not afford all the bells,
whistles, and fancy extras that they insisted were absolutely necessary,
only to find later that I could have done okay with fewer extras and had
a perfectly workable solution that I could afford, I always tend to
point out when someone indicates something is *necessary* when it truly
isn't, lest an uninformed person believe them.

Re: choosing a new sewing machine
You are absolutely right, Melinda; I didn't mean it to sound like that
when I said 'need', and thank you for making the point.  I'd hate to
think I had made someone turn back from sewing just because they
couldn't afford an overlocker.  You definitely *don't* need it in that
sense at all.  What I mean't to get over is that for someone
inexperienced, in my personal experience, having an overlocker lets you
get to the fun bit fast and produce clothes in hours, not days or
weeks, which is so encouraging at the beginning.  And starting with
small children is a ball because they wear the thickest rose-tinted
spectacles - if it's pink and sparkly/has their name on the front or
whatever, they are going to love it even if the seams are not perfect!
And I just love the feeling of being able to make a costume *now*
because they want to play nurses *today* and see them in it an hour
later.

I guess what I meant is that I would rather have an overlocker and an
old basic sewing machine than have a new whizzy sewing machine and no
overlocker.


Re: choosing a new sewing machine
I started sewing again when my children were small, and my view is that
for children's clothes especially, you *NEED* an overlocker/serger - it
will transform what you can do and make it so easy to 'run things up'.
An overlocker trims and neatens the seams as you sew, and works the
same for stretchy and firm fabrics.  I am no great dressmaker at all,
but I got so I could just sit down with a bargain bundle of fabric and
produce clothes and fun costumes more or less out of my head, just by
cutting round clothes that already fit them.  Maybe it was
psychological, but with the sewing machine I was always having to
obsess about the design/layout/mark seam allowance stuff, and usually
managed to screw it up somewhere, whereas with the overlocker it was a
three-step job - draw the shape I wanted, cut it out with an
approximate seam allowance, overlock it and there it was.

You still need a sewing machine for the things an overlocker won't do,
depending on how versatile your model is.  Mine was the most basic so
only does seams at the edge of something - I can't sew applique stripes
on a tiger, for instance.  The two things work together, but the
overlocker is magic!


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