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Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 08:28
by HazellB
I'm in the market for a sewing machine and wondered what everyone else has and how happy they are with it.

Mine's an old, cheap thing that sounds like a diesel van and stops dead at anything thicker than basic upholstery cotton.
I got it to make shopping bags when carriers became unpopular and it did the job really well before sitting in my spare room unloved for the past 4 years.
Now there's about 20 windows in my new place that need good, heavy curtains making and some tweed dog toys to make (the toys are to sell, I can't get them any other way and there's a demand in my shop), so the old machine won't cut it.

I'm a very basic, novice user but minor things like a lack of skill never stopped me before {rofwl} and I'm happy to learn anything new. Within months I'll be making Joules style polos and dog coats probably. There's even a spare room in the new house earmarked for sewing, knitting and so on.

So, do I buy a non-computerised machine for a couple of hundred quid or one that will cover all bases for £600ish? Have any of you bought the 'posh' versions that do letters and embroidery? If you have, are they worth the cash?

Advice, please ...... )b(

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 09:11
by kitla
I bought a Brother nv10 this year, in time to make some kilts for our Burns night
party! I'd had the same machine for years (Toyota) and used to find it took me so
long to set it up that I was preferring to do most jobs my hand rather than get that
blooming machine out! This one is fab, really easy to use for a novice like me, but
it was also recommended by the sewing shop I bought it from as it is one of their
staff favourites to use.

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 13:39
by HensAloud
I have a Toyota Super Jeans, it's supposed to sew very heavy fabric and multiple layers. Which is just as well cos I've burnt out 2 motors in the past :oops: it sews like a dream and if you shop around you can get some good deals, I managed to get a sewing table attatchement free with mine.

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 13:53
by Mo
No idea, my ancient singer treadle machine is surrounded by such a sea of 'needs mending' that I can't get near it.
But are the tweed toys for dogs to play with, or are they toy dogs???

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 13:57
by HazellB
Mo wrote:No idea, my ancient singer treadle machine is surrounded by such a sea of 'needs mending' that I can't get near it.
But are the tweed toys for dogs to play with, or are they toy dogs???


To play with.

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 15:23
by Mo
HazellB wrote:
Mo wrote:No idea, my ancient singer treadle machine is surrounded by such a sea of 'needs mending' that I can't get near it.
But are the tweed toys for dogs to play with, or are they toy dogs???


To play with.

)piicy(

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 17:52
by Totally Scrambled
Our considered opinion is to go for a mechanical machine rather than a computerised one if you are going to use it as a workhorse.
For a start they tend to be less expensive and there is less to go wrong, computer bits cost a lot to repair/replace.
They also tend to be more sturdy and handle thick fabrics better.
Ali's "go to" machine for joining bits of fabric together is her Pfaff Tiptronic 6152 which she has had for twenty years and is still going strong.
Pfaff still make an almost identical machine called the Select which comes in several models starting at about £300 up to about £500. It does lots of different stitches and most importantly for the heavy stuff has dual feed which handles a thick wodge of fabric if you want it to.
Ali also has in her collection a posh Bernina "sewing computer" that does do three types of alphabet but she hardly ever uses the embroidery bits. She reckons that unless you are going to do shed loads of embroidery on a regular basis then paying the extra for a machine that does it isn't worth the extra money.
In my opinion if you just want a machine that will handle just about anything, including leather, you can't beat an old cast iron Singer 201 or 15. The only downside is that the old Singers only do straight stitch but they do last forever. We've got a Siger 128 made in 1924, a Singer 99 from 1930, a Siger 201 from 1949 and a Singer 15 from 1960 which all sew as well as the day they came off the production line.
Dom

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 08:31
by HazellB
This is all handy information to have - thanks one and all )t'

My little shop stands in an auction centre's hall and once each month there's a general sale that has a section including home electricals (microwaves, etc) from house clearance. That sale is right outside my door. I'm tempted to let the right machine find me rather than go shopping right away and you guys telling me what's good gives me a list of absolutes and maybes to look for. Please keep them coming.

