A walking foot is good for fake fur, but a Teflon foot (or a roller foot if you can't get that) is better for vinyl. Really, the brand name of the machine doesn't matter.. Knowing how to use it and learning all the tips and tricks to sewing are what makes the difference. Any brand machine will do (though I think the ones at Wal-mart all suck. Buy a good used one cheaper from a sewing machine dealer, that way you can get help with it if you need it and you are supporting a local business.) All machines that I have ever seen use the foot pedal to control the speed. YOU control it.
- The public library has tons of learn to sew books to read for free. The Reader's Digest one is huge and very comprehensive. Good stuff.
- Always use a NEW needle for every project.
- Use the right size and type of needle. Example: Fake fur usually has a knit background. Use a needle made for knits. Trim the fur out of all the seam areas (yes, snip-snip, by hand, a bit at a time) before sewing it.
- Do not buy that crap 50 cent a spool thread. Ever. Use good thread. Same goes for if the thread is older than you are.
- When starting a seam, hold the thread tails off to the side or the back so they don't get knotted up underneath. You can also hold onto them to help your item move under the foot of the machine as you're starting to sew.
- Prewash your fabrics before sewing. Even fake fur. Vinyl, polyurethane or PVC, felt, and leather are the only exceptions to this rule.
- For leather, PVC, or vinyl, you want to set the machine to make fewer stitches to the inch. Sewing 20 stitches to the inch may look nice, but if there will be any stress on the seam (such as an item of clothing being worn) the seam may separate due to the stitches being so close together. 6-12 stitches per inch should work for most projects.
- remember to have fun sewing.