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Posted: 10/21/2016 2:38:59 PM EDT
I've started looking for a sewing machine. Various reasons, but the final straw was the dog chewing up another one of her beds and me being unwilling to pay another $30-40-50+ for an oversized pillow made of light fabric she'll chew up again.

Once I've done that, I'm planning to do a bit of heavy-fabric stuff for outdoors - new shooting mat, canvas seat repair, that sort of thing.

I've been digging around online and while there are some reviews out there, they tend to be ... not helpful. I kid you not, "The splash of pink trim on the latest model is a welcome addition to any sewing room." Lady, I don't care what color it is, I need to know if it'll handle serious work and my fumble fingers.

I am looking VERY hard at the Janome HD3000, and stopped at the local dealer to see one in person. Apparently having a Y chromosome is a no-no there, not to mention interrupting the kaffeeklatsch. The lady who finally deigned to get up and help me said they didn't have that machine, maybe could get one, but I shouldn't bother with a mechanical machine and instead should look at the (hundred dollar more expensive) electronic one here.

Never asked what I wanted it for. Just "you don't want that, you want this". She ran a few strips of fabric through to show off what it could do, and when I asked more questions about the HD3000 took my number and said they'd call IF they could get one in the shop. I was then (politely) shown the door.

Damn. (I guess I know how a woman feels in a gun shop now, huh?)

So ... any of you have their own input on sewing machines? I'm looking for heavy duty - able to handle multiple layers of denim/canvas/duck and/or webbing, prefer mechanical, and not breaking the bank.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:40:16 PM EDT
I believe the male term is either "tailor," or "stitch bitch."

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Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:41:04 PM EDT
Singer
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:42:13 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Toothpicksandkatchup:
Singer
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Not really the case anymore.


My dog has no bed because he chewed it up. He sleeps just fine on the floor.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:43:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2016 2:43:33 PM EDT by simplemitch]

For heavy stuff you want something with a walking foot, or that can attach a walking foot. I have a Husqvarna Designer Diamond, which is probably overkill for normal sewing stuff since it's also an embroiderer and computerized like a mofo. I'm also wanting to try out heavier stuff since I'd like to take a stab at doing my own vinyl interior on my 1968 Camaro resto-mod.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:43:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Toothpicksandkatchup:
Singer
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This. Black Friday usually has 1-2 models on sale, Singer and otherwise.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:45:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2016 2:45:38 PM EDT by GregMc]
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Originally Posted By Toothpicksandkatchup:
Singer
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That's not how you spell Bernina.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:47:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2016 2:54:18 PM EDT by jlficken]
Look for a used Pfaff 6122/6152 Jeans & Satin model at the local sewing and vacuum shops. The good ones were made in Germany and are quite nice.

My wife picked one up for $50 on a garage sale but normal price would be $150-$200 for a nice machine.

I would rather buy used German than new China made machines.

Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:48:36 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By GregMc:
That's not how you spell Bernina.
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Originally Posted By GregMc:
Originally Posted By Toothpicksandkatchup:
Singer
That's not how you spell Bernina.


Singer is not on my radar for various reasons, chiefly what seems to be a wide consensus that their quality has slipped dramatically over the last couple decades.

Bernina makes beautiful machines that seem to be a lot more than I want to spend. Ditto Pfaff.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:49:03 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By GregMc:
That's not how you spell Bernina.
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Originally Posted By GregMc:
Originally Posted By Toothpicksandkatchup:
Singer
That's not how you spell Bernina.



That's true. Bernina is spelled with lots of $ signs

Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:50:43 PM EDT
USED.

Go to some garage sales. Plenty of used machines out there, often better build than new ones, for very very cheap. Obviously, you don't need 16 million computerized patterns and whatnot.

If nothing else you can figure out what you need/want when you go to spend real money.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:58:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2016 2:59:50 PM EDT by jlficken]
The Brother PQ1500S and Juki TL-2010Q seem to get good reviews for straight stitch applications with many layers.

