Stitch Quality

2

I want to start making my own clothes (I have someone to teach me how) and I can buy a Singer 2638 in excellent condition for $75. Is that a good model to start with? And is $75 a good price?

Singer is not the company it once was.

http://www.cet.com/~pennys/faq/smfaq.htm

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
handling issues)
– 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
slow speeds.

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 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
library.

Used brands I'd particularly look for: Elna, Bernina,
Viking/Husqvarna, Pfaff, Singer (pre 1970), Juki, Toyota

New "bargain brand" I'd probably pick: Janome (who also does
Kenmore).

Filed under Embroidery Library by on . 2 Comments#

2

I would like to learn how to sew what is a good sewing machine for a beginner?

http://www.cet.com/~pennys/faq/smfaq.htm

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
handling issues)
– 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
slow speeds.

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 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
library.

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 was my choice:
Janome (who also does Kenmore).

Filed under Embroidery Library by on . 2 Comments#

2

I would like to learn how to sew what is a good sewing machine for a beginner?

http://www.cet.com/~pennys/faq/smfaq.htm

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
handling issues)
– 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
slow speeds.

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 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
library.

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 was my choice:
Janome (who also does Kenmore).

Filed under Embroidery Library by on . 2 Comments#

3

I want to start making my own clothes but I don't want to buy a lousy sewing machine.

A used one. Here's my standard advice for beginners:

Start with reading the following faq — my comments expand on it:
http://www.cet.com/~pennys/faq/smfaq.htm

—-
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
handling issues)
– 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
slow speeds.

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 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
library.

Used brands I'd particularly look for: Elna, Bernina,
Viking/Husqvarna, Pfaff, Singer (pre 1970), Juki, Toyota

New "bargain brand" I'd probably pick: Janome (who also does
Kenmore).

Filed under Embroidery Library by on . 3 Comments#

2

I’m a student and i work primarily on a tabletop juki machine. They are very fast and i can get allot done in very little time. But I’m going to be moving soon and i will need a machine that can complete all different types of garments at a relatively fast pace.
Can I complete the same in of work at the same pace with a home sewing machine?

Thanks for the help.

Yes, and no. There are a few models of home machines that are designed for pros and do work at a faster speed than others. Janome produces a professional model, the MC6600P machine that sews 1200 stitches a minute straight stitch. The el-cheapo machine at wal mart or Target…not so fast. Or as reliable. if you are used to the speed and the stitch quality offered by a fast machine then the majority of the home machines will be far too slow and you'll be waiting for the machine to catch up to you.

Since you do so much sewing the professional model is a much better investment. It looks like a home machine on the outside, but inside it has the speed and stitch quality that a professional advanced sewer needs. It will complete a wide variety of garments quickly and efficiently. It has lots of utility stitches and a good variety of decorative stitches too. It doesn't do pre-programmed hooped embroidery -which is a good thing! You can do free motion embroidery easily. It is a table top home machine with the motor and head in one unit.

If you wish to buy an industrial machine that does a variety of stitches then the Bernina 950 is a good machine. It is a true industrial meaning the table, motor and head are separate. It offers 14 stitches and a semi automatic buttonhole.

Here are the two machines:
http://www.berninausa.com/product_detail-n2-i223-sUS.html and in it's price for purchase with table, motor, and head: http://www.allbrands.com/products/abp00796-0070.html
The Janome worthy of your talents: http://www.janome.com/index.cfm/Machines/Sewing-Quilting/MC6600P

I have several industrials and I find many home machines far too slow. I run home machines at a "pedal to the metal" speed and I find the Janome is the closest to industrial speed. Most domestic home machines, even the expensive brands, don't have the same level of speed that a pro is accustomed to. Hope that helped a bit.

1

If so how easy is it to thread, adjust, understand. Do you like the machine and is the embroidery that it does sufficient?

The Singer CE-350 is not available yet and honestly there is not enough difference between the CE-350 and CE-250. The only difference is the color the faceplate and the software it comes with. The machine itself is the same as the Ce-250 it just comes with editing software which is not a necessity, because the CE-250 already comes with AutoPunch. The Editing Software can be purchase separately right now so you can have basically a Ce-350 it is just green. As for the machine itself, I feel it is a great machine for any beginner or inexperienced embroiderer. I have the Brother Innovis 4000D so I know there are a lot of difference when there is a huge price difference. The Singer CE-150, CE-250 and CE-350 are twice as fast as the CE-100 and CE-200. You used to be able to count the stitches now you can not. They improved the software and gave the machine a sleeker look. They did a nice job. As for threading, It is a little tricky at first because you have to make sure you floss it in the tension assembly but aside from that it is fairly straight forward. The embroidery that comes out of the machine is pretty good I think.. Of course the Brother Innovis 4000D is going to have better stitch quality and go faster but the CE machines do a surprisingly nice job. The best deal I saw for the Singer CE-250 is Mr. Vac and Mrs. Sew. That is where I got mine because they have a wonderful add on package you can get with it (I think it retail for like $500 or Something) for only $99. They had a nice fast delivery and a charged No Tax (Because I am in NJ) and Free Shipping. I hope all this information helps. Here is a link to the Singer CE-250:

http://www.mrvacandmrssew.com/go/product/id/955?PHPSESSID=a37664687ba4764b351decb89ce6da31

Filed under Free Embroidery Software by on . 1 Comment#