Anyone here have a recommendation for a sewing machine?

in #steemit2 years ago

Strange question, I know. But I'm looking to pick one up and I'm not sure what features I should be looking forward to. It needs to be able to handle heavier fabrics such as cordura.

I've got a budget of about $200-300 bucks.

Anyone got a recommendation?

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Yes! Buy used.
Go to craigslist or Facebook "For sale in your area" or anywhere you can find old stuff for sale. The 1960s Singers and other machines were so much better made than today's thousand-dollar all-plastic models. Someday they're gonna make needles outta plastic, too, I swear.
For $50 or less you can often find a Singer with a built in table.

A machine that can handle heavy fabric? You'd have to spend a thousand or more for new machines that can handle two layers of denim. I don't know your skill level, but an old $30 machine might be a safe way to begin, because $200-300 will get nothing * new* that is sturdy or strong.

My 1949 matte-black Singer is awesome, but I tried to set the tension on it to sew through satin and it all went fubar, and it turns out I have to order thread-spools online from antique dealers because the bobbin doesn't work with today's standard thread spools. It seems to me every town has its resident sewing machine guru who loves to collect old machines and knows how to keep them running, but these collectors are dying off along with the last of the WWII veterans. Good luck!!

You might have to venture into CT or NJ to get lower prices. When I specify "heavy duty" sewing machine, the listings get farther from home for you. But you say you already do craigslist, so you can hunt with the GF. Maybe her heart is set on new. (Junk, I say, all plastic, all junk!)
https://newyork.craigslist.org/search/sss?query=heavy+duty+sewing+machine

If you do buy an old machine, you can huntline online for old owners' manuals, download, and print for free! You can also order antique parts online. You might check ebay for local listings. Shipping a sewing machine $$$$ and buying it sight unseen is risky.

i didnt think to buy used (despite being an avid fan of craigslist). How would you sew different thread patterns? is that all in the foot?

Honestly, I know NOTHING about sewing, this is actually for the GF who knows how to, but doenst have access to a machine. Do you know of a good model that still has available parts?

Being in the NYC area, i have access to a lot of inventory on CL. Tons of people selling things!!

If you want various thread patterns, you'll need to look for 1960s and newer models. Just spin the dial to get zig-zag or any number of fancy stitches. If you have a craigslist in your area, I'd start there, or look online at whatever For Sale sites you can find. I look online for parts. I look online for everything! Singer is not the only brand, not even the "best" brand; I passed up a $150 German model from the 1960s and I'm still kicking myself over that one.
Using the right needle matters. Skinny needles for satin, heavy needles for denim. There are like a dozen needle sizes. The owner's manual (find it online!) will spell it all out.
Thread tension, bobbin tension, oiling the gears, keeping the machine clean (a tiny toothbrush to clear the thread plate) -- all these little **mechanical ** details plague me when I try to sew. Let me know what you find in your area - my sister knows waaaaay more about this stuff than I do, and she can spot a deal.

Did you find what you were looking for?

I started looking at a bunch of machines as suggested above, and found a bunch of parts, I just need to zone in on which one fits the bill the best. My mom has an older machine (that requires warming up), but its rather complex and it pushed me away from ever wanting to learn how to use one (strange enough, I feel like sewing is something everyone should know how to do at some point in their life!)

You can just borrow my brother sewing machine it does it's job unless you trying to make it go through thick leather or sumtin

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