ETA: Non-computerized will be your friend. I dread to think what that Bernina will cost to repair one day. My wife hasn't turned it on in 2 years probably
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:59:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/23/2016 5:37:33 PM EDT by Sinister]
Over the last 30 or more years modern household machines use a lot of plastic parts, to include their gears.

You want to find an older machine like a Singer 31-15. Steel, and built like a Russian T-34 tank. For under $400 (with a motor, table, and light) you can sew heavy webbing and Cordura fabric to build damn near anything you'll use outdoors or underwater, or finer fabrics for mens' suits and tuxedos (it was called the tailor's machine for many, many years).

It looks like an antique but may outlast the owner.



A heavier walking foot machine will cost around $600-800.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 3:06:16 PM EDT
If you want real heavy duty look into a consew or a juki.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 3:22:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2016 3:26:00 PM EDT by JQ66]
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Originally Posted By Toothpicksandkatchup:
Singer
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Get an old singer on ebay.
I think it's the 201 that is supposed to be able to sew some pretty thick leather, so should be able to do cordura or other tough fabrics.


And what the other person said about the #31.
Old heavy cast metal models, not this new fangled plastic stuff, with plastic gears. It needs to have steel gears and drive shafts.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 3:35:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Sinister:
Over the last 30 or more years modern household machines use a lot of plastic parts, to include their gears.

You want to find an older machine like a Singer 31-15. Steel, and built like a Russian T-34 tank. For under $400 (with a motor, table, and light) you can sew heavy webbing and Cordura fabric to build damn near anything you'll use outdoors or underwater, or finer fabrics for mens' suits and tuxedos (it was called the tailor's machine for many, many years).

It looks like an antique but may outlast the owner.

http://www.moosetrading.com/sites/default/files/products/1373567631.jpg

A heavier walking foot machine will cost around $600-800.
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this. i have several and they just keep sewing. an older pfaff is good, too. i have a 130 and a 360. both will sew multiple layers of denim. anything heavier i break out the consew.

<<<< used to awn an awning shop<<<<<<
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 3:48:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2016 3:49:14 PM EDT by Storm_Tracker]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sinister:
Over the last 30 or more years modern household machines use a lot of plastic parts, to include their gears.

You want to find an older machine like a Singer 31-15. Steel, and built like a Russian T-34 tank. For under $400 (with a motor, table, and light) you can sew heavy webbing and Cordura fabric to build damn near anything you'll use outdoors or underwater, or finer fabrics for mens' suits and tuxedos (it was called the tailor's machine for many, many years).

It looks like an antique but may outlast the owner.

http://www.moosetrading.com/sites/default/files/products/1373567631.jpg

A heavier walking foot machine will cost around $600-800.
View Quote
I use a Juki. Which is the cadillac. This poster is steering you in the right direction. An old singer like the one pictured, he even has the old model # there for you.

Otherwise a nice juki or (consew, which is a little cheaper) as another poster had suggested, in that case break out the pocketbook.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 3:48:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By zercool:


Singer is not on my radar for various reasons, chiefly what seems to be a wide consensus that their quality has slipped dramatically over the last couple decades.

Bernina makes beautiful machines that seem to be a lot more than I want to spend. Ditto Pfaff.
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Originally Posted By zercool:
Originally Posted By GregMc:
Originally Posted By Toothpicksandkatchup:
Singer
That's not how you spell Bernina.


Singer is not on my radar for various reasons, chiefly what seems to be a wide consensus that their quality has slipped dramatically over the last couple decades.

Bernina makes beautiful machines that seem to be a lot more than I want to spend. Ditto Pfaff.
I bought a Bernina production sewing machine. I added a walking foot. I tried to recover my nephews car seat with vinyl and struggled to get through it. It was a nightmare on really heavy stuff. Get an OLD singer with a walking foot it a consew. The consew is a copy of a Pfaff I believe.
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 3:54:21 PM EDT
My wife has had power machines etc. Janome is one brand I remember. She has ALWAYS found it difficult to find reliable repairs. See if there is a shop in your area that does contract sewing. See if anyone will give you some advice. Shops that make sails or covers or upholster.
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