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DragQueenofAngmar
Dec 29, 2009

You shall not pass!


I'm currently sewing on a borrowed machine (well, right now I gave it back for a week) which is a fairly newish domestic. I'd like to get my own machine, and I really don't want any special types of stitches. I'm trying to learn how to make my own clothes, and a tailor and designer told me that he essentially only uses straight stitch and overlock (and a buttonholer but it seems that those are phenomenally expensive).

If I become good at this and need to upgrade to industrial machines, I know basically what I should buy from talking to this designer and some others, but I'm lost on what domestics I should be looking at. I'm trying to find a machine that has straight stitch, some kind of overlock/zigzag locking stitch, and buttonholing, but not much else. My main problem has been that I have no clue what brands are considered good in terms of the more modern domestic machines. I know Singer and I think Pfaff are good if you can get a vintage one, but I don't know what's considered good now. If anyone can help with this, that would be awesome. Thanks :)

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DragQueenofAngmar
Dec 29, 2009

You shall not pass!


Funhilde posted:

I use a Pfaff home machine that is maybe from the 80s. It does a few good stitches but the features I like are the automatic walking foot and stretch stitches. I also have a Pfaff coverlock. I don't really use the coverlock feature on that machine as I find it intimidating and not fully necessary for most of what I do. My back up machine is a Janome that is also a nice powerhouse. All of my machines came from a sewing machine shop/dealer. They usually offer free lessons on how to use the machine and also good service plans. I would never suggest that anyone get a machine from Wal-Mart or Jo-anns ect. if they wanted to use the machine on a pretty regular basis and to make nicer stitches. Brother, Bernina and Baby Lock all seem to have some nice things as well. Older machines can be great too- many dealers will have some refurbished options that are worth looking at.

Would this be a good option? pfaff 332 heavy duty sewing machine It looks like from the pictures that the machine can do zigzag stitch as well as straight, and there are a lot of different feet attachments. I thought maybe you'd know whether it looks good or not because you have a pfaff yourself :)

DragQueenofAngmar
Dec 29, 2009

You shall not pass!


Bitter Beard posted:

I would start by finding a local sewing shop and ask them if they repair that model and how much a general tune up is. If you buy that it is the first thing you'll HAVE to do it if is not timed right or has something bent or broken inside.

There is a sewing shop near me that has Pfaff in the list of brands they specialize in for repair, I'm calling tomorrow to confirm. Is anyone familiar enough with older pfaffs to figure out from those pictures what this machine can do, specifically? for example what are all those different attachments and pieces of metal (I assume feet attachments), how do I know if the machine has a walking foot or a standard, etc. Sorry for asking so much, I've just never sewn or really gotten to examine an older machine

Here's another vintage home machine I've found. It kinda looks like it only does straight stitch, but perhaps someone more knowledgeable could enlighten me?

1946 singer

Also, if all these questions about equipment are unwelcome without any contributions to the thread, please let me know!

DragQueenofAngmar fucked around with this message at 09:36 on Nov 10, 2014

DragQueenofAngmar
Dec 29, 2009

You shall not pass!


This is all really helpful :) Ok last post about buying old machines, I swear. I was asking some family/friends about the Pfaff I linked, and my girlfriend said something like "suitcase sewing machines aren't really considered very good." Now, I know that's a pretty vague statement, and vintage machines in general are tougher than modern, so maybe it would be okay. I would like to be able to sew thicker fabrics too, though. So I thought maybe this Pfaff would be a better bet: 1952 Pfaff 130 heavy-duty



It's at the upper limit of my budget, but since it was just serviced, ships free, and comes with needles, bobbins, etc I don't mind that (seller has a 99.8% positive feedback with 3000+ reviews, too). This machine does zigzag, lockstitch, and reverse unlike that Singer I posted which only does lock. (Also, I think it's a great looking machine, though of course that doesn't really matter.)

So I guess what I'm asking is whether you guys agree with my gf that suitcase/smaller machines aren't great and I shouldn't spend my money on that, and whether this larger Pfaff looks like what I'd need (just a few simple stitches) if that's the case.

DragQueenofAngmar
Dec 29, 2009

You shall not pass!


Oh, I'm not planning to make a purchase tomorrow or anything! Sorry if that wasn't very clear. I do have access to a domestic Singer that I can use nearly all the time (unless I have to give it back when the lender needs to make a repair). It's this model:

It's not in the best shape though, and has some weird issues that I don't think are entirely me being a novice. Anyway, I'm happy to sew on this while I learn and get better, but I don't want to buy a super cheap machine for myself when I can just use this one, which is why I'm looking at these older and more heavy duty models. I'm also looking around craigslist and thrift shops, but I figured there's no harm in looking on eBay, even if I just end up using it to get an idea of what's out there :)

DragQueenofAngmar
Dec 29, 2009

You shall not pass!


Has anyone got any experience re: mounting an old sewing machine into a table?

I've been practicing my sewing for about 6 months or so and a couple months ago I came across a very nice old machine which only needed a little bit of tuning up to be completely functional. It's this Pfaff 130 from 1952:



Straight stitch and zigzag only, but the stitches are incredibly strong (I watched one of the ladies at the shop sew through about a quarter inch of leather with this machine). Guess that's what you get when you buy a machine from the time when people actually made a lot of clothes instead of just doing occasional repairs :)

Anyway, sewing on the machine is great, but I don't like having to sew up to the platform, so I'm planning to router out an old desk I have so the machine can sit flush with the desk surface. However, I don't really want to have to fumble around under the desk every time I need to change the bobbin. (The desktop is also thick enough that it would be tough to get to the bobbin without moving the machine out of the hole anyway.) I know that most of these came mounted in tables originally, and there are two holes in the back of the machine with tightening screws, which I assume used to hold the machine to the hinges that let you tilt it back so you can access the bottom.

Has anyone here tried anything like this? Where should I look for the right kind of hinges? I'm planning to ask in my local sewing shop, but it's a good long drive away so I thought I'd try the very knowledgeable people here first. I will take a picture of the back of the machine and what I think are the hinge mounters in a few hours and post that as well if it's helpful :) Much obliged to anyone who can share info on this!

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DragQueenofAngmar
Dec 29, 2009

You shall not pass!


Arsenic Lupin posted:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pfaff-Sewing-Machine-Part-Machine-to-Hinges-Mounting-Screws-Original-Pfaff-/291041581234

claims that these are the screws that attach the machine to the hinges. It's fairly cheap to buy these and see if they fit into the mounting holes on the machine. Then you have to find the hinges....

You'd be in great shape if your machine were a Singer, but I can't find *any* Pfaff mounting screws. You might buy these
http://www.sew4less.com/category/98/Cabinet_Parts

and try them, but I have no idea what shape the interior of the Pfaff mounting hole is.

I think that the screws are already in there as shown in these pictures. These are the only things on the back of the machine that seem like they could be for the hinges to me.





Does that maybe help? I'm only guessing that those are the mounting holes.

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