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Stultus Maximus
Dec 21, 2009

USPOL May


ladyofshallnot posted:


If you could have any sewing machine within the 100 - 140 dollar range, what would it be?


Honestly, I can't think of any machines I'd want in that range. If I wanted the best cheap machine possible, I'd get a sub-$100 Singer 99 (which is what I did). If I wanted to pay more I'd have to spend a few hundred on a good used Bernina or a Singer Slant-o-Matic.
The $100-200 range is full of junk.

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kanteyluip
Aug 4, 2004

Mommy, I feel seasick.

ladyofshallnot posted:

I have a very serious question for all of you.

A friend of mine has recently gotten very seriously into costuming and sewing. Right now she is doing what she can with what she can afford and a borrowed portable sewing machine, but her birthday is coming up and the aim is to spoil her god awful rotten.

SO.

If you could have any sewing machine within the 100 - 140 dollar range, what would it be?

Additionally, if you had a 100 dollar gift certificate to any online fabric store, what would you choose?

I live in a different country, so everything has to be available to order online. I don't sew, so I'm pretty much clueless.

If it were me, I'd skip or decrease the gift cert in favor of spending a little more on a good machine. In that price range, your best bet will probably be a sturdy vintage machine from ebay. I've always enjoyed sewing on my mom's 70s Kenmore, so here are some I would consider if I was replacing my machine:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Heavy-Duty-KENMORE-ZIG-ZAG-Sewing-Machine-1-2-amps-/380350601473
http://cgi.ebay.com/Sears-1341-Industrial-Strength-Free-Arm-Sewing-Machine-/250849696361

Look for something heavy and primarily metal rather than plastic, and don't worry at all about how many kinds of stitches it does. Most people can do 90% of their sewing with just a straight or zig-zag stitch, so having 30 kinds of stitches is just overkill. (A buttonhole setting would be a nice bonus, but it's not a dealbreaker to me.)

kanteyluip fucked around with this message at 16:31 on Jul 10, 2011

ladyofshallnot
Nov 10, 2008


Yeah, having discussed it with her (I ruin birthday presents), she's really interested in the more vintage machines that work with leather/could be used to bludgeon somebody to death.

I may give her a heartfelt IOU until I get back to the states and we can hunt thrift stores and tag sales to see what we can find.

Muffy_the_Diver
Oct 19, 2004

ALL ABOARD THE BUTT TRAIN

If I were you, I'd send her some money to buy a vintage machine (or wait to go shopping with her, as you said), and then a gift cert to a good repair/tuning shop. Most old machines could definitely use a bit of freshening up, which is generally not easy to do yourself. Whatever you decide, it's going to make an amazing gift and I'm sure she'll be tickled pink. :3:

Stultus Maximus
Dec 21, 2009

USPOL May


ladyofshallnot posted:

Yeah, having discussed it with her (I ruin birthday presents), she's really interested in the more vintage machines that work with leather/could be used to bludgeon somebody to death.

I may give her a heartfelt IOU until I get back to the states and we can hunt thrift stores and tag sales to see what we can find.

If all you need is a straight stitch, old iron is the best way to go. Solid, immortal, and startlingly quiet - I don't mean "for its age" but solid metal body and linkage is far quieter than a modern plastic machine with all its rattles.
Plus there's just the joy that comes with sitting down with a glossy black enameled machine. They're just beautiful.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.






I know. I'm scouting for old iron myself, since everything I do is just straight stitches and the very occasional zig-zag, and I want something I can use for the next couple decades without having to replace it. Heavy enough that I can feed a quilt through without risking pulling it off the table is a definite plus.

Bean
Sep 9, 2001


I am so drat stoked that I found this thread, you don't even know. I love to sew. My main beat is doll clothes, but I hatehatehate nasty frumpy doll clothes. I'd rather sew hopefully awesome stuff.

I do costumes too, and sometimes quilts. Since we're all sharing, have a baby quilt I made my friend:



Colors chosen by her. I'm not a complicated quilt pattern kind of person, so diagonals would have to do. I put the kid's name on it:



Good news, my cat approves.



Monster w21 Faces posted:

I'm interested in making doll clothing and things on that sort of scale. Should I be looking as a specific kind of sewing machine or will a regular sized one do?

You and I are now best friends. You want a regular sized one, all usual sewing machine buying rules apply. Don't let the size freak you out, it just means you get done faster. What size/type of doll are you sewing for?

