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Topic: Sewing Machine / Serger Q&A  (Read 123793 times)
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babyjoy726
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2004 11:41:31 PM »

so, after weeks of debating what my next splurge is (choices being between weaving, sewing, or another knitting class), i've decided to purchase a sewing machine since it seems like the best investment...  so what machines are you using?  and/or what's a great starter machine?  i have a friend who's been sewing for a while and she said "if you get a small machine and you love to sew, you're going to want a serger instead."

so so confusing for one that doesn't know what the hell to look for!  helppppppppppppppp...  Cry
« Last Edit: March 01, 2004 07:41:13 AM by the craftster admin (leah) » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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alea
« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2004 01:26:02 PM »

Well, I don't know if this helps, but I have some kind of weird ex Home Ec class machine I bought at a used furniture shop for $20. The machine is solid steel and has its own cabinet, which I love. I bought it because it was cheap, but it even has plastic disks to stick on for some kinds of embroidery. I'm probably in trouble if it ever breaks, but I've had it for five years and no trouble yet. Sews like a dream. Only thing I don't like is that it has a knee pedal that can be hard to control.
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« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2004 03:57:19 PM »

I'm considering buying a serger and I wanted to know what those of you who own one use it for.  I do a lot of sewing but really am not sure when I would use it.  Brand suggestions are also welcome.
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abricot
« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2004 12:49:55 AM »

If I ever pay off some of my bills, I will have a serger in my loving arms! When trying to decide if I should even buy one, I found a couple of links that were rather helpful...

http://www.skepsis.com/~tfarrell/textiles/sewing/buying.html#whatsa_serger

http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/textiles/nf142.htm

It may be not the personal advice you are looking for, but it did help me understand the uses/limitations/etc.
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« Reply #54 on: January 31, 2004 03:53:45 PM »

Thanks so much.  That helps a lot!   Cheesy
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« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2004 11:18:13 AM »

babyjoy, I have a New Home (which I think is now named Janome) that I love. It's not their cheapest one, but definitely not their most expensive either. It has tons of different stitches. I've had it for 10 years - other than a good tune up (after I dropped it once - oops!), I've never had any problems with it. I used it for everything from sewing curtains, pillows, handbags, Halloween costumes, crafts, machine quilting, etc. - it's really been terrific. They are usually fairly well priced as well, and can use almost any Singer foot attachment. (It comes with 7-8 different kind of feet, but I had one old foot from an old machine that I liked to make piping out of, and it fit on there no problem). My mother-in-law has a Singer that is 30 years old - she uses it all the time for quilting - and it hums along no problems!

Also, if $$$ is an issue, lots of sewing machine places sell used machines - it might almost be better to get a better quality used machine that a cheaper new machine.

Here's a link - http://www.quilt.com/FAQS/SewMachinePurchaseFAQ.html

Good luck - having a sewing machine is the best!!!
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« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2004 01:43:25 PM »

I bought a brother sewing machine (not sure the model) from Walmart for around $150 about 5 years ago.  It has held up really well with only one servicing (I highly reccomend this, because after a while, the machine loses its timing, gets dirty in places unreachable, etc).

I also bought a serger a year and a half ago.  It is a Bernette Bernina and it has suited me well (just got it serviced, yeah).  I picked it up from someone on craigslist.org (which is most widely used in San Francisco, but is picking up in most major areas).  All I did was post an ad looking for a serger.  This couple had bought this industrial one for a business that fell through.  In the end, I got a $900 machine for half the price.  These machines are a little harder to thread and you have to really learn how to set the tensions if you are using a wide variety of fabrics.  

One thing to remember about these machines is cleaning.  If you use it for more than 10 hours a week, they reccomend you clean the parts with oil.  Just read the instructions for that.

Good Luck!
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« Reply #57 on: February 11, 2004 03:09:34 PM »

I started with an old metal singer. I broke it with some ridiculous layered denim project, and it would have cost more to fix than I paid for it. Then I got a Kenmore from sears for just less than $200. That lasted me a couple years, and was a great learning machine because it did button holes, and had a few decorative stitches. I then broke it sewing some sort of thing that had boning, and fake fur. I was on a deadline, and tired of breaking my machines so I decided to purchase a Husquarvarna Viking Lily555. It cost more than my computer, and my hubbies computer combined. The downside was the cash it cost, but on the upside I had outgrown the capabilities of my little Kenmore, and needed more out of my machine. Plus the lily can sew through a yardstick and not break. I do a lot of wierd costuming pieces and that was really important. The old Kenmore I got repaired and teach my friends to sew on now.

I have yet to get a serger, but really want one. I don't know about anyone else, but a serger is a secondary machine for me. I never really wanted one until I started doing a lot of sewing, but I don't do a lot of production sewing so getting professional seam edges isn't as big a priority.

If this is a first machine purchase, I would go with an inexpensive used sewing machine from a repair shop. You can get really good deals.
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« Reply #58 on: February 16, 2004 02:36:33 PM »

i have 2 sewing machines and a serger, and they are all brother brand, which i totally recommend.

  The first machine i ever had was the bottom of the line brother which i used for years and never had trouble with, i even dropped it off a top shelf once and it still worked fine.  but i totally failed to maintain it and the timing got way off, and i was looking for more, so then i got a nicer brother.  it does auto-buttonholes, stretch stitches, blind hem stitch, and lots of other stuff.  i use the fancier one for "nice" projects and the old one for crazy experimental projects that have the potential to destroy a machine (crazy boning, embroidery on denim, etc).

if you are going to get  a serger, get at least a 4 thread one.  it's much more useful than 2 or 3.  i love my brother serger. it had differential feed which is imporant if you sew stretch fabrics.  

check out eBay for machines...i got my newer sewing machine and serger from a company that factory reconditions machines used in sales demos.  They look and sew like brand new, and are usually about 1/2 the price of the same machine, new.  

if you go to the Threads magazine website, they have an article on shopping for machines and sergers that are really useful.  of course 90% of the machines are out of any normal person's price range, but they have a good run down on features and what to look for in general.
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« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2004 11:46:20 AM »

I have a New Home machine (I think their new name is Janome) and I love it. They are pretty well priced,  and I got a discount for being a student aswell.  There is a little shop downtown that specializes in that brand, and they were much cheaper then chain stores like Walmart, joannes, etc.

I got a serger by the same brand, but I love my machine much more. Your friend is right- if you start sewing alot, you're probably going to want a serger eventually. But, I wouldn't go for one instead of a regular machine. The tension on sergers is a little tricky for me, and I think a sewing machine is much more versatile.

Good luck on year search!
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