Stitcher

2

I just want to buy a simple basic sewing machine under $100 to hem my pants.

I don't need it to do any fancy needlework. All I need is to hem my pant legs. Can anyone recommend me any brands?

Thanks alot!

If you're going to hem pants with a straight stitched-through hem (like jeans), any decent straight stitcher will do. I typically find old Singer 99s and 15s around for $0-20 that just need cleaning, oil and a new needle.

If you want to do a more professional looking hem, such as is used on dress pants, you want a machine with a "blind hem stitch" (and ask for it to be demonstrated for you).

Or you're going to learn to hem by hand… takes very little time and
costs you a packet of hand sewing machine needles — less than $1.

With a budget of $100, you're either going to be going for a used machine or a new one that is not going to last long or be repairable.

My standard beginner sewing machine advice:
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).

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5

I've started making my own clothes recently (mainly reconstructing old clothes), but I don't have a sewing machine so I've been having to do it all by hand. What is a good, basic sewing machine that can speed things up a bit? I want to not only continue reconstructing clothes, but possibly making jackets, dresses, shirts, etc. from scratch. So it needs to be able to handle some more heavy-duty projects, too.

If you're on a budget, I highly recommend a used machine. Even a straight stitcher from the thrift store or the back of someone's closet will do well for you if you're working entirely with wovens. You *can* sew knits with a straight stitcher, but it takes some special techniques.

Here's my standard advice for beginners in need of sewing machines:
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 . 5 Comments#

1

0 Husqvarna Viking 4D Professional 1: Packages IncludedEmbroidery software educator Soni Grint shows highlights of the packages contained in 4D Professional. She shows a jacket embellished with Shapes, a table runner created with Encore and lettering font samples including QuickFonts created from computer TrueType fonts, all in 4D Embroidery Extra. Another jacket demonstrates editing features from 4D Stitch Editor, as do morphing samples. A sampler, designs and text were created in 4D Cross Stitcher.

Duration : 0:7:28

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1

0 Pfaff creative 4D Suite 1: Packages IncludedEmbroidery software educator Soni Grint shows highlights of the packages contained in creative 4D Suite. She shows a jacket embellished with Shapes, a coaster and table runner created with Encore and lettering font samples including QuickFonts created from TrueType computer fonts, all in creative 4D Embroidery Extra. A skirt and jacket demonstrate editing and morphing features from creative 4D Stitch Editor. Printer fabric and iron-on transfers are enhanced with free motion embroidery created in creative 4D Sketch. A sampler, designs and text were created in creative 4D Cross Stitcher.

Duration : 0:9:21

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0

Who uses free counted cross stitch patterns and graphs? Anyone who wants them, but there are many uses for these patterns. Free cross stitch patterns are often found on the Internet which is a great source for these patterns. Some people use these patterns to incorporate and merge them with other patterns and motifs to create a brand new pattern idea. These customized patterns are then either used for personal use or are marketed and sold with a new name or title.

A designer who specializes in free cross stitch patterns is Connie G. Barwick who presents patterns to the general public for personal use only. Also, a site called Better Cross Stitch Patterns.com offers very nice, unique free patterns. The atmosphere is very friendly there, and they go out of their way to make a stitcher feel at home.

For more information on free cross stitch software click here

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