Coopsy
Jan 30, 2011


Sorry for the terrible picture. This is a (hastily made) toile of a circle sleeve blouse from Pattern Magic. I know it was briefly mentioned earlier in the thread, but has anyone else done anything from these books? I've only been sewing for about six months and only learnt skirts so it'd be nice to see stuff from this book that's actually made well.

Oh, and I forgot. i hated the way the sleeve in the book sat so mine's pinned differently. Also my toile is too small for my dressform, I know.

Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


Coopsy posted:

Sorry for the terrible picture. This is a (hastily made) toile of a circle sleeve blouse from Pattern Magic. I know it was briefly mentioned earlier in the thread, but has anyone else done anything from these books? I've only been sewing for about six months and only learnt skirts so it'd be nice to see stuff from this book that's actually made well.

Oh, and I forgot. i hated the way the sleeve in the book sat so mine's pinned differently. Also my toile is too small for my dressform, I know.

That book is AMAZING! I just gave my two copies to my mum 'cause she wanted to get all experimental. Your sleeves look brilliant! :) :o:

Xenoid
Dec 9, 2006


Not sure if I'm in the right place but I want to make this:


As I understand the main piece is simply an O-Ring. I can handle that part. The part I'm confused about is what they've used to make the gold ringlets around it. Any ideas?

Ashcans
Jan 2, 2006

Let's do the space-time warp again!



If I was going to guess, I would say that it might be brass wire/rod that has been been coiled and clipped to make rings, which were then fitted to the loop. Its hard to see if the ringlets have any joins from that picture.

Artemisia
Jun 27, 2002

Fetish

So I was reading the recent sewing machine buying advice on here with some interest, and low and behold, my machine starts acting funny again.

My current machine is a "Bernette 50," which according to the page linked, is sort of a Bernina, but crappy. It was a gift 7 years ago, so I don't know how expensive it was, but I've had to have it repaired and tuned up an awful lot for someone who only sews in fits and spurts. I don't think I want to pay to have it looked at again.

I just read through the link recommended in the first post about buying a sewing machine, and it was very helpful, but I was wondering if anyone could make a more specific recommendation if I lay out my needs/wants:

-I sew both non-stretch and stretch fabrics. Just started getting into sewing stretchy stuff, like stretch velvet and lycra, for belly dance costuming. I mostly use a zigzag stitch for it, but if there's a better option for stretch fabric, I'm open to that.

-I don't want to do machine quilting or embroidery. I probably don't need anything beyond the straight stitch, the zigzag, and maybe an improved stretch stitch and a hemming stitch (which I've never tried to do on this machine because I'm kind of dumb and technophobic- I don't even know if it does it!)

-I don't need a needle threader

-Easy to maintain with very clear instructions in the manual on exactly what I need to do, how to do it, and how often (the Bernette manual is AWFUL) or doesn't really need maintenance (is that wishful thinking?)

-Easy to take somewhere to be fixed or tuned up, if it's needed. I'm not against buying a vintage machine if that's the best option for me, but I don't want something that it's going to be hard to get fixed or find parts for.

-Budget: Saving money is good and I don't want to pay for features I'm not going to use or pay big bucks for something that will break all the time, but I'm willing to put down good money on a reliable machine that will last a long time with no drama.

Nione
Jun 3, 2006

Welcome to Trophy Island
Rub my tummy


Artemisia posted:

-Easy to take somewhere to be fixed or tuned up, if it's needed. I'm not against buying a vintage machine if that's the best option for me, but I don't want something that it's going to be hard to get fixed or find parts for.

Seriously, just look around a bit. I bought an old White sewing machine on Craigslist for less than $50. It's awesome. Mine's really old, so no zig-zag, but I've had it and used it for a year and have yet to have any issues with it. I'm actually considering taking it in to get it cleaned/oiled because I never did when I bought it. The machines that are mostly metal are not going to wear out/start doing funny things like the newer ones are. Plus, sewing machines are the kind of things that people keep for as long as they can, there's an entire industry of people dedicated to repairing/replacing parts for old sewing machines, you just have to find them. I used to have a 1960s Necchi that was great, it was a gift and was missing some parts. I found an entire website dedicated solely to old parts for Necchi sewing machines.

If you've got the money to throw down, find an old Pfaff. It'll still set you back a bit, but it'll last forever. A coworker has the Pfaff that belonged to her grandmother and it's ANCIENT. That thing will never ever die and there are a million stores that still service and sell Pfaff machines.

