different types of sewing machines
Sewing Machine Techniques : How to Hem Knit Pants
advise on sewing machines?
I am looking at three different types of sewing machines and cannot make a decision. Please help
1. Singer #1939638
2. Kenmore limited edition 17-stich
3. Brother xl5500
If anyone has any experience with those machines please share
Wow guys thank you very much for all of your suggestions. If there is anybody out there who had experience with those particular machines that would help too.
Of those three, I'd take the Kenmore. It's made by Janome, and in my experience, beginners with Janome have fewer problems than those with modern Singers or Brothers.
Do you know how to sew? Do you have someone to teach you basic sewing machine operation skills? It's a whole lot easier with a teacher, which is what machines from sewing machine shops have and machines from big box stores don't have. The Kenmore and Singer have one step buttonholers, which are easier for most beginners than the 4 step the Brother has.
Here's my standard sermon on beginner sewing machines:Take a look at Kate Dicey's essay on choosing sewing machines at
http://www.katedicey.co.uk (and take a look around at her site...
there are a lot of nice little tutorials there!). The FAQ she
refers to is at http://preview.tinyurl.com/l5rzu6 now.
What I want for beginners in sewing:
- a machine that doesn't scare you
- a machine that isn't balky (cheap new machines are often very
balky or need adjustments often and are rarely repairable -- just
too frustrating to learn on!)
- very good straight stitch
- good zigzag (4-5 mm is fine, more than that is gravy)
- a method of making buttonholes that makes sense to you
- adjustable presser foot pressure (which helps some fabric
- accessory presser feet that don't cost an arm and a leg
(machines that use a "short shank foot" typically handle generic
presser feet pretty well. Some brands of machines use proprietary
or very expensive presser feet)
If the budget stretches far enough:
- blindhem and stretch blindhem stitches
- triple zigzag (nice for elastic applications)
- a couple of decorative stitches (you won't use them nearly as
much as you think)
- electronic machine because of the needle position control and
because the stepper motors give you full "punching force" at
slow sewing speeds -- mechanical machines often will stall at
Please go to the best sewing machine dealers around and ask them
to show you some machines in your price range, *especially* used
machines you can afford. You'll get a far better machine at a
specific price buying used than new and a good dealer is worth
their weight in sewing machine needles when you get a machine
problem -- often they can talk you through the problem over the
phone. While you're trying things out, try a couple of machines
(sewing only, not combo sewing-embroidery) over your price limit,
just so you can see what the difference in stitch quality and
ease of use might be. You may find you want to go for the used
Cadillac. Or you might want the new basic Chevy. Might as well
try both out.
Suggested reading: John Giordano's The Sewing Machine Book
(especially for used machines), Carol Ahles' Fine Machine Sewing
(especially the first and last few chapters) and Gale Grigg
Hazen's Owner's Guide to Sewing Machines, Sergers and Knitting
Machines. All of these are likely to be available at your public
Used brands I'd particularly look for: Elna, Bernina,
Viking/Husqvarna, Pfaff, Singer (pre 1970), Juki, Toyota
New "bargain brand" I'd probably pick, if new, decent and budget
was my choice: Janome (who also does Kenmore).
different types of sewing machines
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