On elderly Singers - my friend deals in them quite a lot. She has an awful job finding the little extras they should come with and often finds machines part cannibalised sold as working. This doesn't put me off, though. After all, I bought a 1947 baler in '08 to make my hay and fixed it with a 50p shear bolt .... then sold it at profit last summer {rofwl}

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 18:40
by kate egg
We have a Brother industrial lockstitch a relic of when we had sewing factories, before China made it impossible for us to keep manufacturing, I digress.... It doesn't do any fancy zigzag stitches or anything like that, it can be programmed to sew in a certain pattern(s) but I have never got my head around that! It back-tacks and has auto thread cutter which is brilliant. It's not pretty but is a workhorse. You can pick them up off eBay etc. for a couple of hundred quid and they will just about sew anything )t'

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 18:52
by p.penn
My hand singer probably isn't the sort of thing you are looking for {rofwl}

I made most of my daughter's clothes when she was a baby on it, but don't remember how to even thread it! Also, I never did get the hang of 'tension', even though I understand it in theory. Bit like gears and bikes. }hairout{

Anyway, I love my old singer.

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 19 Jul 2014, 20:09
by HazellB
p.penn wrote: I never did get the hang of 'tension' }hairout{



Me neither, which is why I thought a full scale 'all bells and whistles' machine would sort me out and hide my weaknesses. Bit like a rotten driver getting into a Bentley automatic and suddenly travelling smoothly.

How's this for a bit of luck?
Not in any real rush to find a machine and awaiting all of your future advice, I still wandered along the electrical section of the auction this morning before the public were allowed in. There's usually one or two machines among the broken radios and un-used foot spas, but today there was a half dozen.
Two had no leads or foot thingies, two were rubbish and two were state of the art computerised ones in perfect, clean cases and had all their odds and ends intact. One looked old, one brand new. The new one had a receipt for £299 dated 14 months ago in it's carry case, so I took it in my shop and plugged it in. The screen said 'OK' and who am I to argue with a screen? So I bought it for £160 plus £16 commission.

Turns out one of office staff at the auction centre sews and she said the £299 receipt in the bag would have been for the machine's sale second hand, and that it was far more when new.

Just got home a searched - Husqvarna Viking Sapphire £1099! )w(
The carry bag it was in alone costs £79. The extras kit a further two hundred, etc.

To top it all, we had a very good day in the shop too )c(

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 19 Jul 2014, 22:03
by Mo
Now you have to figure out how it works. Or in another 14 months maybe it will be in there again.
Have fun.

PostPosted: 21 Jul 2014, 09:03
by HazellB
Mo wrote:Now you have to figure out how it works. Or in another 14 months maybe it will be in there again.
Have fun.


It's got a screen that any dummy could understand, apparently. Plus, unlike computers that I never mastered, I'm interested enough to learn about this subject. )t'

Someone's offered me £350 for it already. She said they're like rocking horse muck to find in good used condition.
Like an idiot, I said no at the moment ....... even though the profit on it would pay a seamstress to make what I wanted making in the first place {rofwl}

Re: Which sewing machine do you have?

PostPosted: 21 Jul 2014, 13:15
by p.penn
Well done you - what a find! I think you did the right thing hanging on to it as you would probably never own such an impressive machine again, and what a wonderful start to expanding your sewing abilities!!

PostPosted: 22 Jul 2014, 15:50
by HazellB
OMG!
Everyone should go out and buy one of these things - it's incredible!

Within twenty minutes, with only a quick glance over the instructions, I've got tension, stitches and some of the posh embroidery stuff spewing out of it already. Any idiot can use it (me included :-D ).

Just need some tracing paper to copy a pattern from one of those teach yourself .... books and I can start actually learning how to sew real things. Anything that comes out of this machine badly done is purely down to pilot error - the machine does everything but offer up the cloth in the right place. I'm seriously shocked it didn't make me a cup of coffee and take down my messages for me ...... {rofwl}