--------------------------

My question is if anyone has any good resources on hand beading. I'm considering making a hand beaded flapper dress and I'm slightly concerned that I'm biting off way more than I can handle. How hard is it to sew beads onto sheer chiffon? Are there any techniques to use so that each bead is secure, instead of one bead falling off, followed by 2,000 more? Also, if I wanted to do complicated designs (I'm thinking art deco peacock feathers on black chiffon), what's the best way for getting that all laid out and keeping it straight while you're working?

Jacks_Colon
Mar 30, 2009


I combed through most of this thread and haven't seen a topic that would answer my forthcoming questions, so I'm going to go ahead and shoot.

I have a blazer that I want to alter. It is a two button blazer with double vents. What I want to do is make the waist more tapered while leaving the rest of the blazer as is. I've done this with a single vent blazer before by taking in the seams on the side of the blazer, just behind the pocket flaps. The problem is, if I try this with my double vented blazer I run into the obstacle of the seam meeting the vents, and now I have to mess with the lining and all sorts of adjustments to keep a clean transition from seam to vent. Anybody have experience with this sort of thing?

Another issue I've been looking to tackle is making a keyhole type button-hole. I know a lot of sewing machines can produce them automatically, but my sewing machine does not. I can do an extensive range of zig-zag stitches with my machine and I've tried to make one by eye but it comes out looking awful. Is there any point in this or should I just pursue a machine with keyhole capabilities.

Now for my last question: When making a coat or jacket, how do I keep the lapels flush against the body of the garment? It seems that they often curl outwards after just a short while of wearing them. I've heard there is a way to do this by making one side of the lapel slightly bigger than the other so it will pull the lapels towards the body of the garment. Anybody have any info on this?

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.






In theory, you could cut the back of the lapel shorter than the front to pull it back. Usually with some interfacing on the front portion to make it arc rather than just folding under.

SuzieMcAwesome
Jul 27, 2011

A lady should be two things, Classy and fabulous. Unfortunately, you my dear are neither.

I have an old-ish sewing machine that my mother bought for me when I was about 16. I have long since lost the power cord and foot pedal for it. Is there a reasonably price online retailer where I could get replacements for it. I believe it is a cheep brother machine.

Also. I remember why I quit using it was because it had a vertical bobbin and I had issues with getting it going correctly and keeping it from jamming. any advice for this once I get it going again?

Jyrraeth
Aug 1, 2008

I love this dino
SOOOO MUCH


I want to start sewing big girl clothing, and not just the occasional hem or button. Well if you can even call that "sewing". What's the best way to start? I was going to start with making dumb cell phone holder things, with appliques just to get used to the tools. I'm not sure what are the easier clothing items to make. Simple dresses or PJs? My 'bumming around the house' clothes are usually dresses, so the 'I made this!!' factor isn't something that I have to worry about.

I do have a sewing machine and all the necessary gear. My mom used to sew, but she's forgotten most of what she knew.

Vulvarine
Mar 23, 2008


Jyrraeth posted:

I want to start sewing big girl clothing, and not just the occasional hem or button. Well if you can even call that "sewing". What's the best way to start? I was going to start with making dumb cell phone holder things, with appliques just to get used to the tools. I'm not sure what are the easier clothing items to make. Simple dresses or PJs? My 'bumming around the house' clothes are usually dresses, so the 'I made this!!' factor isn't something that I have to worry about.

I do have a sewing machine and all the necessary gear. My mom used to sew, but she's forgotten most of what she knew.

Draw-string pajama pants are a typical beginner project; all straight lines, you can pick a fun personalized fabric, and it's pretty hard to gently caress up the fit. There are a billion online tutorials.

Stultus Maximus
Dec 21, 2009

USPOL May


Vulvarine posted:

Draw-string pajama pants are a typical beginner project; all straight lines, you can pick a fun personalized fabric, and it's pretty hard to gently caress up the fit. There are a billion online tutorials.

I actually managed to screw it up. I fitted the waist. :(

madlilnerd
Jan 4, 2009

a bush with baggage

Jyrraeth posted:

I want to start sewing big girl clothing, and not just the occasional hem or button. Well if you can even call that "sewing". What's the best way to start? I was going to start with making dumb cell phone holder things, with appliques just to get used to the tools. I'm not sure what are the easier clothing items to make. Simple dresses or PJs? My 'bumming around the house' clothes are usually dresses, so the 'I made this!!' factor isn't something that I have to worry about.

I do have a sewing machine and all the necessary gear. My mom used to sew, but she's forgotten most of what she knew.

Elastic top skirts are insanely easy, they always have a pattern for one in the "beginner/easy" section of the pattern catalogues. If you want to do a dress, find a pattern that's marked as easy and have a go at it. I made some god ugly dresses when I was learning to sew, from horrible cheap fabric, but they fitted well and were great for bumming around the house or beach.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.






Vulvarine posted:

Draw-string pajama pants are a typical beginner project; all straight lines, you can pick a fun personalized fabric, and it's pretty hard to gently caress up the fit. There are a billion online tutorials.

Won't lie, I learned how to sew clothing making wrap pants and tunics back when I picked up the occasional weekends' wages at Renfaires.

Jyrraeth
Aug 1, 2008

I love this dino
SOOOO MUCH


Thanks everyone!

I see a lot of garish fabric in my future. Which is okay, because I like purposely ugly PJs. Maybe I'll get some comfy flannel and make some for the winter. My room is insanely cold and I can never have enough flannel PJs (despite the amazing amount of static it builds up).

FreeFunnelCake
Jul 3, 2011


I have a family heirloom quilt that is in serious disrepair. Is there anyone here that can repair it? I can provide pictures if needed. PM me or I can provide my email address. Thanks

Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


I am sick of bringing my sewing machine to the shop for annual maintenance & repair (oops..another broken needle).
Isn't there some kind of repair manual to tell me exactly how to troubleshoot and fix things? They make them for cars- why not for sewing machines? Brother USA has been no help basically saying their service manuals are only for the service centers.

mango time
Feb 20, 2008


I have a sewing problem I am hoping someone wouldn't mind helping me with. I just got a snazzy Kenmore Ultra-Stitch 6 from my Aunt. I've been trying to practice sewing with the handy Sewing Machine Driver's Test someone posted in this thread (Thanks!). I figured at the end of the lines I may as well try to reverse a bit like I would have to on fabric and then go straight again. I bent a needle badly doing this the first time. The thread got stuck where it wraps around the tension knob I guess. The next few times there were two pieces of thread coming out of the bobbin hole. The strands of thread wouldn't move when I tried to pull them until I cut them. This isn't normal, right? Is there anything I should be doing to prevent this? I have a picture of it here but it is kind of hard to see http://i.imgur.com/ZaAfV.jpg (Don't mind the hardly attached foot)

Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


Bobbin thread got tangled up. Remove the bobbin and the bobbin race, cutting whatever thread is stuck and then make sure everything is clean before putting it back together.
I'd be more concerned about the bent needle while reversing- I break my needles by forcing them through thick fabric or when pulling the fabric to add ease. With a thin layer and without adding pressure that should not happen.

Bean
Sep 9, 2001


Cross_ posted:

I am sick of bringing my sewing machine to the shop for annual maintenance & repair (oops..another broken needle).
Isn't there some kind of repair manual to tell me exactly how to troubleshoot and fix things? They make them for cars- why not for sewing machines? Brother USA has been no help basically saying their service manuals are only for the service centers.

I thought a broken needle was something you could fix yourself? They sell replacements at JoAnns. Probably WalMart, too.

My sewing manual has repair information in it, but then again, it was made in the 1960s. :v:

Comrade Quack
Jun 6, 2006
Witty closing remarks have been replaced by massive head trauma and general stupidity.

I'm a little confused by that too. A broken needle should be something you take care of yourself unless the bit that broke off goes somewhere where you can't get to it. My manual had instructions for oiling and whatnot.

The one time I've had my machine in for repair/service I watched the guy do it. Then kind of felt ripped off; the whole thing took him maybe 3 minutes and part of that was unscrewing the casing. I was waffling about fixing it vs. getting a new one and asked him to look it over first. What he did was mostly blow stuff out with an air compressor, oil the parts I knew to oil, grease one other thing that wasn't mentioned in the manual and replace a little plastic washer that had fallen apart with age. 3 minutes of his time and less than $1 in materials and he charged me $60 before he even gave me any options.

That said you didn't list a model number so I can't really help you with your search so I'll go with the obvious option and ask if you've checked ebay?

Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


^-- Just as with many other professions, you don't pay for material, you pay for experience. Did you know which little washer thing needed replacing? That's what the $60 was about.

Bean posted:

I thought a broken needle was something you could fix yourself? They sell replacements at JoAnns. Probably WalMart, too.
Sure, the broken needle can be fixed. The weird scratching noise in the bobbin shuttle or skipped stitches that were caused by a broken needle..not so much. I should have made that clearer, it's the follow-up damage I am concerned about.

Cross_ fucked around with this message at 01:18 on Aug 12, 2011

Comrade Quack
Jun 6, 2006
Witty closing remarks have been replaced by massive head trauma and general stupidity.

Cross_ posted:

^-- Just as with many other professions, you don't pay for material, you pay for experience. Did you know which little washer thing needed replacing? That's what the $60 was about.

Yes, but If I ask for an estimate and he tells me $30-70; I tell him I'm on the fence about having him do it so I'd like to get a more exact estimate, he says "lets have a look", does everything without another word then tells me I owe him $60 I think I'm allowed to be pissed.

Furnok Dorn
Mar 30, 2004
SOCIALLY WORTHLESS SHUT-IN NERD

Recently started screenprinting/making shirts for folks, I think some of them turned out pretty well! (Apologies if this is the wrong thread for this sort of thing)



mango time
Feb 20, 2008


Cross_ posted:

Bobbin thread got tangled up. Remove the bobbin and the bobbin race, cutting whatever thread is stuck and then make sure everything is clean before putting it back together.
I'd be more concerned about the bent needle while reversing- I break my needles by forcing them through thick fabric or when pulling the fabric to add ease. With a thin layer and without adding pressure that should not happen.

Thanks! I did what you suggested with the bobbin and it didn't get tangled when I tried reversing again. I'm still going to take the machine in for a free assessment anyway because the bent needle concerns me a bit now.

Corla Plankun
May 8, 2007

improve the lives of everyone


Furnok Dorn posted:

Recently started screenprinting/making shirts for folks, I think some of them turned out pretty well! (Apologies if this is the wrong thread for this sort of thing)



OH MY GOD that is loving awesome. I would buy the hell out of the NOD shirt even though I already have like 200 tshirts.

Furnok Dorn
Mar 30, 2004
SOCIALLY WORTHLESS SHUT-IN NERD

Corla Plankun posted:

OH MY GOD that is loving awesome. I would buy the hell out of the NOD shirt even though I already have like 200 tshirts.

I was thinking about selling some shirts to goons once I got a bunch more permanent screens made, so if you're interested, give me a bit and I can probably hook you up!

Stultus Maximus
Dec 21, 2009

USPOL May


Furnok Dorn posted:

I was thinking about selling some shirts to goons once I got a bunch more permanent screens made, so if you're interested, give me a bit and I can probably hook you up!

At what volume would you consider buying materials and setting up the screens worthwhile?

Furnok Dorn
Mar 30, 2004
SOCIALLY WORTHLESS SHUT-IN NERD

Stultus Maximus posted:

At what volume would you consider buying materials and setting up the screens worthwhile?

Probably low, I have a lot of fun doing it so making piles of money isn't really a concern, email me or something if you are interested in a shirt and I'll see what i can do!

scumcrank at gmail.com

Nettle Soup
Jan 30, 2010

Oh, and Jones was there too.


I haven't touched a sewing machine since highshool, but the dog tore up my favorite pillow. After taking two days to set up the sewing machine, finding thread, sewing the pillow to itself, going out to buy a stitch unpicker and a decent pair of scissors, sewing it to itself again... I decided the pillow was unsalvageable. So made a new one out of a pair of jeans I couldn't bring myself to throw away and used the stuffing (chopped foam) from the original to stuff it.



It came out ok! I hadn't realised how wide the legs on the jeans were either.

Nettle Soup fucked around with this message at 17:33 on Aug 15, 2011

AMISH FRIED PIES
Mar 6, 2009

by Nyc_Tattoo


I just missed out on a $40 Singer 401A in the original cabinet with manual and in very good condition...by five minutes. :sigh: Oh well. At least I have some hope that I'll see other good stuff on my local Craigslist later.

In other news, I earlier acquired a Singer 128-18, with no cabinet, which will probably need a little oil & tuning. I have the manual and this will be FUN. :haw:

leradny
Aug 25, 2011


My machine is a Singer Fashion Mate 360 from 1975, which is shared with my mother. Probably I won't upgrade till it dies on me once and for all, since I like vintage tailoring.

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Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


Do not use Sears for sewing machine repairs. Just don't.
I dropped it off at my local store with a repair estimate of 2 weeks. After 4.5 weeks of playing phone tag finally I called them to cancel it since they weren't making any progress ("can't find the parts"). I picked up the machine, paid a $35 inspection fee, and when I got home found out that their technician had broken the thread feeder. :argh:

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